First race kicks off sailing season

03 December 2018 | Sports

The December sailing season officially kicked off this weekend with the Namibia Sailing Association (NSA) Junior Nationals.

The event started on Saturday and continues today (Sunday) at the Walvis Bay Yacht Club. The first race was held shortly after the skippers’ meeting on Saturday morning. The event caters for the younger age groups in the sailing sport and gives junior sailors the opportunity to display their skills acquired at sailing training camps held during the year. It is also a chance to compete in the sailing sport on a national level. The junior classes consist of Lasers and Optis, which are ideal boats for the youth to learn on.

The next event on the sailing calendar is the Walvis Bay Yacht Club Bell Buoy Race which takes place on 23 December and is open to all sailing classes. The first possible start is at 11:00, with boats traveling on a course around the Bell Buoy, which is situated just past Pelican Point, and back to the Yacht Club.

Following the Bell Buoy race, is the famous Walvis Bay Yacht Club Offshore Race on 26 December which is also open to all sailing classes. The first possible start of this race is at 10:00, with boats departing from the Walvis Bay Yacht Club and finishing at the Mole in Swakopmund. The event is famous for the racing course from Walvis to Swakopmund, which is spectator friendly as it is easily followed from various beaches and viewing points along the way.

The sailing season closes off with the NSA Nationals, which takes place at the Walvis Bay Yacht Club from 28 to 30 December for Hobie Cat 16s and 14s and possibly a Laser fleet. The starting times will be between 10:00 and 11:00 each morning, which is largely dependent on the wind. The competitors sail a series of regattas during the three days.

This year is the first time the NSA is organising a Kite Surfing Nationals, which will take place in the afternoon following the other sailing classes.

The sailing events have taken place annually in December for well over two decades, bringing Namibian sailors from various regions in the country together to compete. Walvis Bay is the most sought after sailing location in Namibia, mostly because of the protected lagoon and bay along with favourable and consistent wind conditions.

The Junior Nationals is sponsored by Catamaran Charters, the Bell Buoy race is sponsored by HEMCO Paints and Schoemans, the offshore race is sponsored by Minaqua Water and Catamaran Charters and the nationals is sponsored by HEMCO Paints and Schoemans.

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