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Cape to St Helena 2018 Day 9

Pretty soon now, there will be the ecstatic hail of “Land Ahoy!!!” aboard the thrice good ship Banjo. Before that sighting of land, they should be able to see an abnormal cloud build up over the island, and maybe even the descent and final approach of the SA Airlink Fly Airlink passenger service recently introduced to the island!

The sands of time are fast running out for Los Banjo Hombres to break yacht Beluga’s line honours elapsed time record of 8 days, 2 minutes and 4 seconds, which was set way back in 2000.

They would have to finish at 14:02:04 today to beat the record. They still have 100 miles to go and have picked up speed to around 9 knots, after a slow night. If they can hold this pace, they will be in late this evening. Close, Banjo, but no cigar (this time). The beer will taste great anyway! Enjoy what should be your last day at sea!

From a cautionary notice issued by the Island yesterday, the fleet may be in for a bumpy reception, with warnings of a north-west swell over the next few days, to disrupt the arrival party. The predominant wind at St Helena is an easterly or south-easterly tradewind, and the Jamestown anchorage is on the northwestern side of the island, in the typically protected lee of the island. It is, however, exposed to the north and north western seas.

The race for the overall monohull handicap win is incredibly close between Naledi and Indaba…so close that the lead switched overnight. Although the way the daily results have been published don’t indicate the corrected time difference between these two, Naledi will have a nervous 48 hours or so on the island once they have finished, watching the progress of Indaba, their closest threat on handicap. However, Aeolus (The Greek God of the Wind) will also play his hand, because the wind appears to get patchy and lighter over the weekend which if it materializes, may not be in Indaba’s favour.

The way the handicap result works, is that a yacht’s elapsed finish time is multiplied by a time correction factor (which is a measure of the boat’s speed potential versus other boat’s), which gives the corrected handicap time.

Time Correction Handicaps 101: Basically, imagine you are a hare and I am a tortoise, and we want to run a handicap race against each other.

Now, imagine that you are just not one of those arrogant types of hare that thinks that they can sleep on the job. You stay awake, and you put your cute little furry hare shoulder to the wheel.

If you can typically run twice as fast as I can, your handicap would be “2”, and mine would be “1”. 
Now, we run in a specific race. If it takes you 10 minutes to run the race, and it takes me 21 minutes to run the same race, our elapsed times are 10 minutes and 21 minutes respectively. To calculate the corrected handicap times, we would multiply your elapsed time of 10 minutes by your handicap of “2”, and your corrected time would be 20 minutes. My corrected handicap time would be my elapsed time of 21 minutes multiplied by my handicap of “1”, which is 21 minutes.

So, you would beat me on handicap by one hot minute…but you can only work that out as the lower handicap competitors finish. In the example above, you have 10 minutes of nerves to deal with after you finish, before you know whether you have won the race against me on handicap. Conversely, I will know I have to go like hell for those 10 minutes to try to beat you!!! And that’s handicap racing!

The Saints are really looking forward to welcoming all the crews to the Island with warmth and fantastic hospitality.

Dale Kushner, solo aboard Yolo reports:
“Yesterday, the barometer settled as expected. Breeze was light for most of the day 8-11 knots. Not good for vmg but pleasant sailing. As the evening came the breeze increased again and the usual clouds started to build. Not wanting to be caught out two nights in a row (having to promptly douse the spinnaker at night singlehanded) the conservative option was taken. Albeit it ended up not blowing that strong in the end. But it still had its moments. Between the clouds there is an incredible star studded sky to enjoy. After this settled down, kite up again. This morning nice breeze and overcast sky. Very humid. Otherwise all good.”

Banjo reports: “Last night was so dark I swear you could touch it in front of your face. Wind was light with occasional squalls that we tried to capitalize on. Right now we have 15 knt wind with little squalls under the clouds of 18knts – altogether pushing us along nicely towards the island. Brad has cooked us three square meals a day – so we are all a lot fatter now, but very happy campers. Everyone is down to the last articles of clothing and are looking forward to a shower and a cold beer at Anne’s.”

Compromise are being pushed along at a steady 7kts and estimate that we will be on the island sometime on Saturday.

The Hearne family (from St Helena) aboard Carpe Diem celebrated Josh’s 14th birthday.
Happy Birthday, chom!

Ronin report that the spinnaker is repaired and flying. I’ve subsequently discovered they have a great Instagram feed for the race – check it out here:

Asante are showing off some exceptionally cunning planning skills (or a bloody good deep freeze system aboard) by pulling this rabbit out the hat: “Had the best braai last night. Karoo lamb chops in the Atlantic… nothing better! Weather still perfect. Well rested and happy crew.”

by Luke Scott

Cape to St Helena 2018 is a sister race to the #Cape2Rio2020, which is supporting the race with a daily race update. Like|Love|Share!

You can track progress here:


St Helena Tourism
St Helena Yacht Club
Royal Cape Yacht Club