11 months ago



SAIL +LEISURE INTERNATIONAL N 40.712784 | E -74.005941 A VISUAL FEAST Andrew Collins describes the exciting sailing seen at the 2017 Mykonos Offshore Regatta. The number of boats entered, 94, alone is evidence of the popularity of the annual Mykonos Offshore Regatta. It is also evidence of the glass half-full spirit of South African sailors, who know it is only a matter of time before Aeolus sends Eurus* to test their downwind skills again. It was very pleasing to have SAS present at the registration and skipper’s briefing. Bev le Seur, the Western Cape chairperson, also arranged for a motor launch to take various stakeholders in Western Cape sport out to watch the start. It is vital we keep our sport top of mind with these key players. Our race officer, Neville Norton, set a start line for the 27th edition of the race just off Granger Bay to make sure the boats all got off to a good start in the light north-westerly. The forecasts showed the breeze would back round to the south-west around lunch time. Cape Fling, Nitro, Warrior and Lion of Africa Vulcan all headed well off-shore to set themselves up for this shift. Amongst the smaller boats, Scarlet Sun, Yolo, Tin Tin and Al had the same strategy. You would have thought that with this many rock stars agreeing on the same tactic, it would have paid off… About two-thirds of the fleet chose a more direct line to the gate at Dassen Island with the Smart Tri 40 and Hollard Jacana leading this pack and staying close to the shore. One lone boat, Cathy R, took a completely different view of things, avoiding the long beat north by turning south and heading to False Bay for the weekend. Cape Fling was first through the Dassen Gate followed by Warrior, Nitro and Morning Glory. Hollard Jacana however, won this leg on handicap, showing the rhumb line to have been the better choice. The SmartTri40 was the first multi-hull to Dassen and Chinook led division 2 through the gate. The boats that had headed out to sea after the start paid the price for trusting the normally accurate PredictWind and were well behind. Nuthr Witch took 1st place in division 2 for Race One. Bodytec Flyer led division 3 through the gate just ahead of Derbigum. Both boats, which had sailed the more direct course, were pleasantly surprised to find themselves ahead of much faster division 2 boats such as Yolo, Tin Tin and Scarlet Sun. The multihull fleet had Danie Colyn’s Smart Tri 40 in the lead at Dassen Island, but Kevin Webb on Banjo and Greg Davis on Set Sea did far better on the second leg to Mykonos, so that Banjo was lying first with Set Sea second and Andrew Dolloway’s Ladybird in third. In previous years when the conditions have been light, many boats have not managed to finish the second leg of the course. This year, uncharacteristically flat seas and a constant breeze meant most of the division 1 and 2 fleets were able to get a result for all three races. Only six of the 26 boats in division 3 managed to complete the race to Mykonos. After the first three races Cape Fling led division 1, with Morning Glory in second and Nitro lying third. Idefix led division 2 with Nuthr Witch only one point behind. Although Scarlet Sun, Xtra Link Yolo and Al all did far better on the leg from Dassen to the finish, they were quite far behind in points. Bodytec Flyer managed to maintain the lead she had built at Dassen Island and won both Race Two and Three, while Farmed finished second in all three races and Derbigum was lying in third place. The pursuit race, Race Four, is a firm favourite for most boats and it is always worth those smaller boats that retire from the race to Langebaan, not turning back, but motoring on to Mykonos in order to take part on the Saturday. A fresh south-easter and flat water resulted in wonderful sailing around Saldanha Bay. The thought of fish farms and mussel beds encroaching on our sailing playground in the future is horrific. Hopefully the various organisations and clubs fighting this plan will save the bay (pun intended). The sight of Cape Fling, Nitro and Vulcan racing through the Jutten Island gap throwing gybes at each other, while threading their way through the rest of the fleet was a highlight of the race. Just imagine the visual feast of a fleet of ten or more Cape 31s in close quarters under spinnaker. The final results had Irvine Laidlaw winning the Mykonos Regatta on Cape Fling. In the divisional results Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory was second in division 1 followed by Mike Hayton and David Rae on 12 SAIL+LEISURE

Nitro. Dave Garrard on Nuthr Witch was only one point ahead of Peter Funke’s Idefix in division 2, with Leon van Niekerk in third on Chinook. In division 3 the Charger 33, Bodytec Flyer, made a clean sweep with four firsts, Vitor Medina on Farmed was second and the Van Der Berg’s finished third on Chazaq. Set Sea won the multihulls with Banjo in second and Ladybird third. For the first time the race was dual scored on ORC. It is incredible to see that 37 boats had ORC ratings. Under this handicap system Morning Glory narrowly beat Cape Fling with Nitro in third place. From next year onwards, as with all the racing at RCYC, the only handicapping systems we will use are ORC and IRC. Although the Mykonos race is a tried and tested one, repetition can become stale and the race committee was looking to freshen up the event without messing with a winning formula. To this end, an attempt was made to link Mykonos to the Saldanha Bay Raid the following weekend and to include LYC and SBYC in a West Coast sailing week. It may be this initiative was put into play a little late to allow crews to commit, or that most crew had simply had done too much sailing by this stage after a fantastic Cape Town Race Week and fabulous Fling Regatta. The other initiative was to move the prize giving to the Oceanos Pool Bar. The setting is more spectacular and it removed the distraction and noise of the general public, which had always interfered with prize giving in the past. Unfortunately the weather did not play along and many people found it a little cold and windy. A solution will need to be found. Fortuitously, the board of World Sailing was in Cape Town to hold one of their quarterly meetings that weekend and Philip Baum kindly arranged to include them in the formalities of the regatta. The CEO, Andy Hunt, legendary sailor Torben Grael and Nadine Stegenwalner all gave presentations at the skipper’s briefing. On Saturday they all graciously drove up to Langebaan after a full day of meetings to be present at the prize giving. The President of World Sailing, Kim Andersen, spoke about the goals of World Sailing and then presented the trophies. A regatta such as Mykonos takes an enormous effort from a tremendous team. It also requires generous sponsors and we are very fortunate to have Club Mykonos, Sunsail, SAIL+LEISURE 13

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