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Reaction wins Governor’s Cup

Royal Cape One-Design beats Stadt 34 on corrected time


Friday January 4, 2013 – Thinus Groenewald’s Royal Cape One-Design – Reaction – has won the 2012 Governor’s Cup – the 1,750-mile bi-annual race from Simon’s Town, South Africa, to the Atlantic island of St Helena, which started on 22 December.

Thinus Groenewald and team aboard Reaction, celebrate their overall win of the 2012 Governor’s Cup - Photo SHBC

Groenewald, together with his three-strong crew, Corne and Ruan Groenewald, and Nicolaas Basson, all from Royal Cape Yacht Club, completed the race in just under 12 days (11d, 23h, 43m, 53s) which was just enough to beat Indaba – John Levin’s Stadt 34 – on corrected time.

Although the race for the Governor’s Cup was close right from the start within the Racing Monohull fleet, the battle for overall honours between these two intensified dramatically over the final few days. For Team Reaction it was all about unfinished business from the previous Governor’s Cup Race.

Thinus Groenewald commenting on his win said: ‘It certainly was all about unfinished business because last time when we were flying towards St Helena our rudder failed and we had to pull into Saldanha Bay to fit a new one. We then rejoined the fleet, found a new weather system and blasted our way all the way to St Helena. We were convinced we could have won that one had we not had gear failure. Therefore we are absolutely delighted with this result and really feel as though we have now achieved our goal. We had a great race, albeit a little light at the start, but once we found the breeze we enjoyed a fabulous sail all the way to the island.”

Elsewhere in the fleet excitement builds to establish an overall winner in the Rally monohull fleet where Ivan Flodgren and the Swedish team aboard their Hallberg Rassey Rasmus 35 – Kuheli – are desperately trying to beat Peter Bosch and Stephen Jennings’ Tosca 39 JML Rotary Scout. Although JML Rotary Scout, crewed by a group of Scouts from Cape Town and St Helena aged between 16-18 years old, finished the race last night, the Swedes are still in with a chance of taking the overall win if they cross the finish line by 11:22:50 on Saturday 5 January.

Compromise – the overall winner of the Rally Multihull fleet. - Photo - SHBC

The overall winner of the Rally Multihull fleet is Robert Newman’s Du Toit catamaran – Compromise – from False Bay Yacht Club. Although Kevin Webb and Sarel van der Merwe’s super-fast Farrier F9AX trimaran, Banjo, beat them on the water Team Compromise sailed consistently throughout their 12-day voyage and were able to maintain their favourable time on handicap to secure the overall win. In third place overall is Sandpiper 2 – Abri Erasmus/Paul Tanner’s Simonis Voogd 42ft catamaran, which completed the race in just over 11 days.

Billy Leisegang – Principal Race Officer commenting on the 2012 Governor’s Cup, said: “It has been a huge success all round, thanks particularly to the wonderful group of organisers both in South Africa and on St Helena who devoted their time through Christmas and New Year to make it happen. As for the actual racing, generally any yacht leaving Cape Town leaves in a screaming south-easter, so coping with the initial strong winds is often a problem. This time round however, it was unusually light. Although it probably did cause a bit of frustration among the competitors early on, they all managed to keep their spirits high throughout, and going by their reaction at the finish, all seem to have had the most fabulous sail, which is what it is all about.”

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

The Governor’s Cup Race is a downwind 1,700 nautical mile ocean yacht race organised by False Bay Yacht Club, www.fbyc.co.za, and is now claimed to be an entry on many sailor’s ‘bucket list’. First held in 1996, the Governor’s Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa finishing in Jamestown, St Helena. For further details on the race including race documents, visit http://www.governorscup.co.za.

 

This year the race is being supported for the first time by Enterprise St Helena, which promotes the growth of economy of St Helena through the development of existing businesses and the promotion of the island to new investors and developers. With the opening of the island’s airport due by late 2015, it is anticipated that tourism, and marine tourism in particular, will be a key economic driver for the island and its community. For further details visit www.investinsthelena.biz.

 

For further details on St Helena Island, visit www.sthelenatourism.com.

 

The Governor’s Cup race is proud to be supported by Andrew Weir Shipping SA (Pty) Ltd – www.aws.co.uk and RMS St Helena – www.rms-st-helena.com.

 

For further media information please contact Sue Pelling: sue@suepelling-journalist.com.

Latest Press Release

Banjo takes line honours

Farrier trimaran arrives in St Helena after 1,750-mile blast from South Africa

Wednesday 2 January, 2013 – Banjo – Kevin Webb’s Farrier F9AX trimaran, co-skippered by Sarel van der Merwe, crossed the finish line of the 1,750-mile Governor’s Cup Race at 17:35:24 on Tuesday 1 January.

Banjo Crossing Line on Jan 1, 2013
Photography by SHBC.

Webb and van der Merwe arrived in Jamestown, St Helena to a hero’s welcome after a 10-day downwind blast from the South African port of Simon’s Town. The team aboard this superfast trimaran sailed a good, tactical race and were unstoppable.

As they stepped ashore Team Banjo were surprisingly chirpy but Webb did admit to feeling content to be back on shore. “We are feeling relieved and happy. We tried hard, had a great sail. We made a couple of tactical errors but our revised strategy paid off.”

Although the conditions were light at times, particularly in the early part of the race, most experienced classic Atlantic conditions at some point. For Webb and van der Merwe, there was one particular day that really stood out. “We had a run of 225 miles over a 24-hour period with the highlight being screaming down waves at 18kts. We also had a few bad points too, which included experiencing really dark nights and falling into massive holes in the sea.”

Eyes are now focussed on the second boat to arrive in St Helena. As the situations currently stands, Sandpiper 2 – Abri Erasmus/Paul Tanner’s Simonis Voogd 42ft catamaran ­– is due to cross the finish line sometime today. However, at 0800 (UTC) she had just less than 90 miles to go and with lighter winds expected, it could be a late evening finish.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Racing Monohull fleet as the battle for overall handicap honours continues. Although Thinus Groenewald’s Royal Cape One-Design – Reaction – is still in an overall favourable position on handicap, 12 miles ahead of Indaba (John Levin’s Stadt 34), she is currently making just 4.5kts, while Indaba is speeding along at 7.5kts to the east of the rhumb line. For Indaba to be in with a chance of winning overall on handicap in this late stage of the race however, she needs to overtake Reaction and finish far enough ahead to still win when handicap is applied.

In the Rally Monohull fleet Ivan Flodgren and the Swedish team aboard their Hallberg Rassey Rasmus 35 – Kuheli – have maintained the overnight lead ahead of JML Rotary Scout, a Tosca 39. The Swedes took the initial fleet lead in the early part of the race but JML Rotary Scout, co-skippered by Peter Bosch and Stephen Jennings and crewed by a group of Scouts from Cape Town and St Helena aged between 16-18 years old, took a turn at the front of the fleet two days ago, and are keen to repeat this performance in the next 24-hours.

In third place in this fleet, and sailing consistently well are the Fisher family (Luke, and Monica, together with their two children – Todd, 14, and Amy, 13) aboard Bryana, a Dudley Dix 38ft steel-hulled, home-completed yacht. As well as maintaining third in fleet, they are currently leading the race for the Family trophy.

Kevin Ward’s Elan Impression 434, Canace, sponsored by Nampak Bevcan’s CAN DO!, crewed by a team of five between the ages of 52 and 70, also appears to be holding a good position and is now in fourth place in the fleet with 199 miles to go to the finish. Ward chatting from the yacht at 0800 (UTC) this morning said: “We are having an exciting race because we now have Compromise, the cat, just ahead of us. At the moment the wind is blowing a good south-easterly 25kts so we are blasting along. We are hoping it won’t drop because this is the sort of wind that suits us perfectly. We are planning to reach the finish line at about midday tomorrow, if the wind continues. In these conditions we are sailing goose-winged, with the genoa poled-out rather than flying the spinnaker because we find this setup makes it a lot easier.”

Issued by Sue Pelling in conjunction with ADPR.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

The Governor’s Cup Race is a downwind 1,700 nautical mile ocean yacht race organised by False Bay Yacht Club, www.fbyc.co.za, and is now claimed to be an entry on many sailor’s ‘bucket list’. First held in 1996, the Governor’s Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa finishing in Jamestown, St Helena. For further details on the race including race documents, visit http://www.governorscup.co.za.

 

This year the race is being supported for the first time by Enterprise St Helena, which promotes the growth of economy of St Helena through the development of existing businesses and the promotion of the island to new investors and developers. With the opening of the island’s airport due by late 2015, it is anticipated that tourism, and marine tourism in particular, will be a key economic driver for the island and its community. For further details visit www.investinsthelena.biz.

 

For further details on St Helena Island, visit www.sthelenatourism.com.

 

The Governor’s Cup race is proud to be supported by Andrew Weir Shipping SA (Pty) Ltd – www.aws.co.uk and RMS St Helena – www.rms-st-helena.com.

 

For further media information please contact Sue Pelling: sue@suepelling-journalist.com.

Banjo looks set to claim line honours

Kevin Webb’s Farrier trimaran makes charge to finish line

Tuesday 1 January, 2013 – Banjo – Kevin Webb’s Farrier F9AX trimaran, co-skippered by Sarel van der Merwe, is on her final descent towards the island of St Helena for the finish of the 1,750-mile Governor’s Cup race, which started on 22 December.

Webb and team continue to make the most of the stunning Atlantic conditions and are currently blasting along on a downwind sleigh ride in up to 20kts of wind, in an attempt to gain time over Robert Newman’s Du Toit catamaran – Compromise – which is currently leading the Rally Multihull fleet on handicap.

Banjo

For Team Banjo however, the honour of being first across the finish line at Jamestown, will be an experience they won’t forget in a hurry. Billy Leisegang, the principal race officer, says the festival atmosphere on St Helena is revving up, particularly with the imminent sighting of Banjo on the horizon. Speaking from St Helena this morning, Leisegang commented: “We are anticipating Banjo will cross the line anytime between midday and 1500 today. They are still over the horizon but the atmosphere here on the island is very exciting. We are anticipating a huge turnout of spectators later, and it will be a day to remember.”

As the situation stands Sandpiper 2 – Abri Erasmus/Paul Tanner’s Simonis Voogd 42ft catamaran ­– will be second to cross the finish line mid morning tomorrow. The team is currently lying in third place overall on handicap in the Rally Multihull fleet with just 200 miles to go, and are keen to beat Banjo on handicap. Speaking from the boat this morning Tanner commented: “Life is very good on board we are eating well but have had serious electrical problems, which has kept us occupied quite a bit of the time, so I am looking forward to an ice cold beer at the finish. The rest of the crew say they are also looking forward to a shower, and female company. On a serious note, though, what we want most is a good shower and the company of other humans. We haven’t seen another yacht for five days.

“We’ve had a great voyage and enjoyed the camaraderie on board. Other highlights include the tuna we caught, which we had with chips and, of course, the dual we’ve had with Banjo. On a lighter note, I play the bagpipes, so one could say the highlight has been a dual between bagpipes and Banjo!”

Reaction

As far as the overall honours for the Governor’s Cup is concerned, Thinus Groenewald’s Royal Cape One-Design – Reaction – is the current favourite. Although she does seem to have the edge in the favourable downwind, planning-hull conditions, it is still too early to predict the winning result. Team Reaction are racing hard to retain their position, but they are no doubt very aware of the fact they need to maintain their level of performance in order to keep John Levin’s ever-threatening Stadt 34 – Indaba – in their wake.

JML Rotary Scout, the Tosca 39 co-skippered by Peter Bosch and Stephen Jennings and crewed by a group of Scouts from Cape Town and St Helena aged between 16-18 years old, also continue to sail well in the Rally Monohull fleet but overnight, appear to have been overtaken once again by initial fleet leaders, Ivan Flodgren and the Swedish team, aboard their Hallberg Rassey Rasmus 35 – Kuheli. JML Rotary Scout won its class in the Governor’s Cup last time it was held (2010/11) so the team are working hard to defend their title, however, it looks as though the Swedes are on a mission.

A quote from a team member of the yacht which takes line honours today will be posted here on the Governor’s Cup website later today.

Issued by Sue Pelling in conjunction with ADPR.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

The Governor’s Cup Race is a downwind 1,700 nautical mile ocean yacht race organised by False Bay Yacht Club, www.fbyc.co.za, and is now claimed to be an entry on many sailor’s ‘bucket list’. First held in 1996, the Governor’s Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa finishing in Jamestown, St Helena. For further details on the race including race documents, visit http://www.governorscup.co.za.

 

This year the race is being supported for the first time by Enterprise St Helena, which promotes the growth of economy of St Helena through the development of existing businesses and the promotion of the island to new investors and developers. With the opening of the island’s airport due by late 2015, it is anticipated that tourism, and marine tourism in particular, will be a key economic driver for the island and its community. For further details visit www.investinsthelena.biz.

 

For further details on St Helena Island, visit www.sthelenatourism.com.

 

The Governor’s Cup race is proud to be supported by Andrew Weir Shipping SA (Pty) Ltd – www.aws.co.uk and RMS St Helena – www.rms-st-helena.com.

 

For further media information please contact Sue Pelling: sue@suepelling-journalist.com.

The battle for line honours intensifies

Banjo’s lead threatened by Sandpiper 2

Sunday 30 December, 2012 – As the 18-strong Governor’s Cup fleet make its final approach to St Helena on this 1,750-mile race from Simon’s Town, South Africa, competition is really starting to intensify.

Sandpiper 2

The overall line honours trophy is still very much up for grabs with Banjo – Kevin Webb’s Farrier F9AX trimaran – now threatened by Sandpiper 2 – Abri Erasmus/Paul Tanner’s Simonis Voogd 42ft catamaran. Until two days ago Banjo had established a solid lead, but the Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club team on Sandpiper 2, has sailed well over the last couple of days and is now set to launch a challenge.

The current leader of the Multihull class, on handicap, is Robert Newman’s Du Toit catamaran – Compromise.

Paul Tanner – skipper of Sandpiper 2 – says that Banjo is just 40 miles to starboard so the final part of the race is going to be tough. Sandpiper 2 is currently in a south-easterly breeze. “We are in direct competition with Banjo at the moment so we are reluctant to give too much away. However, we can report it is very hot at 30 degrees C. We have 20 per cent cloud cover, one and a half metres of swell, and a cross chop against main swell makes it a bit uncomfortable. All going well and our watch system is really working well between six of us. We each do a two-hour stint on the helm, two hours as stand by during daylight hours, and one and a half hours at night in each role, that relates to four hours on, and eight hours off in daylight. We have not seen another boat for five days, so we are looking forward to closing in soon.”

The battle for overall handicap honours in the Racing Monohull fleet, is equally intense between John Levin’s Stadt 34 Indaba, and Thinus Groenewald’s Royal Cape One-Design – Reaction. The current situation shows that either of these two are in with a chance of an overall Governor’s Cup win but it will depend on what conditions are thrown at the fleet as it approaches St Helena.

JML Rotary Scout

Another team who could have been in with a chance of an overall Governor’s Cup win had they not elected to race within the Rally Mononhull fleet (which doesn’t qualify for the overall trophy) is False Bay Yacht Club members aboard JML Rotary Scout, a Tosca 39. This team co skippered by Peter Bosch and Stephen Jennings and crewed by a group of Scouts from Cape Town and St Helena aged between 16-18 years old, has sailed exceptionally well and have managed to overtake Ivan Flodgren and the Swedish team, aboard their Hallberg Rassey Rasmus 35 – Kuheli – who have led the Rally Monohull division since the start.

The Fisher family aboard Bryana, a Dudley Dix 38ft steel-hulled, home-completed yacht, is currently leading the race for the Family trophy and in third place overall in the Rally Monohull fleet. Luke (52) and Monica (46) together with their two children – Todd (14) and Amy (13) are enjoying a fun Christmas break. Before they left Simon’s Town at the start, they said that spending Christmas together on the ocean means a lot to them. “It will be the first time we have crossed an ocean together and none of us have ever been to St Helena before, so it will be a big adventure all round.”

Elsewhere, Adrian Pearson/Dave Immelman’s Didi 38 – Black Cat – which suffered power failure and had to make a detour for repair for repairs, has now left Luderitz on the African coast, and is back on course again towards St Helena.

RMS St Helena – one of the world’s last operating mail ships – is now in St Helena awaiting the first arrivals. The ship, which shadowed the fleet all the way from Simon’s Town with family and friends of those in the race on board, will transport many of the competing yachts back to Simon’s Town once the race is over. Billy Leisegang, the principal race officer, who made the voyage on the ship, commented from St Helena this morning.

“There is a tremendous atmosphere on the island at the moment. Everyone is so excited about the arrival of the yachts. At this stage we are not exactly sure of the ETA of the first finishers but we are guessing the first boats will arrive late on 1 January or early morning on 2 January. The good news is, there is a strong wind here so it’s a good sign it will be a very fast finish, and they may even arrive sooner than predicted.”

Issued by Sue Pelling in conjunction with ADPR.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

The Governor’s Cup Race is a downwind 1,700 nautical mile ocean yacht race organised by False Bay Yacht Club, www.fbyc.co.za, and is now claimed to be an entry on many sailor’s ‘bucket list’. First held in 1996, the Governor’s Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa finishing in Jamestown, St Helena. For further details on the race including race documents, visit http://www.governorscup.co.za.

 

This year the race is being supported for the first time by Enterprise St Helena, which promotes the growth of economy of St Helena through the development of existing businesses and the promotion of the island to new investors and developers. With the opening of the island’s airport due by late 2015, it is anticipated that tourism, and marine tourism in particular, will be a key economic driver for the island and its community. For further details visit www.investinsthelena.biz.

 

For further details on St Helena Island, visit www.sthelenatourism.com.

 

The Governor’s Cup race is proud to be supported by Andrew Weir Shipping SA (Pty) Ltd – www.aws.co.uk and RMS St Helena – www.rms-st-helena.com.

 

For further media information please contact Sue Pelling: sue@suepelling-journalist.com.

Fleet leaders reach halfway stage

Banjo strengthens overall position but winds remain light

Friday 28 December, 2012 – Since the Governor’s Cup start on Saturday 22 December, generally light winds has made progress on this 1,700-mile downwind race from Simon’s Town to the remote island of St Helena in the Atlantic, slow going.

The leaders of the 18-strong fleet are now approaching the half-way stage of the race, but still suffering as they struggle to find consistent wind, and it now looks as though the first finishers won’t arrive at Jamestown, St Helena before 1/2 January.

Kevin Webb’s Farrier F9AX – Banjo – by far the fastest boat in the fleet, has strengthened her lead both on the water, and on handicap but Abri Erasmus/Paul Tanner’s Simonis Voogd 42ft catamaran – Sandpiper 2 – also racing in the Rally Multihull fleet, is continuing to sail consistently, which could put a threat to Banjo’s advantage.

In the Racing Monohull fleet another close battle ensues between John Levin’s Stadt 34 – Indaba – and Thinus Groenewald’s Royal Cape One-Design – Reaction. Indaba has stuck more to the west, nearer the rhumb line while Reaction has opted for the easterly route, which puts her in a more favourable position given the current forecast. Off the coast of Namibia winds are currently 20-24kts south-south-easterly, while further off the coast where the main fleet is winds are between 12-14kts from the south-east.

Kevin Ward’s Elan Impression 434, Canace, sponsored by Nampak Bevcan’s CAN DO!, crewed by a team of six between the ages of 52 and 70, is also appears to be holding a good position. She logged 900 miles since the start and is currently charging along under spinnaker in an 11kt south-easterly breeze. Speaking from the boat at 1030 (UTC) today, crewmember Steve Robinson said: “We’ve not seen another boat for days but we are having great fun and enjoying every minute. We have 954 miles to go and the plan now is to stick to a course of 303 degrees and hopefully that will take us straight to the island. We also believe that where we have positioned ourselves we will benefit from stronger winds forecast. Actually, the wind is in our favour now and everything is going well so we’ll be concentrating on getting optimum speed from our boat.”

RMS St Helena – one of the world’s last operating mail ships –  is  shadowing the fleet as it makes its way to St Helena. All the race officials including Billy Leisegang, the principal race officer, and family and friends of all those in the race, are enjoying a fun Christmas break onboard. Once the race is finished, all the yachts, crews and families will be transported safely on the ship back to Simon’s Town. Leisegang, speaking from the ship this morning, said they are now in sight of St Helena. “We are approaching the island now and there’s a nice south-easterly blowing about 15kts. We are cruising along at half speed, having averaged too high a speed in the calm conditions all the way from Cape Town – ETA St Helena 14:00.”

Michael/Heidi Kavanagh’s Beneteau First 44.7 – Ray of Light – which dismasted off the coast of Namibia in the early hours of Boxing Day, is now en-route back to Cape Town. Thankfully all crew including the Kavanagh’s four-year-old son, Sean, were unharmed but it was a real blow to the team who were progressing well when the accident happened. According to Michael Kavanagh the wind was just 15kts and they were flying the spinnaker when the top section of the mast failed. Kavanagh commented: “Looking at the rig, the port cap shroud had pulled from the mast. Why this happened we do not know yet. We have all the pieces, so when the experts get to take a look we will no doubt be able gain more insight into the failure. We are all devastated. Even more so given our meticulous preparations for the race and the fact that the mast was pulled from the boat and extensively serviced just six months ago. However, as we all know, accidents happen despite thorough preparation. We had worked hard to get ourselves into a north-easterly position and our race strategy was starting to play out nicely.”

This morning they were at a position of 27deg 25.0S by 014deg 37.4E, sailing in 15 knots of southerly breeze and big swell. Kavanagh said: “We are motor sailing with storm jib and tiny main. Hard going, but we remain resolute. Had to climb the mast again as the cap shroud that pulled loose started slamming into the rigging. Monitoring chafe points. Heidi and Sean a little sea sick. Praying for less headwind!”

Adrian Pearson/Dave Immelman’s Didi 38 – Black Cat – which suffered power failure and was making a detour to Walvis Bay for repairs yesterday, is now on route to Luderitz to pick up new batteries and an alternator.

Issued by Sue Pelling in conjunction with ADPR.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

The Governor’s Cup Race is a downwind 1,700 nautical mile ocean yacht race organised by False Bay Yacht Club, www.fbyc.co.za, and is now claimed to be an entry on many sailor’s ‘bucket list’. First held in 1996, the Governor’s Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa finishing in Jamestown, St Helena. For further details on the race including race documents, visit http://www.governorscup.co.za.

 

This year the race is being supported for the first time by Enterprise St Helena, which promotes the growth of economy of St Helena through the development of existing businesses and the promotion of the island to new investors and developers.  With the opening of the island’s airport due by late 2015, it is anticipated that tourism, and marine tourism in particular, will be a key economic driver for the island and its community. For further details visit www.investinsthelena.biz.

 

For further details on St Helena Island, visit www.sthelenatourism.com.

 

The Governor’s Cup race is proud to be supported by Andrew Weir Shipping SA (Pty) Ltd – www.aws.co.uk and RMS St Helena – www.rms-st-helena.com.

 

For further media information please contact Sue Pelling: sue@suepelling-journalist.com.