After a two week break following the Ladies High Tea and the flotilla cruise to Richards Bay last weekend the Pacer sailors returned to the water on Saturday afternoon for Match 11 of the Team Racing series.
The afternoon provided a clean sweep of 3-0 to the Blue Team consisting of Anthony Macmillan, Lorna Daniels and new recruit Alex Andreone on board Pacer Three and Greg Donkin, Cindy Trathen, Mark Futcher, Belinda Futcher and young aboard Pacer One. The Yellow Team of Coert Grobelar, Patrica Kilburn and new recruit Skye Cockburn on board Pacer Two and Gary and Thyrza Price together with Eileen Black on board Pacer Four were no match for the Blue Team who relished the 18-20 knot south westerly breeze.
With very little shipping movement scheduled for the afternoon the Bridge Crew took the opportunity, with permission from Port Control, to lay the short windward leeward course in the Esplanade Channel immediately in front of the Clubhouse providing excellent spectator value for those gathered ashore enjoying the music on the club’s Ndongeni Lawns and those at Wilson’s Wharf, not to mention the number of pleasure boat ferries passing through the fleet providing an excellent photo opportunity and showcasing Durban’s sailing scene to the public . The number of flashes coming from cameras on board the ferries reminded one of what it must be like on the red carpet in front of the Paparazzi!
Each race of the three race match consisted of 3 laps and lasted approximately 30 minutes with a 3 minute start sequence which ensured the afternoon was action packed and the teams were kept busy actively sailing throughout the afternoon with no time to rest in between races.
There was some amusement shortly before the start of the first race when 2 of the boats forgot about the Pacer’s deep keel and managed to find the sandbank requiring some engine power to dislodge them. Fortunately there was no damage other than a little embarrassment. Once free the fleet made certain they steered clear of the committee boat end of the start line and took advantage of the entire length of the long start line which straddled the shipping channel. The short beat to the weather mark ensured there was always some close racing and contested mark rounding on the first lap which provided much excitement for the spectators while the downwind leg provided some exciting sailing for the sailors whose enthusiasm was not dampened by the overcast conditions, although a short down pour at the end of the afternoon while packing up the boars did send some of the competitors running for shelter in the Clubhouse and then enjoying a little tipple or two to warm the spirits and thereafter enjoy the camaraderie of fellow sailors while exchanging the afternoon’s war stories and showing off their selection of accumulated bruises and little nicks.
Once again the afternoon was enjoyed by all those at the Club both on the water and ashore and we are pleased that the Team Racing format continues to attract new participants while the leader board sees places traded each week. If you have not yet entered the challenge you should contact Margie Harris in the Sailing Office to reserve your berth and avoid missing out on the fun next week.