by Richard Crockett
The final day of the Lipton Cup had the Royal Cape Yacht Club team give the fleet a ‘masterclass’ in light wind sailing. It’s just a pity that they were all so far behind that they could not benefit!
The final race was sailed in an Easterly wind which ranged from about 8 to 10 knots at the start to about 4 to 5 knots at the finish. The boats maintained reasonable speeds throughout the race.
The RCYC team led the race from start to finish, and at the second weather mark had a lead of several minutes over the chasers.
Due to the light winds there were several big position changes, depending on the choice of tactics, with the Royal Natal Yacht Club and Zeekoevlei Yacht Club teams taking the biggest hits, while the biggest gain came from UCTYC.
As the time limit for the race of 4 hours loomed ever closer, the boats crept slowly towards the line with RCYC finishing first at 14h52 and 50 seconds, setting the time limit clock in operation. 9 boats finished within the time limit of 30 minutes and the rest were unfortunately scored DNF.
That final race victory had the RCYC team score their 4th race win in 5 races, their worst being a 2nd. That was an emphatic victory if ever there was one, but this dedicated and motivated team deserved this victory, and the Lipton Cup, as they put in time and effort on the water – a key ingredient to winning races.
At the prize giving dinner, the Lipton Cup Trustees announced that they are looking at their options for the future in terms of the choice of boat. The L26 design has been used for 34 years now, and has served this challenge exceptionally well, although a change could be very good for the event.
The Lipton Cup has become ‘just another event to do’ on a busy calendar, with many competing teams putting little or no effort in to their campaigns – and hoping for the best in terms of results. That attitude simply does not cut it any longer as the Lipton Challenge Cup is the ONLY national inter-club regatta we have in RSA, as well as being the most prestige event on the sailing calendar.
As a result it deserves to be taken very seriously.
When Sir Thomas Lipton donated this magnificent trophy, the Deed of Gift opened with the following: “I, Sir Thomas Lipton, of London, England, for the purpose of encouraging Yachting in South Africa, and especially in the way of friendly contests in sailing and seamanship in deep-sea Yacht Racing, do hereby give to the “Table Bay Yacht Club” of Cape Town, Cape Colony, the Silver Cup delivered herewith to be held, carried and sailed for under the following conditions…”
Sadly the word ‘friendly’ appears to have been forgotten as many Lipton Cup contests in recent years have been filled with acrimony and behaviour bordering on being unsporting.
One cannot blame the Class of boat for this, but one can lay the blame squarely at some of the people who sail these boats, and even their supporters too!
A new class of boat may well bring in fresh blood and new people who will sail in the spirit Sir Thomas Lipton intended.
Results (overall) HERE: LIPTON 2018 PROVISIONAL RESULTS V2