Lipton Challenge Cup. The L26 Had A Good Reign, But Who Will Win this Year?

The winners of the Lipton Cup when sailed for in L26s for the very first time in 1984. Ewald Sternagel (center back) led the Transvaal Yacht Club (TYC) team.
pic from the SAILING Publications archive

by Richard Crockett

The L26 class was the Lipton boat of choice from 1984 until 2018 – a span of 35 years during which many an exciting challenge was witnessed, and during which many an older sailor, having been denied international competition for much of their sailing lives, made names for themselves locally.

The winner during this period read like a ‘who’s who’ of top sailors in the country. It’s just such a pity that there is no definitive record available of all the crew on the winning boats! Maybe this is something the Lipton Cup Trustees should address.

The first ever L26 winners were the team from Transvaal Yacht Club (TYC) headed by Ewald Sternagel when they snatched victory in a very close encounter off Cape Town in 1984.

The winning Royal Cape Yacht Club team who won the 2018 series, the last time that the L26 was raced. This Royal Cape Yacht Club team was led by Roger Hudson. Here they celebrated with the Lipton Cup as they stepped ashore from the final race.
pic by Richard Crockett/SAILING Publications archive

Roll on till 2018 when Roger Hudson and his Royal Cape Yacht Club team won the Lipton Cup off Durban when they won all but a single race.

So here’s your chance to be bold and predict who will win this years Lipton Cup winner, the first in Cape 31s. Don’t be shy – let’s see who the favourites really are.

Here are the 2019 teams:
Royal Natal Yacht Club – Mark Sadler (Challenger of Record)
Royal Cape Yacht Club – Jerry Hegie & Asenathi Jim (Defending Club)
Aeolians – Philip Baum
Gordons Bay Yacht Club – Rodney Tanner
Hermanus Yacht Club – Malcolm Hall & Roger Hudson
Langebaan Yacht Club – Greg Davis & Geoff Meek
Sailing PE – Rick Nankin
University of Cape Town Yacht Club – Nicholas Ryall
Walvis Bay Yacht Club – Bjorn Geiger
Witbank Yacht Club – Mike Hayton & David Rae

And here’s a reminder of the L26 era winners:

1984Cape TownE. SternagelTYC
1985DurbanB. SavageUNYC
1986DurbanE. VanCuyck / C.P. KeepingRCYC
1987Cape TownE. VanCuyck / C.P. KeepingRCYC
1988Cape TownC. King / R. NankinZVYC
1989Cape TownC. King / R. NankinZVYC
1990Cape TownC. King / R. NankinZVYC
1991Cape TownG. DavisHBYC
1992Cape TownC. KingZVYC
1993SaldanhaC. KingZVYC
1994SaldanhaC. KingZVYC
1995SaldanhaG. Davis / D.HudsonRCYC
1996Cape TownM. Schultz / G. MeekHYC
1997Gordons BayG. Davis / D.HudsonRCYC
1998Algoa BayP. Shaw / S. Du ToitGBYC
1999Gordons BayC. King / R. NankinTSC
2000Simons TownG. Davis / M. SadlerRCYC
2001Cape TownR. NankinTSC
2002Cape TownI. AinslieZVYC
2003DurbanR. Nankin / M. SadlerTSC
2004Cape TownR. NankinTSC
2005Cape TownD. Hudson / R. HudsonRCYC
2006Cape TownG. Davis / G. BlankenbergTSC
2007Cape TownG. Davis / G. BlankenbergTSC
2008Cape TownG. Davis / G. BlankenbergTSC
2009Cape TownG. Davis / D. RaeRCYC
2010Cape TownG. Davis / G. BlankenbergKYC
2011Mossel BayG. Davis / D. RaeKYC
2012False BayR. RobinsonRNYC
2013DurbanR. WeddelPYC
2014False BayG. Davis / D. RaeRCYC
2015Cape TownG. Davis / D. RaeRCYC
2016Cape TownG. Davis / D. RaeRCYC
2017Cape TownRoger HudsonRCYC
2018DurbanRoger HudsonRCYC