CAPE TOWN – The Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) on Wednesday named their co-skippers to contest the 2020 Lipton Challenge Cup.
For over one hundred years, the regatta has stayed true to its founding statement when it was donated by Sir Thomas Thomas Lipton in 1909: it remains an annual inter-club contest sailed by the finest sailors in the country.
The Lipton Challenge Cup is the premier sailing event in South Africa, where each competing boat represents a yacht club.
The Cape Town team for last year’s edition of the race was selected by way of a sail-off. However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic this year, the RCYC selection committee took a different approach, choosing to make the selection based on various criteria. This included transformation, past results, whether the team members were all members of RCYC, whether the boat was normally moored at the club, whether it regularly took part in club events and also conduct on the water.
The committee settled on co-skippers Gerry Hegie and Asenathi Jim, who will be sailing Seascape powered by Yanmar & Ullman Sails.
The duo will anchor the team to represent RCYC in the 2020 Lipton Challenge Cup to be held in December and will be one of the few boats with dual skippers.
Gerry Hegie commented: “It is a privilege and an honour to represent South Africa’s premier sailing club and having represented before, we have some unfinished business. We lost the last event by three points to David Rae.
It was touch and go, we almost had it in the bag and then we lost it. We have the backing and skills to make up for it this year.”
Co skipper Asenathi Jim concurs. “It is always a really great honour to be representing the club. Having represented the club three times already in the Lipton Cup Challenge means a lot.
We won the first one with Gerry, the second one we defended in Durban and the third one we lost last year in the last race. There were a few mistakes made, but we learnt from those mistakes. It would be nice to bring the Cup back here. For us to be nominated again is such a great honour.”
The 2020 Lip Challenge Cup was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will take place from December 16-20 in Saldanha Bay.
Table Bay has been put on standby as a possible alternative venue. Details will be confirmed in September.