The Harken Round Robben Island Race is a favourite with most sailors at RCYC. Saturday’s race did not disappoint with a 20 knot north-westerly wind allowing everyone to make quick progress to the island and enjoy the run back.
The October Harken race is always a pursuit race and this was the first year the start times were calculated using our new ORC handicaps. These seemed to work very well with a good mix of Class A and Class B boats in the top 10 as well as a Class C boat in 4th place. There were no surprises with all the leading boats being well prepared and competently crewed with talented sailors on the helm. ORC is in its infancy at RCYC, but so far it is proving to be an excellent and fair system.
On our boat, Bodytec Flyer, we elected to round the island to port so that we could take advantage of doing the beat in the flatter water inside the island. The swell and waves are normally quite big on the west of the island and it made sense, since we are a smaller boat, to surf these with the spinnaker up, rather than bash upwind into them. As it turns out the vast majority of the fleet made the same choice, although their reasons may have varied.
The key to the beat seemed to be playing the shifts correctly as the pressure was pretty constant. Those boats which got this right made some good gains on the way to the island.
The spinnaker run back to the finish line was fabulous. As Rick Nankin commented at the prize giving, for once those of us with spinnaker poles were able to sail deep and straight to our advantage, while the assymetric speedsters sailed the longer legs. It was great fun watching Silky, Mwah and Hollard Jacana flying along, gybing the angles.
Well done to Dave Garrard and his crew on Nuthr Witch for winning this race for the second time in a row. In second was another Class B boat, Xtra-Link Yolo, followed by the first Class A finisher, Windpower.
Looking at the winners by Class the results for Class C are Hors d’Ouvre in first, Ava in second and Sizwe in third. Class B was won by Nuthr Witch, followed by Xtr-Link Yolo and then Southern Star in third. Class A was won by Windpower, with the academy sailors on Corum in second and Hollard Jacana in third place.
A huge thank you to Harken for their continued sponsorship of this wonderful event. Thanks also to the RCYC staff and volunteers for running the race and to our chefs for the delicious snacks. – Andrew Collins