Hout Bay Raid 2022, by Paul Morris.

Photographs courtesy of Yanick Berlion.

If there’s one thing I’ve come to know about our cruising fleet it is this: We are not fishermen. The clue is in our craft. We have sails and not a pair of outboards. Even when some yachts have lockers full of expensive lures and fancy rods, the only scaly creatures found on board are likely to be bought at Woolies or drinking brandy and Coke.

After a breakfast at the Club a fleet of 19 cruisers headed into the four-metre swell, some trailing lures uselessly in their wakes, while crews talked authoritatively about trolling tactics – or whatever they call it on fishing boats.

In spite of the big swell and lack of wind, it was a beautiful day to be on the water, even with the brief rain-shower we caught off Llandudno. For a while, Savannah was treated to a visit from an Albatross that soon realised that this was a vegetarian boat that wasn’t even pretending to catch fish.

The fleet gave Vulcan Rock a wide berth, with the waves at the surf-spot-for-lunatics, Dungeons, working up big and impressive breakers, before turning into the bay.

On arrival at the marina, the staff at Hout Bay Yacht Club were brilliant. We were directed to our slip and had Marina Manager Richard and his team catch our bows and take our lines. This is always appreciated when arriving at an unfamiliar berth.

The fleet gradually filled the empty berths around the marina and crews mingled to enjoy a drink together and to chill out. There was some chatter amongst the all-the-gear-no-idea faux-fisherman about who had remembered to bring lures and who hadn’t – yes, really.

It does seem that the fleet had a least one actual fisherman in Willie de Waal, on Moya, who landed a respectable sized fish. He obviously remembered to bring his lures and then knew what to do with them. He was therefore, far and away the winner of biggest fish caught and won himself a bottle of Glen Carlou wine.

At the clubhouse other prizes were awarded to Neil Gregory on Libra, for being the first boat to arrive. A prize for the last boat went to Mark Edwards on Sereia, and a prize for the absolute last boat went to Mike Metelerkamp on Anastasia. Yes folks, this is cruising, where there are more prizes for coming last than first.

Stefan Hundt won the HBYC draw prize which he proceeded to share with anyone who was feeling reckless. The Jagermeister-enhanced dance moves that followed were most enthusiastic and we even saw some regular non-dancers out on the floor.

The Hout Bay Raid 2022 certainly lived up to its reputation as being one of the highlights of the RCYC Cruising calendar. A big thank you to the members and staff at HBYC for their warm welcome and for making this annual event such great fun.

A hearty thank you must go to Johan Erasmus of Glen Carlou wines for his sponsorship of wine to the fleet. Thanks, of course, to the Sailing Office team of Kerry and Hilary for all their co-ordination behind the scenes. And finally, thanks to all the RCYC Cruisers who took part and made this a fabulous weekend. See you all again next year!

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