This event is an annual event and a highly sought after fixture on the South African Hobie calendar. Tiger sailors love sailing in Langebaan as it offers the very best conditions for these feisty catamarans and many Tiger owners keep their boats locally so as to be able to sail here year round. Others are happy to drive thousands or kilometers to attend.
This year again we had a fleet of 21 entries which included all the big names once again as well as some new faces.
The event was held over 4 very intense days – starting early on Wednesday the 21st and finishing late on Saturday 24th March with the first 3 days seeing high winds and tough conditions. Out in the bay where most of the racing takes place, the water is nice a flat, even in high winds, and the sailing fast.
12 races were recorded altogether for the event but this included the ‘Xtreme Racing Series’ which was made up of 6 flights on a knock-out basis. The GOLD fleet eventually being won by William and Doug Edwards, the current Tiger World champions.
Racing took place on the Langebaan bay area except for Friday afternoon where the sailors were brought up the lagoon into the shallows and treacherous sand banks, directly in front of the yacht club for the Xtreme series. Through this series we try to showcase the Hobie Tiger sailing for the club members, spectators and the media. This years event was a huge success with strong winds really pushing the boats and the sailors to their limits. Plenty of tired and sore bodies at the end of this particular day.
Overall, the event was finally won on the last race of Saturday, in lighter breeze, by Blaine Dodds from Plett (a 4 times world champion on Hobie) with Andrew Ward as crew, 2nd by Shaun Ferry (also a multiple world title holder) with Lee Hawkins as crew and then William Edwards and his son Douglas from Plett – the current Hobie Tiger World Champions. (results attached).
Young Camryn Doubell was our only lady skipper and she did a fine job of handling the Tiger in the tough conditions. Sue Walker once again was out there with her hubby Andrew and showing up the rest of the girls watching from the shore. William Keiser and his daughter Jemma received a warm welcome back on the water and it was fantastic to have them with us and sailing together. Mike Goodyear and his daughter Stephanie were also racing and Stephanie’s enthusiasm for the sport so awesome to see. Kobus and Sune are new Hobie & Tiger owners and they loved learning the ropes and getting know the Hobie family.
Overall whole event was a great success again this year.
Thanks to everyone involved helping to make it happen and especially to Colin Whitehead for multitasking like a boss, and keeping everything on track as well as taking part in the racing.
Who says boys can’t multitask!
Tracy – event organizer.
Special thanks to Tracy and Keli Whitehead for all their work in making this regatta so successful.
Photos Courtesy of Jodie Lawrence