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All Saint sailing crew and vessel – Cape to St Helena 2018

Carpe Diem translates to ‘seize’ the day or ‘seize the moment’, the exact philosophy 7 Saints will carry to the Cape to St Helena Yacht race at the year end. This all-Saint sailing vessel, will be a first for St Helena who until now were represented in the esteemed Ocean Rally by St Helena adventure makers who joined other yachting crews on the Atlantic sail ways.

The yacht itself is the family home of local St Helenians James, Hannah and their three children.  The Herne’s circumnavigated the world in their 40ft dwelling with no race pace at the stern, just a simple quest to see and experience the globe as a family. This was an economical way of travelling which allowed them to also stay better connected to Hannah’s family in New Zealand and James Family in St Helena.


The Herne’s have owned Carpe Diem for 14 years.  James knows the boat well and his background in boat building and sailing will be useful in the coming weeks as he leads the team home.

To qualify and register the vessel for the race, James sort local sponsorship, upgrading the boat to racer/cruiser status.  His entry came in just over the mid-way mark at number 13 – also declaring the race international at this point.

On talking sails, he commented on the various types and how a good asymmetric spinnaker sail will make the difference in competing.  James is counting on his handy mending skills which he hopes will keep this much ‘loved’ sail on victory winds and victory wins.

The selected crew:  Darren O’Dean, Dennis Owen, Shavonne Hayes, Michael Owen, Andrew Turner, and Josh Herne were chosen by skipper James Herne during training.  “The crew started their training 7 weeks ago and are progressing well” says James. “They all have some boating background – some a little more experienced than others, but none had sailed before”.

One of the biggest challenges they face will be working on board a pitching vessel and keeping in the right frame of mind.

Yesterday, the vessel was hoisted on the seafront, to be prepped and repainted, ready for her St Helena racing debut. The boys will begin their sail to the Cape of Good Hope on 1st December .   James anticipates the journey down will be testing for the crew as they sail against the wind in what will, for most, be the first real taste of sailing on the open ocean.

How do they fancy their chances? We are positively looking for a “win” says James. They will aim to be fast and if a win is not on the cards, then they will certainly hope for some ratings between 1st and 5th place.

James expressed his gratitude to the community of St Helena who have helped with sponsorship and also moral.  They will be interviewed on local radio next week talking about their exciting challenge ahead and also in one last appeal to rally some support for on board supplies.

Anyone wishing to sponsor the team as they prepare for their big trip, can contact James on : or T: +290 66519

For more information about the race visit


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