Not all smooth sailing as rivalry intensifies

It was an extremely close battle between rival SACS and WBHS, but the consistent sailing and well thought through strategy put the boys ahead in the end.

This brings Wynberg to a total of 14 wins, and for the first time breaks Bishop’s record of 13 wins in the event’s 28-year history. Each year the points gap between the top three teams becomes closer and closer and is an indicator of the spread of sailing talent between the various schools.

Wynberg Boys’ High’s Laser 4.7 team, made up of Calvin Gibbs and Arin Long, performed consistently well in the varying conditions. Teammates Lee Gibbs and Byron Kingwill also sailed in the Laser 4.7 fleet with Lee having some impressive finishes.

Byron had a baptism of fire as it was his first ever regatta.

Matthew Thorburns’ outstanding performance in the Dabchick class clinched the deal for the Wynberg boys showing that performing well in both the big fleets of Dabchicks and Lasers is critical to building points.

While the SACS team of Michael Hoyle and Adam Knox in the Dabchick fleet looked to be the formidable opponents, it was the young talent of Optimist sailors Matt Ashwell and Hamilton Slater who earned the majority SACS points and Micheal Hoyle’s bullets in 7 out of the 8 races in the Dabbies.

Bishops were never far behind with their impressive fleet of 17 sailors taking part in Lasers, Picos and RSTeras. Zander Brookes and James Rumbelow had good results with 3rd and 4th respectively in the Laser 4.7 fleet.

However, it was the RSTera team of Stefan von der Heyden and Jordan Welsh which pushed Bishops ahead and Pico 2-up boat of Keenan Mills and John Smith confirming the third place overall with bullets in 7 out of 8 races.

The overall junior school trophy was well earned by the young RSTera team of Rhys Whitfield and Eve Gardner from Sweet Valley Primary School.

Rhys delivered an impressive 8 out of 8 firsts with teammate Eve taking second place to secure the trophy. Second place went to CBC St John represented by Jared Tyler who also bulleted all 8 races in the Optimist junior fleet. Third place went to newcomers to the inter-schools regatta, James Matchette on RSTera, and Jessice Machette and Hannah Sassman on Laser Pico representing Edgemead Primary.

Last week Saturday’s 2pm start was in sunny but medium to strong conditions which challenged some of the newer sailors. The course was slightly different to previous years with a separate start and tight reach finish enabling bridge officers Neil Armitage and Mary-Anne Sharwood to keep the races flowing. With very light conditions expected on Sunday, 4 races were pushed through by 5.30pm and the series in hand.

Sunday started with a glass vlei and everyone hoping the wind forecast was going to hold true for a light 5-10 knots. Sure enough it filled in and racing was soon under way. The next four races were run back to back with the 5th kicking in the discard.

The spectators had plenty of action with the start line right outside the club and the downwind run in full view.

Some loud cheers and applause with some spectacular capsizes and tight tussles with the changes in positions on the run and round the last mark to the finish were the order of the day.

This inter-school sailing event is endorsed by both the national sailing federation (South African Sailing) and open to all schools in the Western Cape. It is the only inter-school fleet racing event in the Western Cape and has been run every year since 1989.