Point Yacht Club KZN Youth Regional Championships

Henley Midmar Yacht Club: 18 – 20 March
Durban youngsters flew the Point Yacht Club burgee with pride over the long weekend, with a number of sailors taking top spots at the combined event of the KZN Inter-Schools Regatta and the KZN Youth Regional Championships held at Henley Midmar Yacht Club.
The main class, the hardy Optimists had 19 boats competing with a handful of upcountry sailors taking the long weekend gap to join in the event. Leading the fleet was Cape Town’s Matt Ashwell from Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club. Second place was Kegan Nel sailing for Victoria Lake Club in Germiston. Concluding the podium position, claiming third place was Hillcrest Primary School’s Iain Bowman. Up-and-coming Bowman has been venturing onto bigger boats, relished his possible last oppie event. In the ten races held, Bowman impressed with top scores of two second places and two thirds on his scorecard.
Younger brother, Scott finished sixth in the Oppie class. The Bowman brothers joined forces for the Inter-School event and took ownership of the 2017 Junior Oppie trophy on behalf of Hillcrest Primary.
Making a huge impact in the Oppie class, the Vermaak family en-mass participated. Representing the St John’s Bosco Home Schooling, Marcel and Maggie took combined third place in the Inter-School event. Individually in the Youth Regional Champs, Marcel finished ninth, Theresa finished tenth, Vincent finished 12th and Maggie ended her efforts in 17th. Theresa and Vincent took the win for the Senior Oppie trophy.
Interlaced amongst the Vermaak family was Highbury’s Connor McLoughlin who placed 11th individually and second in the Inter-School event, competing with other Connor Mc from Highbury, Connor Mc Gill also in the Oppie class.
Laser and Hobie sailors were forced to join classes due to fewer numbers, creating an Open class. Topping the individual log was Northwood’s Liam Fennessy on his Hobie 14. Chasing him hard was hot shot Hobie sailor, Dylan Albert from Reddam uMhlanga College. In third place was hard working Matthew Hall from Atholl Heights, also sailing on a Hobie 14.
Overall in the team event, Westville Boys High took the honours in the senior open class category with Henley Midmar’s own Daiman Somerville racing on a Laser Radial joining forces with James Butler acing a top ten on his Hobie 14. The duo was followed in the team event by Northwood’s Fennessy and then Reddam’s Albert.
Youth Rear Commodore for PYC, Tracy Bowman enthused, “It was so uplifting seeing the eagerness with which these young sailors took to the water. It was a fabulous event from start to finish, with so many memories made on and off the race course. The future of our sport is in good hands with such stars in the making!”
1 Matt Ashwell (ZVYC), 2 Kegan Nel (VLC), 3 Iain Bowman (PYC), 6 Scott Bowman (PYC), 9 Marcel Vermaak (PYC), 10 Theresa Vermaak (PYC), 11 Connor McLoughlin (PYC), 12 Vincent Vermaak (PYC), 15 Matthew Husom (PYC), 16 Thomas Halam (PYC), 17 Maggie Vermaak (PYC)
Open Class
1 Liam Fennessy (PYC), 2 Dylan Albert (PYC), 3 Matthew Hall (PYC), 4 Chad Stevenson (PYC), 5 Jethro Brophy-Tintinger (PYC), 6 Hannah Fokkens (PYC), 8 James Butler (PYC), 11 Ian Modola (PYC)

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