by Sophie Thompson
A zig-zag course in Durban Harbour had a fleet of 53 dinghies sailing to all corners of the harbour on Saturday with Jon Marshall claiming the honours in Point Yacht Club’s Jonsson Cup Pursuit Race.
Marshall, the Rear Commodore for Keelers at Point Yacht Club traded in his larger, more familiar chariot for a much smaller Laser. The race saw a large mixed fleet head off in light conditions towards the harbour mouth.
“It was a bit of an obstacle course dodging the busy afternoon shipping movements. On our first beat up we encountered our first challenge, a massive container ship arriving with a bevy of tugs around her. We had a few more large vessels we had to quickly get out the way of.” Marshall said when back on land.
“It was a fantastic race, long and hard work but great to be out there with all the guys. I am delighted with the win and just managed to take Gregg (Dobson) as we made our way down to the finish.” an elated Marshall said.
Gregg Dobson who has recently returned to Durban couldn’t wait to participate. The experienced yachite led for most of the race on his Laser, with Marshall just off his shoulder as they tackled the winding course designed to last two hours. As the duo neared the finish, Dobson opted for the more sheltered inland approach as Marshall didn’t go so near to land.
The finish line was set off in the shadow of the Bluff which gave the fleet their final challenge as the light winds dropped and then filled in making the final push to the line somewhat agonising for most. Marshall managed to crawl across the line as his nearest competitor, Dobson stalled with the wind taking ages to give him a lift, and in those vital moments, the duo racing on a Flying Fifteen, Paul Changuion and Tim Duguid slipped across the line having taken the open water approach to the line catching the ocean breeze before it got to the stranded Dobson.
Marshall was in one of the larger fleets with 11 full rig Lasers on the water and a couple of smaller Lasers getting in some water time as well. The Flying Fifteens were the next best represented class with eight boats taking up the challenge. There were a few larger ‘dinghies’ as well with a few youngsters getting in some training on the L26 Container World and two other keel boats participating.
The first junior to cross the line was Alex Thorpe helming a classic little Gypsey with his Dad, Ralph. Alex was awarded the mini Jonsson Cup award. The easy to sail Gypsey is a South African designed two person boat that is ideal for learning to sail in. The Thorpes finished 21st overall.
1 Jon Marshal (Laser)
2 Paul Changuion / Tim Duguid (FF15)
3 Gregg Dobson (Laser)
4 Martin Zimmerman / Carl Zimmerman (FF15)
5 Rudy McNeill (Laser)
6 Andrew Walford (Laser)
7 Campbell Alexander / Chris Clark (FF15)
8 Anthony MacMillan (Laser)
9 Patrick Harris / Jeremy Kriek (FF15)
10 Gregg Hurter / Nic Albert (FF15)
11 Myles White (FF15)
12 Henri Frencken (Laser)
13 Rob Goulden (Laser)
14 Trent Bingham (Laser)
15 Heidi KavanaghMichael Kavanagh (FF15)
16 Bill Evans (Dragonfly)
17 Ricky Robinson (Sprog)
18 Anthony Arbuthnot (Laser)
19 Alec Lanham-Love / Greg de Beyer (49er)
20 Rob Tarboton / Michael Dickinson (29er)
21 Alex Thorpe / Ralph Thorpe (Gypsey)
22 Denmar Nel (Laser)
23 Dylan Albert (Dabchick)
24 David Curtis (Rebel)
25 Tony Alison / Pam Zarnack (Rebel)
26 Jacky Barnard / Clynton de Finn (Mistral)
27 Jethro Brophy – Tintinger / Eli Brophy – Tintinger (420)
28 CJ Miln (Laser)
29 Peter Hall (Hobie 14)
30 Bart Fokkens / Hannah Fokkens (Halcat)
31 Paul Ridsdale (Hobie 16)
32 John Banfield / John Banfield Jnr (FF15)
33 Simon Musgrave (Laser)
34 Liam Fennessy / Tristan Hancock (Hobie 16)
35 Justin Butler / Murray May (Hobie 16)
36 Sean Hurter / Benji Daniels (29er)
37 Wayne Smith (Hobie 14)
38 Richard Potgieter (Halcat)
39 Nic Koekemoer (Halcat)
40 Bruce Edward (Paper Tiger)
41 Hannah Tiedt (Laser 4.7)
42 Colin Fleming (Hobie 14 Turbo)
43 Brendan Humphries (L26)
44 Cameron Parle (RS Tera Sport)
45 Sven Paton (RS Tera Pro)
46 Matthew Hall / Chad Stevenson (Hobie Dragon)
DNF James Butler (RS Tera Pro)
DNF Braeden Royal / Yashir Seetal (RS Feva)
DNF Trevor Gibb / Jessica Fennesy (Mirror)
DNF Straun Campbell / Janet Campbell (Argie 15)
DNF Richard Bates (Laser)
DNF Andrew Butler (Extra)
DNS Ayanda Idube (Tera)