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Seniors Race RCYC - 31st March, 2012

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Hein Schipper (101) won his age division uncontested. What a marvellous achievement!
Hein was born in Holland in 1911 and has lived through the great depression of the 1930's, WW2 and the birth of the Rainbow nation. An avid supporter of sailing and the NSRI, he skippered the yacht, Carousel, into 38th place. Photo: Trevor Wilkins

“A huge success”, would be the best words to describe this event. It's been going for a very long time and has not always enjoyed the big entry list as in recent times. Those responsible for resurrecting the event from almost certain obscurity are RCYC's A-Team, which includes the 100 year old legend, Hein Schipper. This group of volunteers begged, bullied and persuaded companies to donate prizes and cash – the magic ingredients for ensuring a good turnout. Year after year, the Seniors Race seems to supercede itself. After the A-team finally relinquished control a few years ago, others have copied their successful formula. These days it is Jackie Brand and Ray Matthews who do all the hard yards. Whilst there were one or two small improvements needed, the group of 60 senior sailors and their crews had a fantastic day on the water. Mother Nature looked kindly on the event and pitched up on the day with mild temperatures, sunny skies and a moderate south easterly to provide fair breeze for everyone.

The race is run in the pursuit format with the slower boats leaving first. This year the course was slightly longer, which allowed the bigger boats to dominate the results. Another odd rule for the race is the “no spinnakers” rule, which leaves many of the skippers frustrated (your scribe included), but the club insists it is for safety reasons and to protect the boats from damage. Having said that, there was no shortage of testosterone amongst the seniors, with lots of luffing, shouting and even a collision with substantial damage, despite the absence of spinnakers. So why not just go the whole hog and allow spinnakers so everyone can have even more fun? The club could perhaps install a rule of no spinnakers if the breeze is over 20 knots. This decision could easily be made by the time the skippers briefing is held.

The course chosen for the day was interesting, starting with a short downwind run, followed by a long beam reach to the Milnerton mark, followed by a beat to the Woodbridge Mark, another broad reach back to Milnerton, a long beat up to Paarden island, a broad reach to No4, and a short beat to the finish line.

The diminutive Buccaneer of Duncan Johnson, is always the first boat off, followed by boats of ever increasing size and speed in regular intervals, expertly dispatched by VHF command by the efficient and level headed Vicque Stevenson in the bridge hut. The Buccaneer remained in the lead till the 2nd Milnerton mark, when it was quickly overhauled by the Pacer 27 “Regent Express” which held the lead for most of the way up the long beat to Paarden island, but Phill Gutsche on the Landmark 43 “Windpower” was coming up fast, pulling a number of other big boats with him. It didn't take long and Windpower took the lead before the Paarden Island mark. Corum, Unleashed and Ray of Light had all moved towards the front of the fleet as well, leaving the Pacer 27 to fight for a top ten position.

Lobelia uncharacteristically finished in 20 th place having inadvertently picked up the finish mark in their rudder before the start of the race and had towed the mark plus ground tackle halfway around the course before they realized something was seriously wrong with their boat speed. Some hasty VHF announcements had to be made to correct the finish line to the No.10 mark.

There was major drama when John Levin on “Indaba” (Stadt 34) T-boned Ankie Roux's Fast 42 “Maestro” in a port/starboard incident near the Woodbridge mark. Both boats retired from the race, with Maestro sporting a very large hole in their starboard side. This incident would probably not have happened if the mark was to be left to port , instead of to starboard, which meant boats had to gybe around the mark and head straight into the traffic coming up to the mark.


Above: Maestro being turned into a ham sandwich .....and the consequences below.....



The prize-giving is always a gala affair and jam packed with happy sailors. One of the special touches is the “prize for every skipper” practice and everyone seems really happy with the arrangement. Hein Schipper aged 100 received a standing ovation for his services to the sport of sailing and a lifetime of achievement.

Prize winners were:
1 st Overall: Ancient Mariner Trophy - Phill Gutsche on Windpower
1 st Skipper 70 – 79: Phill Gutsche on Windpower
1 st skipper 60 – 69: Hermon Mory Cup - Geoff Grylis on Corum
1 st Skipper 80 – 89 : Phil Nankin Octant – Bill O'Reilly on Windhover
1 st skipper 90 – 100: JG Louw Binnacle – Gijs van Harten on Lobelia
1 st skipper over 100: Perseverance Trophy - Hein Schipper on Carousel

Oldest average crew: Spilhaus lll – 78 years

Full results:

1

SA3737

Windpower

P Gutsche

2

SA250

Freedom

CP vd Merwe

3

SA969

Corum

G Gryllis

4

39493

Ray of Light

Jan Bol

5

SA3800

Unleashed

Dudley Turner

6

017

Regent Express

Trygve Roberts

7

SA3434

Tenacity

P Schweizer

8

SA3070

Spilhaus

Ted Kuttel

9

SA2773

Naledi

Dickie Mendes

10

SA1234

After You

Dave Abromowitz

11

SA1027

Thunderchild

Vince Goldswain

12

SA3470

Celine IV

Volker Vierhaus

13

011

Tally Ho

John Waller

14

SA978

Aurora

Mel Hawtrey

15

SA3787

Pants on Fire

J Assis

16

SA190

Pure Magic

Ron Keytel

17

NED2994

Touchwood

Gerry Hegie

18

SA4114

Necessity

John Spilhaus

19

SA765

Majimoto II

Paul Mare

20

SA2018

Cabaray

Ray Mathews

21

SA2405

Licence to Chill

R Bertie

22

SA2700

Lobelia

Gys van

23

SA1178

Touch 'n Go

Dave Smith

24

SA898

Me2Me

Derick Shuttleworth

25

SA917

Voodoo

Wayne Hennings

26

SA198

Hill Billy

Ian Meggy

27

SA2134

Spirit of Victory

Mike Paddick

28

SA2447

Paragon

Clive Flederman

29

SA555

Solitaire

William Combrink

30

41

Windhover

Bill O' Reilly

31

SA2360

Saoirse

Alan Jones

32

SA1335

Far Med

Petr Muzik

33

SA597

Mighty Lemon Drop

John Connor

34

SA702

FTI Flyer

Keith Mattison

35

SA818

Ava

C Horton

36

SA130

Apricot

Bat Tromp

37

SA3132

Nautiash

Stephen Flesch

38

SA1011

Carousel

Hein Schipper

39

SA2418

Bateleur

P Ennes

40

SA893

Chen

Charles Paice

41

SA941

Morgenster

Joanne Lambrechts

42

2676

Lets Go

Duncan Johnson

43

SA1967

Storm

Tom Ambrose

44

SA264

Spirit

Michael Philips

45

 

Maid of Sussex

Pat Brown

46

SA323

Sebeza

Willy Krohn

47

 

Charisma

E Booyse

48

 

Pimento (Holiday 23)

Chris du Toit

49

SA654

Spindrift

Rob Brennan

50

H23 184

Ancient Mariner

E Cave

51

 

Siesta

E Jongsma

52

SA 3032

Capricorn

Fred Heginbotham

53

SA639

Antares

Phil Flockton

54

SA66

Indaba

John Levin

55

010

Lapwing

Alan Keen

56

SA3444

Maestro

Ankie Roux

57

SA44

Moonshine

Alan Hughes

58

SA2996

Reaction

Nicky Basson

59

037

Spectrum

Andy James

60

SA1146

CathyR

J Rabie