In the just completed ABYC Sailing week, sailed from 27 April to 1 May, the L26 Orion Express sailed by Rob Archibald emerged triumphant in Fleet 1.
The rule of thumb for any wind in Algoa Bay is that every month with an ‘R’ in it has wind and April certainly demonstrated that with a mini gale on Sunday 28 April which resulted in many damages to competing boats after a first day with no wind at all.
The total of seven races for Fleet 1 and 3 races for Fleet 2 over the five days of the regatta were all sailed on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday’s cut off time of 1:00 pm was just too early as the North Easter began to fill in as the fleets were sent home after bobbing in Algoa Bay for over three hours waiting for Port Elizabeth’ s famous wind to make it’s appearance.
Monday’s sailing was completed in a westerly breeze that swung to south west after the second race for Fleet 2 and in a steady breeze that increased from 8 to 14 knots sailors had a long and rewarding day in the flat sea.
Fleet 2 – for the cruising boats – once again had their course set to a top mark, then they were off to an offset mark off of Shark Rock Pier, to the Bell Buoy, back to the Pier, a return to the Bell Buoy, around the bottom mark for Fleet 1 and to the finish. A nice long course.
Fleet 1 had to work a little harder as they did the traditional Olympic course of Sausage, Triangle, Sausage, Finish.
The second day’s sailing of Algoa Bay Week saw Fleet 1 complete three races on the Olympic style course. The L26 Orion Express of Rob Archibald started the day with a 1 point lead over the J27’s who went hunting for low points. Race officer Brian Reynolds set Course 1 with the top mark offshore of Kings Beach, the bottom mark opposite Macarthurs Baths and the Wing mark in line with the harbour wall.
Three races were sailed in ideal conditions with the last race started after the course was reset to accommodate the east shifting and steadily increasing breeze. A 1.3 metre swell made for fast beating and relatively quick downwind legs for the fleet.
Some tight racing took place in Fleet 1 with Orion Express picking the better lines ending the day on top with 9 points off a second and two firsts.
The J27’s of Sean Wiseman (Jellybaby) and Richard Rath (Jouster) had a ding dong battle and swapped places each race with Jellybaby, on 12 points, finally taking the a slender lead of one point over Jouster.
Fleet 2 sailed one long race that took them to the Shark Rock Pier, around the Bell Buoy (twice) and then back to round the Olympic course bottom mark and to the finish. The Olympic course for Fleet 1 was shifted to the east to accommodate a wind shift whilst Fleet 2 were on their way down from the Bell Buoy, resulting in some confusion.
After a lengthy protest at the end of day 4 the second race of the series was abandoned and all competitors scored 0 points.
In the racing division of Fleet 2 the Peterson 33, Seralon (Jerome Putter) emerged triumphant over the Sigma 33, Odelisque (Roger Cady) with the Charger 33, Wings (Eugene Lombard) coming in 3rd place on 3 points adrift.
Wily campaigner, Rob Smith sailing Tikalox II, a Muira, emerged as the overall winner in the cruising division of Fleet 2. Second in the cruising division was the impeccably restored Royal Cape One Design (RCOD), sailed by Hennie Haasbroek, with the Sadler 26 (Morgan Griffiths) finishing in third place on 18 points.
- Orion Express (L26) Rob Archibald – 9.0
- Jelly Baby (J27) Sean Wiseman – 12.0
- Jouster (J27) Richard Rath – 13.0
- Seralon II (Peterson 33) Jerome Putter – 12.0
- Odelisque (Sigma 33) Roger Cady – 12.0
- Wings (Charger 33) Eugene Lombard – 17.0
- Tikalox II (Muira) Rob Smith – 2.0
- Sewen (RCOD) Hennie Haasbroek – 6.0
- Fling (Sadler 26) Morgan Griffiths – 7.0