Opening the sailing season in style

2014-10-21 00:00

HISTORICALLY, the Jonsson Cup Pursuit Race highlights on the dinghy sailing calendar; opening the busy summer sailing season for the Point Yacht Club’s this Saturday.

After the global success of the Bart’s Bash World Record Attempt that started the season for the keelers, the smaller boats get their opportunity. The iconic dinghy race is Durban’s oldest dinghy race. Sailors take to the bay to challenge for the magnificent trophy.

A pursuit race is extremely exciting: it starts with a technical start. The start time for all boats is staggered according to their handicap, scientifically calculated according to boat weight, sail area and boat design.

The slower boats launch first with the faster boats chasing them down.

“We are hoping [for several] entries ... The finish is the best part. If things go according to plan, most of the fleet dash for the line, making it quite tight as we all converge on the finish,” event co-ordinator Lucy de Freitas said.

Defending champion Sean Hurter returns to defend the title won last year on a Dabchick, a proudly South African-designed one-man dinghy. The up-and-coming sailor has returned from competing in the ISAF Youth World Championships in Tavira, Portugal. He was racing with his older brother Euan in the 29er class.

De Freitas said the concept brought together young and old and for speed merchants like Hobies and 49ers to chase slower Mirrors and Dabchicks. Over the years middle-speed boats like Flying Fifteens and Lasers have often won. “It is a fun event,” she said.

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