Cape Town race week heating up

2016-12-20 06:01
“Cape Fling” in full race mode during a race at Maserati Cape Town Race Week PHOTO: Kim van Zyl

“Cape Fling” in full race mode during a race at Maserati Cape Town Race Week PHOTO: Kim van Zyl

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Race two of the Maserati Cape Town Race Week, hosted by the Royal Cape Yacht Club was off to a subdued start thanks to Table Mountain keeping the wind to herself.

The day started with a very mild north westerly blowing, but as the 30 boats moved into position for the day’s racing, there was a sudden wind drop, causing the race to be called off shortly after starting – the landmark mountain might not be high enough to make too many “tallest” lists, but it’s in just the right place to impact on Table Bay’s sailing winds.

When the wind direction changed, though, it was action stations. “The ‘second’ race of the day was perfect sailing,” says Zenith Thunderchild’s skipper, Rhett Goldswain.

With a course change quickly announced, the racing started near Milnerton beach with boats heading down towards Woodstock and back again, essentially staying in the wind channel.

As with day one, it was Cape Fling that took the race’s IRC 1 Division honours, sailing home ahead of Vulcan (second) and Nitro. The win was sweet for the Cape Fling crew after they were disqualified from race one due to coming into contact with another yacht at the start.

“We are very happy with the win,” says Cape Fling skipper Barney Smith.

“Things didn’t go our way yesterday, but we started today completely focussed to do well, which is exactly what we did. The conditions were eventually great and the longer course suited us.”

In the IRC 2 Division race, yacht Hollard Jacana was the day’s victor thanks to some well-calculated wind gauging during the lull. “There was a strong south easter of about 15 to 20 knots for the second race, which suits us because we need a good wind,” said the boat’s Tim Jones. “We are a cruiser racer, which needs a bit more wind than the other boats to be effective. Between races we analysed the wind and re-anticipated what might come. Our focus was on recalibrating and setting the sails and that paid off.”

Jones and Goldswain both highlighted the competitive but social nature of the event so far.

“It’s good competitive sailing out there,” said Jones.

“It’s very competitive on the water,” added Goldswain, “but we all know each other very well, so it’s friendly and sporting.”

While the Maserati Cape Town Race Week has its race village in the V&A Waterfront, it’s the Royal Cape Yacht Club that provides a “home” for the event.

“There’s a big tradition of events like this in Cape Town, always at this time of year, and over five days,” says Royal Cape Yacht Club commodore Vitor Medina.

“Events in the past have tended to attract the best sailors in the country, as it’s a good way to end off the year. We’re very excited to have Maserati as a partner with us on the Cape Town Race Week as we look to grow the event to the levels of yesteryear.”

Medina says there is huge potential for the Cape Town Race Week to “go big”, which is incredibly important when it comes to the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy.

“We have 110 students at the Academy, and something like Cape Town Race Week can only benefit the students. Our aim is to feed kids from all backgrounds not only into sailing, but also into the marine industry. We want to create accessibility to the ocean for all through the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Ultimately, the youth is the future of our sport.”

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