Over the last four Saturdays, Durban dinghy sailors have enjoyed competing in the Dinghy Bay Series that concluded this weekend.
Hosted by the Royal Natal Yacht Club, the event saw 11 classes of dinghies competing in a total of 16 races. In the Flying Fifteen class, Durban's current top lady sailor Estelle Buys sailing with helmsman, Myles White took top honours with six first places. Their consistent sailing gave them a 42point lead over second placed father and son team, Martin and Carl Zimmerman. Patrick Harris and Jeremy Kriek from Westville placed third.
In the J22 class, the only competitor in the bigger design, Rear Commodore for the Royal Natal Yacht Club, Rob Samways sailing with Jared Quinn and Mthoko 'Deejay' Latha took the opportunity of the series to get in some competitive training ahead of the J22 World Championships happening this year in South Africa.
In the Laser fleet, Denmar Nel from Pinetown finished top of the log ahead of Andrew Walford and Campbell Alexander. Alexander from Hillcrest is heading to Australia to compete in Melbourne in the Master category.
Thomas Funke sailing with Clayton Beviss racing in the fast flying 505 was also the only one in his class and showed off his prowess in the speedy boat. In a similar class, the 29ers had two competitors relished the variety of conditions. Rob Tarboton from Pietermaritzburg sailing with Michael Dickinson managed to edge out the brother team of Euan and Sean Hurter.
A refreshing turn out of youth in the smaller dinghies was uplifting to see for the future of sailing with a number of Oppies, Terras and smaller Lasers enjoying their time sailing.
Rob Samways stated, "It was encouraging to see the amount of guys on the water over the last four weeks. We had some fantastic sailing with a variety of conditions testing us. I know that Jared, Deejay and myself enjoyed ourselves immensely, taking the time to iron out a few niggles we were having on the boat."
Race Officer for the event, Lucy De Freitas said, "I just love the feeling and adrenaline counting down to the start of the races, hearing the sounds of hails and rustling sails starting to increase as the seconds tick down, everyone claiming their spot on the line. It has been a wonderful series, with some great sailing from young and old. Congratulations to everyone who came out to compete!"
The next weekend event for the Royal Natal Yacht Club is the Memorial Regatta at the end of February, with dinghy sailing taking place on the Saturday and Sunday will be the keelers racing offshore.
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or contact Keiran at the club on 031301 5425.