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Skipper changes for Sterna in Ocean Globe Race

23 Nov 2023

Allspice Yachting is saddened to announce that skipper Rufus Brand retired from the Ocean Globe Race due to family medical reasons. Sterna departed Mosselbay, South Africa last night for Auckland, New Zealand with Melissa Du Toit stepping in as skipper. Jeremy Bagshaw will join the team on Sterna in Auckland as skipper for legs 3 and 4.


Sterna, the sole South African entry in this challenging race, had to turn back to land to repair a leaking rudder bracket after only 4 days at sea. The crew arrived in Mosselbay a little over a week ago and was sorry to learn the news that a close family member of skipper Rufus was experiencing medical challenges.


“I am truly gutted to have to pull out of the race due to personal family medical reasons, but the race continues and I have full confidence in the team, and our first mate, now skipper for leg 2, Melissa du Toit, to take Sterna safely to New Zealand in good time, ready for leg 3.” – Rufus Brand

As a result of needing outside assistance Sterna will not be considered for the rankings of leg 2 of the Ocean Globe Race, but will be able to continue racing in legs 3 and 4. Melissa du Toit who initially signed on as chief mate and navigator have stepped in to skipper Sterna to Auckland with the other remaining 6 crew members. Despite many setbacks the team is determined to continue racing all the way around.


Team Manager Michelle Kock says that: “The goal is to get to Auckland as safely and quickly as possible in time to rest and adequately prepare for leg 3 of the race starting on 14 January 2024.”

South African sailor Jeremy Bagshaw will join the crew of Sterna in Auckland to skipper the second half of the race. Jeremy brings a wealth of experience having just recently sailed the same course through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn in the Golden Globe Race.

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