There was certain vibrancy around the Club this past weekend and members visiting the Clubhouse would have been impressed by all the activity. The Clubhouse was extremely busy throughout the long weekend and the staff in the Food & Beverage department certainly worked hard, and at times, 3 barmen were required in the Lowerdeck to keep up with the demand.
The weekend started with St Patrick’s Night in the Trafalgar Room where a large number of members and their guests enjoyed some wonderful authentic home cooked Irish fare and entertainment from the ever popular Cat Simoni who treated us to some good old fashioned Irish song and dance. In true “Paddy” style the party went on well into the wee hours.
During the weekend a large number of members took to the water and participated in a number of sailing events. We were delighted that our junior members together with a few members from the 1st Port Natal Sea Scouts who have all participated in our “Let’s Go Sailing” Sail Training Program represented the Club at the SAS Youth Regional Regatta and Interschool Regatta host by Henley Midmar Yacht Club. It is indeed pleasing to see how these young sailors have developed since starting their sailing careers sailing in front of the Clubhouse at high tide over weeks. The youngsters acquitted themselves with distinction and displayed exemplary behaviour and we are grateful to our Junior Sailing Director, Jenifer Weyer, for arranging our team and to Andy Brown for generously sponsoring all the meals.
While the younger members were representing the Club inland a number of our more senior members together with members from 7 other clubs from around the country participated in the Dart National Championships offshore. The event was arranged by the Dart Class Association and hosted on the water by the Royal Natal Yacht Club together with the shore based assistance of the Durban Ski Boat Club who very generously made their facilities available to the sailors. The event proved to be very well organised under the direction of our National Race Officer Hemraj Gokal and his team of helpers on the Bridge and Support Boats. 10 races were held over 3 days and the Dart sailors seemed very satisfied with the quality of racing arranged for them and hospitality afforded to them by the Royal Natal Yacht Club and our friends at the Durban Ski Boat Club.
In addition to the Dart regatta a fleet of keelboats participated in a race to Brighton Beach and back on Sunday. Despite all the Club’s resources being employed in the national championship regatta our Race Officers found a very elegant solution to ensuring that we ran 2 simultaneous events without out interfering with each other and with the limited resources available. Once the Dart fleet started their first race of the day and began their beat to weather the keelboats were afforded a downwind start on a separate start line between the R B Townsend and Scorpio. The keelboats proceeded in the opposite direction to the Darts sailing out to sea around the fairway mark and down to Brighton Beach while Scorpio motored down the coast to her predetermined location. Moses and his crewman Victor anchored exactly on position and displaying the M flag became the rounding mark approximately 500m off Brighton Beach. Within a few minutes of arriving the keelboats began bearing down on Scorpio with Zap still maintaining a slim lead ahead of Nimrod while Sundance and Mafuta enjoyed a good duel some distance behind. Once round the turning mark the majority of the fleet launched their spinnakers and began the run home with Scorpio upping anchor and following the fleet. Zap and Nimrod continued their jostling downwind with Nimrod this time rounding the Fairway mark slightly ahead of Zap and Sundance and Mafuta right behind. The final beat to the finish line, which was established on the transit of the RB Townsend and the Dart finishing buoy allowing the keelboats to finish their race on the outside of the Dart fleet without interfering with the regatta, proved to be a close race . Nimrod managed to take line honours a few minutes ahead of Zap with Mafuta and Sundance hot on their heels.
While the sailors were all out on the water those members at the Clubhouse would have noticed Julian King in the Boat Shed busy spray painting another 2 pillars from the Vasco da Gama Clock. 4 pillars have already been restored and have been erected on the Ndongeni Lawns where the monument is slowly beginning to come back to life in all her former glory.
All in all, another wonderful weekend shared by friends enjoying the wonderful vibrancy of the Club.