Mykonos Offshore | West Coast fun – Sail+Leisure
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Mykonos Offshore | West Coast fun

by Ingrid Hale

Another successful Mykonos Offshore regatta was held this past weekend. Run by Royal Cape Yacht Club, “Mykonos” is the biggest offshore race in Africa in numbers. Close on 60 boats sailed from Cape Town to Club Mykonos on the West Coast, arriving well into the early hours of Saturday morning.

The regatta consists of an 80 mile race from Cape Town to Langebaan, which is broken up into 3 “races”, and a Bay race held on the Saturday. This 19 mile pursuit race is set within the Bays and islands off Langebaan and Saldahna. For me, this is the best race on the sailing calendar as it offers consistent winds, stunning scenery and it’s just long enough time on the water. The results of each leg and the Bay race are added together and a final result is calculated.

Traditionally the race from Cape Town to Langebaan has always been a downwind dash, but the past few years have seen unfavorable Northerly and SW winds. Sailing an 80 mile race into the wind is not much fun, especially for the smaller, slower boats. A strong NW wind was predicted for the 2018 race, which prompted quite a few boats to withdraw their entry. But after the fears of very strong winds, the start was only measured to be 8 knots.

For the speedsters, the race to Club Mykonos has always been about who takes the line honors, it’s a clash of the titans; TNT’s Phoenix, Irvine Laidlaw’s Cape Fling, Mike Hayton’s Nitro and Phil Gutches’ Warrior. 

But it’s not only the big boats who battle it out, each boat measures itself against its competition (on handicap or not) while the cruisers take advantage of a trip along the West Coast enjoying the scenery all the while testing their skills.

The big question is which way to go – inshore or offshore, with offshore paying for the early race leaders this year.

A wonderful vibe is created in the Club Mykonos Marina as boats raft up alongside each other, where tall stories are shared. The prize giving is held on the terrace and is attended by close to 1000 people. This is always followed by good food and a good party.

Everyone can be a winner! Not only the winners on the race course took away prizes, boat names were entered into lucky draws for prizes to the value of R120 000! Sunsail’s prize was a week on a 4 berth catamaran in the Seychelles worth R70 000, which was won by Tony Bailes from the yacht Nemesis. Atlantic Yachting gave away a skippers course worth  R10 000 to Melvin Rautenbach on Silver Girl and Seaport offered up a Garmin to the value of R40 000 won by Eugene Blank on Skye.               Sail + Leisure gave away digital subscriptions to add to our  family of S+L subscribers.

An event like this cannot happen without the support of wonderful sponsors. Thank you’s must go to Club Mykonos, Sunsail, Seaport Supply, Rocket Signs, Harken, Garmin, Atlantic Yachting and Elite Charters and to Sail + Leisure magazine as the official media partner.  A full report will be included in the June issue of Sail + Leisure magazine.

For full race results: Here

Pictures: Kim van Zyl

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