This weekend of 22-24 October saw the third annual RISKAFRICA Regatta taking place in Cape Town. Bringing together a variety of companies in the financial and insurance industries, it was a weekend full of forging new friendships, rekindling old business relationships and not to mention a cheeky bit of sailing. 20151023_171134

CN&CO and EasyEquities teamed up to race on Solitaire, a 48-foot mono-hull yacht usually used for cruising the oceans as opposed to racing. The pleasure of Rui Campos from Campos Transport, Daniel Malherbe (Lumico) and Marc Ashton (MoneyWeb) was also experienced on the yacht and many thanks to them for adding their personal flair to the event.

Commencing with the Twilight Race on Friday evening, 22 boats set out from the Royal Cape Yacht Club for a trial run in preparation for the big race on Saturday. Apart from Cape Town putting on a fine display of summer weather, it was a great opportunity for people to find their sea legs and get used to the action of “hiking”, the act of balancing a yacht with your weight by hanging over the edge as far as possible to prevent the wind from capsizing the vessel.


An informal cocktail party hosted by Affinity Group took place after the twilight race and the official welcome to the regatta was conducted by Andy Mark of RISKAFRICA.

Saturday morning was the big day and teams began to arrive at 9.30am to prepare for the race. While some people polished off the sweet table provided by Hollard, others decided to strategise the best way to tackle the race to Blouberg and back. Conveniently the bar was open, which always helps to lubricate a good strategy session.

12046970_990871004308850_669430393731386368_nWith the teams gathering for several group pictures, receiving cooler boxes from EasyEquities to stay hydrated and skippers taking note of the race briefing, the 200 or so would-be-sailors boarded their vessels and sailed into the V&A Waterfront for a “Clipper, Round the World” series salute to the yachts that had just arrived from Brazil.

Formalities over, the yachts circled the starting line aiming to cross the line as the starting siren sounded. The competition was close as the yachts hurtled off down towards Blouberg and while in the wind, it was a rather frantic affair of people scurrying across the yachts, ducking under the boom of the main sail to balance the boat. Once the direction of the race took the yachts out of the wind pocket it began a rather slower affair as the sails struggles to catch whatever gust of wind was available.

As the boats arrived back at the docks for various times, several yachts claiming “to have finished first” (as the yachts all have a handicap rating it is not necessary the first yacht across the line that wins) people began to take stock of the sailing adventure. Many a sun-burnt face was to be seen and severe hydration was needed from the bar in preparation for the Rugby World Cup semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand. It was probably the longest 80 minutes that the majority of Bokke fans had experienced in a while, the end result not going favour of the green and gold, but a well-fought match in the end.

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Fast forward to the prize giving dinner in the evening and people were much more presentable than after the race. Zuriel Naiker, president of the IIG, was the MC for the evening and Andy spoke again, touching on the topic of developmental sailing, an important aspect of the Regatta. Gianluca Tucci and Kurt Solomon gave their respective takes on the day’ activities, generally agreeing that it was a superb day out for networking, emphasising teamwork and building strong relationships within the industries represented.

Several awards were handed out afterwards, “Best Gees” going to Insure Group for their build up to the event and on race day, “Best Table” going to Fulcrum with the creative genius of Kurt Solomon decorating the table in a true beach-themed style with beach balls, sand and beach flags dominating the table theme. The overall winner of Saturday’s race went to C-Track, with Insure Group coming in close second, ultimately losing out due to the handicap system. CSGV3MvUcAAnbyl

Christmas also came early to those who were fortunate enough to pick an EasyEquities investment voucher from the Christmas tree at the EasyEquities table. Tristan Finnemore has to be commended for (later) managing to convince his Uber driver to sign up to the platform, whilst building him a quick and simple EasyEquities share portfolio for the JSE at midnight.

All in all it was a festive night with many memories being made to foster business relationships for the future. It was also an absolute pleasure for CN&CO and EasyEquties to host Cindy Beets from Lightstone Group and her husband Mark from Entelect at the “Christmas Come Early” table.

12042883_991100800952537_1166997547895388128_nOn Sunday morning several members of CN&CO and Fulcrum got a taste for driving on sand dunes. The lucky drivers won the RiskAfrica knot-tying competition, which was sponsored by Land Rover Experience Western Province. Several Landy models were available to drive in and it was a rare experience to drive the vehicles on, up and over the sand dunes located in Atlantis, north of Cape Town. A short lunch at a wine farm concluded the weekend’s activities.


It may seem like the weekend was a fun-filled experience in a beautiful location (which it was), but there was more to the regatta. Sailing a vessel on the sea holds some similarities to working in a business. The characteristics that help a yacht to sail to its full potential are:

  • With strong leadership directing the yacht, the crew knows exactly what to do to keep the vessel upright and going at an optimum speed
  • Without the skipper’s orders, the crew would not be able to complete their duties properly and the vessel would limp along
  • When the whole the crew knows what to do, the yacht sails smoothly through the seas, be it rough or calm waters
  • If any crew member slacks off, the entire boat will be compromised

Based on those four aspect its easy to see how strong leadership, an informed and involved team and 100% contribution from everybody will yield the best results possible.

Other lessons learned by the CN&CO crew on the weekend were:

  • In order to succeed in anything, a strong team of the right people can achieve amazing things
  • The finished product is often a result of countless hours by people behind the scenes. The whole regatta was organised expertly by the RiskAfrica team with Angelique Edwards leading the way and the awesome support from her team. Although the event only lasted two days it was months in the planning
  • For any business to succeed, vision is required so that everybody knows where the team is headed and what the end goal is
  • Without vision, very little can be achieved in the long term
  • With anything that occurs when plans go awry, a problem is often just a matter of perception. “The problem is not the problem, it is your attitude to the problem at hand”
  • Change the way you view something and instead an opportunity to improve arrives. In nautical parlance, sometimes you have to go below to regain perspective
  • Trust your team: going down a 45° sand dune in the passenger seat of a car is not the most comforting experience. With nothing but the seatbelt preventing your face from meeting the windscreen, your fate is literally in the driver’s hands. If you trust your team, it generally works out! (Somehow we all managed to come off the dune in perfect condition)
  • If you want it badly enough, you won’t stop until you succeed. If you’re unfamiliar with driving on sand, once you lose momentum you stop going forward and no amount of power will push you along as the wheels spin in a futile manner, unable to garner any grip from the sand. When driving up a sand dune you need to get enough momentum to carry you over the crest of the dune, when you are no longer able to generate power from the wheels. But if you don’t get enough what do you do? Go back down, try it again with the experience you have just had, and get over that dune.
  • Every moment is an opportunity for greatness if you choose it. Do what you can with what you have where you are and you will never have excuses, only results

CN&CO would like to thank everybody involved in the regatta: Fulcrum, EasyEquities, Camargue, Centriq, Hollard, Customer Loyalty Consultants, C-Track, Compass, Zenith, RoundCube, Altech Netstar, Active ops, Affinity, Insure Group, King Price Insurance, Mutual & Federal, the Royal Cape Yacht Club and all the yacht crews and finally, Risk Africa, for making it an exceptional weekend. For a visual recap of the weekend’s events click here to watch the 2015 RISKAFRICA video highlights.

And on a note closer to home, if anybody has ever wondered about insuring a cellphone – do it! Romi Appel from EasyEquities had the misfortune of dropping her four-day-old iPhone on the dock, only for it to fall directly through the slats in the wooden walkway and straight into the ocean. Just an example of how insurance can be a vital part of everyday life, be it big or small! Romi was insured, so all good there.