Weekend races prep sailors for nationals

2009-03-19 00:00

HENLEY Midmar Yacht Club (HMYC) held a series of 10 short races as part of their training programme for the South African National Championships at Midmar this coming weekend.

Six Hunters took part under the direction of Commodore Tony Cockerill, assisted by Hank Pike. These sprints proved an excellent opportunity for skippers and crews to sharpen up on tactics and will set the standard for the nationals. Over 30 Hunters have entered so far and more are expected.

On Sunday, line honours were shared among the top local contenders. Apart from racing his Hunter, Paul Changuion shared his wisdom on tuning and tactics for the benefit of all.

Also showing good form was ex-Michaelhouse sailor Ant McMillan, now a sailing instructor with Craig Millar’s Sail Africa project in Durban, who put up an excellent performance skippering Robin McIntosh’s Hunter, Paradigm Shift, into third. Zackedy was second and Paul Changuion and Tim Duguid took first by just one point.

The Hunter Nationals start tomorrow morning and end on Sunday. A number of Hunters will be arriving from Witbank and the Vaal with top skippers and crews. A hard-fought event is expected.

This last Sunday also saw HMYC’s 09ers appearing out of storage. These small yachts are used for training young sailors-to-be.

New HMYC members Paul van Deventer and his four sons dusted them off, rigged them and went sailing. This augurs well for the creation of a new youth section at HMYC, which is very keen to encourage youth sailing.

The committee is working seriously on the matter and hope to see results this year. Mark Patrick will be holding a training session soon.

Radio yachtsmen were in action at HMYC at Midmar on Saturday afternoon when they held an R36 shipmate class league race. Eight yachts took part and five races were sailed. The wind was a fresh south-easterly that kicked up big seas on the course.

Seven yachts used their third suit of storm sails. The eighth yacht, sailed by Keith Gerson, braved its B second suit and this paid off, the extra area really helping to speed the yacht off the wind. In the end, Peter Simons from Durban was again the winner, scoring five points with Keith Gerson second on six points. Des Fairbank came third on 11 points and Richard Randall fourth on 14.

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