Our Dianne received a particularly warm welcome by the islanders as her crew included three Saints with them. For Tessa ROBERTS, Oscar THORPE and Raymond YOUNG aka Buffalo, the victory was the fulfilment of their dreams as they form part of a sailing development programme on the island and travelled to South Africa specifically to train and participate in the race. ROBERTS, who work as a youth leader on the island, teaches outdoor sports and gym on the island and is an inspiration to the local youth. As an avid sportswoman, her accomplishments in sailing, diving, abseiling, shooting as well as community work with the disabled have earned her a bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh award. The victory in the Governor's Cup will go a long way in earning her the coveted gold award that she is currently working for.
In a satellite conversation with fellow crew member Martyn TRAINOR before the finish, they were cautiously optimistic, but hesitant to celebrate too early. 'We're keeping a watch out for Swimlion as she might just pip us to the post. We're not exactly sure where she currently is and we suspect she might actually be in front of us at the moment. It has been a magnificent race and was really the race of a lifetime. We had a spectacular time,' mentioned TRAINOR with 100 miles to go to the finish. In the end, they finished four hours in front of Derek FREY (RSA) and his crew on board Swimlion, who crossed the line early this morning at 04:14 UTC.
Mel HAWTREY (RSA) on the yacht Aurora was spot on with his pre-race prediction that they would finish the race in ten days and is expected in later this morning with Vortex currently 17 miles behind also due to finish sometime today. The remainder of the fleet is barrelling along in fresh southeasterly conditions with moderate swells. Allegro reported 20-25 knots southeasterly winds, while Summer Love was surfing in gusting winds of up to 28 knots after having had a rough night.
Ielool also described a bumpy night with choppy seas and swells of up to 4 metres. In the Miura Challenge, it seems as if Andrew TOZER on Diddakoi is setting his sights on the R10,000 prize money as Patches' woes continue. Diddakoi is also still a strong contender for handicap honours and it is literally a race against the clock to see if they can still snatch the handicap win from Our Dianne. Patches skipper Andrew MCKENZIE (RSA) reported that their spinnaker pole has finally given up completely. 'We can no longer run directly downwind, which is slowing down our progress significantly. But we'll get there eventually,' reported MCKENZIE.
For the next couple of days, the crews will enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of the tropical island, set in the heart of the South Atlantic and considered as one of the last unspoilt destinations on earth. The 47 square miles island is home to less than 4,000 residents and can only be reached by sea. Visitors can enjoy the laid-back island lifestyle and the amazing contrasts of the island.