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2023 ILCA South African National Championships

A large fleet of 53 ILCA Lasers competed in the three classes. They ventured out into big rolling swells and breezy North Easterly conditions on day one of the 2023 ILCA Nationals hosted by Point Yacht Club, with gusts of 24 knots being registered on the bridge boat anchored in the middle of the racetrack. There were loads of thrills and spills encountered by the participants. The three classes all did two quick fire laps in each of their three races. Race Officer, Kevin Bingham set a triangle sausage course, with a generous distance between the top and bottom marks allowing for some epic beats and runs.

Leading the main fleet, the ILCA 7's, local sailor, Rudy McNeill sailed exceptionally notching up three back-to-back bullets. Topping the ILCA 4's, Isabella Keytel had a good first day out logging a third, a second and an impressive first. She commented "Very enjoyable conditions with some really cool, big surfs." Another sailor returning to his local stomping ground, Jethro Brophy Tintinger sailed out of his boots in the ILCA6's, finishing first in his class. He achieved a second, a fifth and a respectable first.

Another big weather day tested sailors on day two of the ILCA Nationals on Friday. To allow more manageable conditions, racing started earlier. As the sailing built momentum, so did the conditions with the sea state getting lumpy as the north easterly breeze filled in with winds blowing over 20 knots later on. Race Officer, Kevin Bingham opted to sail course one, a windward leeward course, with an early start. The shorter course allowed him to get in four races in total. The leading lady in the ILCA 4's, Olivia Purchase (MAC) had a magnificent second day on the water, with podium finishes in all four of her races. She kicked off her day with first places in race one and two, followed by a second place in race three, and finishing with a third in the fourth and final race. Purchase was lying third overnight behind Isabella Keytel, then Jacques Dugas, both ZVYC. Keytel now finds herself in second place only three points behind and Dugas in third, seven points behind Purchase. Defending ILCA 6 champion, Keagen Nel from Stillbaai Yacht Club had a fantastic second day, leap frogging overnight leader, Jethro Brophy Tintinger sailing for Henley Midmar Yacht Club. Nel achieved a total of three first places in his seven races overall, while Brophy Tintinger has earned two respectable first places. Only two points separates the tight competition between the two, including a very unusual tied first place in race two today. Continuing his fine form, Rudy McNeill had a brilliant day on the water, registering first places in each of his four races and stretching his lead in the ILCA 7's. Knysna's Georgou Divaris sailed hard, moving up one place ahead of Alistair Keytel. Currently in second place, Divaris finished with two seconds and two thirds, with a nett total of 16 points, ten points behind McNeill. Keytel is still very much in the running, with only two points behind Divaris.

Three races were completed on the final day, in similar NE conditions. Isabella Keytel (ZVYC) claimed top spot in the ILCA 4's after an almighty duel with Olivia Purchase (MAC). The two young ladies ended their nationals tied, both with 16 points. Keytel who was the overnight leader after the first day, found herself two points behind Purchase at the start of the final day. In her last two races, she magicked up two magnificent wins, taking her total tally of victories to four and edging Purchase out, who had three first places to her name after ten races. Chiara Fruet completed the all female podium in third place. In the ILCA 7 fleet, Rudy McNeill clinched the title by winning the first two races and not having to sail the last race. Alastair Keytel did enough to get back to second place overall, with Kai Leslie clinching 3rd place, edging out Divaris. In the ILCA 6 fleet, Keagan Nel continued to dominate and proceeded to retain the ILCA 6 Trophy that he won at the previous Nationals, held at Hermanus. Jethro Brophy-Tintinger secured second place, ahead of Simon Baer.

ILCA Nationals 2023 Event Website

Gallery of Photos from the 2023 ILCA Nationals

2022 ILCA South African National Championships

Hermanus Yacht Club was the venue for the 2022 ILCA South Africa National Championships. Forty five boats sailed in the three divisions, with ILCA 4 (4.7) being the largest, with twenty two in that fleet, 11 in ILCA 6 and 12 in ILCA 7.

On the first day, the fleet was sent out for a start at the scheduled time, however the breeze then died and the fleet was sent back to shore. A breeze picked up later for the first two races to be completed. The second day had the strongest wind, a bit lighter on day three. On the final day, a race was still required to get to ten for the second discard. This race could only be started once the wind eventually veered to the south, just before the final race cut off.

In the 12 boat ILCA 7 fleet (Laser Standard), competition for first place was between Alastair Keytel and Peter Hall, with Pete Wilson just behind. Alastair had the initial series lead but Peter then started to catch up. After 10 races, there was a tie on points for 1st place. In the tie break system, both had equal number of 1sts, 2nds and 3rds, with the tie remaining. The tie had to be broken on the basis of the winner of the last race, ensuring that the gold medal and Laser National Champion trophy went to Peter Hall.

The 11 boat ILCA 6 fleet (Laser Radial) was dominated by Keagan Nel, who scored 6 first places, the rest were 2nds. Second place went to Robert Collingridge, with Helen Jansen van Vuuren in third place.

The ILCA 4 fleet (Laser 4.7) had no less than 22 boats sailing. After the first two races being not so good by his standard, James Matchette went on to win the remaining eight. Girls took the remaining podium places - Isabella Keytel was consistently finishing 2nd or 3rd in most races to claim 2nd place overall, with Chiara Fruet in third place.

2021 ILCA South African National Championships

Done and dusted! The 2021 ILCA South African National Championships has come to a close on Algoa Bay, with ten races sailed. Four races were sailed on the last day.

In the ILCA 7 fleet,Georgou Divaris, after sitting in 2nd place up to the last day behind Alastair Keytel, then scored three firsts to get to the top step of the podium. Alan Keen got third place in this fleet.

The big ILCA 6 fleet (23 boats) was won by Stefano Marcia, ahead of Hamilton Slater and Keagan Nel.

In the ILCA 4 fleet, despite getting a lowly 8th place in the last race, James Matchette had a sufficient points lead to secure first place. Behind, there was a tie on points for 2nd place, between Patrick Kessel and Chiara Fruet. However, Sailings tie break system breaks the tie in favour of Fruet on the most number of firsts, seconds, etc.

Final results are shown in the Results section of this website.

2020 Laser National Championships - Stilbaai Yacht Club, Vaal dam

2020 Laser Class National Championships were successfully hosted by Stilbaai Yacht Club on the Vaal Dam.
With Youth Nationals in its current format cancelled for 2020, the Laser Class jumped at the opportunity to incorporate the Youth Laser National championships into the main event. Its always a big ask to have all 3 fleets make class. But with the enthusiasm of the Cape youth sailors, it did not seem to be a problem. A huge thank you to the Cape parents who chaperoned several sailors not just their own offspring.

John Samuel, the RO for the event and a local made good use of the conditions and managed to complete 12 races for the series. The conditions varied but unfortunately never delivered the blow the coastal sailors hoped for.

The Standard fleet was made up of mix of the "heavies" like Campbell, Rudolph and Alan, the up-and-coming U21's Kai, Niels and Cameron and some "wild cards" Justin, Bradley and the Urban Boys who sailed their first regatta. Rudolph showed the fleet the way for several races with the next 5 places changing frequently.

The 16 boat Radial Fleet was made up entirely of Youth sailors making for a true Youth Nationals championship. Sailors that have been in the Laser class since they aged out of Optimists were challenged by sailors who have achieved great results in in the 420 class. The results do not quite represent the tussle that went on the front of the fleet in the variable conditions. The Radial National and Youth National title was decided on 1st place count out tie break between Keagan Nel and Alex Flacon. Matt Inglis made his presence felt in the top 3. He was also awarded the Cullen Keytel Memorial Shield as the winner of the First Race. A Thank you to the Keytel Family for the prize money for the Youth Winners of the First Race of the event. Kyle Koeries from Eden District finished 4th overall and the 2nd Western Cape sailor. A wonderful achievement for his first Radial event. The leading Youth Girl was Siena-Rose Jones making it into he the top 10 of the fleet.

The 4.7 fleet although the feeder class for the Radial has never been contested lightly. A 7 boat fleet had its share of drama and excitement. James Matchette from the Tera and 420 classes, Elisa Falcon from the Optimist Class and Chiara Fruet the veteran of the fleet kept the spectators on their toes as to the out come of each race as none was decided until the last moment. Duncan Urban was the "struggler" of the fleet, working to finish every race in his first regatta.

Final Results were as follows:
Standard Fleet
1st Overall- Rudolph Holm
2nd Overall - Alan Keen
3rd Overall - Kai Leslie

1st Youth Under 19 - Niels Tiaaden
1st Master - Rudolph Holm
1st Grand Master- Campbell Alexander
1st Great Grand Master - Alan Keen
1st Woman- Shellee Nel

Radial Fleet
1st Overall- Keagan Nel
2nd Overall - Alex Falcon
3rd Overall - Matt Inglis
Youth Nationals - Radial Fleet
1st Youth Boy - Keagan Nel
2nd Youth Boy- Alex Falcon
3rd Youth Boy - Matt Inglis
1st Girl Youth- Siena- Rose Jones
Cullen Keytel Memorial Shield- Matt Inglis

4,7 Fleet
1st Overall- James Matchette
2nd Overall - Elisa Falcon
3rd Overall - Chiara Fruet
Youth Nationals - 4,7 Fleet
1st Youth Boy - James Matchette
1st Youth Girl - Elisa Falcon

Gallery of Photos from the 2020 ILCA Nationals

International Laser Class Association - Update on New Builder Approvals

In November 2018, World Sailing approved its Olympic Equipment Strategy, which requires that any interested party who meets the necessary technical qualifications must be able to manufacture and sell Olympic equipment.

In order to comply with this policy, on September 27th of this year, ILCA announced it was accepting preliminary applications for the appointment of new builders of class legal boats and equipment. ILCA is pleased to announce that 29 applications were received and have now been reviewed by the evaluation panel. 18 applicants were determined to meet the minimum requirements to move forward in the process and those potential builders are now being invited to participate in a more detailed, formal license application assessment. Applicants will receive a copy of the Approved Builder License Agreement and the relevant portions of the ILCA Build Manual, which will allow them to fully evaluate the business opportunity and develop a formal business plan.

On December 6, Laser Performance was also issued an Approved Builder License Agreement, which would allow the company to be reappointed as an approved manufacturer of class legal boats and equipment. ILCA has not yet received a response to the agreement from Laser Performance, but we are hopeful to see a signed contract in the near future in order to avoid any delays in equipment supply.

All new builder applications were submitted on a confidential basis, so ILCA cannot publish the names of the potential builders at this time. However, ILCA can reveal that, of the 18 builders invited to proceed with the new builder approval process, there are five from Europe, five from Asia, four from North America, three from South America and one from Oceania. The next step is for a panel of experts to review the formal applications and business proposals received in order to further narrow down the list. By the nature of this process and in compliance with relevant antitrust regulations, ILCA cannot determine the number of builders that will be eventually approved, nor can we specify the geographic location of the successful candidates. More information about the approval process and the technical and business qualifications required can be found here.

Since rights to use the LASER trademark are controlled by various third parties, all new builders will be issued a royalty-free license to use the ILCA trademark in connection with the marketing and sale of class legal boats. This will allow all builders to sell boats, sails and equipment into any territory and will establish a truly open global market, which we expect will help drive growth for our class and our sport in all parts of the world. Removing territorial trademark restrictions is a necessary part of implementing World Sailing’s Olympic equipment strategy and ILCA will issue further guidance to all Districts and Regions related to the new equipment branding and what sailors can expect in the future.

2019 Laser National Championships - Offshore Durban

There was a particularly good turnout for this year's Nationals, held on the prime sailing venue of Durban beachfront. With 28 in the Standard fleet and 19 in the Radial fleet, starting prowess was essential. There were just four boats in the Laser 4.7 fleet. The fleet was boosted by the welcome addition of competitors from the Mozambique Laser fleet, also a Ugandan entrant.

Nine races were held over the long weekend at the end of April. The wind was generally light to moderate north easterly - the "heavies" would probably have preferred more extreme conditions.

The Standard fleet was dominated by Stefano Marcia, who displayed faultless technique in getting good starts and maintaining boat speed with the available wind power. Behind, it was a tight battle for the other two podium positions between Rudolph Holm and Kai Leslie. These two were generally just one ahead or one behind in the races, but Kai Leslie claimed the Silver S.A. Sailing medal by one point ahead of Rudolph Holm. This fleet saw some well known names from Laser Nationals several years ago - Ivan Gibbbons, Rowen Clark, Pete Wilson.

The Radial fleet had a strong challenge from the Mozambiqans, but Cullen Keytel was able to eke out a slim lead to win the Radial Nationals trophy. He was chased by Deurry Mavimbe (MOZ), who had a comfortable lead over countryman Jeremias Mazoio in third place. Close behind in 4th place was the first female - Deisy Nhaquile.

The Laser 4.7 fleet was dominated by Chiara Fruet.

Subject: International Circular -- Announcement regarding ILCA Dinghy

The attached press release and photos are being circulated to the sailing media today so you should expect to see these in publication soon. We expect that your members may have some questions about this process. For now, the best source of information remains our FAQ published on the class website.

For the press release, click here

We will keep the FAQ updated as we receive new questions that need to be addressed.

Please know that the changes we are implementing have been made with the approval of the ILCA World Council and with the full support of World Sailing. We are working hard to finalize our position to be retained as Olympic Equipment and we appreciate everyone's support towards this goal. The vote to re-approve our class for the 2024 Olympics is only 3 weeks away so this remains our primary focus.

We expect to have further announcements regarding sails, spars and other parts soon and we will keep everyone updated as we move forward.

Best regards,


International Laser Class Association

2018 Laser National Championships

Langebaan, October 2018

Twenty one standards, seventeen radials and eleven 4.7's attended the Laser Nationals, ten of whom travelled from KZN, three from North region and two from George Lakes Yacht Club in the S. Cape. The event was held over three days, 5-8 October in Langebaan and what a fantastic three days it proved to be.

Thanks must be given to Langebaan Yacht Club and Colin Whitehead for their assistance in getting it all together with the entire Keytel family doing an awesome job with the organisation of the event - the new trophies, the prizes from the sponsors and KZN Rush sports, Giel and his family for his catamaran used as a committee boat and everything else needed to turn it into an amazing few days.

Bruce Keytel and his team on the race committee, safety and mark laying made sure the racing courses were great, starting each day's race on time. The weather was superb for racing with both Friday and Saturday's winds a steady southerly of between 12 to 18 knots and when Sunday arrived with a northerly it was thought there might be little sailing but by 11.00 the direction moved to southerly and a 12-15 knot steady breeze gave the sailors just what they wanted. And to top it all each day was with lovely sunshine and not at all cold.

Racing in each fleet was very competitive as can be seen on the results. The Marcia brothers kept the front of the standards on their toes and the radial fleet were chasing Cullen Keytel while the 4.7's were similarly chasing Tristan Tomlinson.

Laser Standard podium

International judges, Dave Hudson and Luke Scott, did on-the-water judging which added another dimension to the event, keeping the racing fair and the competitors happy. There was only one yellow flag and only one protest the whole weekend.

Laser Radial podium

The event was characterised by simple and effective organisation, launching from the beach, the race office was a holiday apartment on the beach and secure boat parking just off the beach in the adjacent car park.

Laser 4.7 podium

What more can be said, a great venue, good winds, fair sailing, 9 races and happy, tired sailors.

A big thank you to all competitors for their attendance, especially Campbell and Jerome with their team from KZN and to the sponsors, Rush Hi Performance, Havaianas and RVKA.

The Laser Class AGM was held on the Saturday afternoon with the committee being largely unchanged except for Campbell Alexander taking over the Chairman role. This ties in with the planning of another awesome Nationals in KZN next year, probably around April, so only 6 months away. Time to get training.

2018 W. Cape Championships - Laser Classes

Langebaan, April 2018

Nature played a major role in making this one of the best sailing events of the season.

Day one started with no wind whilst trailers and sailors arrived on the beach to unload. At the same time organisers were running around trying to find marks, boats and all the rest of the paraphernalia needed to run an event for 31 boats - mainly Optimists - on the small boat course and 74 on the big boat course, 25 of which were Lasers.

As the day progressed towards the 14:00 scheduled start the wind obligingly started to pick up so that the fleet could launch off the perfectly firm, sandy and wave free beach to head downwind to the start. Unfortunately the organisers weren't quite as well organised as the wind so sailors had to hang around waiting patiently for marks and committee boats to find their way to the course. By around 16:00 (16.35) everything came together and the first race took place in a perfect 12 knots breeze. There wasn't time for a second race so everyone headed back to the shore, pleased to have at least have had one great race but a bit disgruntled that so much time had been wasted.

Saturday dawned with prospects of more breeze in the morning and the sailors were raring to go for the scheduled 10:00 start. Again the organisation was not in tune with the wind but at least this time they kept the sailors on the beach while they got their ducks in a row. The breeze remained steady in the 12 to 15 knot range with maybe the odd 18 knot puff later in the afternoon which provided excellent and exhilarating sailing. The race committee put in race after race and by the end of the afternoon there were plenty of tired but satisfied sailors making their way back to the beach having sailed 4 races on the trot.

Sunday was another perfect weather day and again there were some delays in getting the races going but they were short lived and the race committee put in another 4 races back to back before the cut-off time of 14h30. In the end the small boats had sailed 10 races - they managed two on the first day and ended up with two discards - whilst the big boats had completed 9 races.

Prize giving was a bit delayed as well but all sailors went home having enjoyed some of the best sailing that this country has to offer. Ali Keytel won the Standards carrying two seconds and the rest bullets whilst Calvin Gibbs won the Radial carrying only bullets. The competition behind each of these stars was very competitive with plenty of youngsters giving an older sailor a run for his money in the Standard fleet and lots of highly motivated youngsters vying for selections in the Radial fleet behind Calvin. In the 4.7's Damita Olsson narrowly beat Tom Raynham by just a single point.

Overall the event had perfect breeze with some wind blown chop and a bit of swell coming from the ocean in a different direction. The gently oscillating breeze also provided great tactical sailing. The beach launching and boat parking was also great with no hint of security issues. Another bonus of the venue was that there was plenty of accommodation available despite the fact that it was still school holidays, either camping a few kilometres down the road, or a variety of B&B's on the beach, or within walking distance. Shops and restaurants were also readily available within a few hundred meters. One has to ask why only the Hobies and board sailors have been using this venue for the past number of years. Well done to SAS WC for making arrangements with the Parks board so that us dinghies, could also enjoy this prime venue this year.

I for one am looking forward to the Laser Nationals at the same venue in October.
Alan Keen

Laser Rule Changes

In 2017 there were four rule change proposals put forward before the ILCA class membership for vote. All four changes were approved by more than two-thirds of voting members in addition to being approved by the World Council, the Advisory Council and World Sailing, all of which are required in order to modify class rules.

Class Rule Changes Approved
Effective beginning 1 January 2018

1) Electronic Compasses
Rule 22 was changed to allow the use of certain electronic digital compasses that are not GPS Enabled. ILCA will maintain a list of approved compasses on the ILCA website as an interpretation to the Class Rules. This rule change was approved with 81% "Yes" votes.

Click here to see the electronic compasses that have been approved for use after 1 January 2018.

2) On-board Cameras
A new Rule 28 was added to allow the use of cameras while racing. This change was approved with 84% "Yes" votes.

3) Shock cord inhaul attachment
Rule 3(v)vi was amended to read "A shock cord may be used as an inhaul on the clew." This change removes the restriction on where the shock cord can be attached in the inhaul system. This change was approved with 89% "Yes" votes.

4) Cleat in Hiking Strap Control Line
Rule 17(c) was changed to allow the use of one cleat and one turning point in the hiking strap support line. The cleat and turning point must be "free floating" and may not be attached to the hull or the hiking strap. This rule was approved with 81% "Yes" votes.

For additional details about the rule changes, please see the announcement on the ILCA Website.

New Class Rule Interpretations
ILCA has approved several new rule interpretations that are effective immediately. ILCA Rule Interpretations are put in place to clarify existing Class Rules. Many of these interpretations are subsequently proposed as changes to the ILCA Class Rules.

1) Approved Compasses List
In support of the rule change allowing electronic compasses, ILCA will maintain an online list of approved compasses that meet the requirements of amended Rule 22 Compass, Electronic Equipment and Timing Devices in the interpretations section of the ILCA Class Rules.

2) Control Line Eye Splice
Rule 3(b)ii is interpreted such that the for a control line with a cover and a core, the cover may be removed near the load bearing attachment point for the purpose of making an eye splice.

3) Sail Buttons
The Laser Construction Manual requires that class legal sails must have attached near the tack an ILCA supplied sail button. The Fundamental Rule is interpreted to require that Standard MkII sails must have an orange sail button while Radial, 4.7 and older Standard MkI (cross-cut) sails must have a red sail button. This applies only to sails manufactured after 1 January 2001.

Upcoming Rule Change Proposals
The Technical and Measurement Committee suggested several new rule changes that were approved by the ILCA World Council to go before class members for a vote in 2018. The ILCA office will send out a special announcement in early 2018 with information and voting instructions.

New ILCA Chief Measurer Appointed
At the November 2017 ILCA World Council Meeting, Aileen Loo of Singapore was appointed as the ILCA Chief Measurer, to serve until after the 2020 Olypmic Games.Please see our story on the ILCA website for details.

Best regards,
The ILCA Team

Laser Class Announces New Composite Top Mast

The class legal composite mast will be available in early 2017.

5 December 2016

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is pleased to announce the release of a class-legal composite top mast section that is expected to be available for purchase in early 2017.

Because the new mast was designed with the exact same weight and bend characteristics as the existing aluminum upper sections, it will not provide a performance advantage but instead will eliminate the permanent bending problems associated with the aluminum spars.

"ILCA's policy regarding the introduction of new equipment is that it should always have the same characteristics as the existing equipment and that the new equipment should not give a performance advantage when raced alongside existing equipment," says ILCA Executive Secretary, Eric Faust. "The composite mast definitely meets that objective. It's been tested by some of the top Laser sailors in the world and they all agree that they can't determine any difference while sailing."

According to ILCA Technical Officer, Clive Humphris, "The new top section has been rigorously developed and tested over the past six years to assure that it is a 'like-for-like' part with the current mast. The advantage is that the new mast will be much more durable and won't be prone to permanent bending like the aluminum masts."

ILCA President, Tracy Usher, agrees. "I've sailed with a prototype composite upper while training in a wide variety of conditions -- I couldn't tell any difference between having this spar on the boat or using an aluminum one. I sail the same way and the boat seems to behave the same way. Everything felt the same."

"This is going to make Laser sailing easier for everyone," adds Usher. "Sailors won't need to carefully align their mast rivet when rigging or worry about straightening their masts after a day of heavy air sailing. It's going to be a big improvement for everyone!"

Because the composite mast is now a fully approved change to the Laser Construction Manual, there is no need for a change to the Laser Class Rules. As long as the mast is purchased from an approved Laser Builder or one of its authorized dealers, it will be legal for use at all ILCA sanctioned events.

The new mast specifications have been developed in close cooperation between the approved Laser Builders, World Sailing and ILCA. Because the composite top section is class legal and it will not provide any advantage in performance on the water, neither ILCA nor World Sailing anticipate that the use of the composite mast will need to be restricted for any future events. If it is subsequently determined that the use of the mast needs to be restricted, this will be controlled by Notice of Race on an event-by-event basis.

For more information contact ILCA:

2016 Laser National Championships

The 2016 Laser Nationals were originally scheduled to be held on Algoa Bay, hosted by Algoa Bay Y.C. and Redhouse Y. C.. However, due to concerns with the relationship between the Ports Authority and ABYC, it was decided to move this event to Swartvlei Lagoon, Sedgefield, with Knysna Y.C. coming in as the co-host, replacing ABYC. This decision was met with concerns from several Laser sailors that it would be a light wind event. As it happened, there was strong wind on all four days of the regatta and these concerns were unfounded. Being an inland venue, it was more acceptable for many who would not have participated in an offshore event and the entry was larger as a result. The Lasers had 65 boats, the largest being the Radials with 37 boats, 16 Standards and 12 Laser 4.7s. A large proportion of this entry came from the local S. Cape clubs (KYC and GLYC), who had 23 boats sailing. Other entrants came from Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The first day, Saturday, had a gusty wind from the south west. Four races were sailed with many exhausted sailors coming ashore afterwards. On Sunday, the wind had switched to the south east, where it remained for the remaining days. Two races were sailed, before the wind had increased to over 25 knots and conditions had become too extreme. This allowed the organisers to set up the prizegiving for the E. Cape Championships in the afternoon. Monday also had two more races for the Lasers, with the wind once again getting too strong in the afternoon. On the last day, three final races were held, making for a total of 11 races, which allowed for two discard races.

Competition at the head of the Radial fleet was tight, but Asenathi Jim was consistently in front, to take the gold medal. He didn't win all the races - his main competition came from Georgou Divaris, who was able to take two race wins from Asenathi , to finish in second place. Third place went to James Hellstrom, who also had a race win, keeping Dylan Long off the podium.

In the Standard fleet, Alastair Keytel wrapped things up, but it was Justin Onvlee who put in a charge, winning the final races, but not quite enough to unseat Alastair from the top step. Third place went to Marcello Marcia, leading Youth sailor.

The Laser 4.7 fleet had a strong team from Knysna Y.C. with Sanele Magquaza leading in this fleet in the first half of the event, but then it was Cullen Keytel dominating at the end to win overall. Sanele dropped to second, with Apenduli Maneli taking third place, ahead of club mate JP Kriel.

2015 Eastern Cape Championships - Laser Class

With the Southern Cape clubs being re-incorporated into SAS W. Cape, SAS E.Cape had to select another venue in their area to host the 2015 E. Cape Championships and the selected venue was Wriggleswade Dam, outside Stutterheim. The event attracted 75 boats, with Mirrors (sailing National Championships) and Optimists - 18 boats each, being the largest classes.

The Laser fleet had just 11 boats, but two of these were Dabchicks, included as they have a similar rating to the Laser 4.7s. Thus just 9 Lasers. Five of these came from the S. Cape, i.e. just four from the E. Cape.

Tim Jones was the sole standard rig Laser, sailing at the front of the fleet against the Radials of Georgou Divaris, James Hellstrom and Megan Robertson. Eleven races were sailed over three days, in light wind (<12 knots). Only one race could be sailed on the final day. Tim could not put any distance ahead of the Radials, thus suffered on handicap. Divaris and Hellstrom shared all the race wins between themselves and James Hellstrom took the Championship by a point clear of Divaris. Tim Jones was third overall. Megan Robertson was 4th, 3rd Radial.

2015 Laser National Championships

Sixty boats sailed in the 2015 Laser Nationals , offshore Durban, over the May 1 long weekend and what a fantastic time we had! Everything about this regatta was top class, from the race organisation, to the "new" beach site facility and of course the ideal weather conditions.

The weather forecast predicted strong winds on day 1 with light weather thereafter so most of the "marginal" sailors chose to sail Standard rig ( or radial for the ladies) rather than change down to a Radial or 4,7. In actual fact every "next day" was just as strong as the last so most of the sailors had really good Workers Day Workout. The machos, of course, revelled in the conditions of strong winds and big seas. Some of those reaches were absolutely mind blowing.

It was great to see Rudi McNeil back in the fleet, having just limbered up at Richards Bay on the previous weekend. He took bullets in 7 of the 10 races to secure the Gold medal. Rudolf Holm had a mediocre first day( he didn't attend the practice session at R Bay!) but gradually overhauled Alistair Keytel to take 2nd place .Grand Master Colin Dibb from Australia was only a point behind them in 4th. First youth was Marcello Marcia sailing his first season on the big rig. With a first and 2 fourths he will certainly be the next guy to watch.

In the Radial fleet you would have to look at the results sheet to see how close the racing was , with Dylan Long, Calvin Gibbs and Georgou Divaris all finishing within one point of each other. Sam Lombard was close behind them in 4th spot.
Praise must go to the six ladies who absolutely sailed their hearts out in the strong conditions. First lady overall was Iliana Boura who mixed it with the boys on several races ( a 3rd two 4th s and a fifth) to come 7th overall.

In the 4,7 fleet ZVYC sailors took the top 3 slots ( the more you practice ...?) with Kai Leslie the overall winner. Sarah-Jane Deary had a great regatta to finish in 2nd place. Elsje Dijkstra , fresh out of oppies, sailed brilliantly, with 2 first places, to take 3rd slot.

Thanks must go to Campbell and his team for the organisation, to Race officer Tony Cockrell and his team and especially to Kevin, Peter and the guys on those wet bumpy rescue boats for keeping us safe on the water.

At the awards ceremony some lovely prizes were awarded by lucky draw and thanks must go to Garden Route Sailing, Central Boating, SuperSail Wilderness and Sail Benoni for their contributions.

For another report, with interviews with Rudy McNeil, Alan Keen, Campbell Alexander and Dylan Long, click here