Royal Natal Yacht Club held its annual Heritage Regatta last weekend and five of our boys committed to four days of sailing and competitions both in the bay and off-shore. They crewed on boats ZAP with Skipper Commodore Graham Rose and Nimrod with Skipper Pat Boase. Friday afternoon began with a Cryptic Clue treasure hunt around the harbour on the boats and then a karaoke competition back on land.
Saturday was an offshore race to Umhlanga Lighthouse and back – this took the better part of four hours in howling winds, pouring rain and icy temperatures.
Sunday and Monday were races in the bay as the wind was too strong for off shore racing – no picnic in the bay either as boats broke steering, lost their sails and many broached – a whole new experience for our boys as the boat went over at 90 degree angles and they found themselves hanging by their fingertips, feet dangling in the air. Monday ended with a potjie competition and prize giving in which the boys were commended for their commitment and perseverance during the weekend.
I am extremely proud of these boys – they showed excellent discipline and great spirit throughout the weekend despite being wet, cold, tired and (although they won’t admit it) a little scared at times. My thanks to the Skippers who accommodated them on their boats, Carol Ferguson the event organizer for including them in arrangements and their parents who spent the entire weekend fetching and carrying and getting involved in the festivities.
Cameron Crickmore: “This weekend was an absolutely amazing experience. Not only did I gain experience in sailing but I made new friends. I learnt how to trust in your crew as well as the boat. I remember sitting on the edge of the boat, freezing, and I said to myself, ‘You know what, I am freezing but I am going to be back tomorrow to do it all over again’. The camaraderie of the crew and all the other sailors is amazing. I felt like I was among family.”
Kyle Johansen: “I learnt how to goose wing the Genoa and that ropes get wrapped around you when they break. I also learned that you will feel sick out at sea. But I had a good time and I went back every day.”
Joshua Crickmore: “It was an awesome experience. There was a lot of team spirit and it was exciting to work together in unpredictable situations, especially out at sea and in the harbour with the high wind speeds and gusts that left our spreaders and boom dragging in the water. I learnt how to stay on the boat when the boat had tipped 90 degrees and learnt some new ways to get the boat moving faster and how to keep the sails working at full capacity.”
Justin Van Blerk: “I learnt so much this weekend, like skirting the jib and many other skills. I really must thank my crew, they were really amazing. My favourite thing when we were in the boat was when the boat was tipping over, but most importantly I had a really incredible time and can’t wait for next year.”
Matthew Delderfield: “I had fun!! I enjoyed my robust and extreme on deck ride with ZAP and the Commodore and obviously some scary moments and funny times with the crew members. I learnt a lot in such a short time, especially all the terminology behind sailing. It was fun broaching at 90 degree angles and controlling the jib and making sure we skirted when necessary and then enjoying a soothing cold coke at the end.”
We were delighted to receive the following email from Commodore Graham Rose of the Royal Natal Yacht Club who wrote the following:
“We were delighted to have representatives from DHS participate in our annual Royal Natal Regatta. The group of enthusiastic young sailors acquitted themselves with distinction and displayed the pride, dignity, good manners and sportsmanship for which DHS is renowned. It was a pleasure to have these young men on board my yacht over the regatta, we look forward to their continued participation during the forthcoming sailing season. In keeping with our ethos and the objectives of the regatta the team sailed the very best they could in some very robust weather conditions, they all had fun, learnt something new and most importantly made new friends. Cameron and Josh Crickmore, Justin Van Blerk, Kyle Johansen and Mathew Delderfield are indeed wonderful ambassadors for DHS.”
Ms S Steytler
M-i-C : Sailing Club