Wednesday, May 11, 2011
(Mpumalanga, South Africa)- What to do on an Easter Weekend in South Africa? Go sailing no matter what "Mum" says! From 1000 hours on Easter Friday, the grounds of Witbank Yacht & Aquatic Club became a hive of activity in frantic and hyper-kinetic preparation for the Amtec J/22 Mpumalanga Provincial Championships. Life was made easier for the registration team as most of the information had been collected prior to the event. Thank goodness since we had a HUGE turn-out twenty-one boats!
Witbank Yacht Club had pulled out all the stops with the facilities and infrastructure ensuring a well run and organised event. With boats and crew prepared, the winners of the Amtec sponsored spinnaker, the team on PAGURO IV, knew that their chances had just improved. The first race on Saturday started with winds of 8-10 knots, an organised bridge committee had a course laid and a prompt start for the fleet of 21 J/22's commenced at 1100. No one boat held the first place consecutively as the competition was close and fierce. In the first three races a maximum of 8 minutes separated the first and last boats. A quick turnaround between races ensured that a total of 6 races were completed. The Durban entry, VOODOO skippered by Luke Wagner and crewed by Jean and Siya showed that they were a team to be reckoned with achieving two firsts, two seconds, a third and a fourth. The steady wind which calmed slightly after three races did nothing to deter the boat skippered and crewed by the Youth team. They were as competitive as their experienced senior counterparts as proved by Donovan Kruger on HAKAHANA rounding the mark first in the 6th race and ultimately finishing 7th. As the sound signals for the 6th race were heard there were some tired bodies but the focus was ever present with five minutes separating the first and last boat. Sunday saw a lighter breeze but four evenly matched races completed the regatta on 10.
The land crew worked extremely hard getting all J22's out of the water in preparation for the J/22 Amtec Nationals scrutineering. Prize-giving acknowledged Donavan Kruger, with his team of Jared, Steven Kruger and Justin Botha being the first placed youth skipper. Third place saw US'N'J skippered by Graham Baker with Barry and Shaun Gurnell with 28 points, second VOODOO with Luke and his team with 25 points and first place to Richard Weiderholdt on CELL C with his team of Greg Plunkett and Rob Edwards on 18 points. Special thanks went to Mike Hayton of Amtec for his sponsorship, time and effort as well as all Witbank Yacht Club ensuring a fantastic regatta was held by all. For more J/22 Mpumalanga Provincial sailing information