Gregg Hurter and his crew on Bellatrix ride the monster swells down to the bottom mark, flying their spinnaker during the Sigma Series held offshore by Point Yacht Club.
Pic by Sophie Thompson
Point Yacht Club
Sigma Series Day One
Offshore Durban: Sunday 21 January
Sailors participating in the first day of the Sigma Series hosted by Point Yacht Club had a swell of a time in gorgeous conditions offshore, with handsome CFM taking line honours in the racing fleet and Vernon Goss taking the win on his yacht Bellissima.
Race Officer for the day, Greg Donkin exchanged his wheel on Alkistis for flags on the bridge boat, sending the fleet on a long haul north. The cruising class made their way to Virginia Beach while the faster fleet headed to uMhlanga.
Leading the big boys, Pat Boase on CFM had nearly ten minutes on second placed Gregg Hurter on Bellatrix. Boase steamed ahead after the top three yachts were closely bunched at the turning buoy set off uMhlanga. Bellatrix had Argo FY helmed by Craig Millar on his shoulder for the first half of the return leg, but Millar decided for some clean air, and veered further offshore which just didn’t pay off. Hurter had 80 seconds on Millar crossing the line.
In the one division L26s, Nhlanhla Phakathi led the entire race on his Ithemba while Brendon Humphrey not opting to fly his spinnaker, finished thirteen minutes behind Ithemba.
Having a magnificent day offshore, the cruising class were sent towards the small craft airport with the buoy set 300m off Virginia Beach, Vernon Goss helming his beautiful Bellissima took line honours. Goss just managed to open up the gap after rounding the leeward mark, he was neck-and-neck with Robin Hulley skippering Mafuta, Hullyer crossed the line two minutes after Bellissima.
Third was die-hard sailor, Neville Bransby on Ocean Spirit. He was just five minutes off the leader. Concluding the results for the cruising division was Miss Maverick who ventured offshore for the first time in ages to compete in a race. With Tony Hardy on the wheel, the nifty yacht had great fun sliding up and down the massive swells that rolled in, getting bigger as the day got on.
The conclusion of the Sigma Series will take place offshore on Sunday 11 February. This Saturday the dinghy sailors will be taking to the water for the Bar Anniversary Mug Pursuit Race, and the fisherman will be taking to the bay for the fun-filled ‘Mullet Masters Hall of Fame’. Afterwards, they will be converging in the pub to celebrate Charlie’s Bar’s 65th birthday. All are welcome.
For more info visit www.pyc.co.za or like the club’s Facebook page.
1 CFM (Pat Boase) 1:53.07, 2 Bellatrix (Gregg Hurter) 2:02.22, 3 Argo FY (Craig Millar) 2:03.43, 4 Ithemba (Nhlanhla Phakathi) 2:40.20, 5 Container World (Brendon Humphrey) 2:52.59
1 Bellissima (Vernon Goss) 1:55.30, 2 Mafuta (Robin Hulley) 1:57.37. 3 Ocean Spirit (Neville Bransby) 2:00.59, 4 Miss Maverick (Tony Hardy) 2:25.35