SA 'Hunters' National Champs a success

2009-03-26 00:00

The SA National Championship for Hunter Class Yachts was a huge success. HMYC at Midmar hosted the event and it was run in exemplary fashion by Race Officer Rob Bell and his team on the Bridge, and ably assisted by Dave Wagner and his team on mark laying and rescue.

Racing began on Friday in switching winds, which was particularly testing for the visiting Hunters, mostly from Witbank and the Vaal. Herbert Karolus from SPYC won the first race, followed by John Bruckman from HMYC and Alex Schon from LDYC on the Vaal in third.

This stirred the locals into action and in race two, HMYC'S Paul Changuion came second. After that HMYC Commodore Tony Cockerill, crewed by Hank Pike, got their act together and set off scoring consecutive firsts, a third, second and ending with another first.

After discard they won the Championship on 15pts. Carolus came second on 28pts and Paul Changuion and Tim Duguid finished third on 33pts. Another HMYC entry John Bruckman and Dave Martinson came fourth on 34pts. The weather on Saturday and Sunday was good, but the winds were fickle and switching in strength and direction. This gave the Race Officer and his crews quite a headache, but they set good courses throughout the Regatta, which were enjoyed by all.

The Class Association held their AGM, followed by an excellent dinner on Saturday and a prize giving where some really lovely prizes were awarded on Sunday. Cockerill and Pike's victory follows closely on their victory in the Mpumalanga Championships recently. It is a remarkable achievement as their aged Hunter Odin's Eye No. 40 is one of the earliest Hunter 19's imported into South Africa from England many years ago.

Also seen in action on Sunday was Claire Walker from St Anne's School, busy training in her Laser.

She has been chosen for the second time as a Protea yachtswoman to take part in the ISAF YouthWorlds being held in July in Brazil.

This weekend sees the SA Schools Invitational Team Racing Regatta under the direction of Rob and Brenda Tarboton. This promises to be an exciting and challenging regatta for the youth sailors. MRYC radio sailors are scheduled to race at HMYC on Saturday afternoon with their R36 shipmate class league race.

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