ABYC Week 2009 Success

www.MyPE.co.za: The
Algoa Bay Yacht Club held it’s annual premium regatta over the long
weekend of 30 April to 3 May 2009. At the same time the Pacer 27 class
held it’s Eastern Cape Provincial Regatta.

Four classes were entered; Pacer 27 (one design), Class 1 (for boats
over 0.9 handicap using a spinnaker), Class 2 (for boats below 0.9
handicap using a spinnaker) and Class 3 (No Spinnaker). Race officer,
Brian Reynolds looked to have his hands full with four seperate starts
and finishes and three courses.

Start Line of Class 1 - ABYC Week 2009With a total of 27
entries, down on the 42 of last year, the decision
was made to combine the starts of Class 2, Class 1, and the Pacer Class
– a total of nine yachts. Class 3 with 18 entrants sailed longer
courses on Day one with a seperate finish line.

Four Pacer 27’s travelled down to Port Elizabeth; from Dennysville
Aquatic Club – Music (Rob De Vlieg and Guy Nottingham), Unruly (Nike
Wilson and Iain Gibson), From False Bay Yacht Club – Felix the Cat
(Anthony Wentworth) and from East London sailing under the ABYC Flag –
Unmatched (Graham Wentworth).

In Class 3, Frans Loots sailed in from Cape St Francis on his trimaran,

In the combined Class 1 fleet entrants were sailing for Line Honours,
PHRF* and
Class Honours for the Pacer 27’s. Class 3 sailed for Line
Honours and first on PHRF.

Algoa Bay always dishes up mild to moderate with a touch of wild wind
for Algoa Bay Week and this year was no exception.

On Thursday 30 April the fleet waited until 11:30 a.m. for the west
wind to kick up to a pleasant 12 knots. Class 1 sailed two races of 70
minutes each with the wind kicking to the South. The Class 3 race was a
debacle with portions of the fleet missing the Offset Shark Rock Pier
Bouy and other racers ‘arguing’ with shipping close to the Channel
Marker. Many retirements and the potential for 9 protests against other
class members and the bridge alike led to a gentleman’s agreement to
wipe the slate clean and scrap the first race for Class 3.

The PHRF results in Class 1 for Race 1: Felix the Cat (Anthony
Wentworth), KMG Met (Justin Onvlee), Unruly (Mike Wilson / Ian Gibson)

The PHRF results in Class 1 for Race 2: KMG Met (Justin Onvlee), Felix
the Cat (Anthony Wentworth), Challenger (Jim Foot).

Class 2 consisted of only one boat, Duette (Sean Wiseman) which sailed
extremely well against it’s ‘competition’ and was a dead certainty for
Line, Class and PHRF Honours.

Class 3 ABYC WeekFriday’s wind
prediction was once again spot on with the first race
starting at 10:51 a.m. in a westerly of 14 knots. The course for the
day was a triangle which certainly favoured the Pacer 27 class who took
first place on handicap in two of the three races sailed. Class 3
sailed the same course. The second reach was a bit tight and made for
interesting sailing as the yachts sailed past and amongst the Chokka
Fleet that had anchored in the bay.

The youngest helmsman in the fleet, Jesse
Martin (11)
sailing on Le
Chevalier (Ronnie
) opened the day’s scoring with a first place in
Class 3. Jesse has been sailing for 12 months and his normal ride is an
Optimist Sailing Dinghy.

In the second race for Class 3 Banjo (Frans Loots) managed a first
place over the line and on handicap followed by Seralon and Le

In Class II Duette continued their assault on the bullets unchecked.

At the end of Friday’s sailing Principal Race Officer, Brian Reynolds,
had five races in the bag for Class I, II and the Pacers and three in
the bag for Class III.

The fleet returned home to legendary hospitality and subsidised meals
from the Chartroom. Holding the flag high and hosting daily ‘fines’
meetings were the hard working Duette sailing and shore crews. Amazing
how quickly a couple of quarts can disappear within a half an hour!

Saturday once again dished up a westerly which started at 14 knots and
increased steadily to 25 at times. ABYC Commodore Ian Littlejohn was
the new mark layer ably assisted by Chad Jackson (or was it the other
way around) and, in deference to their age Brian Reynolds again set a
windward leeward course.

With significantly more wind it was interesting to see the coastal
based Pacer 27’s begin dominating the day’s racing in the last two
races of the three races sailed.

The starts for these races were far more competitive with Duette
sprouting more confidence and jousting for a front row start with the
Pacers and Class I boats. KMG Met were OCS (on Course Side) in Race 7
and redeemed themselves with two firsts on handicap in the subsequent
two races.

Class 3 once again sailed the same course and the day was given over to
the bigger boats with Take Six (Doug Stannard) scoring two firsts on

Sunday was as predicted – warm, swirly cats paws of breeze and not a
chance of sailing. The committee boat, kindly loaned to ABYC by the
SAPS Water Wing, motored out to look for wind and eventually decided to
can the days racing at 12:30 p.m.

Prizes were awarded for
Line Honours in Each Class, PHRF in Class 1, 2
and 3, Pacer 27 Line Honours and the winners were:

  • Class 1 PHRF: KMG
    Onvlee, Andrew Ward, Rob Pressley, Sakhumzi Tyutyu, Steve Arnold, Sarah
  • Duette - winners in Class 2 Line Honours and PHRFClass 1 Line Honours:
    the Cat
    Wentworth, Allan Lawrence, Daniel Lawrence, Mathew Wentworth, Jenny
    Paarman, Sean Leslie, William Edwards)
  • Class 2 Line Honours and PHRF:
    (Sean Wiseman, Dion Milson, Alan
  • Class 3 PHRF: Take
    Six (Doug
    Stannard, PJ Murray, Keith Barnes, Matt Gill)
  • Class 3 Line Honours:
    Banjo (Frans,
    Jamie, Tanya and Francis Loots)
  • Pacer 27 East Cape Champion:
    the Cat
    (Anthony Wentworth)

My personal highlight: Actually getting to sail with a great bunch of
guys on Duette and
helping them achieve certain personal stated goals.

My personal lowlight: Watching helplessly as a Class 3 boat with
literally hundreds of square
kilometres of ocean around it, bore down on the SAPS’s Fish Eagle and
proceeded to crunch into the side. When last I checked the only time
that one is in “Irons” is when you are trying to beat and not on
a reach!

ABYC Regatta Highlight: Seeing how a few sponsors can make a great
regatta – thank you one and
all for the money time and committment to ABYC Week 2009.

(Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) is a
handicapping system
used in yacht racing. It allows dissimilar classes of yacht to be raced
against each other. The aim is to cancel out the inherent advantages
and disadvantages of each class of boats, so that results reflect crew
skill rather than equipment superiority.

PHRF is used mainly for larger sailboats of 7 meters and above.

The handicap number assigned to a class of yachts is based on the
yacht’s speed relative to a theoretical yacht with a rating of 0. A
yacht’s handicap, or rating, is the number of seconds per nautical mile
that the theoretical yacht should be in front of or behind that
theoretical yacht. Most boats have a positive PHRF rating, but some
very fast boats have a negative PHRF rating. Results are adjusted for
handicap by the race committee after all competitors have finished.

Images: ABYC
Week 2009

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