SPRING RACE SERIES – THE CANNON BALL RUN – SEP 2021

Sailing workshop held on the 4th August 2021.

This was attended by John Scudder, Riaan Adendorff, Allan Ward, Gunnar Heiberg, Ian Smith, Ian Mackintosh, Sharyn Robinson, Rike Viljoen, Pieter Viljoen, George Breeze, Alan Reynolds, and myself.

John started off the workshop with a presentation of aids to navigation, specifically buoyage. This was very well prepared and went down well. This progressed onto paper charts with Riaan informing us of numerous important symbols that were long forgotten. It was great to have input from Allan Ward who also has years of experience. I said that I would take notes for those that could not attend, I am sorry that was just not practical as it was very much of a discussion with a wide range of input.

Last weekend the first race of the spring series was held, THE CANNON BALL RUN. There were eleven boats taking part and below is a report put together by Rike and Pieter on Andante. We also need to thank the sponsor of the bottle of Rum. ( The name is being withheld due to his relationship with the winning boat ) Once a pirate always a pirate.

The POYC has planned a busy sailing calendar for the year with cruises, races, workshops, guest speakers, and seamanship exercises. This past Saturday saw a long-distance pursuit race over three triangular courses. An 18nm track for the smaller yachts, a 20nm track for yachts under 33ft, and a 21nm track for yachts over 33ft. After some cajoling by the Club Commodore and race organizer, Gunnar Heiberg, 11 monohulls entered for the event. A nominal entry fee was charged to boost our club funds and to finance the winner’s prize (a bottle of Cannon Shot Rum). As is customary, a fair share of teasing about the reputation and abilities of some yachts and sailors preceded the event. All in good spirit of course and mainly aimed at the need for putting in all effort to beat the race favourite and, purported, fastest¬†monohull in the marina.

The planned starting time was delayed by 30 minutes to give everybody a chance to get in position, close to the Laaiplek harbour mouth. Under a sunny sky with a bit of a chill in the air, our Vice-Commodore started the three categories at 5-minute intervals. The sea was calm and a south-easterly blew at a steady 5 to 6 knots, which saw many yachts running to the first waypoint with spinnakers aloft. Those without, were merrily goose-winging downwind. At about noon and a good distance offshore, the trouble started. The wind speed decreased and making progress from the offshore waypoint back to the Stompneus waypoint was frustratingly slow for most. Radio messages like “Bacardi Breeze is just wallowing around, can we use paddles” and “Flamingo is drifting around the Stompneus marker” was a prelude to the race unravelling for some. Soon, Bacardi Breeze and Andant√© radioed that auxiliary power will be required to get to port before sunset. Reflexion also announced that they will be “firing their donkey” and Manana followed suit. Prost, Isabella and Flamingo opted to anchor at their favourite spots for the night. Thankfully, by mid-afternoon a decent breeze sprung up from the south and those still heading home could enjoy 11 knots of wind, gusting 15kts.

All praise to Barato, Frayed Knot, Sea Weed and Point Blank who persevered and finished in respectable times, considering the conditions. As expected, the Lavranos 34, Point Blank, with her distinguished (read notorious) crew won. BUT only after warding off a valiant challenge from Barato, who “lost her wind”!

PS. Sailors must please remember the next race in two weeks time.

Results: Point Blank 1st, Barato 2nd, Seaweed 3rd, Frayed Knot 4th, Bicardi Breeze Rtd, Reflexion Rtd, Prost Rtd, Manana Rtd, Flamingo Rtd, Isabella Rtd, Andante Rtd.

We have had two amazing sailing weekends, which is proving that we can enjoy ourselves on the water while sticking very much to our special bubble of friends.

There is no place safer than on your boat at sea.

Derek Robinson