Aeolians Club Submits Strong Challenge

photography by Matt Du Toit Photography

Philip Baum and his crew have the distinction of winning the final race in each of the last two Lipton Cup events. In 2019 they led the race from start to finish as tactician David Hudson had spotted a cloud pattern indicating a delay in the expected backing of the north westerly breeze towards the west. Last year, after trailing in the early stages of the final race, they came through the fleet to take the lead going into the last round. Hudson described the variable wind conditions as “a tactician’s dream”. They won the final race in a thrilling and close dual with the eventual overall regatta winner.

While they are hoping to achieve the distinction of winning the final race again this year, just looking at their crew and the philosophy behind the crew selection, their intentions appear far higher with their sights set on lifting the Lipton Cup for Aeolians Club.

They will be sailing ‘Nemesis’, a Cape 31.

Baum, a lifelong Finn sailor and past J22 National Champion, coupled with his trusty and wiley tactician, David Hudson, probably the two oldest competitors in the fleet, have an eclectic youthful crew whose enthusiasm and depth of experience will all go a long way to putting them on the podium.

All the key trimming positions on the boat are manned by the youngsters with Sibu Sizatu being the mainsheet trimmer, Josh Rubenstein the jib trimmer and Howard Leoto the spinnaker trimmer. All three of these guys have sailed in “Race Ahead” squads which have developed and honed the skills of youngsters to compete on the international stage.

Greg Weeks is another dinghy sailor, who is entrusted with runner trim, a crucially important role in getting a Cape 31 to perform upwind. He is also the powerhouse behind the asymmetrical kite dropline.

Lebo January is the bowman, a very demanding position which requires great skill, patience, speed and precision to get the headsails and spinnaker up and down without problems. He comes from a dinghy background where he was taught to sail at the Izivunguvungu Sailing School in Simonstown, as well as sailing Mirror and 420 dinghies.

In the cockpit and handling halyards is Patric Loydell, another young sailor who is a sailing rules expert – recently appointed as SA’s youngest ever National Judge, and in the process of being appointed a National Race Officer.

Loydell and International Judge Dave Hudson have the knowledge and firepower between them to make split-second decisions to capitalize on opportunities and keep the team out of trouble on the water within the bounds of the racing rules of sailing, and of course in the protest room should it ever come to that!

Hudson is a man who has always taken his racing very seriously, and who prepares exceptionally well for every race he competes in. Baum has had their team on the water for rigorous boat-handling training – a make or break element in Cape 31 racing.

As one can clearly see, this is a team oozing youthful talent, tempered by cool and calm older heads. Watch them closely when racing starts.”

Richard Crockett

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