On Saturday afternoon the Younger Members (under 30 years of age) sailed against the Senior Members in the third match of our team racing series. The afternoon proved to be highly successful once again demonstrating the reason why the team racing format is so popular in Europe and the fastest growing racing format. We are pleased that through our relations with other clubs within the International Council of Yacht Clubs and the International Sailing League Association we have been able to introduce this racing format to South Africa and look forward to this becoming a regular feature of our sailing calendar.
Match 3 of the Team Sailing Series was sailed under clear skies in a 15 – 18 knot north easterly; unfortunately the windward leeward race course was laid in the deep water channel of Pier 2 which sadly decreased the spectator value of the racing for those gathered on the club’s Ndongeni lawns. However the competitors enjoyed an afternoon of uninterrupted racing as the Bridge Crew wisely avoided the preferred Esplanade Channel racing venue due to the number of scheduled commercial traffic movements during the afternoon opting instead for traffic free deep water channel.
As usual the teams were allocated their boats by random selection with yellow team flag distinguishing Gavin Wadsworth at the helm of Pacer One and Andy Brown on Pacer Three while the Younger Members team flying the blue distinguishing flag consisted of helmsmen Michael Boorman and Carl Zimmerman who were allocated Pacer Two and Pacer Four respectively.
It was wonderful to see the mix of age and experience sailing together with youth and enthusiasm. Relatively new younger members Rowan and Amy Price were joined by a number of novices including Lauren Fuhri, Daniel Els, Yusuf Omah and under 18, Taine Steytler complimented the Younger Members. In the Senior Team it was wonderful to see new boat owners and budding racing enthusiasts Bob and Eileen Black joined by stalwart Rescue Member Steve Barton-Hobbs and complete novice William Siddall making a first appearance on board the Pacers. Even a brief period treading water during Race 3 could not dampen Eileen’s enthusiasm for the afternoon.
With the best of 3 race format each race is a close contest and the 3 minute start sequence ensures the pace is on even before the start. Racing was extremely close with both teams desperately trying to cover each other and out manoeuvre the opposite boat. Race 1 saw some excellent tactics at the weather mark with places changing frequently in the approach to the mark, a trend that continued all the way down to the leeward mark providing photographer Trevor Steenekamp with some wonderful footage with the whole fleet in the camera viewfinder throughout the racing. The blue team representing the Younger Members won Race 1. Gavin Wadsworth pulled off a magnificent “dummy” tack in Race 2 which Carl Zimmerman fell for, much to amusement of everyone on the Bridge Boat. Michael Boorman and crew gave up their team’s guaranteed win of Race 2 after a slow start which allowed the Seniors team to cross the start line and get back into the race and win Race 2 making it 1 -1 and forcing the Bridge to run a final deciding race. Andy Brown displayed a well thought game plan in the final beat of Race 3 giving up his substantial lead in order to push Carl and Michael out of 2nd and 3rd place so that Gavin would have a chance to catch up to the fleet and trade his 4th place with one of the blue team. The final race of the day and match was decided in the final 50 metres with the seniors putting on a brave defence in the face of a determined team of Younger Members. So we watched the score move from 1 – 1 to 2-1 in favour of the Younger Members. Great fun and exciting racing for everyone concerned.
Next Saturday will be match 4 of the season and we look forward to some great racing and fun. For those members who have not yet experienced the thrill of team racing and who have not yet added your name to the leader board you are encouraged to speak to Margie in the Sailing Office and reserve you spot. Remember only 20 places are available per match and places are reserved on a first served basis.