Cape to St Helena 2018 Epilogue
What a wonderful, warm and rich experience it has been being a part of the commentary of this Cape to St Helena Race.
The interaction and feedback to these posts has been so positive, and the support of the sailors and followers so openly wonderful. This is what sailing is about.
It was quite incidental that I became involved with this race at all (apart from designing its logo six months ago, when the race was just a puppy; and serving on a protest committee that has not been required to do any work!)
After a call, quite out of the blue, from Dale Kushner a couple of weeks ago, asking if I could simply give a brief overview of progress every day by looking at the tracker and the weather; I thought about it, and seized the chance to make the best of this opportunity to create synergies between the Cape to St Helena and the Cape to Rio races.
It was quite unexpected that the organic reach would top 100,000!!!
So, this post is a thank you to you all, and a personal viewpoint.
I really love yacht racing. I love participating. I love the dynamics of working in a team to face and overcome a challenge.
For me, it was never about doing well, it was about enjoying being there. But after many years of being there, it became apparent to me (from persistent and well intended commentary from others) that competing to win was what it was all about.
“Why race without intention to win?”
I thought about it. I changed gears, and after many subsequent race wins at club level over the years, my opinion remains divided. It’s nice to win, but it’s much more important to participate in the right spirit.
There’s a great quote from the highly competitive, widely respected and massively successful Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom, who passed away just over two years ago: ”You haven’t won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors.”
We are our own best critics. We don’t need opinion to affirm that; we know.
Ocean racing is an interesting game…and it’s all relative. It’s brutally honest. It’s brave. You have to be “all in”. There’s an incredible spirit.
In this race, there will be one overall winner in the twelve boat monohull fleet; and one overall winner in the three boat multihull fleet.
But it is the perseverance that really impresses me. Do the work. Really do the work. It takes absolutely nothing away from the actual winner, in fact, it bolsters their effort, because winners usually do the work, and the win is that much more valuable when you really had to work for it.
Winning is one thing. Participating positively is another. Without participation, most sports are absolutely nothing. Proud positive participation is MAGIC: Do as well as you can. Be the best you can be. Have as much fun as you can. In this race, there are going to be multiple winners, because the spirit is right.
It is with all of this in mind that I salute every entry in this fleet. I wish you a fantastic visit to the island, a special prizegiving, and a safe journey home. Cape2Rio2020 looks forward to working with St Helena next year.
If you are in Cape Town, we’d love to see you on the startline of the Freedom Race Round Robben Island on Saturday 12 January 2019. They are apparently planning an impromptu Around the Island Race to coincide with this on St Helena. It would be very special if they could pull that off!
It’s going to be a great one! Don’t dream it, be it.