report by Andre Wollheim
pics by Angela Gray
The 18th MAC 24 Hour was sponsored by Vascos Taverna, Green Point, giving us the opportunity to entice early entries with a free t-shirt. This meant that with a week to go we have over 25 entries, a precedent for the event.
By the Saturday morning of the race we had 32 entries, something we have not seen for a long time.
The Milnerton Aquatic Club (MAC) were overflowing with tents and boats, and with people milling around there was a fantastic vibe as the music wafted through the crowds and a gentle westerly blew and not a cloud could be seen.
At 12h00 sharp, the hooter sounded and all the boats ran down to the first buoy, followed three minutes later by 7 Saldanhas, again the most we have had for years.
The light westerly fluctuated between north and westerly and then freshened up and the Sonnets soon took the led closely chased by the Enterprises.
Two junior teams made up of 24 junior sailors that recently completed their training at MAC and were racing each other on Picos with 12 on each team. On another Pico were the Mamma Mia kids from ZVYC. The kids had great fun sailing against each other, doing crew changes in the water and generally having fun on the grass playing cricket and playing on the jumping castle sponsored by Rawsons. One team was sponsored by Rawsons Properties and looked smart in their yellow shirts and caps and the other team was sponsored by Freshgold.
NSRI were on the water with two of their rescue boats and even entered a sailing team on an Enterprise and performed very well.
As darkness fell the spot lights were turned on and the wind freshened nicely until around 02h00 when a massive bank of fog rolled in. The boats were quickly rounded up as the postponement was sounded. It was beautiful to see yachts appearing out of the fog. 30 minutes later the fog cleared and the 30 minute signal sounded and at 03h00 the race was resumed on a Northerly course.
Unfortunately the wind died around 05h00 and the boats ghosted along with the Enterprises trying to make up lost ground. Brent Gray on an Enterprise managed to sail for over 13 hours trying to catch up, a massive effort.
Around 10h00 the wind switched back to the West and a course change was done back to the westerly course. The wind freshened to around 10 knots and the sonnets were flying!
At 12h00 the hooter sounded for the end of the race and the beginning of the Nestle Bar One 25 Hour Day Challenge commenced, with most of the competitors continuing to sail with lots of fun and splashing on the water.
Prize giving was held at 14h00 and a surprise guest speaker was introduced as none other than Graham Smith the legendary South African Cricket Captain and co-owner of Vascos Tavern.
Line honours went to Sonnet team Aava led by Saths Moodley and Stephen Du Toit.
The overall first place went to Team BAX Properties\Berrick Trading on a mirror. Berrick Trading sponsor junior youth development sailing at MAC and the two boys from Du Noon, Lithlonele Ben and Rivaldo Arendse were on this team.