The South African Sailing (SAS) & Hermanus Dinghy Points
29th & 30th January 2011

I always love sailing at Hermanus and will always maintain that it is one of the most picturesque pieces of water one can sail on in the Cape. Surrounded by the most beautiful mountains on the lovely Hermanus Lagoon, looking across at the lovely little Hermanus Yacht Club nestled at the foot of the mountains on the lagoon’s edge, I am always in my element sailing there.


The SAS Western Cape Dinghy Points where the sailors camp or all stay together somehow also seem the most enjoyable, as no one rushes off after sailing and therefore some great socialising and bonding is always done between the sailors around the braai fire and at the bar.


The Western Cape dinghy fraternity has a huge youth element at the moment, and it is always such a pleasure to see so many Oppie kids and teenagers having such amazing fun together in such a safe and clean environment.


The Hermanus Dinghy Points Series is one which is certainly growing and one which the committee at the club put a huge amount of effort into and one where the sailors enjoy really great hospitality from the club and its members. This year, the event attracted 131 dinghies – a really great turnout!


Very well represented were the very competitive Dabbie Class (17 boats); the Sonnet Class (17 boats), the 420 Class (12 Boats), the 29er Class (7 boats) and the Extra Class (7 boats). As usual, the Laser and Oppie fleet were really big. It was well organised to have two open classes, Open 1 comprising of the big trapezing dinghies represented by four of the growing Fireball Fleet and two 505’s, and Open 2 of four Mirrors and three RS Teras.


Saturday 29th January was the most beautiful day – sunny with light winds. The atmosphere was wonderful as the sailors set up camp and rigged their dinghies. Racing got going at about 14h00 in a lovely constant light breeze of around 5-10 knots, in some patches even less. I always tease race Officer Di Hutton-Squire that the Weather Gods love to punish her with the trickiest conditions they could throw a race officer with, but it looked like they were playing nicely with her on the first day’s racing. This was until the Fireballs and 505’s were on their fourth race of the day and the rest of the fleet on their third when the wind decided to do a 180% switch! For us in Open 1 Class, this meant that on our first reach, we suddenly had to put down our bag and start beating. As it turned out, all everyone really had to do was get their mind around reaching to the top mark and beating up to the bottom mark, with a bit of a fetch to the wing mark in the triangle, and all was fine. Some of the competitors in the Dabbie class grumbled about Di’s decision to carry on racing and protested her, but their request for redress was thrown out. It made for some interesting racing in the last race, and utter and total chaos when at least 30 dinghies got stuck around the bottom - now the top – mark when the wind died. This caused much shouting and screaming and teenage hysteria and I wish someone has been there with a video camera to capture it! It would have been priceless viewing!


Three or four races for the first afternoon of a dinghy points is good racing;  the afternoon was sunny and lovely, and the fleet enjoyed the racing till around 18h00 and then came in to light the braai fires and for the over 18’s to hit the free rum and Coca Cola laid on by Hermanus and Peninsula Beverages. The braai fires outside the clubhouse were packed and Hermanus Yacht Club always puts on a legendary disco and the dance floor which rocked till the early hours of the morning. It was lovely to see the youth enjoying good, clean fun, with and without their parents.


We awoke on Sunday morning to no wind, but the forecast was to get to around 15 knots, although we probably only saw a gust or two that strong in the last race. The breeze started to fill in around 10h00 and the fleet went out pretty much on schedule, but half way through the Open 1 Class starting sequence, the wind decided to do a drastic shift, causing Di to abandon and reset the course. The wind then messed Di and the competitors around for an hour or so, while the mark layers struggled to lay a decent and fair course. Finally, one was laid and the first race got underway.


Sailing on the Sunday was fluky and tricky, to put it mildly, but very enjoyable, and one certainly had to be very awake as to what the wind was doing. The line was always biased, but Di only moved it once and made the decision to leave the course as was and get in races without keeping the competitors waiting between races even more due to constant course moving, and most of the competitors were grateful for this. The beat was still a beat, although if one started in the right place, one could lay the top mark in one beat at some stages of the racing! It was still a tactical course though, and the classes all achieved three races.


A great compliment that Race Office Di Hutton-Squire had for the fleet is that their starts were so lovely. She remarked that most fleets, especially the Extra and Sonnet fleets, were right at the line and started right on time but did not push the line and force general recall after general recall, as many of the fleets had done over and over again at the prior Dinghy Points at Theewaters, which has resulted in many black flags. Di was however, very amused when she called a general recall on the Extra and Sonnet Fleet in their last race and none of them seemed to hear her, probably because they all had chosen to do a pin start at the end of a rather long line, and they all carried on sailing their race to get an OCS.


All in all, it was a lovely and warm dinghy points, with some lovely, albeit tricky, sailing, and much enjoyed by everyone. There was some really great competitive racing in the growing Fireball class, and also as usual in the Dabbie and Sonnet Classes.


A very big thank you must go to Roger Bartholomew and Andrew Rissik and the team at Hermanus Yacht Club who put so much effort and energy into putting such a great event together. Also, of course, to our Race Officer Di Hutton-Squire and her Bridge Crew on the starting and finishing boats and the mark layers and rescue boats and to sponsors SAS and Peninsula Beverages.


Hermanus are hoping to have 160 or so dinghies at their Points Series in January next year, and I feel that it will definitely be a reality!



1st:                                            Taariq Jacobs and Neil Malan (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Alex Burger and Alex Lehtinen (ZVYC)
3rd:                                            Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson (Isivungu)


1st:                                            Ed Lehtinen and Josh Rubenstein (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Sibusiso and Simthembile (Isivungu)                 
3rd:                                            Loyiso and Marlon Jones (Isivungu)

Open 1 Fleet (Fireball and 505):

1st:                                            Brent Gray and Kirsten Veenstra - Fireball (MAC)
2nd:                                           Anthony Parker and Ferdinand Holm – Fireball (GLYC)
3rd:                                            Dave and Mandy Laing - Fireball (GLYC)


1st:                                            Jonathan Kukard (MAC)
2nd:                                           Jason Gray (MAC)
3rd:                                            Jacques Louw (MAC)

1st:                                            Ian MacRobert (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Alan Everett (ZVYC)
3rd:                                            Thomas van der Ploeg (UCTYC)


1st:                                            Andrea Giovannini and Charmaine Chemenais (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Keith and Genevieve Morris (ZVYC)
3rd:                                            M. Runtzler and Zach Leil-Cock (MAC)

Laser Full Rig:

1st:                                            Pete Shaw (ZVY)
2nd:                                           Alistair Keytel (MAC)
3rd:                                            Paul Allardice (MAC)

Laser Radial:

1st:                                            Matthew Shaw (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Philip Bendon (ZVYC)
3rd:                                            Jess Deary (ZVYC)


Open 2 Class (Mirrors and RS Tera):
1st:                                            Candice and Lauren Smithie – Mirror (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Duane Petersen – RS Tera (ZVYC)
3rd:                                            Dawid Jacobs - RS Tera (ZVYC)


1st:                                            David Wilson (ZVYC)
2nd:                                           Daniel Spratley MAC)
3rd:                                            Matthew Allardice (MAC)

Optimist B:

1st:                                           Alec Webb (MAC)
2nd:                                          Henning. Kock (MAC)
3rd:                                          Brandon Ferreira (MAC)


AUTHOR:               Kirsten Veenstra
DATE POSTED:      7 February 2011


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