SAS Grandslams hosted by HMYC on Midmar Dam 21-22nd January 2017

Dear avid catamaran sailors and others interested in sailing on fast boats,

This past weekend five Darts from RNYC entered and sailed the above mentioned event. Those representing RNYC were Andy Brown, Gavin Wadsworth, Graham Weyer, Reg Arburrow and Rob Samways. All of us sailed single handed and we had Justin von Niebel from ISC also join us sailing single handed. Two other Darts sailed two up, entered from Richards Bay, made up the fleet to 8 Darts sailing. The criteria for making class for this event was a minimum of 5 boats, so we made class in Darts and raced each other on equal terms. The racing was hotly contested.

The Dart is a versatile boat, as when specifically being raced “in class”, both 2up and single handed configurations rate equal. However, whilst racing on or in handicap fleets, the single handed version of the Dart sailing under Mainsail only  is actually scientifically calculated as being slightly slower than the 2 up version with jib and crew. This is confirmed in performance observations on RYA Portsmouth Yardstick Ratings as well.

There was also an excellent turnout of sixteen Hobie 14s mainly from PYC, then three Halcats, so with the eight Darts we all started on one start-line making 27 boats on line. This was most enjoyable as these days it is not often when one has to jostle for prime start positions on a busy start line. Also entered in the regatta and sailing off subsequent starts after the catamarans were a good mix of  Lasers, Sprogs and Optimists and then a number of all sorts making up a “O” Class.

Derek Wilkes, former long serving  RNYC Rear Commodore, now HMYC’s Commodore, was the Race Officer for the regatta. We must commend Derek and his team for an excellent event. We had good course lengths and layout and he managed to get in 7 races over the two days of the regatta, in winds ranging between 4-6 knots on Saturday and 4-10 knots on Sunday.

The podium places for the Dart fleet were:  Rob Samways(RNYC) 1st , Ruben Heard (ZYC) 2nd and Gavin Wadsworth (RNYC) 3rd. The organisers then produced a catamaran overall handicap result with all 27 boats. The handicap results had Garth Louden (PYC) on Hobie 14 in 1st , Dylan Alberts (PYC) Hobie 14 in 2nd and Rob Samways (RNYC) Dart 18 in 3rd .

For full result listings please see :

If you are not racing catamarans, or didn’t sail this event, then you really are missing a lot!

Rob Samways

KZN Dart 18 Rep.