Dear Amakati and followers of Dart catamaran racing.
This past weekend RNYC hosted a most enjoyable KZN Regional Championship regatta for the Dart 18 International Catamaran Class, attracting 16 entries in total, with 4 boats travelling down from the Vaal and one boat up from East London.
The fleet sailed off the Vetches beach from the DUC and DSBC, to the RNYC managed race area offshore Durban’s city front. Some of the Durban Dart sailors are also duel members of the one of the two afore mentioned beach clubs and also the RNYC, facilitating great cooperation and assistance between these beach clubs and the Dart sailors, in the collective interests of furthering our passion for sailing and waters-ports. Concerns over possible negative inputs never transpired. What did transpire was a whole lot of happy people on Jet skis, ski boats, paddle skis, Darts and other sailing craft, all operating from the beach in total harmony and respect for one another. The Dart fleet was thrilled to be welcome again on this beach for a major class championship, the first time in over 6 years and they all enjoyed every moment of this Durban asset.
On Saturday 19th November, the first day of the event, racing started shortly after the scheduled start time of 11:00, in what was to be a reasonably consistent breeze for the day of 6.5 knots from the East veering SE. Racing was hotly contested, but it was apparent from the outset that Ben Mienie, a multiple National Dart winner, Springbok Sailor, Class Chairman and a 32 year veteran of the Dart class was going to be hard to beat. Four races were sailed for the day. Once ashore and showered, we all departed to RNYC for dinner that evening. It was a festive occasion on the lawns where we joined many tables into one big banquet table and socialised into the night.
On day 2, Sunday, we all got to the beach early to enjoy breakfast, before rigging boats to get out to the race course for the scheduled start of racing at 10:00. After a short delay, racing got under way in a Southerly light breeze of around 6-8 knots, backing during the morning to the SE and increasing in velocity a bit, with gusts occasionally of around 10- 11 knots. By around 13:00 we had completed 4 races for the day, taking us up to the full scheduled compliment of 8 races for the event. Racing was always hotly contested and no result came easily.
Many thanks to the RNYC Race Committee who provided us with what everyone emphatically praised as nothing short of a brilliant event. The venue was superb and all our hosts went out of their way to look after us. Everyone thanked Sandy Samways for her dedicated work as Regatta Secretary, where Sandy made sure everyone knew what and when to do everything!
The final podium results were:
1st Ben Mienie of Stilbaai Yacht Club.
2nd Rob Samways of Royal Natal Yacht Club and Durban Undersea Club.
3rd Chris Clarke of Stillbaai Yacht Club.