by Richard Crockett
There is just over a week to go before the 2019 Lipton Challenge Cup starts, and it’s going to be one of those ‘must follow’ events for many different reasons as there are so many different facets to it this year.
The Cape 31
Having used the very versatile L26 Class yacht for 35 continuous years from 1984 until 2018, this year a new class of yacht, the ultra-modern, ultra-fast and very slippery Cape 31 has become the boat of choice – the 6th class of boat to be used.
Despite having provided close-quarters sailing for the last year, these boats are still relatively unknown, with crews still getting to grips with their nuances, while fine-tuning for all points of sailing takes dedication and loads of training time on the water.
The Cape 31 is a legacy Lord Irvine Laidlaw has left South African yachtsmen. He funded the complete project which came from the drawing boards of international naval architect Mark Mills, and then had the moulds for the boat manufactured in the USA by the very best builders who CnC machined the moulds to absolute precision.
The first boat out of the mould was used as the prototype which was sailed extensively before final modifications were made to ensure that each and every hull produced is identical.
Sailing is one of the few sports in which people of all ages and ability can compete equally alongside each other – even in top level competition like the Lipton Cup.
This year there are several father and son combinations, and other combinations too. Here they are:
● Philip & Oscar Baum sailing for Aeolians Sailing Club
● Rick and Charles Nankin competing against each other. Rick Nankin for Sailing PE and Charles Nankin for the Royal Natal Yacht Club.
● David and Roger Hudson will also be competing against each other, despite having co-skippered the winning boat in 2005 when sailing under the Royal Cape Yacht Club burgee. Both are also multiple Lipton Cup winners. David Hudson is sailing for Aeolians Sailing Club, and Roger Hudson for Hermanus Yacht Club. Roger Hudson won the Lipton Cup last year in 2018.
● Bruce and Cullen Keytel are on opposing boats. Bruce Keytel is competing under the Sailing PE burgee while Cullen Keytel is sailing under the Aeolians Sailing Club Burgee.
● Greg and Leo Davis are competing for Langebaan Yacht Club.
● And there’s more too – siblings Sonja and James Stock are sailing for UCT.
Lipton Cup Facts At A Glance
● The Lipton Challenge Cup was donated by Sir Thomas in 1909.
● The first Lipton Cup Challenge was in 1911, and was sailed on Table Bay.
● There have been 65 Lipton Cup Challenges sailed.
● The 66th Lipton Cup Challenge is being sailed in Table Bay in August this year (2019).
● The most successful winning club is the Royal Cape Yacht Club with 16 wins.
● The most successful skipper is Greg Davis with 13 wins to his credit.
● The only father and son combination to co-skipper a winning boat are David and Roger Hudson who won in 2005 when sailing under the Royal Cape Yacht Club burgee. Both are sailing this year – but against each other!