A tough long weekend for sailors at the Point Yacht Club’s Easter Regatta

Whizzing down to the bottom mark, Nhlanhla Phakathi and Siyanda Vato are pictured competing on their Flying Fifteen during the Easter Regatta that took place offshore hosted by Point Yacht Club.

CLOSE to 100 sailors from around South Africa were greeted with a pumping westerly that challenged them at the Point Yacht Club’s Easter Regatta that took place this weekend. The four classes which lined up to compete are the 505 and Dart one up Nationals, the Hobie 14 Provincials and an Open Class.

Local sailors representing Point Yacht Club claimed victory in three of the four classes. World class sailors, Peter and Thomas Funke (PYC) won the 505s, Ben Meine the Darts, Peter Hall (PYC) the Hobie 14 and Siyanda Vato and Nhlanhla Phakathi the Open Class.

Race Officer for the regatta, Jimmy Melville had a testing time on the bridge boat as he sat watching the wind speeds that registered near 20knots on most days, too dangerous for the small dinghy boats. Melville only managed to get in five races over the four days, with the second day of racing being abandoned.

On the first day, the fleet of 58 registered boats only launched in the mid-afternoon, managing to get in one windward leeward race. Sunday saw a diminished fleet venture off the beach early in a building breeze.

Started at 10 – 15 and strengthened to the upper teens and nudged over 20knots, with racing being postponed for the day. Two races were run on a sausage, triangle, sausage course with the final race of the day being a quick-fire windward leeward course.

Leading man in the 505s, Thomas Funke said, it was tight racing all round, absolutely good fun, there was competition everywhere in the fleet and for a lot of the guys it was down to the wire with not much in it.

“Our campaign started early this year and we spent a lot of time on boat preparation. I would say that was key for us, sorting that out as we usually leave that as one of the last things.”

“Peter and I made a huge effort to meet at least once a month to get on the water. We changed some of the rigging, got a new mast and a new set of sails. It worked well for us,” said Funke.

Ranked in the top ten 505s, the Funke brothers said they will be concentrating their efforts here this year, “we would be packing up the boat and shipping it off to the Worlds, but we aren’t going to the States for the Worlds but have opted to stay here and build the local fleet. There is so much potential here, it looks really promising. Then maybe next year we will head to Europe to race there and then Australia in 2019.”

Leading Hobie sailor, Peter Hall said, “Overall, the regatta was great, I would say it was quite testy on the water. Conditions were quite blowy and in the only race held on the last day, first place changed about five times. Testament to the concentration required out on the water. It was very competitive racing. I capsized on the start line and managed to score a second in the last race, so only just managed to squeeze Garth out on points to claim the title.”

Rudy Nkgadima

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