Harbour: Sunday 10 & 16 September
A fabulous flotilla of 30 yachts participated in the 2017 / 2018 Summer Sailing Season Opening Cruise hosted by Point Yacht Club this past weekend.
A feast of vessels of all shapes and sizes floated past the dignitary boat in a traditional sail past, where Greg de Beyer, Commodore of the Point Yacht Club was joined by the Port of Durban Manager, Moshe Motlohi and Harbour Master, Captain Alex Miya, NSRI Durban Station 5 Commander, Clifford Ireland, Commodores from visiting yacht clubs and representatives from Sail Africa on the main stationary boat.
Led by the Honorary Life President of Point Yacht Club, Vernon Goss, on his magnificent monohull, Bellissima that was beautifully dressed up, the yachts lined up in a procession slowly slipping past the large Isiponono, where all the dignitaries lined the bow to doff their hats at each yacht passing.
Once the final yacht proceeded past the main boat, they all moved across to the race course. All the yachts participated in a fun two laps around the usual Wednesday night course. Conditions were gentle, as all the boats slowly drifted around the L shaped course, set by Race Officer for the day, Robin Hulley.
Leading the A Division was Gavin and Neil Wadsworth on their yacht, Therapy. Taking the honours in the B Division was Goss on Bellissima, and catamaran specialist, Wayne Smith taking the win in the Multihull class on his Crazy Diamond. John Eales took the handicap honours sailing on his full rig Laser. Anthony MacMillan and Lorna Rae Daniel followed them across the line on their Flying Fifteen. Newcomers to yacht racing, father and son team Dominic and Marco Collett finished third ahead of Hannah Fokkens on her Laser Radial. Fifth was Hannah’s father, Bart Fokkens who was sailing with Glenwood High Schools Kieran Maharaj on the small two man Pico.
This weekend is the world’s biggest sailing event, Bart’s Bash – The Fourth, and Point Yacht Club is yet again, one of the host clubs where a smorgasbord of yachts is expected on the water. After the tallies for the Bashboard 2016, Point Yacht Club was one of 361 venues represented at 58 countries. The Durban based yacht club was third in entries received behind the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Bristol’s Chew Valley Yacht Club. 7,265 sailors participated in the event last year.
The participant figures are looking impressive at this early stage leading up to the fourth running of the fun race, with 577 venues from 76 countries signed up. The total number of participants is over 52,000 sailors ranging from Olympic gold medallists to absolute beginners with over 1,000 types of boat on the water globally. The inaugural Bart’s Bash was awarded a Guinness World record for staging the largest race in 24 hours. And as in previous years, everyone is invited to join.
Similarly, to last year, the awareness campaign is support disabled sailing globally after the decision was made to remove sailing from the Paralympics going forward from 2020. The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation wishes to continue to promote the sport and all the benefits it brings to people of all abilities.
At the announcement of the 2017 event, Bart’s Bash Founding Trustee Sir Ben Ainsley stated, “We’re keen to reiterate that this is YOUR CLUB’S BASH! Bart has provided us with a unique platform and opportunity to unite the world of sailing, bringing together some of the world’s sailing legends and heroes with Club sailors, grass-roots youth programmes and even total novices, all combining to produce this one extraordinary event. Bart would be so proud of what is being accomplished.”
Thereafter, the sailing season takes to both the harbour and offshore for dinghy racing on Saturdays and keeler racing on Wednesdays in the bay, and offshore on Sundays. The action hots up with a number of series, pursuit races and various Nationals taking place.
For more info visit www.pyc.co.za or contact the club on 031 301 4787.
Point Yacht Club Wrap up of Opening Cruise and upcoming Bart’s Bash
Harbour: Sunday 10 & 16 September