What an honour to be nominated as RCYC Sailor of the Month. Thank you!
While this nomination may be in my name, I view this as clear recognition of the collective efforts of my partners and the regular crew of Scarlet Sun, as well as the many sailors who have sailed aboard by request or invitation on occasion. It is also recognition of the input of a number of experienced sailors who have assisted with our improvement over the last 3 years. I’d like to thank our competition on the water, and the spirit of camaraderie that exists between us.
I started sailing oppies at IYC in the early 80’s, and tagged along with my older sailing siblings and dad to a number of regattas around the country for many years. I loved sailing that little red oppie! My first exposure to keelboats would have been around the same time, on my late uncle’s Flamenca, Scottishe, in False Bay, as a very little boy. I can vividly recall thinking she was a big boat, and being quite scared as she healed over in a gust near Roman Light. I stopped sailing in high school, but got involved on keelboats again after varsity, sailing on two very different yachts, Merlinand Carousel, in the late nineties. This is when I became a member of RCYC.
I bought Carousel with some mates in the mid 2000’s, when her owner passed away, and steadily became more involved with club racing, sailing many Mykonos Regattas and even the last Double Cape in 2009. We eventually sailed Carousel to third place in Div 3 in the inaugural Club Champs in the 2012/3 season.
Together with some of the crew, we purchased a more exciting and competitive Simonis 35, Scarlet Sun, in mid 2013 and finished third in Div 2 for the following two seasons Club Champs, with podium finishes in all the premier regional regattas.
In the current season, we have managed to step up our performance a little and have secured the Div 2 Club Champs, which is really satisfying. Especially rewarding has been winning back-to-back Lufthansa Twilight Series’ while proudly flying their sails. We have not missed a club race for three seasons. There is so much room for our improvement, so the future is exciting for all aboard.
I was involved in the sailing committee and General Committee for many years, and spent two years as Rear Commodore of Sailing, also serving as a Lipton Cup trustee. During this time, club sailing has flourished, and the club championships in its current form was introduced. I am taking a break from club committees for now, but will get involved again when the time is right.
In recent years, I have taken the opportunity to train and qualify as a National Race Officer and a National Judge, and I still chair the club rating committee. I am currently working towards qualifying as an International Judge, and am also involved with reintroducing the ORC rating system to South Africa.
I am an architect and run my own eponymous design practice in Cape Town. Christiane and I have two little girls, one of whom is the youngest member of the club.
Some of the crew of Scarlet Sun celebrate back-to-back Lufthansa Twilight Series wins and securing the Club Champs 2015/6.