With westerly winds blowing lightly and fluctuating from about 12 knots across Table bay in Cape town, fifteen yachts gracefully sailed of the start line at around 14.00 local time this afternoon to begin the 2018 Cape to St Helena race.
Some of the yachts taking up their position are familiar with this passage, as they had participated in the race before. Although the winds are predicted to build, it is forecasted that they will move south over the next day and will become moderate thereafter and it should be all downwind sailing conditions.
A spokesman from the Royal Cape yacht club said there was a special buzz at the club today prior to the race as family and friends came down to say good bye.
Other Boats and spectators who supported the race came out today and said goodbye to the competitors, some of which sailed with the racegoers towards the coast as it’s a popular time for holiday makers to sail up the coast to begin their holidays.
Competing in the race is the 38-foot yacht Carpe Diem skippered by James Herne from St Helena. James has on board a South African crew member, his 13-year-old son Josh, and wife Hannah and their two younger kids. Carpe Diem is described as a dark horse in this race.
Immediately after the race I spoke with Andrew Collins from the Royal Cape Yacht club to give us an update on the race to St Helena.
It was only a few weeks ago many supporters,
friends and family gathered at the landing steps in Jamestown St Helena to wave
farewell to the crew of the yacht Carpe Diem who was about to set sail on a 1700-mile
journey to Cape town to prepare for 2018 Cape to St Helena yacht race. This a
was journey that had been carefully planned with the help and contribution by
many local St Helena people and Island organisations.
The Cape to St Helena yacht race which
was formally known as the Governor’s cup race was invented by a former Captain,
Dave Roberts of the RMS St Helena, along with the help of then Governor David
Smallman and the Royal Cape Yacht Club which resulted in the very first governor’s
cup race been invented on the 8th of December 1996 starting at table
bay in Cape town.
After the first race which was proven
to be a great success a team from St Helena was invited to part take in this
exciting scheduled event and the 2018 race was no different.
This year Carpe Diem a Bavaria 38-foot boat owned by St
Helenian born James Herne was entered into the 2018 Cape to St Helena race but
this was not an easy challenge for James as his boat was moored in St Helena
after he and his wife Hannah and their 3 kids had recently returned home to settle
in St Helena after circumnavigating around the world.
an experienced skipper with 75000 nautical miles under his belt, and now the
commodore of the St Helena Yacht club James was keen to compete in the race and
was offering up the opportunity for a St Helena crew to share his passion to be
part of this event.
weeks of planning and making sure that all the logistics were in place James
was ready to sail his 38-foot Carpe Diem
back to Cape town in readiness for the race.
The challenge to get Carpe Diem into race
mode was not straight forward, the training and recruiting of a St Helena crew began
and the planning began and in typical St Helena fashion, the support of the
local St Helena community behind him was helping to fund raise for the event
with every one making sure this was another success.
Finally, James and his son Josh and
three selected St Helena crew members, Andrew Turner, Michael Owen, Dennis Owen got underway and team Carpe
Diem departed Jamestown harbour.
As the journey progress, local media
reported “The journey was progressing well despite experiencing some calm
weather on route and having to motor for a few hours the crew on board was
doing amazing and in very high spirits.
A YouTube video shot during the trip showed the crew enjoying their time on board and some of them also managed to swim during the calm period along with some great onboard home cooking.
Social media messages flooded the internet
with well wishes and support for team Carpe Diem, despite been a little behind
schedule the St Helena yacht club finally confirmed that team Carpe Diem had
arrived safely in Cape Town at 5.15 am on December 18th.
Shortly after the arrival the same day The St Helena independent and Saint FM broke a news story that three crew members, the Owen Brothers and Andrew Turner had called it a day and would not be competing in the Cape to St Helena race on board Carpe Diem, although it was not clear at the time the reason for this sudden decision however the three crew members had managed to secure flight tickets and would be flying back to St Helena on the Saturday flight.
James and his 13-year-old son Josh who
was still determined to compete in the race continued working to repair and fit
new sails, thirteen-year-old Josh spent four hours dangling from the mast
sorting out Nav lights, while the boats race tracker was been fitted parallel
task continued to resolve the main engine starting issue which incidentally gave
trouble on arrival in Cape Town.
There had been no communications or
update from the departing crew after they had left Carpe Diem which meant that
they also left some of their personal belongings on board.
The news story soon appeared online and
social media viewers sprung into life and many conversations were discussed openly
including statements that the breaking news was inaccurate, meanwhile while pro
supporters of the race offered words of encouragement for the remaining Carpe
Diem crew to continue the race and motivated them to go and win it for St
A group of social media followers even
reached out asking who would be keen to crew the boat, Steven Ellick a saint
who now lives in the UK offered to help crew the boat, while others suggested
that maybe something could be done to get a St Helena crew in place to compete
in the race.
After much discussion James told his
followers on Facebook that after a long conversation online with his wife
Hannah and the kids who were back in St Helena, that they had made a decision that
the family would fly to South Africa from St Helena to join them in Cape Town
to crew the boat and the 1700 nautical mile Cape to St Helena race would be
back on, and everything would be plain sailing for the rest of the Journey,
however this was short lived as another twist appeared on the horizon, when it
was discovered that the Carpe Diem had to prove to South African Immigration authorities
that the three departing crew had left the country, This issue potentially
could have stop Carpe Diem leaving South Africa said James and he would have
not been able to compete in the race after all, however with some support from
St Helena this was rectified within a few hours with the help of immigration
Speaking to James live from Carpe Diem we asked James how he was he getting on despite a rollercoaster two weeks and whether he was ready to be on the start line of the 2018 Cape to St Helena race.
Following the press release from the St Helena Government today Friday 21st July, confirmed that an agreement had been signed off for SA Airlink to provide a scheduled air service to the Island from Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa to include a monthly service to Ascension Island. The service to and from Tambo will include a stopover at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia. The service will offer great opportunities for connecting flights to Cape town and other destinations. The aircraft confirmed to be used is an Embraer E190-100IGW that will offer business and economy class to its passengers.
Shortly after the news was released social media platforms kicked into life with comments and opinions on the air service. Many still questioned the preferred direct cape town flight, although most welcomed the news and are happy with the long awaited start of the new air service to the Island that is almost ready to be commissioned once the finalising regulatory approvals with the South African Civil Aviation Authority, others commented on medical services for the Island and how this will fit in with the route, comments on the historical ties with Cape town were also raised, other comments were the Ascension link which is almost impossible as wide awake airfield is not accepting commercial flights due to safety concerns which means that Saints living on the Falklands would not benefit from the service immediately. SA Airlink’s CEO said SA Airlink are delighted to have reached this milestone and was extremely excited to be preparing for the proving flight shortly.
Other details along with tickets prices and commencement dates will follow shortly.
The 58-minute film documentary of life on board and the last voyage of the RMS is produced by T.L. Productions. Tony Leo who owns TL Productions thought it would be good to capture the moments of the last voyage of the RMS to the UK on camera after hearing the announcement in May 2015 which was a year in advance to the commencement of this historic voyage. Tony began planning well in advance, until he was finally ready for the trip on 22nd May 2016 when the RMS St Helena weighed anchor in James Bay and he departed St Helena for the UK via Ascension Island and Tenerife. Almost everyone on board were Island tourists and not the traditional saint traveller seeking jobs off shore and returning to work. Everyone who travelled on board this amazing journey had a memorable time and enjoyed every moment of the journey. The voyage was so memorable, that it was difficult to determine what the highlights were. This documentary film of the last remaining Royal Mail Ship is truly a masterpiece and will become a collector’s item in years to come” said Tony. This film is a true Saint production. The cameraman is a saint. A saint directed it, A saint edit, scripted and narrated it. The film features the London visit and the river Thames, crew members, passengers, key people who has contributed to the RMS success story over the years and also two of our St Helena’s ships captains. Captain Andrew Greentree and Captain Rodney Young. Sadly, Captain Young passed away suddenly only months after this voyage.
The film will be on sale in front of the Canister in Jamestown from 9 am on Saturday 15th July 2017. Reach back St Helena will be managing online sales from this weekend and a trailer, and information on how to buy can be found online at www.sthelenalocal.com Where copies of the film can be ordered and shipped to Europe, USA and South Africa and other destinations, A film trailer, Information and updates can also be found on the TL production Facebook.
If you have travelled on the RMS St Helena over the last 27 years, then watching this documentary should bring back many happy memories. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy watching this 58-minute documentary. read a more in depth view of the unseen film here
Renting, buying or letting property on St Helena has been made simple with a website that allows you to do all of the above with a simple process.
The Property finder St Helena was launched last year and continues to deliver the one stop service for property owners and anyone just wanting to buy or rent property on St Helena.
Owners of property who would like to sell or rent their property can do so by simply navigating to www.propertyfinder.sh
You could use either option to submit your details;
(i) “the contact us option” on the info menu or at the bottom of the page, or ;
(ii) by using the do it your self-option by selecting the submit property which can be found at the top right corner of the website. First timers will have to register first.
St Helena property finder websiteIn both options above and if you prefer, the property finder can do it for you. This can simply be done by using the contact us link and completing the form provided.
Renting property on St Helena is becoming very popular as we get closer to welcoming commercial flights to the Island. Property sales are not as frequent but you can find residential properties that are been offered up for sale.
Have you ever thought about visiting St Helena and wondered if you could enjoy any type of water sport activities during your stay, knowing that St Helena has one of the world safest oceans surrounding it.
The answer to the question is yes you can enjoy a variety of water sport activities during your visit.
The water temperature varies throughout the year, obviously during the summer months the temperatures are higher and a lot cooler during the winter.
The majority of Jet-skis are privately own but there are a few small tour operators now offering jet-ski hire and there are others interested parties that are preparing to setup Jet-ski rental along with other water sport possibilities.
Other small tour operators are also offering inshore fishing which is slowly becoming a highlight for visitors who would like to explore St Helena’s ocean paradise.
The video below shows a short preview of a locally organise water sport’s afternoon in Rupert’s Bay.
This is a fast growing pastime for the Island community.
If you were thinking of returning or going to live on St Helena you can purchase and ship a jet-ski to the Island, you will be expected to pay customs duties on its value but there is no registration required for using this type of watercraft on St Helena
St Helena’s Police Chief Trevor Botting and his wife Sarah departed St Helena today on the RMS St Helena. Trevor who has been in post on Island for three and half years as the Chief of Police within the St Helena Police directorate will take up a new role as a Police commissioner in the Turks and Caicos after some well earnt leave in the UK.
Trevor who has implemented many new strategies within the police directorate spoke about the changes he had made on St Helena which can be heard in an interview here online about his time on St Helena.
Despite a grey overcast afternoon in central London on Tuesday 07th June 2016 the RMS St Helena began her historical and final journey along London’s River Thames from Tilbury docks where she has been moored since Sunday 5th June 2016 after completing her last North bound two week voyage since departing St Helena as the Royal mail ship St Helena with 123 passengers on board.
Saints and members of the public with connections to St Helena from all over the UK gathered along the banks of the River and at London’s Tower Bridge to welcome and watched the RMS St Helena’s memorable moment as she passed under Tower Bridge at 16.45 (BST) making her way alongside of HMS Belfast where she will be moored until Friday 10th June.
Among the crowd gathered were onlookers, some whom had travelled from the South of England and as far as Aberdeen in Scotland. Also viewing the moment were some former crew members of the old and new RMS, one of them being Carl Stroud who had travelled to the UK from the Falkland Islands and who had incidentally served on board the RMS for nine years during her service to the Island.Many of the viewers watching from the river banks along with crew members on board witnessed what they all described as a touching and emotional moment as the RMS sailed along the Thames escorted by two tugs. “The RMS had been part our their lives for almost 26 years”
Audiences from around the world also watched live social media feeds such as face book, Instagram and twitter as the river journey unfolded. Crew members and others on board posted images and took selfies and posted them online as the RMS left Tilbury and made her journey towards the HMS Belfast. Jackie Leo the Ships Hotel Services Officer posted a final image to mark the journeys end with a selfie alongside of the HMS Belfast “what a wonderful evening”
During the time The RMS is moored alongside of the HMS Belfast she will host invited guests at promotional events on board to promote St Helena as a tourist destination, one of the highlights will be the visit of the Princess Royal who will attend a reception on the Wednesday, Matt Gillian a Michelin star top UK chef who lives in Hampshire will also be in on board for a promotional event. Matt who was born in the UK but has a St Helenian heritage as his mother was born and bought up on the Island. Matt was also a winner of the Great British Menu a BBC TV series that was aired on British TV late last year. British TV presenter Tim Wonnacott who visited St Helena earlier this year was also a guest at Wednesday’s reception.
ITV and other media organisations covered the story of the RMS on British television emphasising on the history of the ship and St Helena’s new era of air travel that is about to change the island forever. Captain Andrew Greentree the ship’s master spoke to BBC news about the life of the RMS and its important role to St Helena over the years, Jackie Leo said that St Helena is looking forward to international tourists arriving. Mrs Kedall Worboys, St Helena’s UK representative also spoke to the news in an emotional speech about how proud she was of the RMS and its crew that sailed on her over the years. The RMS will depart London at around 17.30 on Friday the 10th June and will make her way down the River Thames and return to the Tilbury Cruise Terminal where she will be opened to the public for viewing on prearranged tour tickets that were available online a few weeks ago. The RMS St Helena is scheduled to depart Tilbury at 16.00 on the Tuesday 14th June for St Helena.
The RMS will continue to serve as the lifeline to the South Atlantic Islands and is scheduled to continue its service until the end of September, sailing between Cape
Town, Ascension Island and St Helena. Originally the RMS was scheduled to be
decommissioned and sold in July of this year shortly after the St Helena Airport was due to open in May of this year, however due to the wind shear and safety concerns at the airport the life of the RMS has been extended with the hope that procedures are put in place to enable commercial flight operations soon from the islands airport.
When Keith Ellick (originally from St Helena) was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his boss and friend Addam (CORR) Smith was desperate to help.
In a real-life version of popular TV programme DIY SOS, Mr Smith and a group of volunteers recruited from across the UK via Facebook teamed up to transform his friend’s two-bedroom council house. But Mr Smith now wants to go a step further and raise £100,000 so Keith can buy the house, giving much-needed security for his partner Sasha, 26, and their five-year-old son Leyton. “This isn’t really about the money, it’s about peace of mind for Keith and putting things in place for his family,” he said. Keith, who has known Addam Smith for over 10 years and also works for his landscaping business, was diagnosed in January with terminal cancer that had spread from his oesophagus to his liver and blood and told he potentially had less than a year to live.
For the 41-year-old, from Lincoln, his biggest concern was his children. Friend and boss Mr Smith, who runs his own landscaping business http://www.alsfencingandlandscaping.co.uk/ in Skellingthorpe, Lincoln, said: “One of the first things he said was, ‘I haven’t even got the money for a funeral’. He wasn’t worried about himself; he was worried about his family.” Mr Smith, a father-of-two himself, posted a message to the 17,000-strong Builders Talk Group on Facebook voicing his heartbreak at the news and within hours had received hundreds of comments along with ideas to support his friend. One was an online fundraising site to raise cash for Keith to organise a funeral and set up trust funds for his children. With Keith’s blessing, Mr Smith set up the site, setting a target of £2,000 to help his friend put his affairs in order. But within 24 hours it had already hit £8,000.
The 41-year-old, who served as a Guardsman in the Grenadier Guards, started posting regular video updates on Keith’s condition and the fund continued to grow. It currently stands at more than £27,000 (https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith), and along with the money, other kind gestures have flooded in, including tickets for Keith to see his favourite football team Everton. One group member also put Keith in touch with charity Team Verrico (www.teamverrico.org), which supports research into new treatments for cancer and provides financial help and support. The charity funded a visit this week to a specialist oncologist in London and Mr Ellick is now in the early stages of being accepted for potentially life-saving clinical trials. In one of his videos, Mr Smith revealed his plan to landscape Keith’s garden. “From there, people were like, ‘can I come and help?’ I had all these tradesmen messaging me saying they would come and help with the garden.
“A lightbulb went on and I thought, I’ve had all these boys with these different trades offering me help so why not use it?” When he suggested to the group that they pool their skills to carry out a DIY SOS-style renovation of Keith’s house, Mr Smith was inundated with volunteers from across the country. He then spent weeks sourcing free materials – including a bathroom suite and new kitchen – by asking local big name companies, local contacts and the generous members of the Builders Talk Group for help. Keith and his family were sent to a nearby log cabin for a week and the build began on Easter Monday. Over that week a total of 50 tradesmen – many fellow veterans – worked on the project, some for a day or two, others for the whole week.
They included plumbers, joiners, decorators, tilers, and plasterers who had travelled from across the UK from places including South Wales, Essex, Oxfordshire and the Midlands, and even Mr Smith’s local rival landscaping company. The ‘band of builders’ were given a discount at a local hotels and were fed throughout the week by well-wishers bringing cakes, pasties and bacon butties. But the build wasn’t without its stress. “Imagine having 17 guys in a little two-bedroom house with only one way in and out,” said Mr Smith. “People were fitting kitchens, bathrooms, plastering. Everyone was literally stepping over each other. “I was working until the early hours all week, some guys were putting shifts in up to 10pm. Some were coming after a full day at work then working all evening.”
In just a week the group revamped the house, fitting a new kitchen and bathroom, decorating Keith’s bedroom, laying new flooring throughout and fully landscaping the front and back gardens. The mammoth project was finished just in time, with the final task – Keith’s doorstep being painted ‘Everton’ blue – completed just minutes before the family returned. “Keith was lost for words,” said Mr Smith. “He was in tears, we all were.” Mr Smith – who even received a congratulatory phone call from DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles when he got wind of the project – said the build was “amazing”. “When I left the army 15 years ago, I thought I would never have banter and camaraderie like it again but that week was the craziest of my life. What you can achieve when you put your mind to it is pretty special.”
Just days after they finished, one of the men involved suggested that – having carried out around £30,000 worth of renovations to Keith’s council-owned home – they help him buy it, a mission Mr Smith has embraced. And while completing the whole renovation without any publicity, he is sharing the story in the hope it will help raise around £100,000 for Keith to buy the house. “All the way through, I’ve had, ‘that can’t be done’. But the way I see it, if we can get 90,000 people to donate £10, that’s £90,000.” Keith, a former member of the RAF Regiment said he was reluctant to accept help at first but the efforts of his friend will allay his biggest worry – who will look after his family if he dies. Keith, who was born on St Helena, grew up in small district known as Half Tree Hollow and was well known within the community. Keith was recruited from the Island for the Armed forces in 1999 where he had served overseas for his queen and Country. In his four years he was based in Germany, Oman, The Falkland Islands and finished up at RAF Waddington just outside Lincoln.
“When I was diagnosed all I was thinking about was my family, my kids, how am I going to provide for them? Keith also reiterated these words in a very touching online video.
“What Addam and these guys have done, and what they’re doing, is amazing. We didn’t think it was possible, that people would do
something like that for us.” His partner Sasha added: “We feel kind of guilty because we have had so much. The house was enough and having money for a funeral and for the children but this is another step. It’s amazing.” Many of you reading this today will know/of Keith, please take a moment to view the video that was produced by Addam, Keith’s friend and “Best Boss in the World”, as quoted by Metro paper in London, who was behind this entire project, I am sure each and every one reading this fascinating story both Saints on and off Island would like to thank Addam Smith and everyone who has contributed at the Facebook Builders Talk Group for what they have done for Keith. Please show your appreciation of what has been done thus far. You can contribute here https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith Thanks to Darren Back Photography and Addam for the photos, we also have a uncensored version of the video please contact us and we will send you the link. Feel free to leave a message below in the comments as this will be seen by the builders talk group. A special thanks also to Ellen Manning, a freelance UK journalist, for supplying this entire original story which has been edited slightly for republishing on www.sthelenalocal.com On behalf of Keiths friends an family back on St Helena where he originated from and around the world, I would like to on their behalf personally thank each and everyone of you for what you have done for Keith and continue to do, YOU ARE A SPECIAL BUNCH. (Editor Johnny Clingham)
Recently the Islands Jamestown (only) hospital began a refurbishment project under the management of SA contractors Basil Read.
The project consisted of upgrading the existing hospital facilities also to mention that this refurbishment project was carried out in parallel with the hospitals day-to-day operations. The project was funded with the aim to bring the hospital service delivery up to date. Apart from lots of other upgrades to other areas within the hospital establishment one of the much-needed areas that has just been completed is the operating theatre which replaces the old theatre that was out dated but was still used until recently. The newly installed theatre is configured with a complete new upgrade offering services that compares to a UK standard. The new theatre is more spacious and offers a better experience for both patients and staff, The theatre is fitted with grade a overhead lighting system an integrated oxygen supply along with a modern pressured control room to prevent contamination, the Theatre is also fitted with high-resolution viewing monitors to allow staff to view patients records during surgery which also forms part of the establishments EMS network. The hospital offers a newly fitted radiology suite that has new modern CT scanner which was commissioned in February. The Xray suites delivers 1st class services like high-resolution Xrays that can sent directly from the system electronically overseas. The hospital now has a fully functional A&E facility making it a mirror image of some of the services offered in a UK medical facility.