A look back at the RISKSA Regatta 2014

A look back at the RISKSA Regatta 2014

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The RISKSA Regatta, which took place at the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) between 23 and 26 October 2014, formally kicked off on the Friday evening with the Captains’ Cocktail Party, where some of the biggest names in the insurance industry had a chance to rub shoulders with clients and yacht owners in the biggest corporate sailing event in Southern Africa. Sixteen yachts were set to race on the Saturday, including teams and boats from Altech Netstar, Aon South Africa, Auto & General/ MUA, Camargue, Fulcrum Group, Hollard, Infiniti, Mutual & Federal, ONE Financial Services, PG Glass, and Zenith – some with more than one yacht.

The Saturday morning, however, brought some unfortunate news and COSA Media CEO (and RISKSA publisher) Andy Mark, was about to have a tough day at the office. With wind conditions in the bay deteriorating overnight the prospect of the expected narrow weather window materialising by race start time disappeared completely. The 40 knot winds meant that racing would have to be postponed on grounds of safety. The crews, while understandably disappointed, kept their spirits high and the VIP boats, sponsored by TomTom and Customer Loyalty Consultants (CLC), were summoned from the V&A Waterfront to keep crews occupied and entertained throughout the day. “The crowd was disappointed, for sure, but most of our out-of-town guests immediately chose to change their flight plans so that they would still be able to race on Sunday. To me, that shows the level of enthusiasm for this event,” Mark commented.

A close Currie Cup final was televised on the big screen at the Royal Cape Yacht Club and gave the local industry guests a chance to bond and exchange some friendly banter with the Johannesburg contingency, keeping the atmosphere high before heading to the Awards Dinner.

The Awards Dinner guests would not go unrewarded and a prize was announced for the team with the overall best theme. Each company did sterling work on their table decorations but in the end it was PG Glass who claimed the win, having constructed their entire display with 100 per cent recycled glass recovered from their various job sites. Tied for second place were Fulcrum and Camargue according to the judges’ final vote. The dessert table, sponsored by Oakhurst Insurance Company, was a complete hit with its delicious ice-cream from the retro ice-cream van, and the toppings and treats that accompanied.

Race day finally arrived on the Sunday and in contrast to the previous morning, the race started in light wind. The course exhibited virtually all conditions, from near-zero wind to a breezy 15 knot blast from the last turning mark to the finish line. Competitors were treated to a gorgeous day’s sailing.

At race-end, fifth place was claimed by Team Hollard, following close on the heels of Team Aon South Africa in fourth place. Third place was taken by Team Fulcrum, second place went to Auto & General/MUA, and for the second year running, defending champions, Camargue Underwriting Managers reclaimed the FIA Regatta Floating Trophy in first place.

The financial services industry was not the only beneficiary – The Royal Cape Development Sailing Academy is also a benefactor of the regatta – with thousands of rands being contributed to this worthy cause from RISKSA, every cent of which goes towards providing sailing courses to underprivileged teens.

Daphne Jacobs, one of the volunteers at the RCYC and sailing instructor to the underprivileged kids said, “I’ve been volunteering as coach for the past three years. When I started at the RCYC Academy in 2013 I absolutely fell in love with Harry Brehm’s passion for helping the youth, regardless of where they come from. You can really see the difference this makes in their lives,” she says, adding that it was sailing that saved her from a troublesome childhood..

Our thanks go out once again to the entrants, sponsors and guests who attended this illustrious event, and of course, to the excellent team at the Royal Cape Yacht Club who bent over backwards to accommodate us throughout the race weekend.