The 2019 Wrap Up | S+L's top picks and favourite moments - Sail+Leisure
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The 2019 Wrap Up

by Ingrid Hale

Our 2019 Wrap Up – a year of excitement and celebrations has come to an end in a spectacular end to what was a roller coaster year. We rate our favourites from 2019.

S+L’s International Favourites:

SailGP – most exciting spectator event

The new SailGP is re-defining the sport of sailing. As a completely new global sports series featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism, SailGP puts the fan at the center of the sport.

The racing takes place in some of the world’s most iconic city waterfronts on the newly redefined F50 wing-sailed catamarans, sailing at speeds of over 50 knots (60 mph). Sailors include World Champions, Olympic medalists, America’s Cup winners and they represent the best young talent their nations have produced.

The media technology developed to bring the story from the water to the race fans is the most advanced in our sport.

52 Super Series – best international one-design racing circuit

The 52 Super Series 2019 brought high speed and high intensity racing to the one-design racing circuit this year. South African flagged teams Phoenix 11 and Phoenix 12 competed in this highly watched racing circuit, flying our SA flag high. This super exciting class will be coming to Cape Town in the form of the Rolex TP 52 World Championships and a 52 Super Series regatta event to be run from the V&A Waterfront in March 2020.

Super Yacht Cup Palma – biggest beauties in one bay

Sail + Leisure is proud to be an official media partner to the Superyacht cup held in Palma, Mallorca. The world’s top sailors race the big, beautiful boats, which  grace the Bay of Palma for a few days of intense racing. The regatta is known for fun both on and off the water with a busy social programme laid on for competitors. The competition on the water is stiff.

Win Win, Javier Jaudenes, Baltic Yachts, 33m. © Sailing Energy / SYC 20 June, 2019.
Win Win, Javier Jaudenes, Baltic Yachts, 33m. © Sailing Energy / SYC 20 June, 2019.
Topaz, Frank Pain/Hoek Design, Holland Yachtbouw, 42,7m. The Superyacht Cup Palma 2019, 23rd running of Europe’s largest and longest-running superyacht regatta from 19–22 June 2019. © Sailing Energy / SYC
Topaz, Frank Pain/Hoek Design, Holland Yachtbouw, 42,7m. © Sailing Energy / SYC
The Superyacht Cup Palma 2019 ©JESUS RENEDO/SAILING ENERGY 22 June, 2019.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – beautiful imagery

Costa Smeralda provides a stunning setting and a variety of challenging conditions for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, one of the highlights of the Mediterranean yachting season. This year marked the 30th edition of the event in true style. S+L’s very own Yachting Editor placed first in the Super Maxi class with Irvine Laidlaw’s RP82, Highland Fling.  One of yachting’s top photographer’s, Carlo Borlenghi captured the race with magical skill.

Kelly Slater Ranch competition – best show of raw surfing talent

One small step for surfers…one giant leap for surfing. The first test event at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, earlier in 2019 proved to be a milestone in the evolution of pro surfing with Gabriel Medina and Carissa Moore taking top honours.

The Ranch takes surfing a step further with its ability to dial up perfection anywhere at anytime, as surfers can now show off their raw skills and talent as they surf against each other on the exact same wave every ride.

WSL’s First Class of Olympic Hopefuls:

History was made in the 2019 WSL season. Throughout the Championship Tour, 18 surfers from seven different countries provisionally qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. SA’s very own Jordy Smith is currently ranked 3rd on the overall Championship board and along with other surfers representing their countries, he will represent SA in Japan at the Olympic Games.

GKA – best international kiteboarding tour

What a year it has been for kiteboarding. The GKA is the only organisation who officially holds competitions in all expression disciplines in international kiting. The touring competition has visited some of the most incredible kiting spots in the world this year across Europe, the Americas and Africa. South African Oswald Smith made #32 out of 82 men competing in the kitesurf division and #25 out of 82 in free-style, while Aaron Rosslee made #16 out of 82 men in the free-style division. You can find the full rankings for all athletes in their respective devisions here.

While keeping the events clean and professional, the GKA has also produced some of our favourite imagery and videos for each of their events. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store.

Imagery: Ydwer, Romantsova
Imagery: Ydwer, Romantsova
Imagery: Ydwer, Romantsova
Imagery: Ydwer, Romantsova
4 November
Imagery: Ydwer, Romantsova
4 November
Imagery: Ydwer, Romantsova

S+L’s Local Favourites:

Mykonos Offshore Race – best local offshore regatta

The 25th edition of the Mykonos Offshore race was held this year in the Bay of Langebaan. For this year’s event, despite being challenged by a super elusive wind, there were still high spirits during the regatta and the party went on as usual. With a history of light wind for this event, organisers are re-looking at dates to try ensure the presence of our familiar south easter. the 2019 event was dominated by Mike Hayton and David Rae’s Nitro, taking all three titles for the weekend: Line Honours, Bay Race Champs, and the overall winners trophy.

Mike Hayton and David Rae win overall at the Mykonos Offshore Regatta

Nitro, winners of the Mykonos Offshore race

The Lipton Challenge Cup – closest local one-design racing

The 2019 Lipton Challenge Cup got off to a cold and wet start in a typical Cape winter’s North West/North wind. For the first time in the Cup’s history, the sporty Cape 31 was the one-design class selected for South African yachting’s premier event.  These fast paced boats provided excellent close racing.

Racing was cancelled on the first day due to a winter storm and the teams were itching to go. Action packed sailing followed with very tight results. In the earlier stages of the regatta the closest competition was between Seascape Yanmar and MB Racing for first and second around the top mark in most of the races with Nitro and Orion DYP close on their heals. But in a regatta with no discards, consistency pays off and Nitro snuck in to seal the deal overall from Seascape Yanmar and Orion DYP MB Racing. The Lipton Cup will be sailed in the waters of Langebaan in 2020.

For full results visit Lipton Challenge Cup 

Pictures: Alec Smith

Cape 31 – best show of local class racing

The introduction of the Cape 31 class to the South African sailing circuit has brought nothing but excitement to local sailing.  Top sailors from both SA and around the world enjoy the fast, fun and competitive one-design class which allows  owner-drivers to show off their skills.

The fast, sleek and locally designed fleet has caught many an eye out on the water and provides some nail biting events.

Image by Drone Project
Image by Ashleigh De Villiers
Image by Ashleigh De Villiers

Luderitz Speed Challenge – African record broken

Every year, speed-crazy windsurfers attempt to break the speed record in a narrow strip of water outside Luderitz. This year, SA’s Karo van Tonder secured a top speed of 44.55 knots to break the all African record while taking second place overall to Swiss competitor Heidi Ullrich’s top speed of 46.10 knots. South African Mark Grinell placed 4th in the men’s division with a speed of 51.83 knots.

Luderitz Speed Challenge
Luderitz Speed Challenge
11 November 2019
Karo van Tonder

Jbay WSL – world class surfing on our door step

The WSL accredited Jbay Pro delivers much excitement to the small east coast town of Jeffreys Bay. For local surfing fans and professionals alike it is a chance to show off our great country and the best waves that she has to offer. The 2019 event did not disappoint with action between the Brazilians Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira providing much excitement. Gabriel went on to win the event.

Sean Kavanaugh – up and coming youngster

Sean Kavanagh is all of 10 years old and already showing great promise in the sailing world. With the support of his father, Michael, some vigorous training, and the ongoing support of Ullman Sails’, Sean is going places. This youngster has done the work and it is paying off, some top international results include:

2018 – 47th in British Nationals Junior Gold Fleet, 2019 – Monaca Optimist Team Race, 2019 – 1st Mozambique Nationals in Maputo

Best Launches of 2019:

Panerai and Luna Rossa Challenge

The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli entry in the 36th America’s Cup made her debut in October 2019.

Panerai launched the Submersible Luna Rossa – 47 mm at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva earlier this year. Panerai has been putting the finishing touches to a collection inspired by its partnership with the Challenger of Record of the 36th America’s Cup. Panerai is an official sponsor and the official watch for the Luna Rossa Challenge.

The Submersible Luna Rossa

The Submersible Luna Rossa

The Moorings 5000

The Moorings added the new state-of-the-art Moorings 5000 to their fleet, and we are beyond excited… still!

This beautiful catamaran features all the modern furnishings and latest innovations in design. It’s an idyllic choice for a bareboat yacht charter holiday. Leopard Catamarans are built by Cape Town based yacht builders, Robertson & Caine.

This beauty accommodates up to 10 people, each of the 5 en-suite cabins have their own personalised climate control for extra comfort. Other onboard features include a skylight, a water-maker, electric flush heads, an inverter for charging devices so you can always have your cellphones and cameras at hand, and a built in BBQ.

You can charter a Moorings 5000 by visiting The Moorings or call the Cape Town office on +27 (21) 2001836 for further information.

Best moments:

The Great Optimist Race

The Great Optimist Race 2019  was held during the Cape Town International Boat Show on October 19th 2019. Fourty Optimist dinghies were raced by adults ( celebrities, medical survivors & captains of industry) not only for glory, but also to raise money and awareness for the charity of their choice .

Sail + Leisure joined the Sea Change Project and big wave surfer, Matt Bromley, to take on the challenge.  With light to non-existent winds, the sailing race turned into a paddling race. Luckily for us Matt paddled us into 2nd place!

The Little Optimist Trust does amazing work to inspire and uplift children who have been affected by disease. The Trust was acknowledged at the DAME awards at METSTRADE, the world’s largest leisure marine equipment show. The METSTRADE awards the total of all exhibitors’ registration fees to a chosen charity and this year The Little Optimist Trust was chosen from hundreds of applicants.

 Rugby World Cup  – World Champions with heart

Who can forget the incredible feel-good moment as we watched the mighty Springboks win the 2019 Rugby World Cup? Led by Siya Kolisi and coached by Rassie Erasmus, the team provided us with many patriotic moments and much needed positivity and inspiration during challenging times in South Africa.

The Springboks – 2019 Rugby World Champions

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