Ahoy my fellow sailors, committee members and supporters of the SASKZN Grand Slam regatta, that was held 6 -9 August 2016. Rob Bell came to RNYC on the Saturday morning with Paul Ridsdale and Debbie Gregory to see that registration went well. RNYC hosted in Bay racing and PYC hosted the off shore sailing. I believe that there were approx. 40 boats off shore as at least 7 lasers went off shore and we had two in the bay + 1 dabchick with two up Tristan Uys and Aaron – Damien Somerville and Tristan Uys on their lasers and 3 halcats consisting of Bill Ellens, Hugo Pellingrini and Coert Grobbelaar with his nephew Mark, who had never sailed before so the conditions were just right for him.
The fact that we did not have a bigger fleet of sailors in the bay although disappointing, did not deter us. Our always willing to help Commodore -Graham Rose, Jennifer Weyer, Pam Featherstone, Hans Dettman and myself set off to run sailing in very light winds. During the course of Saturday we managed to complete four races. What a pleasure to do Bridge duty with happy children on the water. They were always smiling and polite. I don’t know if Bill, Hugo and Coert enjoyed the light conditions but stuck it out in good companionship.
Sunday dawned and Steve Barton- Hobbs was our skipper for the day: as the fleet was small, just Graham Rose, Jennifer Weyer and I went out, leaving Pam and Hans to do their family things.
We waited an hour for wind but by 11am the breeze started to fill in. Lo and behold we managed to complete 6 races, giving us a total of 10 with only two to do on Monday.
Mondays conditions were strong winds and as I arrived at the club, Nick Somerville, one of the dads came rushing up to me to see if we were still going to sail as the boys were very keen. I said yes of course we were: they were thrilled. So off Hans, Graham, Jennifer and myself – together with Coert and his nephew Mark (Coert was worried that he might break something) boarded the “Bruce” for the morning’s sailing. The dabby and 2 lasers were already on the water; we set our course and started the race; we completed one race in heavy conditions and decided to move the race to a more sheltered area in the bay. Poor Tristan on his laser capsized several times but never complained once. We started the second race but realised that the wind was too strong and shortened for the brave youngsters. All three yachts completed their lap. We were very proud of their efforts and made sure they were OK They always gave a thumbs up and a smile . After the race was completed young Tristan, who had capsized several times, capsized again. Coert seeing he was struggling, grabbed a life vest and dived into the water to help him back to shore/the walk on where his family were waiting for him.
Rob Bell was in the clubhouse when we got back and we sat talking about the racing. The four youngsters arrived in their wetsuits with two large packets of chocolates, one for Jennifer and one for me. Wow I was so impressed – thank you to the parents for thinking of us. Jennifer and I were smiling from ear to ear.
When the children had washed and showered they and their families came back to the club for prize-giving. Which we held in the foredeck. The boys were given RNYC caps and chocolates and Mr Rose presented each of the families with Salt on the Sails. RNYC, even if I say so myself – did the sailors proud. We as bridge and helpers were each given a lovely T shirt. It was a very good way of sewing the seeds of friendship and good sailing (all in international best practice)!! The Somerville family are actually originally from Island SC – their granddad John Somerville having been a member (in my time) for many years. Lovely to see families enjoying a legacy that is past on. Rob Bell was very pleased because the Somerville families sail from HMYC. Well done to one and all.
Jennifer and I were able to have Tuesday off and celebrate Woman’s Day by joining the Ladies Sailing the Pacers – all in all a great weekend. Thank you very much to everyone involved.