Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Steve Lapkin takes Top Honors in “Sailing World” Winter Photo Contest

Posted on April 30, 2010
Filed Under Tahoe-Truckee Profiles

North Lake Tahoe photographer Steve Lapkin recently took top honors in the Sailing World Winter Photo Contest for two stunning images depicting world class sailing competition.

The contest drew more than 500 submissions of racing images throughout the world from the Great Lakes to the Florida Keys to Australia. However, it was Lapkin’s images of the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR and the 2010 Miami Grand Prix, Finale that captured the first and third place honors.

The grand prize winning shot captures an intense moment in which Lucy MacGregor’s British Elliott 6 Meter team is battling it out against Anna Tunnicliffe’s American team.

“Lucy MacGregor’s British team, ultimately, do not win the Match Series,” explained Lapkin, whose work has appeared in a variety of notable national publications. “It was the team of Anna Tunnicliffe that pulled off a last race victory. There was intensity from the get-go!”

The Sailing World judging panel praised Lapkin’s prize-winning shot.

“I could see this photo on a Wheaties box,” commented Sailing World photographer and contest judge Marianne Lee.

Sailing World Associate Editor Michael Lovett echoed Lee’s accolades.

“This photo does a great job of stopping the action during a critical point in the race,” said Lovett. “The details – skipper throwing the main, middle crew trimming the chute, forward crew adjusting the twings – give you a great sense of the teamwork taking place. There’s just a lot to see in this image.”

Lapkin’s third place shot of the 2010 Miami Grand Prix, Finale also grabbed the judging panel’s attention.

“This image has what I call the barbershop effect, like you’re looking into a mirror that’s reflecting another mirror,” Lovett observed. “The subject in the foreground just seems to repeat infinitely. It gives you a sense of the vertigo Melges’ 32 skipper must feel as they approach the starting line.”

Lapkin said these types of shots are all about proximity, which he obtains via helicopters or guide boats. “Position is everything and composition is everything,” he admitted. “I’m about capturing the moment on the water, whether it’s a power boat or a sailboat. I try to show the enthusiasm of the movement, based on the subject matter and composition. It’s just the click.”

Lapkin got his start in nautical photography shooting classic wooden speed craft. One such photo was featured on a 2007 United States postal stamp. Today, both his powerboat and sailboat images are featured in national publications including West Marine National Catalog and Sailing World. He has also provided images to Tommy Hilfiger, Sportif, Hagerty Classic Insurance and ROLEX Cup, among others.

To view Lapkin’s award-winning photos, visit

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