The Past Winners
The Benson Cup
Congratulations Crazy Is, 2020 Overall Winner
The 2020 race started with a light southerly wind and scattered fog. About two thirds of the fleet went clockwise and found a surprising northerly on the north side of Waldron when all wind stations surrounding the area showed light to moderate southerlies. Those on the counter-clockwise route had a splendid spinnaker run up President's Channel and got a spectacular whale show near Point Hammond. Unfortunately, the whales took much of the wind with them for an hour or two. After fighting current both ways all day, the day finished with a brisk southerly. Due to COVID-19, there was no "sink-the-dock" party at Jones this year, though a few boats came in to share stories. The biggest winner of the day? Orcas Island Children's House, who will receive nearly $900 from race proceeds and extra donations from the fleet of 17 boats.
The Benson Cup is a race named after Father Benson who ministered to the people of San Juan County for many years. He had a small boat that he used to travel from island to island. From that boat came a copper tea pot which became the Benson Cup Trophy. The race has been run since 1981 and the course is from Jones Island around Waldron Island and back, a distance of 15 miles.
The proceeds from the race are given to the Orcas Island Children's House, a local San Juan County charity.
As far as we know, the fastest elapsed time in this event was
put in by Charles Mottl's Ginny in 2001 with a time of 2:04:01
Visit the Benson Cup page on
The party after the 2012 race on the Jones Island dock.