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Cape yachts dominate nationals
- Updated: October 5, 2009
Royal Cape Yacht Club Pacers dominated the 2009 Pacer 27 Sport nationals on the Vaal Dam with Anthony Wentworth, Trygve Roberts and Andrea Giovaninni taking the top three places.
Seriously close one design racing is what this event was all about. Despite the fairly small entry of six boats, those that were on the water enjoyed outstanding close quarter racing with many of the races seeing four Pacers finishing within 30 seconds of each other.
Ant Wentworth’s ‘Felix the Cat’ ended up as overall winners, notwithstanding the top four boats all finishing on 10 points each for a four way tie. Second placed ‘Regent Express’ ended with an identical scoreline to ‘Felix the cat’ where the tie was broken on the better position in the final race ÔÇô the very race where ‘Regent Express’ skippered by Trygve Roberts had a halyard break and sent them plummeting from a possible first place right down to last in the final race.
They jury-rigged a second halyard and fought back to finish fourth in the final race, but it was one point too little for the overall win. Finishing third overall was Andrea Giovaninni┬á on ‘Pacer 3’ fresh from a similar podium finish in the Lipton Cup.
He said after the event he could not believe how competitive the Pacer fleet was and had underestimated the quality of the racing. ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿What a pleasure to go sailing on absolutely flat water in fresh breeze in shorts and T-shirts.
This is something the guys from the Cape seldom get to do. Conditions on the Vaal for the first two days suited the Pacers perfectly with fresh breezes and flat water which makes the Pacer 27 Sport a delight to sail.
This was the third Pacer 27 Nationals and certainly different from the first two, where Rick Nankin and Mark Sadler dominated the results. This event saw four of the six entries each winning a race. The regatta was never a foregone conclusion till the final day.
Fresh to strong winds on the Vaal (18 to 32 knots) saw the Pacers ripping through the fleet downwind reaching speeds above 16 knots and providing some spectacular broaches for those seeking visual thrills.
The only non Pacer that could keep up was the Farrier trimaran. The weather was exceptionally good for the first two days, whereafter┬á it faded completely not allowing any additional races for the entire weekend ÔÇô a first in the last six years that DAC have had no racing during this annual event on any given day. No-one really complained as the first two days were simply fantastic for keelboat racing.
Deneysville Aquatic Club hosted the Pacer Nationals as part of their annual Keel Boat Week regatta, which attracted some 50 entries of mixed classes, with the Mistral, J22 and Hunters all making class. Three Pacers undertook the long journey from Cape Town, as did one from Port Elizabeth with the final two being Vaal Dam based. Amongst the crews were some very good sailors, many who have sailed at world championship level.
There was no question as to how tough the competition was going to be. On several of the boats there were sailmakers and hot-shots within the industry. It would be a tough event to win for sure.
D.A.C. as always proved to be a competent and friendly club who did a sterling job of feeding and entertaining the sailors, whilst Race Officer Trevor Hulleman competently and patiently ensured the required number of races were completed.
Five races were sailed over two days leaving the next two days with zero wind and no racing at all.
Felix the cat and Regent Express had a dead tie for first overall with both boats having a scoreline of first, second, third, fourth, but in such a tie the boat with the better result in the final race wins the tie-breaker. Felix the cat had a third versus Regent Express’s fourth (where they broke their jib halyard).