“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1992 Optimist Nationals + New Pics

by Richard Crockett

“A Cause For Optimism” blurted the headline as 102 Optimists competed at Midmar for the nationals. The fleet was boosted by 15 boats from Zimbabwe and the Portuguese national champion who had been flown out specially for the event.

Pre-race favourites were Alon Finkelstein and Roger Hudson, but there were surprises on the results sheet.

“The established order was immediately upset in race one. Capetonian Sieraj Jacobs scored a convincing win over Lima and Finkelstein, with established names like Hudson and defending champion Charles Nankin out of the first ten. When Jacobs repeated this performance in race 2, with total outsider Luc van der Walt of Redhouse Yacht Club second and Lima third, the scene was set for a continuing match between the Capetonian and the Portuguese, with his only real opposition coming from Finkelstein.”

There was some drama for Lima thought as he did not have everything his own way.
Lima had his fifth race win taken away from him, as he had forgotten his tally, but a sloppily written sailing instruction provided a loophole which made reinstatement possible. It is highly disappointing that young Tony Runciman was not given the same treatment for the same offence. The only difference between the two cases was the experience of one competitor in how to present a protest, while an honest and inexperienced protester was disadvantaged and disqualified. One hopes that after this treatment Runciman will continue with his “honesty is the best policy” attitude in the future.


READ THE SA YACHTING REPORT HERE:  Pages from 1993 02 – SA Yachting – OCR


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