I don’t often get to go out on the committee boat during a regatta, and certainly not on one that is running a high-speed racing circuit similar to that of a grand prix. In the words of one competitor, “you could have sold tickets “. I had the privilege of being in the mix during the Cape 31 Invitational regatta run from the V&A Waterfront, all the while sitting comfortably on a catamaran.
3 international teams from the UK, Sweden and Hong Kong joined the highly-pedigreed South African sailor pool to enjoy excellent high-speed racing. The impressive South African sailing talent included America’s Cup Shozoloza campaigner, Mark Sadler sailing on Team Orion from Hong Kong; David Rae on Nitro, a many-time dinghy champion; Olympic campaigner, Roger Hudson on Magic; TP52 campaigners Tina Plattner and Tony Norris on TNT; Volvo Ocean Race and TP52 sailor, Paul Willcox sailing with the UK team Tokoloshe on Flame; Olympic campaigner Gareth Blanckenberg on Orion; 29er World Champions Alex Burger on Magic and Benji Daniels sailed with Team Tokoloshe on Flame; and Anthony Spillebean, VOR campaigner and Fast 40 circuit racer sailed on Team Orion. The competition at this level is extremely tough, with none of these teams prepared to give an inch.
One design racing is such a pleasure to watch; it’s quick, tactical, interesting and fair. No handicaps to consider – a first place is a first place, no question about it. This makes the sailors push harder as they know they have very little room for error and every inch counts, every badly executed manouvre can cost you dearly. And that was proved to be true in the very strong SE winds on day two and three. The first day’s racing was calmer and the conditions were more manageable but still provided for exciting racing. But in true Cape Town style, the wind on day 2 and 3 threw everything at the sailors. It became a game of survival.
But the top three teams on the podium remained in place and the final results were Tina Plattner and Tony Norris – TNT, Roger Hudson and Malcom Hall – Magic, David Rae – Nitro. Congratulations to these teams for their hard fought battle to stay on the podium. For the full results visit Cape31.
Off the water
The Sovereign Gallery at the V&A Waterfront was the perfect base for the sailors terrace and regatta centre, which buzzed every day with post racing banter, while cool glasses of Durbanville Hills wines and bubbles and Darling Brew beer were served with the delicious food by Greens Catering. PURA sodas were on hand too as a cool thirst quencher.
With thanks to the V&A Waterfront and the Western Cape Government for supporting this event. Thank you to the Race Officer, Doug Allison, Judy and the Royal Cape Yacht Club’s sailing office team, Hilary and Kerry for their smooth race management.
And thanks to Yanick and Liesl for their hospitality and having us on their comfortable bridge boat, which this Ed enjoyed most especially.
Pictures: Matthew du Toit, Ashleigh de Villiers