TOUR DE VLEI 2015 Report

by Bev le Sueur


Catamaran Capsize at Vogelvlei Yacht Club  during the Tour De Vlei

Thank you to our sponsors, Goodinsurance Brokers Pty Ltd and Quiver who ensured that there were plenty of cash and product prizes to be distributed amongst our sailors.  A special vote of thanks to our Race Officer, Hein Brits, Bridge Crew, Safety skippers and crew, dollie control, photographers and everyone else working behind the scenes to create a magical and well run event.  Thank you to Galactic Gear who added value and a fun “printing” element to our event;  something new and fresh and definitely to be repeated.

Hobie Cas and Mosquitos ready to start the Tour de Vlei endurance race


Blessed were those who chose to join us for our signature event, Tour de Vlei 2015, together with the introduction of the Endurance race!  Sailors, families and boats started to pile in on Friday evening and there was a buzz in the air.  Everybody enjoyed a lovely evening at the clubhouse, where Lisa (Vice Commodore) was ready to entice everybody with a HUGE decanter of Melktertjies J.

Mosquito Catamaran sailing after man overboard


Saturday morning promised beautiful SUNNY weather for the day. Lisa was ready with her famous breakfast buns (freshly baked) and coffee. Everybody started rigging and tinkering. Conversations flowed from what the weather was going to do, to advice given by more experienced sailors to those hoping for a finish!  Thank you to VYC members who made their boats available so that visiting sailors could compete.

A total of 41 boats (66 sailors) entered ranging from multihulls (Mosquitos, Tornado, various Hobies) to Dinghies (Sonnets, Dabbies, 29er, lasers). The Safety boats were ready and launched and our photographers were snapping away.

Personnel from all four bridge teams manned the Bridge for this Epic event.  The ladies helped with registration and divided the vessels into the respective classes which helped with on the water recognition and enabled the ladies to divide into teams.  Each team had a specific class to monitor throughout the race to ensure the integrity of the sailors and that accurate time keeping and recording of each lap for every single vessel took place.

Sonnet 551 dinghy sailing on Vogelvlei during the Tour de Vlei


The other race officers were assigned tasks to assist the principal RO, team two RO, Bert Collins was assigned as the beach master and ensured that the staggered start went off smoothly by marshalling the vessels off the launch area to make it to their respective starts on time.  Well done Bert.  Rudi Braam, the RO for team three assisted the PRO with identifying OCS vessels, fortunately no recalls were required.  Huge thanks to time keeper Lisa Krumbock for running a very successful bridge as well as making sure that the shapes went up on time and that the ladies were ready to record the finishers accurately.

This was the first year that Voelvlei Yacht Club introduced the Endurance race as part of the Tour de Vlei. This meant we had a race within a race!  A challenge which our skilled bridge crew showed was a walk in the park! We had 11 competing boats (multihull and dinghy) for the Endurance race.  In essence, this meant multihulls would sail 32.4nm while the Sonnets sailed a total of 16.2nm.

Sunset Sailing - Sonnet dinghy


Our race officer, Hein Brits, decided on a staggered start which proved to be an excellent decision.  This ensured that everyone had CLEAN wind.  For the duration of both races, we ranged between 8 to 18 knots, gusting at 20.  This created a wonderful atmosphere for healthy competition on the water.  Wind direction SSW for the majority of the race with a couple of switches here and there across the dam. Sudden gusts caught a few sailors napping as they settled into the “Groove” with a resultant spectacular pitch pole or capsize.

Cats took 3h40 to complete 32.4nm, corner to corner around the dam – 4 laps;  whilst Sonnets took 3h10 to sail 16.2nm – 2 laps.  Emil and Oli on their 29er completed 16.2nm in 2h36.

Being one of the first regattas of the sailing season, most sailors felt the familiar aches and pains of not sailing for a while.  Nothing that a good nights’ rest couldn’t fix.  Thank you to our Defence Force sailors who joined us.  Most of their experienced sailors were heading back to SA from the Military World Games;  leaving Defence’s upcoming and very excited newbies to sail Tour De Vlei.  Lavaughn Smit had an opportunity to crew for Ken Balman on a Hobie 16 while Oliver Ives enjoyed crewing on a Sonnet with Paul Kotze.

CONGRATULATIONS to our Tour De Vlei handicap winners :-

CATS                     1st – Miles Webb and Noel Proctor (VYC/TEMP) – Mosquito

2nd – Kevin Webb + Vaughn Krumbock (VYC) – Mosquito2

3rd – Sarel Van Der Merwe (VYC) – Mosquito

DINGHY               1st – Emil and Oli Fueilette (ZVYC) – 29er

2nd – Warwick Strutt (IYC) – Dabchick

3rd – Matthew Thorburn (IYC) – Dabchick

CONGRATULATIONS to our Tour De Vlei ENDURANCE handicap winners :-

CATS                     1st – Kevin Webb + Vaughn Krumbock (VYC) – Mosquito2

2nd – Miles Webb and Noel Proctor (VYC/TEMP) – Mosquito

3rd – Sarel Van Der Merwe (VYC) – Mosquito

DINGHY               1st – Emil and Oli Fueilette (ZVYC) – 29er

2nd – Sean MacKay and Arnold Shewan (MAC) – Sonnet

3rd – Bev Shaw and Kerstie Read (VYC) – Sonnet

On Saturday evening we were entertained by a very talented “Adult Entertainer” and no it is not what you thinkJ. He is a Magician who entertained both adults and children with his funky and quirky tricks!  We are a family club after all.

Children were treated to loads of fun by playing on the inflatable obstacle course, zip-lining, playing table tennis or pool or simply hanging out with their friends.

Thank you to everyone on site for their commitment to our Club.  Looking forward to seeing everyone back next year.



More Photos   Tour de Vlei Endurance Results    Tour de Vlei Results

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