Long-time member of RCYC, Phil Gutsche decided that in the absence of the usual Fling Regatta normally held in February, he will conceptualise a new event that would be a slightly new take on the format, catering for everyone’s tastes, and ensuring that all the competitors had fun!

Phil, together with his long time skipper, Rick Nankin, proposed that we should have both medium distance racing, as well as some short course/round the buoys racing in the mornings for those with more time and the desire for this racing.

Thus, the GIMCO Regatta was born.

Unfortunately, day 1 (Friday night) was blown out. There was a 40 knot South Easter in the bay, and with the start time set for 5pm, the committee took the decision to cancel racing at lunch time, as there was little prospect of conditions improving.

There was a far more manageable South Easter forecast for Saturday. The fleet were greeted with a hot day, and a light westerly blowing in Granger bay, while the SE developed along the beach.

Race office Doug Alison attempted to get a short race off in this Westerly, but unfortunately had to abandon after the South East filled in quickly, causing the finish line to be in the windless transition zone.

The course was moved to the vicinity of Milnerton, and a windward leeward of three rounds for classes A and B and 2 rounds for class C was set.

In class A, the Cape 31s revelled in the planing conditions, comfortably taking the top 3 positions, with Nitro on top.

Class B was a tighter affair, Tin Tin pulled out the win, followed by Kia Paarl Fomo and Cape Dancer.

Class C saw two Academy L26s up against each other, with Mephistopheles taking the win ahead of Mac a Tini

The main event of the day was scheduled to start at 2pm, that being the medium distance race. With concerns as to whether the South East would hold for the rest of the afternoon, a conservative course was set, seeing the fleet head to Milnerton, then down to Sunset Beach (Milnerton for class C), and across to a laid mark in the middle of the bay, before heading back to Paarden Eiland and down to the finish.

Again, in the planing conditions the Cape 31s dominated, comfortably taking the top positions on the podium. Again, it was Nitro, who seemed to have their own private gust of wind down the first run comfortably winning from Orion DYP in second.

In class B, Tin Tin and Kia Fomo Paarl had a close battle, with Tin Tin narrowly taking the win by 52 seconds. Jackal was third.

Class C was won by past commodore Vitor Medina on his Miura, FarMed, President John Levin in second on Indaba, and newcomers Shumania (also a Miura), skippered by Matt Rigby, was third.

Click here for the video of the event:

All teams were treated to a crew party hosted by GIMCO in the regatta centre. This is a great venue for these types of events, as it is always done up so well with appropriate décor – well done to the sailing office. There was complimentary food, drink, and music. Competitors had an opportunity to discuss the day’s racing with each other and learn a bit more about their competitors and their tactics.

Sunday’s forecast was looking quite interesting. With no wind forecast until about 1030am, the decision was taken to postpone the first start for the short course racing to 11am.

A lovely westerly of about 10 knots filled in, and racing got underway from the Woodbridge Island area. Given the prevailing conditions, tactics and strategy played an important role in determining the winners.

In Class A, Phil Gutsche’s Windpower 2 managed a narrow win over Nitro, with Nemesis in third.

Class B was dominated by Kia Fomo Paarl, taking a dominant win over Cape Dancer in second and Tin Tin in third.

In class C, Mephistopheles again took the win over Mac a Tini.

With a steady westerly of around 12 knots, a solid course was set, seeing the teams head towards Robben Island, Blouberg, Milnerton, Number 2, and then back down towards the finish.

A large fog bank rolled in about 45 minutes after the start, throwing the race on its head. Visibility was reduced to just a few meters, meaning the teams needed solid navigation to find the marks of the course.

In Class A, Windpower 2 sailed a clean race and managed a comfortable win ahead of Hollard Jacana and Nitro.

Class B was an incredibly tight affair. Rear Commodore Andrew Collins on Seaport Supply Bodytec Flyer took the win over Cape Dancer, by a narrow margin of 10 seconds; showing that every second really does count! Jackal was third.

Unfortunately class C’s race was abandoned due to the conditions and concerns around safety for the small boats.

All results can be found here:

The feedback has generally been positive. RCYC will take many lessons from this event and its format and look to improve for next year. We are very fortunate that Phil Gutsche has agreed to sponsor this regatta again next year, and make it, in his words “bigger and better”.

We would like to thank Phil for his support of this event, and sailing in general.

We hope to see all competitors back next year, and hope that many more will consider attending.

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