EVENT. Lipton Challenge Cup – Inter-Club Sailing Regatta
DATES. 17 – 21 August 2022
VENUE. False Bay
HOSTS. Royal Natal Yacht Club / False Bay Yacht Club
The Lipton Challenge Cup is one of the oldest sporting events in South Africa, dating back to the first event in 1911 when it was sailed on Table Bay. It is unique in that it’s an inter-club challenge, with just one team permitted per recognised yacht club.
It has taken on various guises in its 67 regatta history, with the 68th challenge taking it back firmly to its roots of the first six regattas. These were held when boats were anything but identical “one-design” yachts. As the event evolved and yachts changed with the times, five different classes have seen action in the Lipton Cup.
For many years the “one-design” concept was the order of the day, but this year the fleet will consist of many different sized and shaped yachts which will all have to fall within a specified handicap band. So instead of the first yacht crossing the finish line being the winner, the boat performing best on handicap will be the winner, irrespective of where she finishes over the line.
This is going to create an exciting regatta with results only likely to be known once all boats have finished. Speculation will be rife as to the winner, but the wise old salts will no doubt be able to see pedigree and select a winner long before official results are published.
The first entry for the 2022 challenge has come from the defending champions – the Royal Natal Yacht Club (RNYC) from Durban who selected the False Bay waters upon which to defend their title, rather than upon the Saldanha Bay waters where they won last year.
The Royal Natal Yacht Club has won the Lipton Cup just 10 times in its history, and are putting together a hot team who have all the ingredients needed to win for an 11th time, and put them level-pegging with Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club who currently have the second highest number of wins. The Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) outstrips everyone with 16 wins to their credit.
Last year’s RNYC skipper, Davey James, will again be sailing ‘Orion DYP’ the same Cape 31 one-design yacht as he did last year, and has brought aboard international sailing star Mark Sadler to co-skipper with him. Sadler has won the Lipton Cup twice in his long and distinguished sailing career – both as co-skipper – so maybe there is a good omen there for the RNYC team?
Sadler will be the tactician, with James as helmsman. Other confirmed crew so far are Peter Shaw, Mike Clark and Sean van Rensburg, all very fine seaman and crew.
On being pushed as to how the regatta could pan out, James said that it will be a very open regatta, with some potential hot yachts competing which could easily upset the trends. In fact he rates the Royal Cape Yacht Club entry ‘Jackal’ as a boat which could easily put a cat amongst the pigeons as it will be a huge threat!
As Challengers of Record, the Royal Cape Yacht Club entry is imminent.
James also sees the regatta as highly tactical and tough, especially on the tacticians. “I feel very sorry for the tacticians as they have a huge role to play in the final outcome of this years challenge”.
Of the False Bay sailing waters he warns of big windshifts, especially downwind, that could shift a boat from being the rooster to becoming a feather-duster in no time at all. “I’ve been there and done just that” he said.
It’s all stacking up to be a corker of a Lipton Cup this year.