Offshore: Sunday 21 January
Harbour: Saturday 27 January
Durban’s warm waters are enticing local sailors back onto the water after the festive season break, the first event on the Point Yacht Club’s calendar is offshore racing on Sunday 21 January, with the start of the Sigma Series, followed by the celebrating the ‘new’ pub’s 65th birthday with the Bar Anniversary Pursuit Race for dinghies on Saturday 27 January.
The Sigma Series will be raced offshore. A long haul race track will be set with the keelers getting a chance to stretch their legs. Performing well so far in the Wednesday night series, Gregg Hurter will be back to defend his title in the A Division, hoping to stay ahead of the zippy Flyer helmed by Brad Rayson. Hurter and his team were victorious in this past weekend’s long haul race to uMdloti.
With the announcement of the Lipton Challenge taking place in warmer waters mid-year, the One Design class will undoubtedly have a number of boats shuffling for space at the start line, getting in training offshore before the most esteemed sailing event heads to local waters.
Rear Commodore for Keelers, Jon Mashall shared, “It has been encouraging seeing the enthusiasm shown by the keelboat sailors recently. After the very successful Sangoma Cruise ended off the sailing year, and the Lipton announcement returning to Durban, the guys are eager to get back on the water.”
Celebrating an early anniversary for the 65th birthday of Charlie’s Pub, Durban’s sailors will be hitting the water for the first big dinghy event of 2018 with the Bar Anniversary pursuit race on Saturday 27 January.
The highly competitive pursuit race gets underway with a staggered start, the slowest boats going off first and the fastest boats last – all sailing the same course with the winner being the first to cross the finish line.
In the 2017 race, the Flying Fifteen class dominated the event, with Campbell Alexander and Jeremy Kriek joining forces to take the honours, they were followed by the competitive team of Paul Changuion and Tim Duguid with Hobie 14 sailor, Wayne Smith taking the bronze.
Rear Commodore for Dinghies at the Point Yacht Club, Myles White pondered, “It will be interesting to see if the Flying Fifteens will dominate, or will we have strong breeze to favour the multithulls? And if the weather gods dish up a 12 knot breeze, the Lasers will be at an advantage. Racing will be exciting, and as always, the starts in a pursuit race are thrilling with Race Officer on the day, Eric Atherstone having to be on the ball getting the classes off at set intervals.”
After racing, Charlie’s Bar will be the place to be, White said, “There will be a party at PYC after the race, so be there as we celebrate the occasion. The pub was officially opened on 28 January in 1953, and in celebration of that anniversary we get to sail annually for the honours of holding the silver mug, which is an oversized beer tankard, and then raising a pint in the pub in honour of the two Charlies who were instrumental in building the place.”
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