Wednesday Night Sailing Instructions


Sailing is a great lifetime sport and recreation, but for anyone without experience it can be a bit daunting trying to work out how to get started. We assist you to get on the water, have fun and learn new skills.

There are choices in sailing for everyone, so the first question to ask is “What sort of sailing do I want to do?”  This you can do by getting your name on the crew register for regular keelboat racing and cruising.  Point Yacht Club has a very active and competitive fleet of keelboats that participate in cruising and racing throughout the year.



Twilight racing is held on weeknights during the Summer months and is the best way for new and “want to be” sailors to get into sailing at the club. The races start at 17h30 and race for an hour or so and most people then either have drink and snacks on the boat, or retire to the clubhouse for dinner and further festivities. Twilight racing is great for beginners because the races are shorter and often less serious than the Saturday or Sunday competition. Boats often need crew because regulars get tied up with work and can’t make it to the club in time for the race. Skippers are therefore willing to take on inexperienced hands to assist the sailing of the boat.



Competitive offshore racing is held regularly in the warm waters of the Durban beachfront. Nowhere else in South Africa can you sail all year round without having to wear foul weather clothing. Conditions can vary from near windless to fresh but the safety of the harbour is always near. The calendar includes racing from inshore round the buoys racing to shorter distance races as well as the longer events such as the Vasco da Gama Race sailed over 400 miles between Durban and Port Elizabeth. MSC Week, the premier coastal Winter regatta is also hosted by Point Yacht Club during the month of July.



Owners of keelboats need people to help them sail them and are usually only too happy to help you learn if you are the sort of person who can turn up each week, or at least give plenty of notice of your availability. And as the Wednesday night races are very informal, they are a great way to get onto a boat and become a regular participating member of the crew.



Although the owner of the boat generally looks after the cost of the boat, it is good etiquette to bring some drinks and nibbles to share with the owner and the rest of the crew during or perhaps on the boat straight after racing. It is a given that the crew buy the owner a drink afterwards in the bar. Further, the only cost for crew members is the cost of personal expenses such as clothing, and membership to the club.



Point Yacht Club is a very friendly, accommodating club and welcomes new members of any age or skill level. However, while you are most welcome to enjoy the benefits of sailing at the club and the use of the clubhouse, it is expected that if you start sailing more than just an occasional Wednesday night with your mate, that you look to join the club. Given the benefits of belonging to the club, the costs are very moderate. Further information can be obtained by emailing the Sailing Secretary at


Handicapping PDF

Wednesday Twilight racing – 16 February 2014

The fresh lunchtime winds unfortunately deterred a number of the regular boats from sailing. However, the 22 boats that hit the water were treated to some wonderful sailing conditions of 10 to 15 knots dropping with the sun. The South-Westerly course (which we have not sailed in a while) gave some of the skippers a lesson in boat handling, tactics and rules of the road. It is obvious that Rule 10 of the RRS needs to be studied by some skippers in great detail before the next race. As a result of non-compliance with the rules, a protest has been lodged and will be heard.

Nevertheless, there was some great sailing. Skitzo put one over Bellatrix by 0.469 seconds on corrected time while Zing retired with Gavin Smith having to receive some medical attention back at moorings. I am sure we will see Gavin Back on the water soon. So Basic made a welcome return to the A1-fleet and made sailing in the A1-fleet look so basic. In the A2-fleet the usual contenders vied for the podium. However there was no Stoked, Struan being a little over eager at the start and ignoring the X flag. The B-fleet was hotly contested as usual. At the end Pallucci triumphed on corrected time. However, she did almost cause great mayhem after the start by tacking onto port and causing Sundance on starboard to take major avoiding action. No penalty turn was done. Not the right way to sail. Keren, Jennabee and Misty dead-heated on the finish line all scoring the same time – absolutely nothing between them. The Race Officer had to turn down the Johnny Walker to swing it in Jennabee’s favour due to other witnesses being present. (Next time don’t be so obvious, guys!). Sadly, the Micro-Multis are down to one boat on a regular basis. We need all of them back on the water.

Thanks to Moses and Victor for mark laying duty and Jan Milln who assisted with results. Also, the youngsters from PYT who helped with the anchor drill – much appreciated. Charlies was also much more festive through the efforts of the club staff and Ed de Lange.