COUNTDOWN STARTS FOR GOVERNOR'S CUP OCEAN RACE - Boating Forum

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  • COUNTDOWN STARTS FOR GOVERNOR'S CUP OCEAN RACE

    COUNTDOWN STARTS FOR GOVERNOR'S CUP OCEAN RACE

    With just over a week to go before the start of the 2006 Governor's Cup, participants are busy with final preparations for the 1 695 nautical mile crossing between Cape Town and James Bay on the island of St Helena. Fourteen yachts will set sail from Table Bay on Thursday, 28 December, in celebration of the biannual event's tenth anniversary.

    North Wharf at the V&A Waterfront will be a hive of activities when the official departure ceremony begins at 10h30. The festivities will include a multi-faith blessing of the fleet before the fleet heads off for the starting line just off Granger Bay. The race will be started at 14h00 by the Governor of St Helena, Mr Michael Clancy, aboard the SAS Umkomaas. Crowds of well-wishers, friends and family will be on board the Royal Mail Ship St Helena to wave off the intrepid crews.

    The breakwaters at Granger Bay and the V&A Waterfront should provide spectacular vantage points to see the thrills and spills of the race start. Signal Hill and the Lion Battery will give a good birds' eye view of events.

    The inaugural Governor's Cup race took place in 1996 to promote the tropical island of St Helena and to maintain the close ties that exists between the island community and South Africa. The island is heavily involved in youth sailing development and a group of young sailors are sent to South Africa every two years to train for and participate in the Governor's Cup.

    The race for line honours is definitely on with Chris Frost, commodore of the Royal Natal Yacht Club, entering South Africa's latest ocean racer Prodigy in an attempt to shatter the current crossing record of 7 days 20 hours 24 minutes set by Shackattack in the 2004 race. The 54-feet Simonis Voogd design will continue to the Caribbean to participate in Antigua Week before hitting the international racing circuit.

    Veteran sailor Billy Leisegang will return to defend his claim on the Crystal Governor's Cup. Leisegang has won the handicap honours for the past two races and is set to repeat this performance on his 35-foot Simonis design Our Dianne, with a mixed crew of three South Africans and three "Saints".

    Tom Brown will be racing in his recently launched Miura 2 prototype Raging Bull. Brown conceptualized and motivated the new design in conjunction with the German-based company Berckemeyer Yacht Design. The race will see the original Miura-class yachts chasing for a R10 000 prize and a newly presented trophy.

    The fleet will be accompanied by the RMS St Helena, a passenger/cargo ship that is the island's lifeline and regularly shuttles between Cape Town and St Helena and once a year to Britain. The 2007 Governor's Cup is organized from the False Bay Yacht Club in Simon's Town, under the auspices of the St Helena Yacht Club and South African Sailing. The Governor's Cup Race is sponsored by Miura Yachts International. The race is open to all classes and the main fleet consists of monohull IRC class yachts incorporating international racing and cruising boats.

    The cut-off for the race is 12H00 on Saturday, 13 January 2007.



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