Gina, Will You Marry Me?

Published on March 28th, 2017

2017-03-28_12-53-30It’s probably been done before, but the picturesque bay of Hout Bay in Cape Town, South Africa, was the perfect venue for a surprise engagement, mid-race.

Phil Eltringham and Gina Gibson were racing their Sonnet dinghy in the 2017 LTC Phoenix Admiral’s Cup in Hout Bay. The Sonnet is a very popular dinghy class in South Africa – it’s a two-person hiking dinghy with no spinnaker. Phil, however, has rigged a spinnaker to their boat and manged to get an adjusted handicap. And after the first race of the regatta, it became clear why.

At the top mark, when the spinnaker went up, on the spinnaker it said, “GINA WILL YOU MARRY ME?”. Phil reminded his crew to watch the spinnaker and wallah – there it was – a marriage proposal mid-race. She said yes, and they even managed to sneak in a kiss.

Gina had been surprised when Phil had insisted on going alone to a friend’s house to load the Sonnet on the trailer the night before, and had taken a long time about it – time needed to customize the spinnaker.

She was also puzzled when he insisted on rigging the boat by himself – let’s face it, no dinghy skipper does that! But it all fell into place at the top mark.

The proposal was captured by someone with a mobile phone on the water, and the little video is getting a lot of views!

Hout Bay is one of Cape Town’s biggest tourist destinations, and one of the most beautiful bays in the world in which to sail. For a young sailing couple, an engagement doesn’t get better than this!

Gina, Will You Marry Me?

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