South Africa had good representation in three fleets at Kiel Week this year.
We all know that Asenathi Jim and Alex Burger, with Roger Hudson as coach, excelled in the event, making the top 8 and earning a place in the medal race in which they finished 2nd.
This was Alex Burgers first major Olympic Class regatta, and from all accounts he acquitted himself exceptionally well.
The youth team of Euan and Gregg Hurter competed in the 29er fleet.
With just 2 days left to sail, Euan had this to say: “On Saturday we had an average-joe day, once again in light, shifty and rather rubbish wind conditions. We got an 8th and 28th and it surprisingly moved us up from 61st to 57th overall and 10th in silver fleet. We were quite stoked about that, but weren’t able to maintain the good progress. Sunday was utter shocker…! The one race saw the fleet almost being able to hold the kite all the way around the course making it a complete soldiers course. There was only one decent race and I think that was our best position and it was only an 18th. As a result we dropped down to 64th overall and 16th in silver fleet.”
“Coming into this regatta, our goal was to make it into the top third of the fleet and if we hadn’t messed up the last day, we would have achieved this. We’re a bit frustrated, but have learnt and improved a lot, so our confidence levels are good for the next regatta in Weymouth this coming weekend”.
By the last day the 505’s had only completed 2 races due to uncharacteristically light winds or thunderstorms. The sailors were keen to get in at least two more races on the last day to complete the regatta. The race committee and the weather worked together to complete three races on the last day, the first of just over an hour duration, but the last two under an hour. The wind strength was about 7 knots early in the day, but dropped steadily so that after the last race there was no wind at all and all competitors had to be towed back to the harbour.
Highlights for the South African competitors for the day were the 5th place for Tina Plattner/Mike Martin in the last race, the 15th place for Alex/Warwick Ham also in the last race and the 22nd for Matthew/Richard in race 4.
Congratulations to newcomer to the South African 505 fleet, Tina Plattner, for her 3rd place finish in the first race of the regatta.
Overall positions out of 62 boats that competed in the 5 races were:
6th Tina Plattner/Mike Martin
26th Alex/Warwick Ham
32 Matthew Rickard/Richard Hutton-Squire.
Well done to all!