A 00:05 start gun on Saturday morning 18 January 2014 heralded the start for an enthusiatic and determined 8 boat fleet as they set off for the ABYC’s annual Great Circle Race which saw them sail from within the Port Elizabeth Harbour around Bird Island and back.
Tony and Ziggy Bailes on Malgas – a 34 foot L34 – have certainly thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club fleet over the course of the 2013/14 sailing season, by winning or placing high in every race.
By all accounts the sailing was excellent and tactical as John Tudehope reports:
Swopping the St.Francis Race with the Great Circle Race turned out to be a great success.
Eight boats were at the start line for the 00h05 start on Saturday off the Container Wharf and a moderate South West enabled the faster more competive boats to hoist spinnakers early.
The wind dropped off considerably as the sun rose and the first of the fleet rounded Bird Island around mid morning when the wind shifted to a moderate South East with occasional lulls and the run home relied on tactics and correct sail settings.
On board Lady who, by 09h00, was just past Sundays River, the two grizzled seamen on-board took advantage of the sleeping younger crewman and, after mental calculations, decided to turn back for port with the excuse that the sleeping crewman was not looking well.
Fling, facing a potential mutiny on-board and the concern that the previous night’s dinner from the one sea-sick crewman would not wash off the side of the hull, also turned for home.
Inyoni on the other hand returned back to moorings on Sunday morning 01h30, showing off their fishing catch.
Somewhere out on the race track was Headway who where just enjoying the sail.
With brand new sails Malgas has to be congratulated for an excellent performance (if she carries on like this the end of season prize giving will be very short and sweet).
The first three boats home were:
- Malgas – L34 skippered by Tony Bailes
- Sewen – RCOD skippered by Hennie Haasbroek
- Jelly Baby – 27 skippered by Sean Wiseman
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/01/malgas-raking-in-the-silver/