What a fantastic 2016 J/22 South African National Championship at Witbank Yacht and Aquatic Club! Four days of challenging winds for Race Officer Dave Rushton and his team of bridge crew, mark layers and NSRI. Mornings had delayed starts because of no wind, but later in the day five hectic races took place in strong and gusty winds. Ultimately 15 races were completed with the usual closely contested race honors. The black flag made its appearance; this has become an expected occurrence with the fleet. Unfortunately one boat extended the boundaries just a tad too much and spent the remainder of the race enjoying the Witbank dam scenery. Three races saw boats tied for a position (in the words of the Race Officer…very unusual). Witbank regattas always have to have at least one cold day when beanies are sold at a premium. Saturday evening the cold front arrived giving those tenting a disturbed night and awaking to a misty six degrees. The wind had abated so racing was yet again delayed, but the last three races completed the maximum of 15 by 15.00. A delicious sit down prize-giving dinner followed that evening where the hospitality of WYAC was at its best. Thanks to all who worked so hard to ensure a successful event and URIAGE who donated each competitor a goody bag of superb high protection suntan lotion and thermal rehydration water. With the hours competitors spent in the elements over four days, both products were the perfect protection.
February 19, 2017