Lipton Challenge Cup Press Release – Marie Stinnes
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Most prestigious yacht race in Africa to be held in Table Bay
Young local sailors from Royal Cape Yacht Club expected to do their utmost to defend the Lipton Cup on their ‘homeground’
When Sir Thomas Lipton, well-known tea merchant in his day, donated a magnificent trophy to Table Bay Yacht Club (now Royal Cape Yacht Club) in 1909, he stipulated that the Lipton Cup Challenge was to encourage offshore yacht racing in Southern Africa. Every yacht club along the Southern African coast – from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Beira (Mozambique) – is invited to participate and enter a team in this annual yacht race. This is but one of multiple precise instructions contained in Sir Thomas’s ‘deed of gift’, a document accompanying the trophy, the rules of which ensure fairness and equality in this competition and are adhered to until today.
This year, 11 teams from 11 yacht clubs, ranging from local Western Cape yacht clubs to inland clubs from Gauteng, have entered the challenge, which kicks off at the Royal Cape Yacht Club on Saturday 19 August with the festive Opening Ceremony. Anyone is welcome to visit the yacht club during this public event, which will see some yacht racing action every day until Friday 25 August, when the winner will be announced.
Over the years, the beautiful Lipton Cup has been victoriously lifted by some of the country’s best sailors, who seem to regard the Lipton Cup Challenge as training ground for international yacht races. Indeed, amongst sailors, the South African coastal waters, and especially Table Bay, have the reputation of presenting some of the most challenging conditions, thus breeding some excellent skill. It goes without saying that sailing around the Cape seas isn’t for the fainthearted, and that our local sailors are true masters of the ocean.
Another noteworthy aspect of the Lipton Cup Challenge is the fact that generally, it is especially young sailing teams who enter, and not so much the more experienced sailing veterans. The excitement and competitive energy of these young sailors is extremely contagious, giving local sailing a fantastic youthful glow every winter. In fact, everyone who might think sailing is monotonous and slow will definitely be convinced otherwise after experiencing this unique event. RCYC organises spectator boats that sail out to watch the action from the water on a first-come-first-serve-basis (contact …@rcyc.co.za for info). However, even the less adventurous spectators who prefer to stay on dry land are catered for. The race can be followed via the live tracking app TracTrac (download the app or visit www.tractrac.co.za for more), and the public is invited to watch the live tracker on screen at the RCYC restaurant/bar.
Every afternoon after racing (20-25 August) around 17:00, some exhausted sailors will return their yachts to the club marina, whereafter RCYC will host a post-racing review, including expert race analysis from some of the country’s most experienced sailors and the Golden Teapot Award, named such due to Sir Thomas Lipton’s other passion, which will be handed to the day’s winning team. The public is encouraged to visit the club during these atmospheric evenings, if they would like to follow the action, support their local team, or simply learn more about sailing and yacht racing.
The Lipton Cup will once again be hotly contended for. Not only is the trophy the most valuable of its kind in the whole of Africa, but the winning team takes the cup home – meaning, they are entitled to host the Lipton Challenge on their home waters (or nominate a coastal club to do so, if they are situated inland) the following year.
Let’s see whether the youngsters representing Royal Cape Yacht Club, headed by legendary SA dreamteam Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim, will succeed in defending the Cup for the third consecutive year.
For more information, interviews, photographs etc. contact Marie Stinnes (firstname.lastname@example.org or 076 455 9661) and visit liptoncup.com, or follow the Lipton Challenge CUP and Royal Cape Yacht Club facebook pages