Join ABYC for Their Jubilee Sailpast

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Staurday 19 September at 3:00 p.m. will see many of the Algoa Bay Yacht
Club’s (ABYC) 125 yachts and dinghies sailing from the harbour to the
Shark Rock Pier where the ABYC Sailing Commodore will take the salute
for the opening of the sailing season.

This traditional annual occasion signifies the opening of the sailing
season which ends in May of the following year 2010. Boat owners will
be dressing their boats up, applying a bit of spit and polish and
competing against each other for the “Best Dressed Boat” prize and it
promises to be a spectacular event for sea and shore based spectators
and sailors alike.

2009 marks the 50th year of existence for the ABYC, based in the Port
Elizabeth Harbour.

The Algoa Bay Yacht Club was formally established on 14 September 1959,
the year that Harold Kohler won the Lipton Cup on Trixon II a 30 square
metre yacht. The ABYC Founder Members were:  Paddy Goodall,
Scotty Pearson, Mike Morgan, Harold Kohler, Charles Allen, Graham
Packer, Jerry Cullum, Stompie Macdonald.

Initially the club had 25 trot moorings and boat owners had to row out
on dinghies to their yachts. The sole objective of the club is to
“foster an interest in sailing”.

For many years the ABYC operated out of a ‘single garage’ on the waters
edge in the harbour with a core of dedicated ocean sailing members.
Over the years the club buildings expanded and the trot moorings grew
as yachts were purchased by new members. A seperate committee was
established when the Marina was built 1988. The new marina allowed boat
owners to walk to their yachts and not have to row out to them before
setting sail. At present the ABYC Marina houses 125 yachts and power
boats.

In 2001, with the demise of the Zwartkops Yacht Club, ABYC expanded
their facilities and installed a slipway to accommodate the burgeoning
dinghy sailing population. A need was also seen to embark on sail
training with an emphasis on previously disadvantaged youth and the
ABYC Sailing School was established. A succesful 4 year partnership
with LoveLife was established in 2003 which resulted in close on One
Thousand school pupils taking part in an eight week sail training
programme under the tutelage of LoveLife coaches.

Every year boat owners ‘dress up’ their yachts and sail out to salute
the Sailing Commodore on the opening day of the Sailing Season. This
year’s Sailing Commodore is Sean Wiseman. The sailing season ends in
May of each year on the completion of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club’s major
sailing regatta, ABYC Week. From 2010 to 2012 ABYC Week will be
sponsored by The Boardwalk.

During the Official Sailing season Organised sailing and racing takes
place every Wednesday evening with Social Racing and every weekend with
long, medium and short course racing regattas.

Algoa Bay Yacht Club Aerial View

The Present ABYC Committe consists of; President – Bill Lee, Commodore
– Ian Littlejohn, Sailing Commodore – Sean Wiseman, Treasurer – Dion
Milson and Secretary – Chris Grylls.

Significant milestones at
ABYC:

  • 1975: Building of 2nd storey to ABYC.
  • 1975: Establishment of hard standing (to allow yachts to be
    craned out of water).
  • 1975: Inaugurated Algoa Bay Week: First major sponsor was
    Kronenbrau, then Opel, then Kwikot, then Continental 1995 to 2000, then
    GMSA and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality 2002 to 2005.
  • 1980: Additions to club – restaurant and offices.
  • 1986: First Lady Commodore and President in South Africa,
    Vi Smith
  • 2001: Amalgamation with Zwartkops Yacht Club.
  • 2006: Ocean Solwandle (Lovelife Coach) sailed from Cape
    Town to PE on the Gothenburg.
  • 2007: Mexican sailship Cuauhtemoc Visits.

In addition to a local sailing programme offering organised sailing and
racing every weekend and every Wednesday the following significant National and
International Regattas
have been hosted at ABYC:

  • 1961: Lipton Cup Challenge
  • 1972: Soling Class National Championships
  • 1976: RCOD Nationals
  • 1998: Lipton Cup Challenge
  • 1998: Dart Nationals
  • 2001: J22 World Championships
  • 2002: Optimist Selections
  • 2003: Optimist African Championships
  • 2003: Laser Nationals
  • 2004: Biggest ABYC Week with 95 boats racing
  • 2005: Optimist Selections
  • 2005: Finn Nationals
  • 2006: Hobie Worlds
  • 2007: Mirror World Championships
  • 2008: Optimist Selections

Significant ABYC Sailors:
Murray Webber – Springbok, double handed round Britain with John
Martin. Bertie Reed – Springbok Sailor. Lynnath Beckley – Volvo Ocean
Race Navigator. Justin Onvlee, Simon Baer and Phillipa Baer – Junior
Springboks. Anthony Steward – single handed around the world in a 19
foot TLC. Vaughan Giles, Reenen Furter, Paddy Skelton, Rod van Der
Wiel, Frans Loots and Anthony Abrahamson – Cowes Week. Paul Nathanson –
Springbok.

Well Travelled ABYC
Sailors:
Dieter and Heidren Wasserman – two
circumnavigations. Don Clements and Jenny King – Circumnavigation. Tony
and Jenny Zurcher – half circumnavigation. Graham and Elaine Wentworth,
Philip Harvey, Molly Clements, Dudley Palmer, Ian Littlejohn, Richard
Stephenson, Frans Loots, Eugene Lombard, Gavin Stephens, Lytton Coomer.

ABYC Cape To Rio Sailors:
Phil Gutsche on Warrior and Witchdoctor. Rod van der Wiel and Arthur
Clayton on Wings. Ronnie Baer on Sprinter. Joseph Scharbles. First Lady
Commodore and President, Vi Smith. Gordon Webber on Southern Isles.
Robbie Gwynn, Robbie Pressley, Walter Baumgartner, Vince Jearey, Rob
Smith, Alan and Glynnis Straton, Justin Dent, Danny Tenner.

ABYC 50th Jubilee
Committee:
Lesley Webber, Elaine Wentworth, Ruth Idris,
Paula Archibald, Harry Lamprecht, Chris Grylls.

Yachts taking part in the sail past will leave the harbour just after
2:00 p.m. in order to be on station off of the Shark Rock Pier at 2:50
p.m. The best viewing spots will be the Shark Rock Pier, Hobie Beach
and the Hobie Beach promenade. Limited berths will be available to the
public on a first come first served basis. Should the weather be
inclement the sailpast will be held in the harbour.

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