Point Yacht Club
Commodores Series
Bay: Saturday 2 December
Caney Series
Bay: Sunday 3 December
The bay was a hive of sailing activity this weekend, with both Point Yacht Club’s dinghy and keeler racing held in the confines of the Harbour.
On Saturday a motley fleet of dinghies participated in the second day of the Commodore’s Series with Race Officer, Kevin Bingham setting a north easterly course for the sailors. This was the second day of the three day series. The first race being cancelled last weekend due to the oil spill in the Harbour.
Leading the series on his Laser, Henri Frencken from Hillcrest owned the day in the two races. This is the first time that Frencken has been on local waters, having competed in the Laser World Masters in Split, Croatia recently. Frencken led from out of the starting blocks, keeping ahead of John Eales who worked hard to keep up.
Young Iain Bowman looked classy sailing on his Laser Radial, and in the first race he was neck-and-neck with Eales heading to the line. Eales stalled meters from the line, giving Bowman the upper hand, and second place.
In the second race, it was only Frencken on the water as Eales retired and Bowman had issues with his main sheet.
In the Flying Fifteens, the incredible duo of Patrick Harris and Jeremy Kriek proved why they have so many titles to their name. They sailed flawless races, getting their nose in front and not letting the go of their lead. Behind them a photo finish between Campbell Alexander, with Estelle Buys as his crew and the good Doctor, Craig Campbell and his crew Nhlanhla Phakathi saw Bingham declare a tied second for the first race. In the second race, Campbell and Phakathi edged through the finish line 28 seconds ahead of Alexander and Buys.
Braving the building wind, baby Bowman, young Scottie was the only Oppie out on the course getting in training ahead of the Youth Nationals taking place this month at Henley Midmar Yacht Club. He did an individual lap for both races, enjoying the challenge of being out on the water.
Another boat getting in training ahead of a big regatta, Wayne Smith and Kate Ellens blasted their way around the course, mostly on one hull as the wind picked up to ideal strength for the Hobie16 they were racing on. Adrenaline junkie, Ellens stated after the race that she relished sailing in the more blustery winds, heeling over and flying along.
On Sunday, Rear Commodore for Keelers, Jon Marshall made the call to hold racing in the bay as winds gusted over 30 knots and reports saying that the sea state was difficult offshore. Five skippers were at the briefing, listening to the race instructions. As the hooter sounded, only two boats got underway.
The brave skippers tackled a start on the run in front of the container terminal, rounded the sandbank and made their way down to the Sugar Terminal. Rounding a mark set in the turning basin, they then glided down the Maydon Wharf channel, heading down towards the navy base where another mark was set.
After two fast laps in the gusty south easterly, Robin Hulley sailing on Mafuta took both the line honours and the handicap honours ahead of Neville Bransby sailing on his yacht Ocean Spirit. Hulley and his team also claimed the win in the series. Hulley and Bransby are both keen ocean going skippers, having competed in the Vasco da Gama Race down to Port Elizabeth for the three years Point Yacht Club hosted the event. Bransby also went out in the 10 October storm, eager to get experience in severe weather on his new acquired yacht and has a number of stories to tell after that day, returning back to a war zone of a marina.
Both skippers had a blast in the winds, but opted not to hoist their kites. The two laps took them just over an hour to complete. The passionate and experienced sailor Bransby then continued sailing in the bay for another few hours, making the most of the conditions.
This weekend, the Commodore Series wraps up in the bay. A number of youth won’t be on local waters as they take to Midmar Dam to compete in the Youth Nationals. A strong fleet of Flying Fifteens and Hobie 16s are anticipated to be on the water to get in their final tune up race ahead of the Flying Fifteen Nationals and Hobie 16 Provincials that is taking place offshore from the 16 – 18 December, hosted by Point Yacht Club.
For more info visit www.pyc.co.za or like the club’s Facebook page.