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Lipton Challenge Cup - Day 3 - Cold Front wrecking havoc with sailing

by Richard Crockett 7 Aug 08:00 PDT 4-10 August 2019
The crew of MB Racing sailing for the Walvis Bay Yacht Club hiking out hard in an attempt to keep the boat flat - Lipton Challenge Cup 2019 © Liesl King

The cold fronts bring welcome rain to Cape Town are causing havoc with the Lipton Cup Sailing regatta as racing was again abandoned today (Wednesday) due to the strong winds and confused sea state. Of three days so far, just one has been sailable.

Fortunately the weather forecasts are looking good for the final three days of the regatta, with the Royal Cape Yacht Club organisers expecting to be able to schedule two races per day from Thursday to Saturday.

There were mixed feeling amongst the fleet as to whether sailing should have been called off today, but prudence and competitor safety was a key ingredient.

With many an old bullet in sailing having come back to this event after a several year layoff, the lure of sailing the brand new Cape 31 class one-design yacht was too great to miss, with most applauding the decision to abandon today as their weary old bones were complaining after two races in relatively benign conditions!

The oldest skipper in this event is the 'evergreen' Rick Nanking who at the age of 69 is competing in his 25th Lipton Cup regatta. Nankin has won the coveted Lipton Cup seven times as skipper, and has sailed in four of the six classes of yacht that have been designated to this event, his first event being in the very early 1970's in the 30-Square Metre class yacht.

Despite the fact that many of the teams had been putting in an immense amount of time and effort into this campaign practising on the water, many teams felt that their crew had not quite jelled in the opening two races due to a combination of nerves and in the full knowledge that every single race counts in the Lipton Cup, with no race discards permitted.

There are still many twists and turns left in the regatta, and these will only become apparent out on the water when actually racing. The competition is far from over with any one of at least five, and maybe even more, of the competing teams having the ability to win overall.

Racing over the next three days is going to be intense with no punches pulled!

Results after Two Races:

1 Witbank YC - Nitro - Mike Hayton / David Rae
2 Royal Cape YC - RCYC YANMAR - Gerry Hegie / Asenathi Jim
3 Walvis Bay YC - MB Racing - Bjorn Geiger
4 Hermanus YC - Magic - Malcolm Hall / Roger Hudson
5 Royal Natal YC - Orion DYP - Mark Sadler
6 Langebaan YC - SCUD - Geoff Meek / Greg Davis
7 Sailing PE - Vivaldi - Rick Nankin
8 Gordons Bay YC - SKI - Rodney Tanner
9 Aeolians SC - Nemesis - Philip Baum
10 University of CT YC - CuAI6 Maverick - Nicholas Ryall

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