Spectacular SA Sailing 75th anniversary a celebration of post-Covid sailing

The South African watersports scene was dominated by South African Sailing’s 75th Anniversary celebrations from 6-21 December. From a precursor inter-university regatta held at Midmar Dam in KwaZulu-Natal and... Read more
Spectacular SA Sailing 75th anniversary a celebration of post-Covid sailing

The South African watersports scene was dominated by South African Sailing’s 75th Anniversary celebrations from 6-21 December.

From a precursor inter-university regatta held at Midmar Dam in KwaZulu-Natal and a dinghy regatta at Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club all the way through to the end of the SA Sailing Youth National Championships held at Stilbaai Yacht Club on the Vaal Dam, sailing was celebrated throughout the country.

Close to 2000 sailors took part in the eye-catching spectacle on more than 700 boats with over 800 volunteers offering up their time to make the events across the country such a success.

At Royal Cape Yacht Club more than 75 yachts graced the iconic Table Bay as a prelude to the long weekend sailing extravaganza. The rest of the Western Cape was not to be outdone, with 28 cruising boats sailing a rally event to Kraal Baai in Langebaan, and more than 75 sailors crossing False Bay from Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club to False Bay Yacht Club, with a similar number from False Bay Yacht Club returning the compliment. Hout Bay Yacht Club hosted a well-attended event, while celebratory regattas were held at Theewaterskloof Dam and George Lakes Yacht Club.

Offshore sailing took place at Gqeberha, East London, Durban and Richards Bay. Henley Midmar Yacht club hosted a National Championships for open keelboat classes. Smaller inland clubs including Pretoria Sailing Club, Mountain Yacht Club and Boskop all hosted events and open days.

The main event was on the Vaal Dam. Anchored around a successful Youth National Championships, national and regional championships were held for senior dingy classes and catamaran classes. Keelboats raced in medium and long-distance races, and an enormous fleet of more than 50 cruising boats sailed from club to club around the dam.

SA Sailing President Michael Robinson said: “The final statistics will take a while to collect, but the spontaneous enthusiasm experienced this past weekend is a good indication that the sailing community is on track to make great things happen.

“These celebrations mark the end of a good year for SA Sailing in which the sport finally started to get back to normal after a tumultuous few years of the Covid pandemic. It was absolutely wonderful to see so many people out on the water enjoying our great sport again, and also those competing at a high level. We look forward to another fantastic year ahead.”

Sail Africa senior instructor Praise Baras added: “It was a very good and successful event for us… it was quite an amazing time – the dinner we had, the celebration of the 75th and the day of South African sailing and the opportunities to actually try something new. It was indeed a great one with more learning and new things.”

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