On Saturday 10 March a number of media people, members of the public and media rugrats went sailing on the Boardwalk Lake.
It was a chance to get together in the sun, have a few nibbles, some champagne and orange juice and lots of laughs as we tried out the Radio Controlled yachts belonging to members of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club Radio Control sailing division. Two ‘flavours’ were available – the R36 class and Micro Magic class yachts. The key to happy and competitive sailing is to ensure that you sail a yacht that is a member of a recognised class and that is well represented in the area in which you will be sailing. The R36 and Micro Magic are two well represented classes in Port Elizabeth.
The Micro Magic radio controlled yacht is based on the relatively small one-man 6.5 m long yachts which compete in trans-Atlantic regattas. The modern design of the hull, keel, rudder and rig endow the boat with high-performance sailing characteristics in light to moderate winds combined with simple handling. The boat’s compact size solves all manner of transport problems – Dimensions: Length 530 mm, Height 980 mm, Beam 180 mm and Weight 980g. A lighter racing model is also available.
The R36 is a relatively old design with the following dimensions – Length 915 mm, Height 229 mm and Beam 279 mm.
In 1993 the South African Radio Sailing Authority held their National Championships in Port Elizabeth for the first time sailing on the North End Lake. At the time the sailing waters and conditions made a great impression on the ‘foreign’ sailors as one of the competitors button holed me in Cape Town during Lipton Cup almost begging me to see if ABYC would once again organise radio controlled sailing on the “perfect waters of your North End Lake”. Something for our powers that be to think about methinks.
At present sailing on the Boardwalk Lake is very weather dependant and only viable when the wind blows from a westerly direction – any easterly blocks off wind from reaching the lake and without it the little yachts don’t really go so fast.
BUT, Saturday presented perfect, yet challenging conditions for the little yachts and I was most impressed to see Taylor Penrith, celebrating her 12th Birthday, take to and master Radio Controlled Sailing like a duck to water. When the time came to take part in a race Taylor ‘helmed’ Rodney Idris’ R36 yacht and, with a bit of coaching from Lee Godwin, went round the marks like an old pro – even beating two of the crusty old curmudgeons to the finish.
After getting their grubby paws on a radio control yacht some media understand the technique of sailing, which will stand them in good stead ahead of the Boardwalk Hobie 16 Nationals taking place between 27 and 30 April 2012 on Hobie Beach, Port Elizabeth – one more nationals to add to the many high profile watersport events hosted by our fair city. The next event for media will be a sunset cruise in Algoa Bay on larger yachts. Contact Alan to book your place.
If you want to get involved in Radio Controlled Sailing contact Rodney on 083 656 9170.
Related Link: Maiden Wings Radio Control Shop.
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