by James King
Another year another Nationals. For a number of reasons we didn’t have a particularly large fleet this year, but by jolly did we have a competitive one.
I got to watch the action from the back of the fleet and it was fierce. Small mistakes were punished. The first weather mark rounding’s can only be described as a dog show. For me it was a real privilege to get to sail in and amongst these boats, albeit in small snatches during the regatta. Often there was variation in wind speed and it was interesting to watch the top guys change gears (to coin a phrase from Paul Changuion our 2017 National champion).The way in which the sails are reconfigured every time the wind changes was quite exhausting to watch.
The story of the regatta was the re-introduction of Luke and Stephen Wagner. They’ve been missing from the fleet for 3 years now and he’s come back with a bog standard Hunter Europa and simply wiped the floor. To be honest it was quite staggering to watch. He was up against 3 boats boasting multiple national champions, not to mention the Funke lads from 505 fame and Craig Millar who’s no slouch at the end of the tiller.
Phew, all I can say is thank you Luke. Europa owners are back in the loop thanks to you guys. By all accounts the last person to come close to achieving this feat was Chris Frost and that was 24 years ago! It does beg the question whether Frosty could do it again. Naaa I don’t think so. He’s too old now!
Many of you are aware that there has been much angst in the class during the course of this decade on matters surrounding the rules. These matters have been put to rest now and the camaraderie at these Nationals was palatable to the extent that we will no doubt have Hunter sailors who left the class return.
By the way, I’m your chairman for 2018/19. It happened like this:
Paul Changuion gave me two quick Tequila’s. Then we had an AGM. Then I was Chairman.
On a serious note it’s a privilege to do this job. I’ve done it before in the 90’s and hopefully I’ll be able to make a contribution. To CJ who’s gone before me; thanks. You’ve kept this class going through some rough times and managed to steer us out the other side. I now get to build on what you’ve done before me.
There are a number of issues that your new committee will be tackling. I will endeavour to keep you posted as we go along.
However the first priority is the KZN champs. They’re coming up in September. 22-24 to be exact. It’s a long weekend. HMYC are already busy with the notice of regatta. If you are looking for some great sailing do yourself a favour and come to this regatta. I’ve left my boat at HMYC and will be flying in for the regatta. The last time I sailed on Midmar was probably in the early 90’s. I’d forgotten how spectacular the Midlands are. The dam is full with these beautiful green rolling hills surrounding the dam. To top it off the breeze is perfect.