A star is born, 6 Feb 2020

Dear Sailors,

It has been a busy start to the New year. Two races were sailed to conclude the Hurricane Series in relatively light air on Sunday 12 January. In the first, Peter Rist sailed a perfect second beat to be able to drink his tea before the second boat came in. The second race, in contrast, was a much more fractious affair, with the lead changing several times as a result of numerous collisions between boats, between boats and the marks, between boats and the shore, and even between skippers and the water. It was far from the finest moment of our club’s long, illustrious history.

Overall, the series winners are Charlie Hills in the Laser class, Ralph in the Open Fleet, while Mike and Tanya on a Sprog, and Adam Young on the Tera Pro share the Open B honours, with both boats competing in only two races out of four.

The main event of the year was sailed on the following weekend, 18 and 19 January. Seven races were sailed in a variable southerly wind for the River Championships and Gypsy African Championship. Saturday saw four races, with the rest sailed in a stronger breeze on Sunday. The regatta will be long remembered for what must be a new record: Ralf and Esme competed in the Gypsy class as a combined age of 165 years and managed to win the second race! Speaking of records: I managed something I have never done before. Something I have never seen anybody else do before. Which was to run aground on the finish line. Not over it, but on it.

In the end, Allan Impey and Antony were crowned the 2020 Gypsy Champions of all Africa! Bronwyn and Courtney van Wyngaardt came second, and Ralph and Esme third in the fleet of seven boats.

While there was much banter between older members to keep the River Championship Trophy amongst the Great Grand Masters, it went to a Junior: Cameron Hills took the honours sailing his Laser 4.7 with a clean sweep of first places. Matt van Rensburg came second and Charlie Hills third.  

It was also good to see a competitive turnout amongst the Sonnets, something we have not seen for a while. The winners of the Sonnet fleet were Tim and Adam, followed by Sigi and Jenna, Frans and Jamie, and Sophie and Kyle.

A good fleet of ten Lasers, a couple of Finns, a Sprog and a Tera competed last weekend for the start of the Summer Series. Among those who sailed was the welcome presence of Pierre after a long absence, who showed no evidence of this by topping the leader board after two races, with Peter and Matt just one and two points adrift. Ralph leads the Open A fleet sailing his Finn. However, the Star of the Series is young Adam Jones, who sailed and completed his very first and second solo races on a Tera Sport! I expect that Tim might soon be looking for a new crew member.

There can’t be too dinghy sailing clubs anywhere that can boast of an age difference of nearly eighty years between its youngest and oldest competitors.  

The Summer Series concludes this weekend, with a start not before 14h00 on Sunday afternoon. The forecast looks good for 17 to 20 knots from the east, but then meteorologists are much like politicians.

Please note a change in the sailing programme: The Line Honours Race will be sailed on 23 February, with the start not before 14h00. Honours go to the first boat over the finish line. No handicap adjustments for people sailing easy rigs; it’s first come, first served!

Also take note of the new endurance team sailing and paddling event that replaces the 24-hour race at Southend Lake. The new event will be sailed at Redhouse on Saturday 28 March, from 10h00 to 20h00. Entries are open to single-handed as well as double-handed dinghies (and paddle craft if you are a little mad). Teams must consist of at least two but no more than six people, and no team members may sail for more than six hours in total. The idea is to encourage people to stay overnight at the club. So save the date, dig around your garages to find your camping gear, and start recruiting a team. It promises to be a lively, social event.    

The committee has asked that me to say that we encourage members to make use of the WhatsApp group, but urge you to do so in a way that encourages participation. No need to announce that you won’t be sailing!

Results are attached. Sorry about the quality of one; I had to use a WhatsApp picture.
Safe travels to those of you who are going to Knysna this weekend.