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T Clewring - Cruising

Governor's Cup win to Thinus Groenewald’s Reaction

by Sue Pelling in conjunction with ADPR on 5 Jan 2013
2012 Governor’s Cup Race - Reaction SHBC
In the 2012 Governor's Cup, Thinus Groenewald’s Royal Cape One-Design – Reaction – has claimed victory in 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.

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 Soldana 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.

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.'

More details on the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, including updated results can be found at Governors Cup.

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