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Re Established East v West Regatta. 17th & 18th November 2018

The water surface at our sailing venue on the Hartenbos River is far away from tall buildings, big trees or anything really that is likely to cause wind shadows or “bend” the wind direction, so it comes through cleanly.

We had a stiff breeze on both days which was mostly at the upper end of the A rig. Some tried the B rig for a while but reverted to A again later.

Prior to the event, Windguru’s prediction for Saturday was for a SSW gradually becoming S and blowing at up to 12 knots – about right I would say. Sunday’s prediction was for similar strength but from a SE direction – again, they got it right!

The river runs in a East/West direction where we sailed and Saturday’s SW wind was not a problem initially, but as it became more South, it was harder to set a start line that you could sight along and still be square to the wind.

After having sailed 20 races, we took a break and had a most enjoyable braai at the Mossel Bay Yacht Club on charcoal donated Elma and salads etc supplied by Di. Thank you ladies!

Sunday’s SE was just perfect! Similar strength to Saturday but from a better direction.

Since we again had such a fresh breeze, we got through our races very quickly (with the DF95’s really moving downwind) and decided to make each race 3 rounds just to make them last a little longer.

I suffered the misfortune of burning out my sail servo (due to some water getting into it I think) and after admiring the skill of our top skippers for a while, I started sailing some other boats and immediately realized how different tuning can change the way they handle – like chalk and cheese! The 1st one I tried tacked easily - just put the helm over and around she goes, quickly picking up speed on the new tack. The other was an absolute pig and would wind up pinching and going sideways after tacking and not responding to helm due to little forward speed. Easing the sheets, trying to get as much speed as possible before the tack and then slowly sheeting in after the tack helped, but for the 1st one all that was unnecessary. It was hard to believe that these boats are identical! It certainly underlined the importance of tuning for me.

Craig kindly gave of his time to help others get their boats sailing well and the whole event grew from a suggestion he had made some time before, so thanks very much Craig.

A big thank you goes to Di  Getliffe who organized the catering and worked tirelessly in the bridge assisted by Glenda Maritz who also took some good photos. This event owes a lot to these ladies!

Thanks goes to Brian Beauchamp who helped organize the event and Wally Maritz for bringing the rescue boat.

Thanks also goes to Des for also assisting skippers to get their boats sailing better and for making the effort to attend so soon after the Dallas regatta – it could not have been easy!

Thank you to all those who travelled far to attend this event, I hope you enjoyed the sailing.

All in all a very pleasant event sailed in a good spirit (mostly) and I think it was the first event for the Dragons outside of local areas and it bodes well for future regattas – did I hear a rumour about a National in Cape Town?

George RSA61

The East West regatta 2018  which we have just sailed, originated from an idea suggested by Craig Richards to Brian Beauchamp of the Garden Route Radio Sailing Club.

It seems to me that the East West name was a bit confused because when Craig suggested it, I think he may have had a regatta of that name sailed in Cape Town in mind, but as it happens there was a regatta sailed between Port Elizabeth (East) and Garden Route (West) which, in its prime was an annual event with each party taking turns to organize and host the event which was sailed for the “Eddy Fuller East vs West Trophy”. I have this trophy in my hands as I write and I can see that it was first awarded to P.E.R.B.C. in 2005 and sailed every year until being last awarded in 2012 to A.B.Y.C. Garden Route only won it once and that was in 2011. In those days it was sailed in the R36 Shipmate class.

It was this event which we as GRRSC were hoping to reinstate and seeing that 10 DF95’s were sold in Port Elizabeth (more than to any other single city in S.A.?), we thought there should be a good chance of once more making it an annual event. It was mainly an individual race but at the end the total points of each team’s  members were added together to determine the winning team.

In the latest version of this regatta and in the absence of any Port Elizabeth representation, we decided to just leave it as an individual event for this time. Perhaps in the future an event could be held which would be more like it was in the past but with competitors from anywhere in the country welcome to join us and be slotted into whichever team.

George, Des and Brian Shawn, Wally and Tom Craig, Shawn and Di Des Launching Lets make it DOUBLE THE  FLEET SIZE FOR NEXT YEAR