Point Yacht Club
Offshore Durban: 16 – 18 June
A strong fleet of Hobie 14 sailors are busy vying for the National title offshore of Durban at the moment, joining them on the race track is a small fleet of Flying Fifteens and a feisty bunch of Laser sailors competing in the KZN regional championships.
The three day event, the Hobie 14 Nationals incorporating the Flying Fifteen and Laser Regionals hosted by Point Yacht Club ends tomorrow.
The catamaran clan is using the nationals as preparation for the massive Hobie Multiworlds and Europeans 2017 where a field of 250 sailors is expected. At the forefront of the local contingent is Garth Loudon from Mount Edgecombe who, like fine wine, is improving with age. Loudon leads a team of six Point Yacht Club sailors in the 10 day regatta that will be taking place in the Netherlands, the PYC lads will be honing their skills using the Nationals as preparations for the big fleet sailing expected next month.
World Hobie champion Blaine Dodds, will be pushing Loudon, and other local favourite Peter Hall around the track. Dodds has a string of both international and national titles to his name, and is the defending champion having won the Nationals last year offshore of Durban, increasing his national title tally to 37. The podium last year had Dodds first, Loudon second and Hall third. The two 031 sailors will be charging hard, in an attempt to better their 2016 results.
Dodds shared, “Ideally, I would love to achieve a podium finish, but competition here in South Africa has increased of late!”
Having raced in faraway places like Tahiti, Fiji, the Philippines, Mexico, Guadalupe, and the Canary Islands. Concluding, he states smiling, “I love sailing offshore of Durban. The conditions are perfect for fast, flying Hobies, and of course sailing in warm water is always a big plus.”
In the Laser fleet, defending champion, Alistair Keytel from Cape Town looks to the be the favourite, with Sam Lombaard leading the Durban fleet. Light wind speed master Clive Whitburn is expected to make the most of the gorgeous Durban winter conditions. Cape youngster, Kai Leslie is hoping to impress, with Mike McNeill who has been quiet of late, also due for a decent result on the water.
South Africa’s finest will be showing their mettle this weekend at the Hobie 14 Nationals incorporating the Flying Fifteen and Laser Regionals hosted by Point Yacht Club offshore of Durban.
For more info visit www.pyc.co.za or like the clubs Facebook page.