Yacht Race St Helena

Governors cup 1996

Looking back at the first Governors cup yacht race in 1996.

In less than twenty four hours St Helena will welcome the first yacht over the finish line for the 2018 Cape to St Helena yacht race.

This race was the original idea and vision of Captain Dave Roberts a former Captain of the RMS St Helena, with the help of former Governor David Smallman and the Royal Cape yacht club in Cape Town South Africa.

The first Cape to St Helena race that was formally known as the Governor’s cup race began life in December 1996.    

The first yacht scheduled to be over the finish line in this years race is the trimaran, Banjo.

Banjo is skippered by Kevin Webb and has completed this race to St Helena three times. Banjo took the bellows line honours trophy in 2012 and in the 2014 race Banjo broke their previous record and finished in 9 days, 13 hours and 36 seconds winning the multi hull class.

Yacht Banjo
Yacht Banjo

Back in 1996 the first yacht over the finish line in St Helena was fifty-foot racing yacht “Nina”

The race coordinator Craig Middleton from the Royal Cape yacht club recorded that Nina with her crew of four crossed the race finish line taking a total of 8 days 21 hours and 57 minutes.

Nina was welcomed by a group of cheering supporters onboard a launch that was shipped specially to the Island for the race coordination.

Simon Pipe of We Love St Helena who was also on St Helena in 1996 made a audio recording of the welcome arrival of the first yacht from on board the launch

Simon captured the moment including live reporting from Radio St Helena on the race Simon also spoke to the race coordinator Craig Middleton, his wife Claire, Journalist, the crew of Nina, also three young St Helenians (one of them was Giselle Richards) who presented gifts to the crew of Nina.

Here is a recording of that historical event.  

race on St Helena

Race on to St Helena.

Competitors on board the yachts racing towards St Helena in the Cape to St Helena 2018 race enjoyed mostly a clear night sky and with lots of stars above as they settled into the race.

Most of the yachts have covered more than 300 miles with Banjo, Rocket at Naledi pushing at the front with around 1000ish miles to go to reach St Helena.

Some of the crew onboard a few of the boats have boasted about enjoying a yellow tail feast as they race towards St Helena.

Banjo skippered by Kevin Webb who is at the front of the race, reports today that the sea state is a lot calmer and the  wind is about 20knts but last night was hectic and the sea was very rough with a cross swell but the wind was 35knts and gusting  Compromise was enjoying a bumpy ride over night with winds gusting to 31 knots and doing around 15kts down the waves as they sacrificed a pack of Karoo chops to Neptune but with that, they are fishing again in calmer conditions today.  Caribbean Soul said we lost the lost the plot a bit but are now back on track we had a few issues with the mainsheet but all sorted now.  Sea still lumpy but settling down.  The great weather and wind make its nice for sailing so we are having fun, one crew member was down with the flu but is back on watch.  

Naledi reported nice sailing under spinnaker though a bit lonely as we cannot see anyone else. 

Asante said its going nicely but our water maker is not working we are going on rations but the crew is still in good spirits. 

Hannah reported from Carpe Diem we are all well on board, the sun is shining here it’s a glorious day and the children are happy.  Yolo skippered by Dale Kushner the solo sailor in the race also reports all is well onboard.

Meanwhile back on St Helena the St Helena yacht club said they are awaiting the arrival of the yachts and looking forward to welcoming the race competitors. The St Helena yacht club has also arrange and action pack itinerary for the visitors.

The daily race report can be downloaded here


Solo sailor competes in St Helena race

Solo and experienced Sailor Dale Kushner from the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Capetown was one of the competitors on the start line at the 2018 Cape to St Helena race on the 26th December. prior to the race Dale was given some great support.

Dale is skippering his yacht YOLO (You Only Live Once) Dale reported from YOLO on the 27th December that all is well on board but its wet and bumpy.

At the time of publishing this article YOLO was in a great position in the race and upfront and is set around the sixth fastest in the race.

Dale has competed in many offshore races around South Africa including the Cape to Rio.

You can check out Dales sailing Blog here

Yacht Avanti

Two Yachts retires from Cape to St Helena race.

Two of the yachts that started the 2018 Cape to St Helena yacht race has retired from the race.

It was reported from race control in Capetown that “Hirondelle” which is now moored in Saldanha Bay and Avanti has returned to Cape Town
Avanti reported an auto pilot issue, it was hoped that Avanti would have been to able to repair the autopilot and rejoin the race however the decision was made to retire from the Cape to St Helena race.