Please select your home edition
Edition
Melges IC37 2019 Leaderboard

South African Governor's Cup update

by Sue Pelling 31 Dec 2014 13:05 GMT 31 December 2014

Fleet settles in to downwind sleigh ride to St Helena

Banjo crosses halfway point in 1,700-mile race

After a hectic start from Simon's Town on Saturday (27 January) when winds gusted over 30kts the 17-strong Governor's Cup fleet has settled into a downwind sleigh ride on its 1,700 nautical mile course towards St Helena.

The roller coaster ride from the start made for a speedy rounding of Cape Point before the fleet headed north for its first lively night off the coast of Africa.

Kevin Webb and his team on Banjo, the Farrier F9AX, that took line honours in Governor's Cup 2012/13, is looking set to repeat her performance. This super fast trimaran led off the start and this morning crossed the halfway mark of the race, 78 nautical miles ahead of Dave Immelman and team on Adrian Pearson's Dudley Dix 38 Black Cat. If the wind holds, Banjo could cross the finish line in four days and win the Multihull division. She could also beat her previous time of just over 10 days.

The wind, from the south-south-east has dropped slightly however, which means serious tactics are now in play as the fleet heads north 100 miles or so offshore along the coast of Africa. The idea is to stay in the strongest wind band and the north-flowing Benguela Current.

One of the biggest gains in the last 24 hours was made by Tallulah (Tosca 36) and has jumped into the lead of Cruising division ahead of the schooner Windjammer who is on a course to the west of the fleet. John Seager, skipper of Tallulah, commenting from the racecourse this morning said: "We are sticking to our game plan and it seems to be paying off and we are now on a direct course for the island.

The highlight of the day for Team Tullulah, yesterday, was overtaking another boat. Seager continued: "It was amazing, we saw another yacht on the horizon and as we got closer, and overtook, we realised it was Revelation 1 (Simonis 50), one of the big catamarans. We were so excited because we thought she'd be near the finish by now."

Chatting about the conditions, Seager added: "The wind has rarely been below 25kts but today, for the first time, it is down to 15kts. We are really settling into the race and managing to maintain an average speed of about 6.5 knots on a comfortable broad reach. Although we still have a partially reefed genoa, we have full main and seem to be going well which is quite surprising considering we have no idea where anyone else is. Unfortunately for us we are sailing blind because we don't have our email facility operating. The worst part is not having an up-to-date forecast. We are relying on a forecast that is nearly a week old from when we left Cape Town, so we are basically working on what we can see around us."

The Governor's Cup, which traditionally takes place over the Christmas/New Year holiday period, mostly attracts family and friend teams from local clubs, as well as out and out race teams from around the world. It is real test of endurance with many young sailors cutting their 'ocean racing' teeth in this race.

Natalie Seager (20) who is racing on Tallulah with her father and younger sister, and who is celebrating her 21st birthday on the return trip to Cape Town, says she is hooked. "I've sailed a bit with my dad before, but nothing like this so it's a real baptism of fire for me. I was feeling rough for the first day or so but now I am fine and really excited at how well we seem to be doing overall. Also looking forward to celebrating New Year on the ocean waves."

Justin Spreckley and his five-strong team from Royal Cape Yacht Club on Strumpet (Fast 42) who led off the start line on Saturday, are gradually making gains once again sailing at just over 8kts,and hope to improve on their fourth place in Racing division over the next 24 hours.

John Leslie, from race committee, says he is amazed that given the windy conditions at the start there's been no drama reported: "In fact, so far they have had four days of perfect conditions with the wind from the south-south east, and 23 degrees. All teams seem happy and are naturally looking forward to arriving in St Helena."

More details on the Governor's Cup Yacht Race can be found at governorscup.sh; or by visiting the Governor's Cup Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Governorscuprace or on Twitter at @Governors_Cup.

Related Articles

Governors Cup presented in Cape to St Helena Race
Plus news that Royal Cape YC will organise the 2020 race The winners in the various categories for the Cape to St Helena received their trophies from the Governor of St Helena, Her Excellency Lisa Honan. A special presentation evening at Plantation House, the Governor's official residence, was held last Friday. Posted on 16 Jan
Cape to St Helena Race
New Year's celebrations at sea for these crews 'Indaba', a 34 foot Van der Stadt, is the overall winner. Finish date Sunday 6th January 18:56:22. The 'Indaba' is also the winner in the monohull class. Posted on 10 Jan
Cape to St Helena: The Governor's Cup is back!
Twelve yachts have confirmed their attendance It's been 4 years, but the Governor's Cup is back! 12 yachts have confirmed their attendance and the race, 'Cape to St Helena', kicks off on 26 December in association with the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Posted on 11 Sep 2018
Governor's Cup at Balboa day 1
Price (AUS) and Takahashi (NZL) tied for lead The world's top-ranked match racer, Harry Price (AUS), and his recent match racing nemesis, Leonard Takahashi (NZL), finished the first day of Balboa Yacht Club's 52nd Annual Governor's Cup Youth Match Racing Championship tied for the lead. Posted on 18 Jul 2018
Black Cat wins Governor's Cup 2015
Surprise win for Dave Immelman and team Dave Immelman and his team on Black Cat (Dudley Dix 38) have won the Governor's Cup 2015 after their nearest rival – Avanti – who finished ahead in the early hours this morning – declared they had switched on their engine. Posted on 9 Jan 2015
Banjo breaks the race record
In the South African Governor's Cup Kevin Webb, Sarel van der Merwe, and Brad Stemmett sailing Banjo, a Farrier F9AX trimaran, have broken the 1,750-mile Governor's Cup Race record from Simon's Town to St Helena with a time of 9 days 13 hours and 36 seconds. Posted on 6 Jan 2015
South African Governor's Cup update
Fleet creeps towards St Helena in light airs Having enjoyed nearly a week of good, consistent winds, crews in the Governor's Cup fleet are currently suffering from lack of speed as their yachts wallow in light airs 400 or so miles off the African coast. Posted on 2 Jan 2015
South African Governor's Cup underway
Big winds make for exciting start from Simon's Town Lively conditions with winds reaching over 30kts made for an exciting start for the 2014/15 Governor's Cup. This 1700-nautical mile race from False Bay Yacht Club, Simon's Town, South Africa, to the remote Atlantic island of St Helena. Posted on 27 Dec 2014
5 minutes with Bram Weller
Chairman of the Governor's Cup Yacht Race 2014 The 27th December 2014 marks the end of an 18 year era as the Governor's Cup Yacht Race from False Bay Yacht Club in Simon's Town, South Africa to Jamestown, St Helena, takes place for the last time in its current format. Posted on 19 Dec 2014
Excitement for 2014 Governor's Cup builds
18 entries want to tick this race off their sailing 'bucket list' This year's entries sees family cruising boats with wedding anniversaries and birthdays being celebrated out at sea, a folding trimaran competing with the fast downwind racing yachts vying for line honours. Posted on 13 Dec 2014