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False Bay Yacht Club Wins Historic Lipton Cup Challenge 2012, By Gerry Norris

The 2011 Lipton Challenge Cup event which was contested on the beautiful waters of Mossel Bay was won in dramatic style by the False Bay Yacht Club entry Team INTASURE of Simonstown. Sailing their L 26 class yacht the full crew led by Co-Skippers Andrea Giovannini and Markus Progli consisted of crew leader Ian Mac Robert with Olympic sailor Penny Alison as sail trimmer together with Nick Baigrie and Ollie Van de Pitte handling mast and bow positions respectively. The event itself – South Africa’s premier sailing competition – marked the 100th year of the Lipton Cup being competed for by the cream of South African sailors.

lipton 2011 winners

In a nail-biting charge to the finish line in the final race of the event, Andrea Giovannini & Markus Progli plus crew, sailing Team INTASURE Marine Insurance for False Bay Yacht Club crossed the line three boats ahead of the defending champion Greg Davis sailing Colorpress for the Knysna Yacht Club. To win the event False Bay’s Team INTASURE needed to make sure that they finished with at least two boats between themselves and Davis in the final race. For most of the race, they were just ahead of Davis, but in the penultimate leg they made a huge push. This saw Team INTASURE rounding the bottom (last) mark of the course with three boats between themselves and Davis. On the final beat to windward, and with the finish line in sight, Davis managed to claw back one position, but this was not quite enough. Andrea Giovannini & co-skipper Markus Progli crossed the line with the required two boat safety margin buffer to become the new Lipton Cup Champions.

With their win Giovannini, Progli and crew have brought the highest of honours in South African sailing to themselves and their club, False Bay Yacht Club of Simonstown – backed by sponsors INTASURE for the past three years of their Lipton campaign.

Lipton 2011 will go down as a historic event for a number of reasons – some of which continue to emerge. For certain though, it was arguably the tightest and closest regatta in the 100 year history. Five different winners emerged out of six races. On points the top two yachts and their crews tied for first place. However, on breaking the tie Team INTASURE representing False Bay Yacht Club were declared the overall winners.

In 2012 the event will be competed for on False Bay – considered an ideal location for the event with superb sailing waters and the time-proven organisational capabilities of the False Bay Yacht Club together with its fine reputation for hospitality. There and then, this young team which is so rich in talent will have the opportunity of defending their Lipton title.

Winning The Lipton Cup Challenge is considered by people knowledgeable about the competitive sport of sailing as being the highest achievement for sailors in South. Africa. This recent event sailed on Mossel Bay saw the closest racing ever in the 100 year old challenge event. An amazing and hugely positive centennial Lipton achievement for the False Bay Yacht Club, its members and its many supporters.

Acknowledgements and sources: http://www.liptoncup.org.za