The first Algoa Bay Yacht Club dinghy regatta of the 2013/14 sailing season was sailed on 9 November 2013 in the harbour.
17 boats contested this 3 race series and Fleet 1 saw a mixed bag of 9 Lasers (4.7, radial and full rig), 2 Finns 1 Regatta and 1 immaculately turned out Sonnet.
Fleet 2 consisted of 2 Optimists, 1 Mirror and 1 Gypsey from Port Elizabeth‘s sailing clubs – Redhouse Yacht Club and ABYC.
The course was laid within the Port Elizabeth harbour in a fairly stiff West South West breeze that peaked at 20 knots.
Fleet 1 sailed a triangle, sausage, triangle course and Fleet 2 sailed a triangle sausage course to finish.
The breeze and flat conditions definitely favoured the 4.7 and radial rigged lasers who reveled in the short reaches at the top of the course and the long downwind leg of the sausage. A start line showing distinct port bias saw the fleet clustering at the start pin for 3 incident free starts.
First regattas are always testing grounds for boats and sailors so the rescue crews were kept busy attending to capsizes and broken equipment – some of which meant a tow back to the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. The damage tally for the day included two broken masts and a number of blocks ‘exploding’.
Over the course of the three races the fleet got quicker as the wind speed increased and they worked out their sailing lines – polite speak for; “they started to remember how to make their boats go quicker.”
Fleet 1 was the only fleet to include boats that finished all three races.
The top 3 finishers were:
- Patrick Butler – Laser 4.7
- Josh Woolard – Laser 4.7
- Thomas Ochabski – Laser Full Rig
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