A record 26 yachts have been signed up to take part in the 2012 Governor’s Cup race from South Africa to St Helena.
Skippers are being warned that some will have to anchor off the island, despite efforts to install safe moorings in time for the race following the sinking of the yacht Queequeg, which broke loose and drifted on to rocks.
The race newsletter says: “The island has not yet advised exactly what is happening and where they are with their swing moorings, but some of the yachts, most likely the larger ones which are well prepared for this anyway, will have to anchor.”
A shipping container has been donated to enable crews to send equipment to the island, such as heavy anchors or equipment needed for onward sailing.
A get-together is planned at the False Bay Yacht Club in Simon’s Town on 28 July 2012 to give owners, skippers, crews and supports an idea of what awaits on the island.
“We have two Saints in town and they will be invited to the function, so you will be able to mingle and get a taste of what is to come,” says the newsletter. “They are being hosted by Robin Castell, who is the owner of one of the finest properties on the island, Prince’s Lodge.”
The race starts just before Christmas and the first boats are expected to arrive before New Year’s Eve. As usual, many yachts will be craned aboard the RMS St Helena for the return journey to Cape Town, departing on 10 and 30 January 2012.
The newsletter says: “The Committee is hard at work with all that needs to be done and our friends on the island are also very busy and are planning a bumper event.”
- The biggest fleet in the race to date was seen in the second Governor’s Cup race in 1998, with Saints among the crews for the first time. The 2006 race attracted the smallest field, of just ten boats.
“Maybe we should ask Basil Read to organise the yacht moorings.”
- read more in John Turner’s Random Thoughts From Offshore blog