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Crocs Summer Regatta - 15th to 17th December, 2012

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Crocs for Africa!
Sailing in Cape Town is back on track
With racing having been sensibly abandoned on the third and final day of the regatta, due to a 40 knot south easter whipping Table Bay into a froth of white caps as the fleet struggled back to port under reefed mainsails only, the prize giving was brought forward to 2pm and Crocs really laid on a gala function with great prizes for the winning boats. More importantly, they promised to be back for the 2013 event. That is really good news, from a great sponsor.

(The video below was filmed in HD. To watch the clip in HD, first click the white triangle, then click on the gear icon on the bottom task bar of the video screen to change the setting from AUTO to 720HD)


Overview
From the first Crocs Regatta six years ago, the tone of this event has always been focused on the fun element and each year there have been some interesting touches added, and with those innovations have come a steady increase in entries. The 2012 event attracted over 60 boats spread over six divisions – IRC 1 & 2, Club 1 & 2, Muira Nationals and a Cruising division. To consider for a moment that this was not going to produce some grand prix quality racing, was a silly notion, as there was a rash of modern, fast boats making an appearance in IRC 1 & 2, including Irvine Laidlaw's new Kerr 46, Cape Fling. The two R&P 37's were also there, crewed by some of SA's top sailors and of course Hylton Hale's GP42 “Vulcan” and Rick Nankin skippering “Windpower” were all confident of good placings. Add to that mix were three J boats of varying sizes. It would be hot in IRC 1 for sure. In the Club divisions were an interesting mix of boats ranging from the 52ft Thunderchild down to a diminutive J22. Registration took place on the Friday evening and the organizers and sponsors went to a lot of effort setting up a coffee lounge with all manner of Crocs shoes on display. The vibe was cool and the sailors enjoyed the party with music pumping and the beer flowing, in perfect weather on the deck.

Irvine Laidlaw's new Kerr 46 "Cape Fling" placed third in the IRC Div 1 - Note the new trend of navigation taking place on an iPad. That wont work on a Pacer 27 - its way too wet on deck.

Saturday 15 th December:
Day 1 of the regatta would prove to be interesting with two vastly different races completed. The day started hot and still with a light westerly over the bay. The forecast was for a fresh south easterly, but the westerly persisted. A lot of time was wasted waiting for the course to be set, apparently due to comms issues with the mark laying boats. At least two races could have been held in the westerly, which was light, but fairly steady in strength and direction. Finally near noon, PRO Rob Wilcox, got the first race started and immediately it became apparent that the offshore side of the course was paying.


Sandro, Craig and the skipper relaxing before the start of the regatta.

We were entered in Club Div 1 and had the fourth start in the sequence. This gave us plenty of time to observe mistakes being made in the fleets ahead of us. For some odd reason the IRC fleet (which was numerically smaller than the club fleet), had theirs split into two with two separate starts. This resulted in only 5 starters in IRC 2 and eight in the Miura Class (the 3rd start in the sequence). The Cruising Class only mustered 4 entries, so they got grouped into the Club Division, which made it by far the biggest fleet with Club 1, 2 and Cruising (a total of 21) all having to squash into a fairly short start line. Let's just say it made things interesting for us and we managed to somehow salvage good starts, despite the crush on the line. Perhaps next time, the organizers might want to rethink the fleet start splits. It's not fair on the very small boats (No problem for the Pacer 27, but certainly for most of the Club 2 boats it would be).


We competed against Maestro in Div 1 - a Fast 42 skippered by Paul Van As. They ended 3rd in Div 1, a scant 0.5 of a point behind us.

Crocs is a great regatta and whilst some of my observations might appear to be critical, they are meant to be constructive and hopefully heeded, so that the same issues don't crop up again next year. The Sailing Instructions and pre-regatta blurb made much of “a variety of courses will be on offer”, which included pre-assigned code flags and drawings for Olympic courses, Triangle type courses and of course, the ubiquitous Windward/Leewards, but the reality was that after five races over two days, all the fleets had done nothing but windward/leeward racing. Even for the abandoned 6th race which was supposed to have been a “field leveling medium distance race”, when we heard the course it was nothing but a very long windward/leeward course with a very short reach to the finish. This soon became a standing joke amongst competitors after someone asked if the “sausage-sausage-sausage” course was a pork sausage – meaning 'Are the marks to be left to port?'. This little comment was soon to be expanded into a discussion about the next course – and 'would it be a long sausage or a short sausage, or a German sausage or just a boerewors?' Whatever! But a bloody sausage it would be come hell or high water! Or maybe that should be Bludwurst? I am now considering vegetarianism.


With the Cape Doctor in town for Race 2, there was plenty of action on the water. Masthead spinnakers - say no more!

Clearly a lot of attention was paid to thinking out some new ideas for Crocs, including a nice variety of courses that would suit the different boat designs and make it an even playing field. However in the actual laying of courses, the easy option was exercised for each race with the rather staid W/L format being on offer. One or two are OK, but by the 5th straight W/L things become a bit predictable. If it was one design racing, no problem, but in a mixed fleet it's not fair play. This part of the regatta was not cool and for boats with asymmetric spinnakers, created a distinct disadvantage.

A very long time ago, the sailing brains trust around the world, developed a course suitable for championship events. This would be a course that had the correct amount of beating, reaching and running, to produce a worthy champion. They called it an Olympic course and it consisted of a triangle- sausage –triangle. Four beats; Four reaches and one dead run. Now why is it so difficult to get this done today and why are we trying to reinvent the wheel?


The J105 Pants on Fire had loads of talent on board including Dave Hudson and Manuel Mendes. Despite this, they had to be content with 2nd place in IRC Div 2 behind the Farr 38 A-L.

Race 1 – Windward/leeward x 3 loops. Wind SW 8 to 12 knots (Shortened)
Race 1 was scheduled to be a windward/leeward x 3 loops race. No surprises there. We had an excellent start and managed to stay near the front of our fleet, despite the Pacer 27's lack of upwind ability, but light wind and flat water makes a huge difference to the boat's performance. However, Peter Hill's J27 “Hillbilly” had recovered well after a poor start and ended up making huge gains on the right side of the course. They were close behind us at the top mark, as was the Farr 38 “Rockstar” and the Beneteau 7,5 Sport “Always Well”

We gybed as soon as we could, and soaked low and deep with the big A2 asso and worked our way through a crowded course, to arrive at the leeward mark with three big boats from IRC 1 division (not because we were fast, but that they had sailed a longer weather leg). With the light breeze prevailing, there weren't too many dramas and we managed to squeeze our way out of the traffic and head offshore for better pressure. The second beat was starboard tack skewed and we did a bit better, but still we found the J27 and Beneteau 7,5 too close for comfort – and of course we have to give the J27 a lot of time. We would need to be a whole leg ahead of them to beat them on TCC.


Cape Fling broaching out (Race 2)

The run was similar to the first one, with the offshore side of the course working nicely. None of us had heard the shortening course announcement, nor heard the hooters, so it was fortuitous that our ever observant pitman, Phill, noticed the shortened course flag. We were close to the pin at the time, so all we had to do was a quick bear away onto a short fetch for the finish line. We ended up with a 2nd for the race, having to leave 1st place for the J27 (Thomas Swana/Peter Hill), which killed us on corrected time, by a whopping 3 minute margin, with the other sportie “Always Well” taking 3rd place. The better placings of the sports boats was mostly due to a windshift which skewed the course, resulting in more favourable downwind angles.

Results Race 1. (Club Div 1 only - for full results all classes go to www.rcyc.co.za)

Rank

Fleet

Boat

Design

Sail Number

Skipper

Rating

Elapsed

Points

1

Div 1

Hill Billy

J27

198

Peter Hill

1

00:55:52

1

2

Div 1

Regent Express

Pacer 27

17

Trygve Roberts

1.09

00:53:14

2

3

Div 1

Always Well

Beneteau First Class 7.5

SA3141

Ralph Thomas

1.04

00:58:27

3

4

Div 1

Thunderchild

Lavranos 52••

SA1027

Rhett Goldswain

1.28

00:48:49

4

5

Div 1

Maestro

Fast 42

SA3444

Ankie Roux / Paul van Ass

1.16

00:56:31

5

6

Div 1

Rockstar

Farr 38 Mod

SA858

Brian Gardener

1.095

01:01:59

6

7

Div 1

Necessity

Beneteau 34.7

SA4114

David Booth

1.05

01:05:59

7

8

Div 1

Nandi

Didi 34

SA 3614

Nick Fairley

1.025

01:13:28

8

9

Div 1

Celine IV

Comfortina 39

SA 3740

Volker Vierhaus

1.045

01:13:29

9

10

Div 1

Faraway

Farr 40

SA 1665

Chris Sutton

1.13

13:33:12

10

11

Div 1

Argonaut

Samoa 47

SA1366

Des Mudge

1.11

DNF

13




Regent Express reefed down and going like a bat out of hell and beautifully under control, in the heavy weather race on day 1. Speed 19 knots!

Race 2 – Windward/Leeward x 3 loops. Wind SE 28 to 36 knots.
Another long wait ensued as the Cape Doctor finally came through with a vengeance. The wind steadied out at 28 to 32 knots and Race 2 got underway with most of the boats being a bit line shy. There were many stories to tell after this race and the retirees soon started calling in. We sensibly reefed down and switched to our blade and fractional spinnaker for this race. It would prove to be a smart decision.

There were plenty of broaches throughout the fleet during Race 2. Here one of the new RP 37's "Silky" is having a little fun.

We sailed a seamanlike race with some fabulous blast reaching along the Milnerton beach. Despite our much reduced sailplan and small spinnaker, the boat was planing comfortably between 14 and 15 knots maxing out at 18.9 knots. The gybes were fairly easy and we flew around the course nicely under control, making gains on opposition boats who were having sail and gear issues – like the unfortunate Fast 42 “Maestro” which ripped their blade apart, shredded a spinnaker in two and broke all their mainsail battens. Cudos to them for actually hanging in and finishing the race with a full main and a storm trysail – quite a comical sight!

Here's another video clip - different to the one higher up on this page - which was the faster of the two runs, with more white water over the boat.



We had a great race all round and clinched a bullet over the 2nd placed boat, Necessity (Beneteau 34.7) by a 6 minute margin on corrected time, with the Farr 38 “Rockstar” taking 3rd place, after a bad mark rounding and inverting their jib battens and having to do a few turns to untwist them.


One of the Miura's "Chen" sailing shorthanded went out of control and T-boned the bridge boat causing fairly serious damage. The owner sportingly did a quick repair and was back on station the next day with a sense of humour.

Results Race 2 (Club Div 1 only - for full results all classes go to www.rcyc.co.za)

Rank

Fleet

Boat

Design

Sail Number

Skipper

Rating

Elapsed

Points

1

Div 1

Regent Express

Pacer 27

17

Trygve Roberts

1.09

01:49:28

1

2

Div 1

Necessity

Beneteau 34.7

SA4114

David Booth

1.05

01:55:27

2

3

Div 1

Rockstar

Farr 38 Mod

SA858

Brian Gardener

1.095

01:52:02

3

4

Div 1

Always Well

Beneteau First Class 7.5

SA3141

Ralph Thomas

1.04

01:58:02

4

5

Div 1

Maestro

Fast 42

SA3444

Ankie Roux / Paul van Ass

1.16

01:48:50

5

6

Div 1

Celine IV

Comfortina 39

SA 3740

Volker Vierhaus

1.045

02:01:17

6

7

Div 1

Faraway

Farr 40

SA 1665

Chris Sutton

1.13

02:02:32

7

8

Div 1

Argonaut

Samoa 47

SA1366

Des Mudge

1.11

02:04:51

8

9

Div 1

Nandi

Didi 34

SA 3614

Nick Fairley

1.025

02:20:48

9

10

Div 1

Hill Billy

J27

198

Peter Hill

1

DNF

13

10

Div 1

Thunderchild

Lavranos 52••

SA1027

Rhett Goldswain

1.28

DNF

13


There were many stories back at the clubhouse of shredded sails, broken battens and broken fittings. It had been a wild race, but good fun. So after two races with a 2nd and 1st we were lying 1st overall in our division, but both those races had inadvertently produced skewed courses which benefitted our boat design, so we were acutely aware that we still had a heck of a lot of work to do, if we wanted to finish on the podium.


Race 3: Windward/Leeward x 3 loops. Wind SW 10 to 14 knots.
Sunday, 16th December was boiling hot at moorings, but out at sea it was pleasantly cool. Conditions for sailing were about as perfect as one could wish for. Moderate westerlies and flat seas. Yummy!

Another great photo by Trevor Wilkins with Regent Express roaring down the beach at Milnerton, taking some white water on board in the process. (Day 1 - Race 2)

A course was set (another windward/leeward) off Granger Bay. We knew already at that stage that getting a triangle type course was not going to happen as the bridge boat was anchored too close inshore to set a gybe mark in Granger Bay. Racing started late again, but soon all the fleets were out on the bay having a great sail. Anyone who sails on Table Bay knows you go inshore in a westerly to pick up the shift and get the starboard lift to the weather mark. The shift was less pronounced, but still there. With the whole fleet working the shore line things can get quite interesting with boats calling rights, dodging kelp and avoiding the rocks.

This dredger ploughed straight across the race course with the skipper active on the ships horn and scant regard for the rules of the road. Size does count, was his motto.

After another great start, we worked our way inshore (like everyone else) and found ourselves 3rd around the weather mark. We hoisted the big A2 asso and quickly got on the plane for a lovely fast reach along the promenade, with plenty of IRC upwind boats to dodge as we prepped for our gybe. We made good gains and found ourselves in the company of the 52ft Thunderchild at the leeward mark.
This 52 footer managed to stay with us for all three races (or was it us with them?), gaining on us upwind and then losing it all on the runs. It started becoming quite a problem, as getting into their wind shadow or dirties was a tactical disaster for us and we had to come up with some creative moves at the marks to avoid these situations.


Regent Express enjoying the fresh conditions (Day 1)

This pattern would continue throughout the day, as we found ourselves having to call for rights or keep clear of the big gray boat, which was not having an easy day around the fairly cramped course. We had a spinnaker halyard issue on the third run, when the snap shackle on the spinnaker halyard came adrift on the hoist and it went spiraling up the mast. We had to send a man up the mast to retrieve it and we only just got the kite up and drawing by the time we reached the gybe line. That little mistake had cost us between three and five places, which dropped us down to a 5th (our worst position), as we had to sail virtually one entire leg without our kite. Maestro was patched up and sailed a good race to take the bullet from the little Beneteau “Always well” with Rockstar taking the third spot.

A typical Pacer 27 scenario - David amongst the Goliaths.

Results Race 3: (Club Div 1 only - for full results all classes go to www.rcyc.co.za)

1

Div 1

Maestro

Fast 42

SA3444

Ankie Roux / Paul van Ass

1.160

112300

12:29:35

01:06:35

01:17:14

1

2

Div 1

Always Well

Beneteau First Class 7.5

SA3141

Ralph Thomas

1.040

112300

12:37:42

01:14:42

01:17:41

2

3

Div 1

Rockstar

Farr 38 Mod

SA858

Brian Gardener

1.095

112300

12:34:08

01:11:08

01:17:53

3

4

Div 1

Necessity

Beneteau 34.7

SA4114

David Booth

1.050

112300

12:38:49

01:15:49

01:19:36

4

5

Div 1

Regent Express

Pacer 27

17

Trygve Roberts

1.090

112300

12:36:40

01:13:40

01:20:18

5

6

Div 1

Hill Billy

J27

198

Peter Hill

1.000

112300

12:45:44

01:22:44

01:22:44

6

7

Div 1

Faraway

Farr 40

SA 1665

Chris Sutton

1.130

112300

12:44:01

01:21:01

01:31:33

7

8

Div 1

Celine IV

Comfortina 39

SA 3740

Volker Vierhaus

1.045

112300

12:50:38

01:27:38

01:31:35

8

9

Div 1

Thunderchild

Lavranos 52••

SA1027

Rhett Goldswain

1.280

112300

12:36:03

01:13:03

01:33:30

9

10

Div 1

Nandi

Didi 34

SA 3614

Nick Fairley

1.025

112300

12:55:46

01:32:46

01:35:05

10

11

Div 1

Argonaut

Samoa 47

SA1366

Des Mudge

1.110

112300

12:49:09

01:26:09

01:35:38

11

12

Div 1

Crystal Spray••

Farr 38

SA 729

Allan Lawrence/ John vd Vyver••

1.080

DNC

13



The A35 "Alliance Francais" in a spot of trouble. IRC Div 2. Day 1 Race 2.



Race 4: Windward/Leeward x 3 loops. Wind SW 14 to 18 knots

The wind had kicked up a notch and we had a debate about changing down to our No.2 headsail, but we decided to stick with the big sailplan as a westerly is more likely to fade than increase. After another good start, it was virtually a repeat of Race 3. We remained near the front of the Div 1 fleet, consistently playing cat and mouse with Rockstar and Thunderchild – the latter skipper who must have been getting frustrated having to compete with such a small boat. We made no mistakes other than picking up a bit of kelp on the rudder and ended with a 3rd place behind Rockstar and Maestro. Interestingly, we had a dead tie for 3rd place with the J27 “Hillbilly” on corrected time – down to the second. Something I have never experienced in a 40 year sailing career. It was odd seeing a score of 3.5 on the score sheet.

That race was hard work and our spinnaker trimmer was getting long arms after three of those big, fast downwind legs. The back to back flag was still flying, so it was going to yet another windward/leeward for Race 5.

Results Race 4: (Club Div 1 only - for full results all classes go to www.rcyc.co.za)

Rank

Fleet

Boat

Design

Sail Number

Skipper

Rating

Start

Finish

Elapsed

Corrected

Points

1

Div 1

Rockstar

Farr 38 Mod

SA858

Brian Gardener

1.095

132000

14:21:20

01:01:20

01:07:10

1

2

Div 1

Maestro

Fast 42

SA3444

Ankie Roux / Paul van Ass

1.160

132000

14:18:52

00:58:52

01:08:17

2

3

Div 1

Regent Express

Pacer 27

17

Trygve Roberts

1.090

132000

14:25:11

01:05:11

01:11:03

3.5

3

Div 1

Hill Billy

J27

198

Peter Hill

1.000

132000

14:31:03

01:11:03

01:11:03

3.5

5

Div 1

Necessity

Beneteau 34.7

SA4114

David Booth

1.050

132000

14:29:31

01:09:31

01:13:00

5

6

Div 1

Always Well

Beneteau First Class 7.5

SA3141

Ralph Thomas

1.040

132000

14:31:32

01:11:32

01:14:24

6

7

Div 1

Thunderchild

Lavranos 52••

SA1027

Rhett Goldswain

1.280

132000

14:22:03

01:02:03

01:19:25

7

8

Div 1

Argonaut

Samoa 47

SA1366

Des Mudge

1.110

132000

14:32:39

01:12:39

01:20:38

8

9

Div 1

Nandi

Didi 34

SA 3614

Nick Fairley

1.025

132000

14:40:28

01:20:28

01:22:29

9

10

Div 1

Faraway

Farr 40

SA 1665

Chris Sutton

1.130

132000

14:35:15

01:15:15

01:25:02

10

11

Div 1

Celine IV

Comfortina 39

SA 3740

Volker Vierhaus

1.045

DNF

13

11

Div 1

Crystal Spray••

Farr 38

SA 729

Allan Lawrence/ John vd Vyver••

1.080

DNC

13



Some close racing between Cape Fling and Vulcan


Race 5: Windward/Leeward x 3 loops. Wind SW 14 to 5 knots.

Everyone was getting a little weary by that stage of the afternoon. It had been a tough two days on the water. To add fuel to the fire, the RO decided to extend the weather mark even further. There would be a consequence to that decision later, when he needed to shorten course as the breeze was fading fast.

We added another good start to our regatta tally as we were to leeward of Thunderchild and even if they were OCS, we knew we would be unsighted to the bridge, so we went for it. It was the standard tactic working the inshore lanes, which had by that race become very predictable and just a little boring.

Of course, in a dying breeze (it started fading drastically halfway down the second run) the further back in the fleet you are, the more you will be disadvantaged. The short beat from the leeward mark to the finish was not good for us as we watched Rockstar get over the line, whilst we wallowed in 3 to 5 knots of fitful westerly. And spare a thought for the poor sods behind us. We had done enough to secure another 3rd place.


Beautiful summer weather, cold beer and schwarmas beckoned the fleet to tie up at the North Quay in the V&A for some partying, but not many made it past 7pm!

Race 5: (Club Div 1 only - for full results all classes go to www.rcyc.co.za)

Rank

Fleet

Boat

Design

Sail Number

Skipper

Rating

Start

Finish

Elapsed

Corrected

Points

1

Div 1

Rockstar

Farr 38 Mod

SA858

Brian Gardener

1.095

152200

16:31:40

01:09:40

01:16:17

1

2

Div 1

Maestro

Fast 42

SA3444

Ankie Roux / Paul van Ass

1.16

152200

16:29:10

01:07:10

01:17:55

2

3

Div 1

Regent Express

Pacer 27

17

Trygve Roberts

1.09

152200

16:35:42

01:13:42

01:20:20

3

4

Div 1

Necessity

Beneteau 34.7

SA4114

David Booth

1.05

152200

16:39:43

01:17:43

01:21:36

4

5

Div 1

Always Well

Beneteau First Class 7.5

SA3141

Ralph Thomas

1.04

152200

16:40:41

01:18:41

01:21:50

5

6

Div 1

Hill Billy

J27

198

Peter Hill

1

152200

16:48:50

01:26:50

01:26:50

6

7

Div 1

Thunderchild

Lavranos 52••

SA1027

Rhett Goldswain

1.28

152200

16:33:20

01:11:20

01:31:18

7

8

Div 1

Faraway

Farr 40

SA 1665

Chris Sutton

1.13

152200

16:43:38

01:21:38

01:32:15

8

9

Div 1

Argonaut

Samoa 47

SA1366

Des Mudge

1.11

152200

16:56:57

01:34:57

01:45:24

9

10

Div 1

Nandi

Didi 34

SA 3614

Nick Fairley

1.025

152200

17:12:50

01:50:50

01:53:36

10

11

Div 1

Celine IV

Comfortina 39

SA 3740

Volker Vierhaus

1.045

DNC

13

11

Div 1

Crystal Spray••

Farr 38

SA 729

Allan Lawrence/ John vd Vyver••

1.08

DNC

13



Cold beer and Crocs - a good combination! This was one thirsty sailor!

It was a bone weary bunch of sailors who sailed over to the north wharf in the V&A for the entertainment and I must say that the organizers went to a great deal of trouble to lay on excellent food, free drinks and some live entertainment. They might have felt a little disappointed at the low turnout and early departure by most boats, but that had everything to do with just being too tired to party. The concept was sound with great food (no queues) , free beer (with a very long queue) and an entertainer/singer belting out golden oldies. I doff my hat to Harry Brehm and his team for daring to innovate.

Race 6 : Monday 17 th December: Course – Medium distance race. Windward/Leeward x 1 loop. Wind 28 to 40 knots SE .
Things were tighter than a …….(you know the rest) amongst the top 3 boats in Club Div 1 with only 1.5 points separating ourselves from Rockstar who were the new division leaders, and to compress that down even further, Maestro was only 0.5 points shy of our score tally. This was the closest points separation in the fleet and I must say that whilst the competition was hot, it was also friendly with both skippers coming over to wish us luck before the final race. That was a nice touch and shows that there is still good sportsmanship alive and well amongst the yachties.

We knew it was going to be one hell of a day on the bay and we were dressed up for the occasion in full oilies and of course, life jackets. We even issued every crew member with a hand held flare – just in case. We sailed out in the rotor wind which is a north wester, then lay becalmed in the transition zone for a few minutes, but the Doctor was edging rapidly westwards and breathing quite hard. We took the moment of calm to stick in a reef and prepare for the onslaught. It was really right on the edge stuff for most boats and crews. The J133 DHL broke their boom at the gooseneck, whilst Cape Fling and Vulcan were having a channel 06 debate on whether to race or not. We hung around near the committee boat and when the course was announced, we all groaned in unison as we realized that even the bay race was going to be yet another windward/leeward. Fortunately we were spared any further agony when the race abandoned call came over the VHF and it was visually confirmed with the N over X flags.


Regent Express crew L-R : Trygve, Troy, Sandro, Phill, Craig and Charles.

Final results:

2012

16/12/2012

1st

Div 1

Rockstar

Farr 38 Mod

SA858

Brian Gardener

1.095

2nd

Div 1

Regent Express

Pacer 27

17

Trygve Roberts

1.09

3rd

Div 1

Maestro

Fast 42

SA3444

Ankie Roux / Paul van Ass

1.16

4th

Div 1

Always Well

Beneteau First Class 7.5

SA3141

Ralph Thomas

1.04

5th

Div 1

Necessity

Beneteau 34.7

SA4114

David Booth

1.05

6th

Div 1

Hill Billy

J27

198

Peter Hill

1

7th

Div 1

Thunderchild

Lavranos 52••

SA1027

Rhett Goldswain

1.28

8th

Div 1

Faraway

Farr 40

SA 1665

Chris Sutton

1.13

9th

Div 1

Celine IV

Comfortina 39

SA 3740

Volker Vierhaus

1.045

10th

Div 1

Argonaut

Samoa 47

SA1366

Des Mudge

1.11

11th

Div 1

Nandi

Didi 34

SA 3614

Nick Fairley

1.025

12th

Div 1

Crystal Spray••

Farr 38

SA 729

Allan Lawrence/ John vd Vyver••

1.08

 

 

 


A good vibe before the prize giving.

What can be improved?
In the final analysis there is seldom anything closely resembling a perfect regatta. Trying to run a big event like Crocs during the peak South Easter season is a risky business by anyones reckoning, but it was a great success. You can always tell by the smiles on the faces of the crews and skippers. Yes, there is room for improvement and I have listed them for the organizers to take note of. The two main issues from a purely sailing point of view (based on comments and observations I was privy to) was the question of splitting the fairly small IRC fleet into two. There were lots of questions raised about this and a number of conspiracy theories were bandied about – some of which sounded quite logical. This is not my argument, but race organizers need to know that it is quite a serious problem and perhaps next time round, a great deal more thought needs to go into fleet splits. It might be prudent to have the fleet splits listed in the Notice of Race and not make last minute decisions which appear to arbitary and without sufficient forethought. Those parameters must be stated upfront. Similarly, the tiny IRC Div 2 fleet was given it's own start with just 5 boats, but the 21 boat Club fleet was grouped together for a single start. It made no logical sense at all and added considerable weight to the IRC fleet split conspiracy theory.

Write the rules up front. Publish them. Lipton Cup has a mixed set of courses that are compulsory. Let's just do the same. Those are the rules. Everyone accepts them and everyone knows what to expect. That way there will be fewer complaints.

The second gripe was the endless windward/leeward courses which created an unfair advantage for certain boat designs. Both of these problems must be addressed and remedied. Like the fleet split issue, the range and number of courses to be sailed should be pre-determined in the NOR to avoid rumours and suspicion. Set the rules up front. That way everyone knows where they stand and there wont be any gripes.

The first day produced a rash of protests against the bridge. They all covered the same issue. There was a gate at the leeward mark, but no mention of a gate in the sailing instructions. We faced the same dilemma, so figured that only two sets of GPS co-ordinates were given - for the windward mark and the leeward mark. We treated the errant buoy as a spare and just anchored there in case it was needed, but some boats thought otherwise. The next day, new sailing course sheets were issued and the gate was then shown. This means that the first day's course was actually set with the gate in mind, but someone forgot to draw it on the course card.. This was a bit of a boo-boo by the RC, but I suppose we are all human. No-one was DSQ'd for going through the gate in the first two races, so therefore no-one was disadvantaged.

I will give this year's Crocs Regatta an 8/10 score.

Brownie Points for:
1. Abandoning racing on the final day, but at least going out to try and start a race.
2. For bringing the time of prize giving forward.
3. For being innovative enough to run a function at the V&A.
4. For shortening course in two races at exactly the appropriate time.
5. For giving enough clear VHF comms and being willing to repeat them as many times as required.
6. For calling OCS boats back via VHF.
7. For setting good length courses.
8. For restarting races fairly promptly
9. For the Crocs Coffee Lounge concept
10. For retaining a good sponsor

Brownie points cancelled:
1. For advertising “a variety of interesting courses will be sailed”, when it was only windward/leewards.
2. For not splitting the Club 1, 2 and Cruising classes into two separate starts.
3. For not having got two races in on the first morning in a perfect westerly breeze. (ie. bridge was unprepared)
4. For not starting races on time each day.

All in all, a great event. Well done to Harry Brehm, Luke Scott, Robbie van Rooyen, Kate Bosman, as well as Toni Mainprize and Adrian from the RCYC sailing office - and a very big thank-you to Crocs!