Dry spell over for 24-hour sailors

Dinghy sailors are back doing what they know to do best after a three-year hiatus.

Teams of dinghy sailors and the Milnerton Aquatic Club (MAC) 24 Hour organising crew are fired up to take part in South Africa’s premier dinghy endurance sailing challenge on Saturday and Sunday April 2 and 3.

After three years, sailors from around the country will converge on Rietvlei, which forms part of the Table Bay Nature Reserve, with the action kicking off at noon on Saturday April 2 and sailing carrying on through the night until noon the following day, with some sailors continuing for an extra hour in the Bar One Challenge.

Sea Scout groups from all over the peninsula and further afield will also be taking part in their big Saldanha Dinghies.They normally sail with four crew on board. Plumstead and Milnerton Sea Scouts groups will be chasing each other for the top spot.

Bosun, Enterprise, GP14, Sonnet, Mirror, 420, Pico, Saldanha and SV14 dinghies are taking part.

Dinghies sail for 24 hours through the night in a relay type sailing challenge.

Change overs normally happen every two hours – with crew changes being either slick or disastrous and some teams capsizing their boats.

Started in 1998 with nine teams, today the event can host up to 35 teams with the best dinghy sailors competing.

This year Russell Vollmer a South African Paralympic sailor, who took part in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, will be sailing his SV14, a high-tech sailing dinghy with special canting seats and lots of other equipment on board built specially designed for sailors with disabilities.

The Bridge crew are looking for volunteer lap counters to assist during the challenge. If you are a sailor and keen to take part, some teams have one or two spots left. For more information, call the Milnerton Aquatic Club Sailing Office on 021 557 7090.

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