South African Sailing (SAS) and the International 470 Class Association are hosting the first ever 470 Class Open African Championships to be held in Cape Town from 11 – 17 January 2016. The Championships will also mark the 470 Men’s African Continental Olympic Qualification Event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
This event in itself is an honour, yet immediately prior to it’s start was the Cape Town Classic described by Olympian Roger Hudson as a “happy anomaly”. This is due to the fact that it was a strictly informal training regatta that was all about racing. A special collaboration producing flexible and creative but hard-edged 470 racing for those who want to learn and improve, to test themselves and enjoy themselves.
In 2014 The Cape Town Classic concept was piloted, involving 2 French 470 sailors and 6 South African sailors.
In 2015 the event formally debuted at Granger Bay, involving a Canadian team, Swedish team and 10 South African sailors, with races run from a single RIB.
“This year it compromised 2 Angolan teams, 2 Algerian sailors, and 19 South African sailors, with many spectators and helpers on the courses. The races were superbly run by Doug Alison and Bea Reeve from Philip’s Daniel’s beautiful 40-foot yacht Moonshadow, and with 2 RIBS in assistance manned by the ever-giving Dave Hudson and the wonderful Greek coach Nik Drougkas. People and organisations swarmed forth with assistance, co-operation and contribution, chipping in freely and almost intuitively with their time and/or resources to make this a very special event” said Hudson.
A delighted and enthusiastic Hudson went further. “There was no entry fee or charter fee, only a promise by every sailor involved to repair or replace anything lost or broken. There was no formal briefing, but plenty of daily briefings and debriefings about what we were trying to learn and what we had learned together. There was no prize-giving, only the mutual sinking of a few cold beverages on the Oceana Powerboat Club lawns as shared story-telling took hold of the group of tired, but hardened sailors and helpers after nearly seven hours of racing on the final day”.
The racing itself was superb. Snugged into the gorgeous cove of Granger Bay, beneath the City of Cape Town and it’s iconic table Mountain, 10 sleek and swift Olympic 470 yachts racing intensively in turquoise water, zooming around traditional Olympic style courses, unconventional distance courses and probably the highlight of the Cape Town Classic, the high-octane reaching courses taking place right along the Cape Town shoreline with marks set literally metres from hotels, walkways, beach bars and anchored yachts drawing the interest of not only intended, but also un-intended spectators. What a thrill, what a sight. Long may the Cape Town Classic continue to evolve.
Cape Town Classic 2016 – Results
Pics by Trevor Wilkins HERE: