Sailing Report by Rob Samways

Dear Sailors, Amakati and followers of sailing,

A brief report back on events this past week, for you entertainment:

Woza Friday (Friday 16th March 2018)

This was the last scheduled Woza Friday for this sailing season. Woza Fridays are typically sailed on a “Friday” , when a suitable high tide occurrence permits sufficient water depth to sail/race a catamaran over the sandbanks  in front of our club, after work, with the first race being started at 16:30. The racing is typically followed with a Braai and good couple of beers.

However, this last event had wind of acceptable speed (it blew hard earlier) and accompanied by rain.

If we were all British, or from Northern Europe, we would have all been out in the wonderful sailing conditions. Unfortunately, we aren’t. In fact, we are all banana boys or “when we’s”, with a “soon to be” Ozzie who is “English speaking of Afrikaans decent”  sailor, Richard Potgieter, who lead everyone astray. The weak willed now took up positions in the pub on Friday late afternoon, consuming vast amounts of golden liquid, whilst talking about sailing, conspiracy theories, Mars and the future of the human race. Did we achieve anything? Sailing-no. But we did enjoy ourselves!

Squadron Series Race 3 incorporating the “Brighton Beach Backline Trophy Race” (Sunday 18th March 2018

We advertised the event well enough, but only 9 boats pitched to sail, probably as a result of the really slow light wind Memorial Pursuit Race the weekend before? Anyway, whilst we had 9 boats starting, 2 retired and 1 got thrown out of the results due to not entering, which if allowed would affect the overall scoring for the series.

In contrast to the weekend before, the wind promised to blow. And it did later on. We all got out to the start area set off Vetches Beach, with a windward mark (the wind was NE) set high enough to permit a 90 degree turn to cross and clear on a broad reach the harbour channel and the Durban harbour south pier/breakwater. (I must thank both Carol Ferguson as Race Officer and Alec McNamara for setting such a perfect line and windward mark position!)  Carol started the race promptly at 11:00 in a breeze of around 10- 12 knots. Rounding the windward mark and channel first was “Running with Scissors” hotly pursued by “Therapy”. Spinnakers were hoisted as soon as boats cleared the south pier. These two above mentioned  boats had a brief tussle before “Running with Scissors” gybed off to sail down the coast and both boats pulled quickly ahead of the rest of the fleet. Then, out of nowhere, Bill Ellens sailing his Dragonfly trimaran “Magic Dragon”, having started late (something very unusual for Bill… start late!) came roaring down the coast at speed. He reports of doing around 20 knots!

However, “Running with Scissors had a brilliant downwind sail, the smallest and slowest boat in the fleet, surfing at times around 11 knots to reach, and round clear ahead, the leeward mark in 1st place. The leeward mark was  set off Brighton Beach (exactly where planned and set by Alec McNamara) at a distance around 7.5 nautical miles from the start. Magic Dragon rounded next followed by Therapy. The wind had now increased to around 22 knots and the sea state was lumpy. Running with Scissors had a torrid time being totally overpowered and not really enjoying a very wet beat to windward, being forced to stay inshore where the sea state was better. Magic Dragon played both inshore then offshore, with Therapy going big offshore to meet the forecasted veer of wind to more the East. This paid off big for Therapy and she followed Magic Dragon to the finish line 6 minutes behind after just over 2 hours of racing. Running with Scissors was third on line 12 minutes behind Therapy.

We had a nice casual prize giving on the lawns afterwards, accompanied by the usual war stories. Therapy was named winner with Running with Scissors 2nd , but, unfortunately, due to a input error, the wrong time for Therapy was punched into the results and only noticed as this report was being penned. The corrected results are listed below.

Many thanks to all those who gave their time to make the day an excellent sailing one. Below are the corrected handicap  results with all boats listed that sailed.


2018-03-18 on DRS Handicaps as advertised.

 HandicapElapsedCorrected (seconds)
Running Scissors0,91002:20:5176901
SLFC Spindrift0,91002:30:3982253
Magic Dragon1,22102:02:4889965
African Queen0,900RET129608


Yours in sailing

Rob Samways

RNYC Sailing Committee.