The Past Winners
The Benson Cup
No finishers in 2019!
The 2019 race started with a light SW wind. The fleet split early with two and then three boats choosing counter-clockwise and the rest going clockwise. As crews chased zephyrs on the clockwise route, Purple Martin and Time Bandit (and later Area 51) looked smart choosing the side with more wind. However, after hours of floating on glassy seas with the sun beaming down, all crews eventually retired with many headed for the festiveness of the Jones Island "sink-the-dock" party. In the end, Purple Martin was deemed the overall closest-to-winning boat with Crazy I's not far behind.
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 HouseChildren'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.