GEORGE NEWS - George Lakes Yacht Club hosted its annual New Year Regatta before the arrival of the new year. An entry of 23 boats - three catamarans, five junior boats (two Optimists and three Teras) and fifteen in the senior dinghy fleet - competed.
The senior dinghy fleet had three Finns, two GP14s, two Dabchicks, a Fireball, Extra, DS15 and five Lasers.
Competitors came from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth as well as Knysna, Mossel Bay and George.
On Saturday, for the first day of the regatta, a strong south-easterly of over 20 knots prevailed, on the margin for sailing to be permitted. Nevertheless, a course was set. Many chose not to compete, or returned to shore after the race started.
During the race the wind speed increased, gusting to 30 knots. All the juniors bravely started, but none were able to finish. The adult men on their Finns mastered the conditions, led by Morgan Evans who was first to finish, followed by Dudley Isaac and Ken Reynolds. The only other boats to finish were the GP14 of Brent Gray and Mark Algra and the DS15 sailed by Jim Foot and Kerri Bonnage.
Of the catamarans, the Dart18 of Clive and Mireille Layland mastered the conditions while the Hobie16 sailed by Matthew de Villiers and Jason Reid had to recover from a pitch pole capsize before they could finish.
After this race the fleet was sent to shore as it was deemed that the wind was too strong for further racing.
On Sunday the wind had abated and a south-easter of 10 to 15 knots remained, making for ideal sailing conditions.
Four races were completed. In these races, the Fireball of David Laing and Anthony Alant was able to establish a lead ahead of the dinghies. The Finn of Morgan Evans was always close behind to be second over the line in three of the races, allowing Dudley Isaac to get ahead in the last race.
In the junior fleet Ashley Layland (Tera Pro) took line honours in the first race of the day ahead of the similar boat sailed by Sean Vonk, but Vonk then came out just ahead in the other three races. Behind was Luca Ludolf on his Tera Sport.
In the catamarans the Laylands (Dart18) won all the races while De Villiers / Reid had competition from the Hobie 16 of Gary and Leigh Anne Cundill.
With the regatta scoring being done on handicap against class ratings, Morgan Evans was the winner of the senior dinghy fleet, ahead of Dudley Isaac and Malcolm Osborne.
In the junior fleet race, wins were shared between Sean Vonk, Ashley Layland and Luca Ludolf (who won two races). Sean Vonk was the most consistent and emerged as the overall winner ahead of Ashley Layland and Luca Ludolf. Clive and Mireille Layland were the unbeaten winners in the catamaran fleet.
George Lakes Yacht Club acknowledges the sponsorship provided by Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty George and Raubenheimers Attorneys, which enhanced the success of this regatta.
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