by Malcolm Osborne
George Lakes Yacht Club hosted it annual inter club regatta at its Island Lake venue. It was attended by competitors from Mossel Bay Yacht & Boat Club and Knysna Yacht Club.
Two fleets were created – a Fast fleet (those with ratings less than 1200) and a Slow Fleet (those with ratings greater than 1200). The Fast Fleet had 23 boats, comprising Fireballs, Lasers, Dabchicks and Hobie 14. The Slow Fleet had 21 boats comprising Optimists, Teras, Picos, Toppers, Qbas, Feva and Topaz. Of this fleet, fourteen came from Mossel Bay, despite logistical problems getting all those boats and sailors along the N2.
The first race was started at 12h00 on Saturday in a light breeze, which unfortunately faded and the race was abandoned for the Fast fleet, while the Slow fleet were just able to complete a shorter single triangle. The fleet was sent to shore for lunch to await a better wind.
By 14h00, a strong south wester arrived and racing could resume. However, this wind, 15 to 20 knots, proved to be too much for many and the safety boats were busy rendering assistance. The more experienced sailors were able to cope and especially the Dabchicks revelled in the conditions. The wind later abated to under 15 knots and three races could be completed in the afternoon.
On Sunday, there was just a very light south-easter, causing the sailors to employ their light wind sailing skills. Two shortened races were completed, a total of five races for the Fast fleet and six for the Slow fleet. This allowed for one’s worst race to be discarded.
In the Fast fleet, consistently up front were the GLYC Fireballs of Georgou Divaris/Ferdinand Holm and David Laing/Chris du Toit, closely pursued by KYC’s Finn sailed by Dudley Isaac.
GLYC’s top Laser, sailed by John-Marc Olivier did well in the lighter conditions on Sunday, getting second places on handicap. The Divaris Fireball was the winner overall in this fleet, with Dudley Isaac in second place, Olivier in third.
In the Slow fleet, line honours in the races were shared by MBYBC’s Tammy Holden (Topper), Oliver Holden & Johan Prinsloo (RS Feva) and GLYC’s James Vonk (RS Tera Pro). However, application of class ratings gave the race wins in four races to James Vonk, with Sean Vonk (Optimist) getting two. James Vonk was the overall winner in this fleet, with Sean Vonk second, Tammy Holden in third place.
The other part of the competition was the Inter Club aspect. In the Fast fleet, scored on the top three positions, the winner was George Lakes Yacht Club. However, in the Slow fleet, scored on the top 5 boats per club, the winner by a close margin was Mossel Bay Yacht & Boat Club.
George Lakes Yacht Club wishes to extend it‘s grateful thanks to its sponsors – Raubenheimers Attorneys and Lew Geffen Sothebys International Realty (George), as well as to the many volunteers who ensured that the event went of smoothly.