The 19 crews confirmed for December’s yacht race to St Helena will need courage and skill, according to island governor Mark Capes.
He has spoken of growing excitement on the island about the eighth Governor’s Cup Yacht Race from South Africa.
In a short speech at the False Bay Yacht Club in Simon’s Town, he promised a warm welcome for the 90 sailors and supporters expected on the island in early January 2013.
Governor Capes spoke just before being handed the cut-glass race trophy by club manager and 2010 winner Billy Leisegang.
He said: “I’m very grateful to the commodore and Billy and his team at the FBYC for their tremendous efforts to prepare for the race to St Helena and the great spirit of friendship they bring to all their dealings with their counterparts in St Helena.
“The Governor’s Cup Yacht Race is a demanding and exciting international sporting event, calling for excellent seamanship skills and not a small amount of courage to tackle over 1700 miles of often-unpredicable weather and seas, with fast downhill sailing.
“For everyone taking part in this race it will be, I’m absolutely sure, a tremendous personal experience and achievement.
“I look forward to welcoming all the teams to Jamestown in January.
“But this is much more than just a yacht race. The Governor’s Cup represents the close, warm and long-established links between St Helena and South Africa.
“St Helena remains a welcoming and safe haven for mariners sailing to or from the Cape. Today, virtually all of our trade is with, or comes through, South Africa. Many Saints have been here training or working.
“As the Governor’s Cup approaches, excitement is mounting in St Helena. There is a real buzz about the place of anticipation of the 19 teams coming to visit in early January. All participants will get a very warm welcome, and I wish everyone participating in the race kind seas and safe sailing.”
The race starts from Simon’s Town on 22 December 2012.
The Column: The yachties are coming to party (29 November 2012)