22 boats ventured out for a burn session in gusty conditions during the Point Yacht Club’s Port Captain Sprints Keeler and Dinghy Bay Series on Saturday in the bay.
Four keel boats participated in the quiet meander around the bay, heading off on a beat towards the passenger terminal, before heading down towards Maydon Channel before racing around the sand bank back towards the finish area. Kevin Rainer helming the L26 did well to stay far ahead of the inform school lads sailing on Container World in the one design class. While Alkistis skippered by Greg Donkin relished the conditions, after the race he headed towards the harbour entrance extending their afternoons sailing.
In the Flying Fifteen class, Provincial champions, Paul Changuion and Tim Duguid got into their groove quickly straight out of the starting blocks, easily leading the small fleet of double handed dinghies. They worked hard during the three laps of the windward leeward course, remaining a head of the competition.
Behind them, Myles White and Estelle Buys battled it out with Heidi and Michael Kavanagh for second position. The Kavanaghs sailing on their magnificent classic Flying Fifteen just lost out to the determined White and Buys who got off to a bad start, just off the line but made up for their lost time reading the conditions perfectly.
Two of Durban’s brightest future sailing stars had a disappointing start to the season, after the mid-week announcement of their invitation to the ISAF Youth Worlds in December in Langkawi, Malaysia. Benji Daniel and Chad Stevenson capsized minutes before their start and for most of the double handed race, the tired duo that had been put through the paces at training battled to right their 29er. Daniel and Stevenson blitzed around the course once they eventually got going, only to rip their jib as they neared the finish line.
A number of the smaller dinghies came out to the race area, but as the winds strengthened before racing got underway, majority of them quickly made their way back to the safety of land. Three fledgling crews also went for a bit of a swim, as they battled with the gusts that knocked their boats over. Rescue, with the efficient Moses Cele and Victor Cele worked well, scooping them out of the water and towing their boats back to land. Wind speeds gusted up to around 25knots, a big ask for the small vessels.
Round two of the Port Captain Sprints Keeler and Dinghy Bay Series takes place this Saturday with Race Officer, Lucy De Freitas preparing to set a similar course for the boats that come out to participate.
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