sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : False Bay YC's GM discusses the upcoming Governor’s Cup Yacht Race
False Bay YC's GM discusses the upcoming Governor’s Cup Yacht Race

'Billy Leisegang - Governor’s Cup Yacht Race'    Polly Tyekiff
The Governor’s Cup Yacht Race is a downwind 1,750 nautical mile ocean yacht race and is slated to be an entry on many sailors’ ‘bucket lists’. First taking place in 1996, the Governor’s Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa, finishing in Jamestown, St Helena – one of the most remote destinations in the world and currently only accessible by one of the last operating Royal Mail Ships, the RMS St Helena.

We take five minutes to catch up with Billy Leisegang, Principal Race Officer and General Manager of False Bay Yacht Club, organisers of the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race...

Describe your role as Principal Race Officer of the Governor’s Cup Race

I and my team are responsible for making sure that yachts are fully prepared for the race and its challenges. Our work starts from the time we formally publish the ‘Notice of Race’ to the time the competitors arrive back to Cape Town on the mail ship, RMS St Helena.

During the race our job is to monitor progress of the fleet and report back to Race Control back at False Bay Yacht Club, where the website is updated, including live tracking of each yacht’s progress.

On arriving in St Helena we time the yachts over the line and calculate handicap results. We also ensure that each yacht is welcomed by our team on the St Helena Dive Club’s Boat with a gift of champagne and beers!

During their stay on the island, we provide support for the competitors and supporters and St Helena Yacht Club, together with the Islanders, provide a full programme of entertainment. We also provide support during the loading of yachts on to the RMS for the return voyage and the delivery of yachts, crews and supporters back to South Africa.

How long have you been sailing?

I have been sailing for over 50 years, since I was a boy. I have always been a competitive sailor and have achieved Provincial and National (Springbok) colours for ocean racing. Apart from sailing regularly and participating in local and international events, I have been an active committee member throughout my sailing life and have served on the Governor’s Cup Organising Committee since 2002.

Having taken early retirement from the retail world, I was employed by False Bay Yacht Club in April 2010 as Sailing and Amenities Manager before becoming General Manager in January 2011 – the perfect position for my sailing passion. It really is a dream come true – working in a wonderful environment with wonderful people, an incredible setting and family atmosphere, and the best Club in the world!

How would you position the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race?

Whilst the race could be compared to events like the Newport to Bermuda downwind dash, the Sydney to Hobart race, or the longer Cape to Rio Race, it is truly unique in that it is an event with ‘three holidays in one’.

There’s the downwind dash from Simon’s Town to the South Atlantic Island of St Helena with all the excitement of surfing down the huge Atlantic rollers, whilst loved ones sail on the RMS St Helena where they’ll arrive after Christmas at sea to welcome you with champagne and cold beers! Then there’s the holiday in paradise on St Helena with the welcome and inclusion in Islander life. And finally there’s the five star return voyage on the RMS St Helena, which the majority of the participating sailors and their yachts are booked on to return to Cape Town. This is five nights of fun and laughter, the best of food, plus days and nights filled with traditional mail ship deck games and entertainment.

Have you competed in the race yourself?

I have taken part in the race four times on our family yacht ‘Our Dianne’ and have been awarded the Governor’s Cup overall handicap trophy three times, with overall line honours in the fourth race. We even won a year’s supply of Peroni beer in the 2010 event!

The whole family has been part of the race, with the live ‘Dianne’ (my wife) and eldest daughter, Donna, as supporters and with my son, Riàn, co-skippering in all four races, together with my youngest daughter, Terry, co-skippering in the 2002 race.

In addition to the race, Dianne and I also went to St Helena in 2003 for the well known 'Festival of Running'

Who takes part in the Governor’s Cup?

People from all walks of life enter the Governor’s Cup, from wealthy executives to those that have to raid the piggy bank – but all are equal on the playing field of the sea! Some sail by the seat of their pants and some use expensive and advanced technology.

This year we have over 90 people participating, from a single handed racer in the smallest entry boat, to a Scout Association youth crew, family cruising boats, a folding trimaran competing with the fast downwind racing yachts and a yacht bringing Saints (as those from St Helena are affectionately known) back home.

With such a variety of yachts entering the race, how is the winner decided?

The Bellows Line Honours Tray is awarded to the first racing yacht to cross the finish line, with the Governor’s Cup being presented to the first placed racing monohull on handicap. Rally trophies are also awarded for cruiser mono and multi-hulls, which take advantage of being allowed to motor for 100 miles to get them to the prize giving on time. There are a further five trophies for various awards including the Ambrose Family Cup, three Taylor Trophies and the wooden boat for the first FBYC yacht on handicap.

The handicap system works on multiplying a carefully calculated yacht performance time correction factor to each yacht’s finishing time, with the yacht with the lowest corrected time being declared the winner.

What is the most challenging part of the race?

The organisation of the race is certainly the most challenging part. It has taken a full committee a year of hard work to plan and organise the entire event and even then how we manage to get everything done in time, no-one knows! Sponsorship is another huge challenge and we thank all those that have contributed to the race and individual entrants.

In terms of the race itself, the most challenging part is keeping the yacht sailing to its full potential. A yacht such as the one I race, ‘Our Dianne’, can surf down an Atlantic roller at speeds in excess of 20 knots (37 km per hour or 23 miles per hour). You can then be almost becalmed and have to concentrate for hours to gain every little advantage over competitors.

How do you ensure competitor’s safety during the race?

We work with South African Sailing, the controlling body of sailing in South Africa, who give us 'Controlled Event' status after we have satisfied them of adequate safety precautions. We have a nominated 'sweep boat', which has a powerful engine and the equipment required to communicate and respond to emergencies. All yachts entering the race are required to be equipped with either a long range UHF (Ultra High Frequency/Single Side Band) two way communication radio or a Satphone, a short range VHF (Very High Frequency) two way communication radio and an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which, when activated, allows search and rescue to locate the yacht or the crew if they have deployed their life raft and abandoned the yacht. All yachts and crew have to be certified to go offshore with a Yachtmaster (or two Coastal) skipper and Category A Safety Certificate, and yachts are required to complete a 200 mile shake down voyage. They are also inspected immediately before the race to ensure that they are adequately prepared and provisioned for the voyage.

During the race, Race Control work with the local and International safety and reaction authorities, which are alerted and deployed in the event of an emergency. There are three government or semi-government departments involved, Cape Town Radio, MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center) and ICASA (licensing authority).

And the final safety precaution is the provision of tracking the fleet, which can be activated in the event of a crisis. Tracking has the added benefit of being displayed live on the website, allowing supporters, media and race organisers to follow the progress of the fleet.

What happens on St Helena once the race has finished?

Each yacht is greeted at the finish line and presented with a welcome pack of champagne and beer, and the Governor of St Helena personally greets as many yachts as possible. Then the 10 day party begins with hikes, catch ups and lots of planned entertainment!

St Helena is not the usual Island destination, which is what we love about it. There are no casinos or high-rise hotels with nightclubs and folk are seldom seen dressed up to the nines. Daytime activities include scuba or snorkel diving amongst the beautiful and plentiful fish; dolphin trips; beautiful hikes and trails; scenic drives encompassing barren volcanic desert and subtropical rain forest; historical tours including Napoleon’s residence and tomb; climbing the 699 steps of Jacobs ladder; and no stay is complete without a visit to see Jonathan – the 170+ year old tortoise!

What do you think is the best part of the race?

I love absolutely everything about the race! Being part of the organising committee, the lead up to the race, which starts with Saints sharing our home; the race itself with all the fun, laughter and camaraderie between crews and competitors; the Island and its magnetic people, and the trip back on the RMS – it’s quite a sight to see the majority of competing yachts stacked on to the RMS to return to Cape Town!

With an airport due to open on St Helena in 2015 and the race now beginning to receive international awareness, how will this affect the race in future years?

Previously, St Helena, the mooring area and the RMS have proven to be able to cope with a fleet of around twenty yachts, but with an airport on the horizon, I am sure the number of entries will be easily doubled, if not tripled and we hope to see entries from countries such as the UK, Europe, the USA and South America. Future events could be extended to include special classes such as single-handed, double-handed, Superyachts, Mini-Transats and the like, with air access providing the means for competitors to return home at their convenience instead of relying on the RMS schedule.

And finally, do you wish you were competing this year?

Yes, but this time around it is my turn to put something back into this magnificent event!

Who knows, there is a potential UK family looking into the next race, so ‘Our Dianne’ may sail again? Perhaps to coincide with the opening of the airport?


by Polly Tyekiff

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104681

3:19 PM Thu 13 Dec 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Zhik’s range of Isotak® Ocean foul weather gear will be protecting two rising stars in the Class 40 fleet in the 2014 Route du Rhum, the most famous and most demanding of all the transatlantic races. Bertrand Delesne and Arnaud Boissières, who gained their colours in the Mini 650 and Figaro fleets respectively, have both chosen Zhik’s Isotak® Ocean range for their Route du Rhum campaigns, which ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica's OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew's progress as they continue to head south in the Volvo Ocean Race. The last week of sailing has been full of tactical decisions as the team decide when to head south and when to turn east towards Cape Town. ... [more]  

Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth are the first Hungarian duo to take part in this renowned double handed non-stop sprint around the world. The Barcelona World Race will be the very first real race for Spirit of Hungary, which has been designed and partly built? by Nandor Fa himself. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 20 for the crew. Wow; A bit of a monumental day—both literally and figuratively. Three weeks ago it was the eve of the start my friends took me for one last ice cream and I couldn’t figure out if I was nervous or not nervous. ... [more]  

Talent, passion, ability, success. All qualities that spring to mind with regard to Luke Patience, the 28 year old 470 Class silver medallist from London 2012. SSL is delighted to announce that Luke has now accepted the Star Sailors League invitation to participate in our 2014 Finals, becoming the second UK special guest star, alongside newly-crowned Finn World Champion Giles Scott. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Like in the old English tale of Robin Hood, it’s a case of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That is what we have been seeing over the last few days. More wind just behind the leaders has allowed the middle, poorer pack to catch the rich leaders. ... [more]  

American Windsurfing Tour Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 - Today we have all been treated to an incredible spectacle of windsurfing, on the second day of competition at the AWT pro bracket of the Severne Starboard Aloha Classic. ... [more]  

The International Kiteboarding Association’s (IKA) annual general meeting next Tuesday (Nov 4) is likely to debate measures put forward by the Polish Kiteboarding Association (PKA) that would effectively outlaw ram-air kites from the beginning of next year. ... [more]  

Today was the top performance day of the 2014 Chris Benz Lüderitz World Record Chase with 50+Knots performances recorded, as well as many PBs and four country records falling. Strong 25-35 knot winds were forecast for today and this proved true, however, the angle of the wind only allowed for optimal performances towards the end of the day’s racing. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Still tight at front as Roaring Forties beckon *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
According to the routing function of Predictwind, the three boats are covered by just 10 miles in terms of distance to be sailed to the finish on their optimum course, more telling is that on the same basis just seven minutes would cover the first and third boats to finish. Sail-World interviewed Team Vestas skipper, Chris Nicholson this morning - he comments in this report. ... [more]  

The Aloha Classic is the longest existing windsurfing wave event (together with Sylt in Germany). 2014 marks 30 years since the very first event and the 25th edition of the Aloha Classic. Let me rewind back to when I was a young journalist, following the evolution of windsurfing, back then windsurfing was called ‘the fastest growing sport’… ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads south by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
OBR Amory Ross reports on Team Alvimedica’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s wild that after six days of sailing down the coast of South America we finally found ourselves pointed directly at Cape Town (going 16 knots) but all the routing indicates we’re not far enough to the south so down we go! ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA coach Brad Jackson gives his thoughts on Leg 1. 'We very much understand what the girls are trying to do and who they are competing against and if they do things well they are right up there in the mix. ... [more]  

Little Traverse Yacht Club (Harbor Springs, Michigan) won the Yacht Club Challenge in the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. ... [more]  

Want to see 40 great sailing champions in action in stunning Nassau in the Bahamas? The Star Sailors League, an emerging international circuit, is offering the chance to win a four-day holiday for two people with accommodation at the luxury Atlantis resort and water park. ... [more]  

Bidding is now open in the auction to join the Volvo Ocean Race as a part of Team Alvimedica and support heart charities around the world! Team Alvimedica supporters have the unique chance to bid on two experiences that will take place at each stopover throughout the race. ... [more]  

The seventh edition of the St Barth Cata Cup is set to be thrilling. Sixty teams will go head to head aboard the last generation of F18 boats: Hobbie Wild Cat, Nacra Infusion MKII, Cirrus R, Phantom and C2. It is a high-speed, tactical, technical and spectacular discipline! ... [more]  

AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 - The day started early with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, welcoming everyone to the beach and setting the wheels in motion for a fantastic contest. As the ceremony continued the wind started to blow and straight after the skipper's meeting it was straight on with the pro men competition. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - After 19 days of Leg one, the leaders are still within sight of each other, something we don’t think we’ve ever seen at such a stage between Alicante and Cape Town. It’s the ultimate inshore race, staged hundreds of miles offshore. Abu Dhabi, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are locked against each other with Dongfeng Race Team just 17NM further adrift. ... [more]  

The Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli proved to be an interesting event for the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) to get involved with at the Longfong Fish Harbour beach front in Jhunan. As the KTA had been wanting for some time to bring an event to the renowned high wind shores of Taiwan, which is famous for its windy conditions 300 days a year. ... [more]  

Best possible conditions are expected when 2014 World Championships in ISAF-class Kona One is about to start in Islamorada, Florida on Saturday, November 1. A total of 115 sailors from five continents will line up making it the largest Kona event ever. The outcome is very open with a number of high-profiled sailors with multiple international championship wins in different windsurfing classes. ... [more]  

2015 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships - The dates for the 2015 U.S. Youth Championships, hosted by Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., have been changed to July 6-10 from the traditional second week in August ... [more]  

'It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,' said Staff Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club Chuck Nichols. The Lipton Cup is arguably one of the most iconic regattas in the sailing community. This three-day regatta is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs. ... [more]  

Year in and year out, the U.S. Disabled Championships is one of the most fascinating sailing events in the world. A strong collection of the top sailors in the country are in Galveston, Texas preparing for this week’s three-day championship, which begins Thursday, October 30 and concludes Saturday, November 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas back-slams both race leaders *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Chris Nicholson skippered Team Vestas Wind, has made a big gain in the last 12 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race, and is now positioned between the two lead boats. The Danish flagged entry had been positioned to the west of the leaders, who were in the fringe of the St Helena High. ... [more]  

Last night all the American Windsurfing Tour riders, and some of the top PWA sailors, enjoyed a fantastic opening party and registration for the Aloha Classic at Adventure Sports Maui. Food, drinks, photos and lots of chat was the order of the evening, and this morning all with gather again at 9am for the official opening blessing. ... [more]  

Many know Bill Erkelens as a former rigger, team manager for the Maxi Sayonara and subsequently Campaign manager for Oracle Racing during the IACC efforts and a really good sailor with a solid Rolodex of connections in the yacht racing world. When the opportunity to manage a Volvo team arose, Bill did not hesitate, and in late 2013, the Bay Area Native accepted the roles as COO for Team Alvimedica ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. Even in the 'straight-line' sailing that has dominated the last portion of the race, the dynamic of our fleet position has been in a state of constant change. ... [more]  

Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 18 for the crew in the Volvo Ocean Race. We are fighting. We are determined. We are focused. Yes, today was not easy, but we did not allow ourselves to slow down-- we sailed with the conditions given and sailed at 100% performance. ... [more]  

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) published its 2015 Anti-Doping Code on Wednesday (29 October), which will apply to all Member organisations, Paralympic Games and IPC recognised International Federations, from 1 January 2015. ... [more]  

Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston hopes to inspire greater French participation in ocean racing through his entry in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe. 'France is a nation of sailors with excellent role models; legends in their own right,' said Sir Robin. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - The big news of yesterday was the introduction of an ice gate by Race Director Jack Lloyd. Designed to take away the temptation for the teams to dive deep south in the search for better pressure and a better angle to Cape Town. The Ice Gate is placed at 42 deg South between 20W and 10W, seen on the screenshot below. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Up until now the comment from the boats to the east has been that Team Vestas Wind had made a bad move by digging west. But now, with the high pressure to the east expanding, perhaps Wouter on the Danish boat has read the future a little better and has set his team up for a comeback. ... [more]  

Optimist World Championship 2014 - Strong winds for the second stage
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel snatch lead for now
Volvo Ocean Race: Ice Gate laid in Southern Ocean on Leg 1 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Reality for Team Vestas Wind
Volvo Ocean Race: Straight-line progress continues for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA entering the Southern Ocean + Video
Comanche ocean trials in Newport + Video
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Title race thrown wide open
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards one week away
Clipper Race - Is this the toughest job on the ocean?
PIC Coastal Classic Roundup: Almost 30 minutes slashed off record
America's Cup: Artemis Racing signs seventh Olympic Gold medalist
Pieces in place for the 2015 GC32 Racing Tour
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Behind the numbers
Volvo Ocean Race: Front runners open gap for Cape Town *Feature
AWT - PWA Finale 2014: Severne Starboard Aloha Classic - One day to go
2014 International Masters Regatta - Augie Diaz takes the trophy
Volvo Ocean Race - Supreme sailing for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, united by one
A big shift for Pumpkin Pursuit in Richmond
ISAF Annual Conference to take place in Palma de Mallorca, Spain   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report: October 27, 1700 UTC   
Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team to race RORC Transatlantic Race   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The search for skippers is on   
China Cup Int'l Regatta - Windier weather brings victory for Vanke   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Stena Sailing Team wins in Bermuda   
GC 32 Foiling Cat Argo sets Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report, October 27, 0630 UTC   
2014 RS:X Youth Worlds - Going out with a bang! + Video   
2015 Flying Dutchman World Championships - Winners will be Grinners!   
RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - Denmark’s Christian Spodsberg wins   
Argo Group Gold Cup 2014 - Berntsson joins sailing’s elite   
Sand Flies versus Foiling Moths - Moth World Championship 2015 *Feature   
2015 International 14 World Championship - Frasch leads German team   
Ian Williams and GAC Pindar set up an exciting AWMRT finale   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg one – South Atlantic tactics   
Volvo Ocean Race: Steady run to the finish at Cape Town   
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship - Race one   
2014 Optimist World Championship - Race started with a clear day   
2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Fernando de Noronha   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT