Mykonos Offshore Regatta. Coming of Age

by Richard Crockett

There are not many offshore races in this country that can boast a 30th anniversary edition – although the Mykonos Offshore Regatta will qualify this weekend when a fleet of some 70 yachts compete in the first leg from Cape Town to Club Mykonos, Langebaan, on Friday and then in a pursuit race on Saturday.

Long range weather forecasts are dangerous things to look at as they often tend to put people off too early if they see even a hint of bad or light weather. So In my view these forecasts are there to show a weather trend, and not an actual situation so many days in advance. So any weather decisions that need to be made, should be looked at in conjunction with the forecast on the day of the race.

It’s not that this race has been plagued by bad weather in the past, if anything in recent years it has been plagued with light winds, turning what is a relatively short 60nm passage in a real light weather tactical grind.

At the front of the fleet, and looking for line honours will be Phil Gutsche’s ‘Warrior’ with Rick Nankin as his ever capable right hand man. They are the biggest boat in the fleet, so this should be their rightful place.

The highly competitive Cape 31 fleet will be there seven-strong, and should the wind blow hard from behind them, they will have a very fast and exhilerating passage. But more importantly for them, they will get a firsthand glimpse of what may lie ahead for them later in the year when the Lipton Cup is raced on these waters.

With such a big and diverse fleet, it is difficult to predict any winners, but no doubt the usual monohull suspects will be looking for the honours, as will the usual suspects on the multihulls.

A change for this 30th race is that the Dassen Island gate has been removed to make this a more tactical single leg race. Instead of the fleet closing in on a gate at Dassen Island, navigators now have a choice of going offshore in the search of better winds and a faster leg time should their weather info suggest this option.

The social aspect at Club Mykonos is always pretty special, although the Friday night celebrations are somewhat subdued for those who take the Saturday pursuit race seriously.

The pursuit race, a 21nm dash around Saldanha Bay, has been dominated by the big boats in recent years, so maybe this year there may well be a winner from a smaller boat? We’ll see at the prize giving on Saturday evening.

There is, as always, a full programme ashore at Club Mykonos for competitors, followers and family.

See the Entry List HERE:  mykonos race 200206 List of entries

See the Programme of Events HERE:  Program of Events 2020