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Maserati Charity Bay Race

Maserati Charity Bay Race

This new event was announced only weeks before it was staged and saw a good entry of 26 yachts on the start line. The brief for this event from Luke Scott of RCYC Sailing Committee was to have a “mystery” Bay race of 2 hours for the fastest and 3 hours for the smaller yachts.

Overall results would be run on the RCYC Club RRD handicap system and IRC simultaneously.

The weather forecasts all week had shown a light South Easterly for Saturday and this appeared to be set in on Saturday by midday.

The OOD set a 13 mile course down the bay to a laid turning mark about 2.5 miles off Dolphin Beach followed by a series of zig zag legs with beats and reaches back to the finish.

Many of RCYC’s top racing yachts lined up for the 13.00 start in a lovely South Easterly only to see it die completely away 10 minutes before the start. A Westerley wind of 5 to 8 knots started streaming in from Sea Point direction and the South Easter was pushed back to the Woodstock beach with the typical “no mans land” mushy wind conditions in between.

Quick action from the Race Organisation and Ron Keytel, the Race Officer, saw a short postponement, a new course announced and a delayed start by 15 minutes.

The 13 miles course would take boats 2 miles up the coast to a laid buoy off Granger Bay, 1/2 mile offshore of the Radisson Hotel followed by a loop to another specially laid buoy 3 miles downwind and return. The course then included another shorter loop to #1 Harbour Mark before heading back to the finish at the Club line.

The fleet took off into a patchy light breeze with the J111’s Tenacity and Mwah sailed by the Meek brothers Steve and Rob getting the best of the start. One “J” went for the wall, the other offshore with Windpower and Ray of Light. These 3 boats headed offshore on a gradual lift and then consolidated their positions  when the breeze flicked right for the tack inshore. Further back the fleet were not so fortunate with 2/3rds of the yachts being left with a mixed mess of breeze off the breakwater as the South East tried to make a return. Some spinnakers were hoisted and finally the West picked up all the boats and their race was under way.

With the fleet carrying Trackers one could follow the race ashore and things became interesting once the leaders had rounded the offshore mark and headed back to Granger Bay.



The South Easter was starting to move across the bay once again and slowly the West wind faded to virtually nothing. As the leaders drifted up towards the mark at Granger Bay with Windpower in a tight race with Ray of Light ahead of the 2 J’s, now close together, Rockstar, the Farr 38, was seen heading off “on a flyer” into the new South Easter after the Offshore mark and their progress was rapid as they ate up the bay towards the breakwater then set spinnaker for a quick run to Granger Bay arriving with the leaders who had been 30 minutes ahead. A brilliant move indeed.


With the new wind rapidly filling the bay the smaller boats further back now reached towards Granger Bay and the fleet concertinaed in another light air mixed up wind patch. As boats managed to drift back into the now fairly strong 12 knot South Easter they took off fast on a beat to the finish – fortunes changed again with some more luck dependent on the fingers of South east wind reaching out at the right time.


Across the line after almost 3 hours of sailing was Windpower then Ray of Light and Tenacity.


The race for Overall honours was tight to the end between the Farr 38 Rockstar and the L34 Nuthr Witch with Dave Garrards L34 team taking first by 40 seconds.

The J111’s finished 1 minute apart pointing the way to the future possibly – racing identical modern planning 36.5 foot One Design boats looks a whole lot of fun.

Although a good days sailing was had, the race was long and the wind did not play ball for anyone. Many boats retired as the wind receded again leaving total calm in Granger Bay.

We thank the sponsors Maserati who provided some great prizes followed by the Gala Charity Dinner, all a great success.

We look forward to more of the same.


Overall Club Handicap:

1. Nuthr Witch L34 Dave Garrard

2. Rockstar Farr 38 James King

3. Windpower Landmark 43 Phil Gutsche

Overall IRC Class:

1.       Windpower Landmark 43 Phil Gutsche

2.       Neccesity Fisrt 34.7 Dave Booth

3.       Majimoto 2 Farr 40 Paul Mare

Club Class 1 + 2:

1.       Nuthr Witch L34 Dave Garrard

2.       Rockstar Farr 38 James King

3.       Ray of Light First 44.7 Mike Kavanagh

Club Class 3:

1.       Impact – Ron Holland – tonner – Jacqui Brand

2.       FTI Flyer – Charger 33 – Keith Mattisson

Photos by Trevor Wilkins

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