Ray of Light shines

2014-11-20 00:00

SUNDAY’S Battle of Trafalgar Pursuit Race, hosted by the Royal Natal Yacht Club, saw Ray of Light, helmed by Heidi Kavanagh, take the honours.

With husband Michael, she crossed the line a handy two minutes ahead of Wayne Smith’s catamaran Crazy Diamond.

Smith’s effort is to be applauded as he was the last to start in the pursuit race, knocking off eight boats as he carved his way through the field to bag second spot.

There was drama for Kavanagh when one of her crew, Refeloa Zililo, went overboard just as her boat prepared to round a buoy.

“He was a little enthusiastic in getting to his position and over he went,” said Kavanagh. “We overshot the mark to enable us to turn around and return to collect him.”

Alec McNamara, skipper of the rescue craft at the buoy, was full of praise for how the rescue was carried out.

“It was the most phenomenal thing I have seen on the water,” he said. “Ray of Light turned magically on her keel and plucked their man out the water in one smooth action. He wasn’t in the water for more than two minutes.”

Michael Kavanagh felt vindicated in saying, “When I saw the sea conditions, I insisted all our guys wear their inflatable life jackets. It was the first time in Durban I had done this and it proved vital. As soon as Refeloa hit the water, his lifejacket responded.”

Appropriately, Zililo is known as “Waterboy” and he left no one wondering why he has the name after his antics.

Although 20 boats originally entered the race, only 11 were brave enough to take on the elements. Starting just off Addington Beach, there was a turning mark off La Lucia Mall, seven nautical miles up the coast. Along the way, Majimoto, in the hands of Jon Marshall, was forced to retire thanks to a bent spinnaker pole, plus their backstay was giving problems holding up the mast.

Along the way, Ray of Light recorded a top wind speed of 42,9, with all boats starting in winds nearing 20 knots.

Sizeable swells added to the challenge and, backed by strong gusts, the fleet was knocked about in conditions that resembled a washing machine.

This weekend, sailors and boats sail off-shore in the first race of Royal Natal Yacht Club’s Spring Series.

RESULTS

1 - Ray of Light (Michael Kavanagh)

2 - Crazy Diamond (Wayne Smith)

3 - Bellatrix (Gregg Hurter)

4 - PheZulu (Leo Kroone)

5 - Therapy (Gavin Wadsworth)

6 - Zap (Graham Rose)

7 - Magic Dragon (Bill Ellens)

8 - Zing (Gavin Smith)

9 - Candi (Theuns Nel)

10 - She-Myra (Frans Van Oers).

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