Point Yacht Club
Wednesday Night Series
Summer Sailing Season: 2017 / 2018
A total of 54 yachts took to the water over the 20 race series held on the traditional Wednesday night bay race.
Leading the main racing class was Durban sailing legend, Craig Millar on his new yacht Argo FY. Millar, the former Commodore at the Point Yacht Club and skipper of the Durban entry into the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finished first on handicap, with an impressive number of line honours in the monohull class. Millar and his crew had a ding-dong battle weekly with three of the other big boats in the racing fleet. All four of the sleek, speedy yachts sanded their keels on various sandbanks around the harbour, all getting stuck on the putty at least once as the contest unfolded.
Argo FY was absent from the start line for the first three races but made themselves known from their first time competing. In Argo’s first race, CFM collided with Millar at a congested first turning mark, spinning out with her stern sliding out and hitting Argo’s bow. The tussle continued between Argo, Bellatrix, CFM, and Southern Storm, with all the yachts ranging around the 40ft size. Southern Storm skippered by Warren Clark finished fifth on handicap having missed four races and not finishing one, CFM ending her season on ninth having not started in four of the races and retiring from one and Gregg Hurter’s Bellatrix taking tenth with the least time racing, missing seven of the races and not finishing one.
Chomping at Millar’s stern, the tight unit sailing led by Kevin Rainer on his L26 Tequila Sunrise came in second overall on handicap sailing a flawlessly competitive season. Rainer and his regular team sailed consistently throughout the season, notching up a first, two seconds, two thirds and two fourths on handicap. Tequila Sunrise was on the start line for 18 of the races, missing the very first race.
In the B Division, Vent du Cap took the top step on the podium. Skippered by Andy Pavid, Vent du Cap started off the season with three firsts on handicap. In the remaining races, the team scored their fourth first place in their final race, a second, three thirds, four fourths, two fifths and one seventh place. They didn’t manage to finish two races and didn’t make it to the start line for two races.
Second behind Vent du Cap were the keen sailors who relish every moment on the water, the team headed up by Greg Donkin on Alkistis didn’t race in the final race as they were heading up to Inhaca Island to compete in the race from the Mozambican island to Richard’s Bay where they took line honours. Third in the overall bay series, father of two-time Volvo Ocean Racer, Mike Pammenter, John Pammenter sailing his Endless Summer had a successful time when competing, with five bullets on handicap, a couple of second and third places, a fourth and a fifth.
Leading the E Division, Acrux owned by Bob Black and helmed by Coert Grobbelaar, took the handicap honours out of the nine yachts sailing. Grobbelaar is a regular face on the smaller Halcats that race at high tide in the bay.
In the small but feisty, competitive fleet of multi-hulls, four yachts took to the water with Andrew Dolloway and co taking the top spot on his trimaran, Ladybird. Towards the end of the season, Dolloway and crew swopped out from the sporting model to the cruising model, finishing the season on his newly acquired, slower catamaran Sanyati.
Second in the racing division for multihulls was Sean Jones racing on his lightning quick Bandit. Old man, Bill Ellens did well on his Magic Dragon, having enough puff to finish third. Topping the pacey multihulls was uber-passionate catamaran sailor, Wayne Smith on his Crazy Diamond.
The race track set in the bay differed marginally from week to week depending on the winds, but mostly had three marks set around the bay, with the A Divisions having two laps and the slower boats gliding around once. Racing got underway around 5.30pm each Wednesday from mid-October with the large fleet enjoying the magnificent Durban summer season, sailing as the sun slipped behind the horizon. Towards the conclusion of the season, one of the races was blown out with winds gusting well over 25knots.
Race Officers who gave of their time over the season were Ron Pet from Point Yacht Club and Carol Ferguson from Royal Natal Yacht Club.
For more info on how to get involved visit www.pyc.co.za or like the Point Yacht Club’s Facebook page.
The 2017 / 2018 Wednesday Night Series Concludes
Point Yacht Club