Local Youngsters fare well in Flying Fifteen Match Racing
Point Yacht Club, Durban
Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January
Patrick Harris and Jeremy Kriek added yet another trophy to their expansive collection with their unbeaten performance in the Flying Fifteen Match Racing hosted by Point Yacht Club in the middle of January.
The team who have been sailing together on Flying Fifteens for 15 years kept their nose in-front of all their competitors in every single race as they crossed the line.
Skipper, Patrick Harris said, “There was only once that we were chasing down another boat, and that was on Saturday when Campbell and Andrew had a superb start. The whole weekend was fantastic. Saturday’s conditions were testing with the light breeze and Sunday was blustery as the wind came through in big gusts.”
Seven flights of racing commenced with two races in each flight. The final flight was sailed on Sunday morning as the breeze built to a decent 12knots for the first race. The top four teams then went into the semi-finals and the winners meeting in the final. Harris and Kriek met Thomas Funke and CJ Milln in the duel for the gold and silver, and from the get-go the two teams showed off their knowledge on the water, with a determined cat-and-mouse scenario playing out from the moment the first flag was raised.
Continuing, the victorious captain stated, “Going up against Thomas in the final, who has so much international
experience was exciting, he was completely on the ball! On Saturday, I’d say that the two most challenging competitors were Sam and Campbell. The youngsters, Sam Lombaard and Jethro Brophy-Tintinger did particularly well for their first time on a fifteen, and the ding-dong with Campbell was memorable when he was in-front of us.”
Harris and Kriek have their eyes set on the Flying Fifteen World Championships that are to be held in Ireland in two years’ time, “Jeremy and I have competed in two worlds champs, the 2007 in Spain and then in Hayling Island in 2011, so if the bodies are able then we are keen.”
Six teams went head-to-head in the two day event with Race Officer, Kevin Bingham setting a windward leeward course for both days off the end of the Durban Marina. Rear Commodore for Dinghies, Myles White invited the sailors to the first official dinghy match racing in well over a decade, “We had some fabulously competitive guys out on the water, from the school lads sailing on a Fifteen for the first time to the experienced world 505 sailor, Thomas Funke and Laser Grand Master star, Campbell Alexander.”
“Overall the feeling is that the event was a huge success, and more of the classes are asking when they will get a turn to run something similar. It is great to have the enthusiasm but I would like to say thank you to the large team that made it possible: the judges keeping an eye on proceedings on the water and the team running the racing on the bridge. Great team effort to the sailors and the people behind the scenes. Viva match racing, viva!” White enthused.
The next big event for the dinghies is the Bar Anniversary Mug at the end of the month, with the yachts taking part in a feisty pursuit race.
For more info, please visit the club’s website, www.pyc.co.za.