The annual MSC Week hosted by the Point Yacht Club concluded recently having had four competitive days of sailing offshore in typical Durban winter fashion.
Taking honours in the ORC Division, Durban’s Siyanda Vato skippering CFM produced the goods in a competitive Durban fleet. Vato was chased by Gregg Hurter on Belatrix in second and Nigel Milln on Phezulu in third.
In the L26 Nationals, visiting sailor Rob Wilcox from Victoria Lake Club took the title on his L26 Philanderer ahead of Durban North’s Hannah Fokkens sailing on SLFC Spindrift with Amanzimtoti’s Zamani Mda earning a third overall on PYC Challenger.
A small fleet of J22s ventured offshore to get in some training ahead of the J22 Worlds that will be raced offshore of Durban next year. Claiming the trophy was Damien Muller from Deneysville Aquatic Club with team Freeport. Hot on his heels were two local skippers, Trevor Donald and Jerome McLoughlin.
Andrew Dolloway earned yet another overall title on his trimaran Ladybird with a well earned first in the Multihull Class. he was chased by Rear Commodore of Keelers, Wayne Smith on Crazy Diamond. Placing third was newcomer to the multihull scene and inland sailor, Anthony Engelbrecht on Windekind.
Wrapping up the classes, Rob Bowman won the MSC Racing Class on his magnificent yacht, Donna Mia. He was followed by Jeannabee’s Brain Dales who finished second after the week of offshore sailing.
Conditions served up a variety of conditions, in true Durban style, day one produced light winds with Race Officer Dave Rushton shortening course for the smaller boats racing around the cans in the bay. The ORC and Multihull Classes were sent on a there and back race to uMhlanga and on their way back got pummeled by a big front with a few of the boats suffering some damage, including highly competitive Sean Jones who suffered mail sail damage and was forced to withdraw from the remainder of the week. The yacht Argo skippered by Craig Millar and Magic Dragon’s Bill Ellens both tore their jib.
Day two’s winds were significantly sedate, with racing getting underway later once the sea state settled. Day three was abandoned due to no winds and the fourth day started off with a prolonged AP flag, as the fleets waited for the light winds to fill. On the final day of racing, only the big boats and multihulls were invited to head offshore with the next front due to arrive during racing.
Commenting on the week, Vato who is now based in Cape Town stated, “The week was tough, with conditions serving up the usual variety of winter weather. The guys had some epic surfs on some big downwind swells on the last day which was great fun. And in the lighter airs we had to eek out whatever speed we could. CFM is a fantastic boat to sail and I loved sailing at home in warm waters.”
The sailing scene quietens down for the remainder of winter with all the aquatic sportsman shaking off the winter blues in September for the start of the 2019 / 2020 season, opening up with the global event Bart’s Bash.
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Overall results for the MSC Week:
ORC Division
1 CFM – Siya Vato (Royal Natal Yacht Club); 2 Bellatrix – Gregg Hurter (Point Yacht Club); 3 Phezulu – Nigel Milln (Point Yacht Club)
Micro-Multihull Division
1 Ladybird – Andrew Dolloway (Point Yacht Club); 2 Crazy Diamond – Wayne Smith (Point Yacht Club); 3 Windekind – Anthony Engelbrecht (Lake DeneysvilleYacht Club)
L26 Division
1 Philanderer – Rob Willcox (Victoria Lake Club); 2 SLFC Spindrift – Hannah Fokkens (UKZN Yacht Club); 3 PYC Challenger – Zamani Mda (Point Yacht Club)
J22 Division
1 Team Freeport – Damien Muller (Deneysville Aquatic Club); 2 G’day J – Trevor Donald (Point Yacht Club); 3 Phantom – Jerome McLoughlin (Point Yacht Club)
MSC Racing Division
1 MSC Donna Mia – Rob Bowman (Point Yacht Club); 2 Jennabee – Brian Dales (Royal Natal Yacht Club)