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Curry sauce and choice language: island crew’s race adventure

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Christmas Day at sea for the crew of Patches. Picture: Hedge Shuter
Christmas Day at sea for the crew of Patches. Picture: Marine Maven (T&T) Ltd

St Helena’s crew in the 2012 Governor’s Cup yacht race sailed home from South Africa on a diet of curry sauce – and blocked the lavatory twice. Skipper CHRIS “HEDGE” SHUTER reports.

Cheers: skipper Hedge
Cheers: skipper Hedge

The race was a great adventure for the crew, who worked very hard together to overcome the challenges of a long ocean voyage.

The crew did amazingly well, considering that they were novices and we had only two training sessions in False Bay before the race.

We crossed the start line with them not knowing how to fly a spinnaker and I taught them to sail en route.

Even so, we managed to finish fourth overall and retain the Muira Trophy for yacht Patches.

There were many amusing incidents, including the crew blocking the heads [toilet] twice, much to their chagrin and causing the skipper to use some choice language as he dismantled it again.

For some reason the RMS St Helena food suppliers delivered us 19 cucumbers, 3kg of garlic, 30 tins of curry sauce, no meat and no water!  This lead to an interesting diet for two weeks at sea.

The welcome home was a very humbling experience. Several boats came out to greet us and there was a great reception crowd waiting at the steps. The skipper and crew were overwhelmed and are very grateful to those who made the effort.

The crew took great pride in representing the island and did their very best to be good ambassadors for St Helena.

SEE ALSO: Skipper praises St Helena crew’s ‘brilliant achievement’

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