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Tyler has home in sight, with six yachts due in a day

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Banjo becomes the first yacht to finish in the Governor's Cup. Picture: SHBC
Banjo becomes the first yacht to finish in the Governor’s Cup. Picture: SHBC

Saint scout Tyler Brady is expected to arrive in James Bay on 3 January 2012 in the Governor’s Cup yacht race, according to the official website.

He has been a crew member aboard JML Rotary Scout, one of six yachts thought likely to cross the finish line on the same day. At one point the yacht had taken the lead in the rally monohull class, but by 2 January had dropped back to second place.

Team Banjo: finished in time for tea. Picture: SHBC
Team Banjo: finished in time for tea. Picture: SHBC

The two fastest yachts, Banjo and Sandpiper 2, reached the island on New Year’s Day and 2 January.

Patches, with a full St Helena crew under skipper Hedge Shuter, is one of five yachts looking likely to reach the island on 5 January, with the last boats coming in the next day – including Black Cat, which lost time pulling in to a Nambian port for repairs.

Sue Pelling, the official race journalist, reports that Banjo’s crew crossed the line to a heroes’ welcome at 17.35 on Tuesday, 1 January 2012, after a 10-day downwind blast from the South African port of Simon’s Town.

As they stepped ashor, writes Sue, Team Banjo were surprisingly chirpy but joint skipper Kevin Webb did admit to feeling content to be back on shore: “We are feeling relieved and happy. We tried hard, had a great sail. We made a couple of tactical errors but our revised strategy paid off.”

Although the conditions were light at times, particularly in the early part of the race, most experienced classic Atlantic conditions at some point. For Webb and van der Merwe, there was one particular day that really stood out. “We had a run of 225 miles over a 24-hour period with the highlight being screaming down waves at 18 knots. We also had a few bad points too, which included experiencing really dark nights and falling into massive holes in the sea.”

The race is now on for handicap honours in the racing monohull fleet. The yacht Reaction was just 12 miles ahead of Indaba but sailing more slowly, giving either a change of a class win.

  • Sadly, Tyler Bradley is the only St Helena scout aboard JML Rotary Scout. Another member of the Jamestown scouts travelled to South Africa to join the crew, but was unable to take up his place for medical reasons.

Why Banjo sailed so fast: it was being chased by a bagpiper

Latest report by Sue Pelling
Estimated finish times: Governor’s Cup website

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