Yachting log: Large fleet for Saturday's endurance race

2009-02-19 00:00

IN near-perfect sailing conditions on Saturday afternoon, a small fleet enjoyed the last race in the Partington Plate Series at HMYC at Midmar.

The normal course was set by race officer Roy Shooter and a moderate north-easterly sped the yachts on their way. Starting late, the Dart catamaran of Allan Barr soon sped into the lead to once again take line honours by a big margin.

The keelers enjoyed a good race with Odin's Eye (Tony Cockerill/Hank Pike) making an excellent start and leading the fleet away on the first windward leg. They were chased hard by the L26 Desiree skippered by Georg Muller, followed by the Hunters Picannin (Tim Duguid) and Knip (Mark Patrick/Andy Arbuckle).

The final beat and run saw the L26 overtake Odin's Eye to take second overall behind the Dart, with Odin's Eye finishing third. In a fight to the finish line Picannin beat Knip in finishing in fourth and fifth places.

The results on handicap were: first Picannin, second Odin's Eye, and third Knip. The overall results in the five-race series are: first Odin's Eye, second Picannin, and third Knip.

The big race of the year, the Quantum Sails 9 Hour Endurance Race at HMYC, takes place on Saturday. A very big fleet is expected to enter with youth sailors mostly in Lasers making probably the biggest class in numbers. Apart from a big fleet of Hunters there will be a large number of cats and some of the bigger keelers. Among the latter, it is understood RNYC Commodore Chris Frost is bringing his Fast 42 "Prodigy", co-skippered by Rob Samways, from Durban. This immaculate racing yacht will be a sight to see at Midmar and will be a contender for line honours at the end of nine hours' racing.

The Hickman 680 Dynamite is also racing, skippered by Anton Ellens and his local crew with well-known Durban sailor Nigel Milln and his crack crew from PYC. Steve Hegestrom, who has won this event two years in a row, is also entered and expected to be sailing a 505. The Offshore Sailing Academy from Durban has entered its 23-foot catamaran and this will be a formidable contender.

It promises to be a great race with a mass start at 9.30 am, which will be spectacular viewed from the shore in front of HMYC clubhouse. Each yacht has two complete crews who have to share sailing time equally. Race officers for the event are Robin McIntosh and Peter Metcalfe.

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