Robberg Fine Foods Classic Beach Regatta was the selection for the South African Hobie 16 sailors to the 23rd Hobie 16 World Championships.
With torrential rain on Thursday night and a 40 knot South Easter Gale on Friday followed by almost no wind on Saturday and Sunday we had it all. Kevin Allen was unable to organize this year so handed it over to William and Blaine. Dudley Issacs very kindly did the race officer although half his crew was seasick in the Rubber Duck on Saturday with the extreme swells left over from the gale. A great evening meal was had at Moby’s where they had to put up the hurricane boards to give some sort of protection against the wind.
Launching on Saturday was a challenge with a team of swimmers needed to get you through the surf in zero wind conditions – thanks to William, Douglas, Richard, Graham, and their team of helpers. The sea state was challenging to say the least with several boats coming in with sick crews. Dudley got 3 races, in swells that ranged from 5-8m in very light conditions. The first race was the full 6 legs in length but mercifully the other 2 races were both shortened to 2 rounds. The results board at the end of Saturday had William and Lucinda leading by one point from Shaun & Alison followed by Doug and Lila. Blaine and Roxanne were in an unusual for them 4thspot showing how difficult the conditions were. Lying 5th on day one was Mark and Sarah Obree who sailed brilliantly in the circumstances.
Sunday dawned with no wind but as William predicted a light SW wind came through making launching through the surf easy this time. William & Lucinda’s challenge came to an end in race one when a shroud failed and they had to go into shore to replace and repair. In spite of a superhuman effort to get back in time, they missed the start by about a minute. ( Dudley – it is PC to wait for the main organizer to return to the fray !) In the end, it was that man Dodds again pulling himself up from 4th to finish tie-on points with Shaun at 13 points but winning on a countback of first places. A great regatta with lots of camaraderie.