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Race Report – Lipton Challenge Cup 2017

There was no shortage of drama with this year’s edition of the Lipton Challenge Cup.

Leading up to the event, lots of comments were made regarding the prestigious competition. Some of them good, some bad, but regardless it’s shown how much this competition means to sailors on our shores.

On the first day of racing, Alex Burger and his team from UCTYC showed they came to compete, finishing 2nd in race 01. Technically, the UCT crew had a chance to win the title until the very last day of racing. Finishing 2nd overall was Hout Bay Yacht Club. They really flexed their muscle by finishing 1st in the last three races. They retired from race 03, which eventually demolished their hopes of taking the cup home to the Sentinel.

The Lipton Challenge Cup is a ruthless competition, allowing no discards, which for this reason has made it one of the most difficult regattas to win on the sailing calendar.

The last day of racing provided drama as well, with an amendment going out on the morning, stating: “ Race Day 06: If the leading boat has not finished the race by 16h00, the race will be abandoned ”. With racing being postponed, due to light winds, it was always going to be a race against the clock. On a S4 course, it took HBYC 33 minutes to complete the 3rd lap. They would need to be 3 minutes faster to clock in before 16h00. Race Coms was going insane as to whether they would make it or not. With 15 seconds to spare HBYC charged over the finishing line, completely unaware of the amendment. Regardless the sportsmanship shown by Theo, Andrea and rest of the crew was top class.

RCYC’s team, spear-headed by Roger Hudson,  bagged the title for a fourth consecutive year for RCYC.  RCYC had elected to go with a brand new team, with Joweal Klaase being the only survivor from last year’s campaign. The rest of the crew were, Roger Hudson, Asenathi Jim, Gerry Hegie, Sibu Sizata and Sabata Gayeka. From the start they put their foot down, finishing 1st in the first three races and finally keeping the cup locked in our cabinet for another year.

 

A special thanks to everyone’s assistance, especially our Race Officer, Di-Hutton Squire and the rest of the bridge crew who did a superb job. Also the rest of the organizing committee who helped me behind the scenes, Mike Peper, Dave Garrard, Ian Slatem, Wesley Young. – Fanie Naudé

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