Choppy sea tests Dinghy Spring Series sailors’ grit

2014-11-13 00:00

BLUSTERY, testing conditions greeted the nine yachts competing in the Royal Natal Yacht Club’s Dinghy Spring Series at the weekend.

Race officer Jennifer Weyer set a windward leeward course for the boats in the harbour as the winds reached knots in the low twenties.

These conditions meant one thing — plenty of skill, mixed with spills — as sailors were soon drenched from hitting into the swells in a choppy sea.

Rules stipulated the bigger boats completed three laps, the Rebel and Laser classes two and the smallest craft one. The large Flying Fifteens made the most of the conditions, their large spinnakers enabling them to churn through the course. They completed the three-lap challenge around the 35-minute mark in all three races they took on.

Myles White summed it up when he shouted, “Please can we have another race, we are loving these conditions,” as he took his Flying Fifteen over the line in the day’s final race.

However, the smaller boats were up against the elements, the first to fall by the way being the RS Tera which capsized on its way to the start. Taking time to right itself took its toll and it was decided to call it quits for the day.

Pinetown sailor Denmar Nel battled with his Laser which toppled over more than once.

He failed to finish the first race and decided to take on the second, only to head for shore halfway through, exhaustion a major factor in his decision.

More mayhem was caused with Chad Stevenson’s Extra and Jethro Brophy-Tintinger’s Laser becoming tangled near the start line. Brophy-Tintinger capsized and got tangled with Stevenson’s Extra, the sailors and boats drifting over the start as the other boats began their race.

It was hard luck for Stevenson, who tore his main sail and experienced rudder problems, which saw him being towed home after the final race.

Trevor Gibb and Ian Bowman finished two races in their Mirror before calling it a day and David Curtiss, sailing his Rebel with Dylan Alberts, retired from their second race as their boat toppled over more than once.

This weekend, the club hosts the third day of the Spring Dinghy Series for smaller boats on Saturday, with the off-shore Battle for Trafalgar for keelers on Sunday.

Contact Kearin at 031 301 5425 or visit for more details.

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