Wrap up for Point Yacht Club’s Hobie 14 Nationals incorporating the Flying Fifteen and Laser Provincials

Offshore Durban: 16 – 18 June
Three days of light winds tested a fleet of 48 yachts in the Hobie 14 Nationals incorporating the
Flying Fifteen and Laser Provincials hosted by Point Yacht Club offshore of Durban.
In the main fleet of Hobie 14s, a small but competitive bunch took to the water with 27 boats
partaking in the Nationals. There was absolutely nothing between the top two contenders, Blaine
Dodds and Garth Loudon with both of them ending on 9 points each on the log. It was neck-and-
neck throughout the regatta between the two big names in South African Hobie sailing.
Blaine Dodd sailing for the Knysna Yacht Club scored two firsts, two seconds, a third and an eighth
place, which counted as his race discard. Durban’s Hobie hero, Loudon sailing for Point Yacht Club,
score card held two firsts, two seconds, a third and a fourth place, with Loudon’s fourth being
deducted as his race discard.
Dodds added to his impressive tally of 37 national and regional titles claiming the win. The new sailing rules state that the result rests on the last race sailed, regardless if that is your dicscard race. Dodds finished third, one place ahead of Loudon.
A tired Loudon said after derigging his boat, “I did pretty well, it was really close. There was
nothing between Blaine and me. I lost it by one position, I scored a fourth in the last
race while Blaine scored a third in the fourth race.”
“I prefer the stronger winds, but the conditions were the same for everybody. The youngsters are all
light weights, so they did well with that advantage. The lighter stuff is much more of a challenge to
race in. I was really impressed with the Race Officer, Kevin (Bingham) who managed to get six races
in. Today I don’t think the wind got over 6 knots. All in all, I would have to say that everyone did well
out on the water. It was tough training for the upcoming Hobie MultiWorlds and Europeans 2017 that takes place next month.” Loudon concluded.
In the small fleet of seven Flying Fifteens, it was the formidable champions of Patrick Harris and
Jeremy Kriek who took the honours. The duo have been hard at work preparing for the Flying Fifteen
World Championships in Ireland in a couple of months. Harris and Kriek were on top of the podium
in three of their races, second in two races and scored a fourth in their final race. Chomping at their
heels were Richard Parker and Mike Surgeson who snuck in an impressive two wins, two seconds, a
third and a seventh in their first race, ended their provincials two points behind Harris and Kriek
after the one race discard.
Cape Town’s Alistair Keytel showed why he was reigning National champion, dominating the first
day at the top of the fleet. On the third day, he had mixed fortunes but his first day of racing saw him win the KZN Provincials.
Pushing Keytel around the course was youngster Sam Lombaard from Michaelhouse and Campbell Alexander who finished second in the full rig class. Alexander and third placed Henri Frencken are both eyeing out the upcoming World Laser Masters that will be taking place in Croatia.
Finishing first in the Junior class, the Laser Radials, was Cape Town’s Sarah-Jane Dreary who took advantage of second placed Kai Lesley’s absence. Lesley had a pearled of a first day, but travelled back home to Cape Town to study for three exams.
Race Officer, Kevin Bingham had a challenging time on the water with the weather gods throwing
loads of curveballs at him. He managed to get in four races on the first day, with the course needing
to be reset after the first and second race as the gentle 8 knots clocked around from a south easterly
to more of an easterly during the day. The second day, racing was abandoned just after midday as
Bingham sat on the water waiting for the little breeze on offer settled to something decent but the
maximum reading he recorded was 4.1 knots, to light for the main fleet. On the third and final day,
Bingham managed to get two races in bringing the total up to six races.
The next event for Point Yacht Club is the festive MSC Week held in the first week of July.
For more info visit www.pyc.co.za

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