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Robberg Fine Foods Regatta a great success
The Robberg Fine Foods Classic Beach Regatta was held for the third year this long weekend, and had a record number of thirty catamarans launching off Plett’s iconic Hobie Beach for a series of races over three days, from Saturday to Monday.
Despite inclement weather on the Sunday when racing had to be called off because of the howling Westerly pushing through, conditions were ideal for two days of fiercely competitive racing on either side of the long weekend.
The Southern Cape sailors from Plett, Knysna and Port Elizabeth were joined by their compatriots from all over South Africa including Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Pretoria, making the fixture an increasingly representative event of catamaran sailing in South Africa. The fleet consisted mainly of Hobie 16s, but there were also Hobie 14s, a Hobie Dragoon (crewed and skippered by Greg Rodwell, Tyrin Williams and Aidy, 3 courageous 11 year old sailors from Knysna) and two Darts all the way down from Tuks Yachting in Pretoria competing. Logistics were supported by Plett Tourism and sponsorship was provided by Robberg Fine Foods and Ilgner Innovations.
The first race on Saturday morning proved challenging as the strengthening Westerly gusted up above 25 knots, keeping the safety boats busy with those catamaran sailors who thought they’d cool off in the bay. The race officer called the fleet in for lunch while the wind settled, followed by three more races in the afternoon. Racing at the top end of the fleet was very competitive with very little to separate local legend Blaine Dodds and Murray Hiscock, from PE sailors Andrew and Angela Ward lying second and Cape Town sailors Shaun Ferry and Lauren Pierce in third. The legendary Robberg Fine Foods Fish Braai was well earned by the sailors on Saturday night at the fabulous Bungalow boutique hotel and restaurant, feasting on Dorado with dill sauce.
Monday saw three more races in an 8-12 knot South Easterly kicking up a bit of a choppy sea, which kept the upland sailors on their toes. With all to fight for at the top, the race officer had his work cut out for him, having to restart a number of races for boats going over the line early. “No risk no reward” they say, but some of the top boats paid the price and Andrew and Angela Ward had to live with two disqualifications on Day Three for going over the line early.
Fittingly, Blaine Dodds and Murray Hiscock, won the regatta’s Blaine Dodds Floating Trophy, introduced for the first time this year followed by Shaun Ferry and Lauren Pierce in second and Durban sailors Garth and Karyn Loudon in third. The trophy harks back to the days when Hobie’s lined Plett’s Central Beach over the festive season, and if the past few days are anything to go by, this may be a memory that could well be recreated for future generations.
For more details contact Kevin Allan (084) 226 0809.
Photography: Glenn Murray
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Robberg Fine Foods