Port Elizabeth‘s North End Lake has experienced a bit of a revival from the sailing community. The first Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) interclub sailing regatta, in the shadow of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium took place in 2014. 2015 has seen the second interclub on the Lake and the inaugural Redhouse Yacht Club (RYC) 24-Hour Sailing Challenge which took place on the weekend of 31 October 2015.
The challenge was thrown out to defined two man dinghy classes to form teams that would sail non-stop for a period of 24 hours around a course laid on the lake. Teams could consist of a minimum of six and maximum of ten sailors.
The inaugural 24-hour sailing challenge ran from 12:00 midday on Saturday 31 October through to 12:00 midday on Sunday 1 November, and presented a physical and mental challenge to the seventy plus sailors and rowers that took part.
There were eight entrants for this gruelling challenge – Seven dinghies and one Paddling Team.
The most popular dinghy class was the Sonnet with four taking part (3 from RYC, 1 from ABYC), East London Yacht Club (ELYC) entered 2 Sprogs and a lone Gypsy entered from RYC. The NMMU Paramedic Students entered a paddling team and provided First Aid stand by.
Winds were very light for the duration, making for safe but tactical sailing on the 860 metre long course laid close in to the East Cape Power Boat Club. The winning boat was a Sonnet owned by Debbie and Steve Arnold, and their team “North Sonnet” achieved 121 laps in 24 hours, totalling a distance of 107.3 km (58 nm).
‘North Sonnet’ was closely followed by ‘The Rebel Alliance’ in second place with a team of youth sailors, ‘Too Inspired to be Tired’ in third. The top three sailing teams all sailed Sonnets and only 8 kilometres separated first from third.
The youth team, ‘Too Inspired to be Tired’, sailed in aid of cancer awareness. Although only placed third they were always in the running, completing an impressive 112 laps. Notably they did all their own organising and definitely were the most cheerful bunch on the water.
RYC Vice Commodore, Tim Jones said; “These events only run smoothly due to support from the shore – big thanks go to Darryl, Pam, Esme, Gordon, Cherie, Nikki for manning rescue boats, lap counting etc. John for the use of his Rubber Duck. William for his great flag pole. ABYC for their support and loan of racing Bouys. Michelle and Alan for great pictures and exposure. Also a huge thanks to Nico Louw, who heads up the EMC programme at NMMU, and got the students to help out with medical support and manning of the rescue boat during the race, in between their own racing shifts. Thank you to Mandy from Coca Cola for providing water and some of the prizes as well as the ladies who provided the very tasty late night soup. Big thanks also to the Eastern Province Power Boat club, who were very welcoming, and served fabulous food and chilled drinks throughout.”
The North End Lake sailing revival continues as sailors were keen to sign up for next year’s 24-Hour Sailing Challenge.
Top 3 Sailing Teams:
- North Sonnet (107.3 km) – Andrew Dalgleish, Angela Ward, Steve du Toit, Callum Kilpin, Chris Dalgleish, Andrew Ward, Claudia Ward, Debbie Arnold, Patrick Butler.
- The Rebel Alliance (104.7 km) – Colin Benadie, Tim Jones, Sigi Bailes, Brigitte Jones, Meghan Jones, Emma Lucas, Courtney van Wyngaardt, Adam Jones.
- Too Inspired to be Tired (99.3 km) – Sophie Hynch, Simon Carthew, Luke Weddell, Tamryn Bailes, Jordan van Zyl, Chad Bilsbury, Bronwyn van Wyngaardt, Jenna Bailes.
Top Paddling Team:
- NMMU (131.43 km) – Nico Louw, Pieter Huysamen, Jean Rossouw, Simone Theunissen , Sandile Biyela, Dean de Klerk, Jacky Geldenhuys, Nikita Worthman, Zicke Moss, Thomas Momsen.
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