December ­sailing kicks off

The next big event is the offshore race from Walvis Bay to Swakopmund.

10 December 2018 | Sports

The Namibian Sailing Association hosted its Junior Nationals at Walvis Bay Yacht Club over the weekend.

For the first time since its inception the event took place in two different types of dinghies (Optimist and Laser) to allow greater participation.

The event was hosted by Walvis Bay Yacht Club and sponsored by Catamaran Charters.

The Optimist Sailing Dinghy is an international class boat designed specifically for children by American boat designer Clark Mills in 1947.

Smooth Sailing

The Laser is also an international class used for the Olympic men's single handed events.

The wind on Saturday started with a steady 6 to 10 knots and the heats took place to allow qualification for the final medal race on Sunday.

The first two heats of the Optimist Class were won by Nicole Steyn, with second place going to Mary- Ann Eeden in the first heat and Jacques Swart in the second.

In the Laser Albertus de Klerk showed his prowess by winning both heats, with second place going to Gerald McCarthy and Mathew Quinn respectively.

By the fifth heat the wind had really increased and it was exciting sailing in the Optimists, with Xenia Plarre winning and Nicole Steyn in second place.

The Laser classes saw several capsizes by Elmi MCCarthy and only one finisher, Karli Rudolph, who persevered in the difficult conditions to cross the line in first place.

The blue sky and strong winds of Saturday afternoon were replaced by cloud and a northerly wind for the start of Sunday with races starting early to finish the last of the heats. The lighter winds suited Gerald McCarthy in the Laser with Jonathan van Zyl taking the second. In the optimist class Jaques Swart won, with Mary-Ann van Eeden taking second again.

The final race was started in a light breeze. The tide across the course was strong and certainly provided some really tricky conditions for the competitors.

As the race progressed the faster Laser looked like it was going to have an advantage as it finished the three laps in 31 minutes and 6 seconds, but the wind filled in and the first Optimist finished in 44 minutes and 12 seconds.

The prize giving was conducted by Christo Swart from the Namibian Sailing Association.

He thanked the Commodore of Walvis Bay Yacht Club Theo Schoemans, the principle race officer Peter Davidson and all parents and competitors who supported the event in addition to the sponsor Catamaran Charters.

The final overall results were: 1st - Xenia Plarre (1st Optimist), 2nd Albertus de Klerk (1st laser), 3rd Nicole Steyn (2nd Optimist), 4th Elmi McCarthy (2nd Laser), 5th Stephen Fourie, 6th Mathew Quinn, 7th Gerald McCarthy, 8th Jonathan van Zyl, 9th Karli Rudolph, 10th Mary-Ann van Eeden, 11th Jacques Swart, 12th Deirdre Botha, 13th Danelle Swart and 14th Daniel van Staden.

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