Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hout Bay yachts leave for CROCS Regatta

JML-3 leaves first - pickup those fenders!
Theo on the stick, Sam was on board too.

 Nandi Storms out under main sail.
Faraway crosses the line, 
they have to catch the others before Cape Town....

We had a nice pursuit race organised from HBYC-RCYC for CROCS on Wednesday. Quest and Savannah weren't able to leave on Wednesday as scheduled, but will likely go Friday.

An hour after the start, nandi was well in the lead screaming up to Llandudno, with JML a few minutes behind with the bag up. faraway hadn't come into view yet. Last I heard they were all caught in the infamous hole of Clifton..... don't think we had a result but they had a dam fine sail anyway. CROCS runs over the weekend from Sat-Mon in Table Bay.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday Racing, not this time

 Williwaws below Chappies
View from Fish on the Rocks. 
I think the fish just blow into their kitchen window....

Well we didn't sail on Wednesday, or Thursday, and it looks much the same for Friday. Trees were uprooted, sand is everywhere. Going to be an expensive summer if we don't get out of the bar....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Fellows!

GOOD FELLOWS: Hout Bay Yacht Club development trainees, from left, Mark Johnson, Junior Daniels, Evan Yon , Lorenzo Yon, Quaid Adonis and trainer, Theo Yon, welcome the two new additions to the fleet donated by Roger Orpen on Jolly Roger and Robin Parker with Jolly Parker. Picture by Kayla Parker.

HBYC Press Release  (thanks also to Robin Parker)

Youth Development Sailing at Hout Bay’s yacht club has received a major boost with the donation of two new sail training vessels from club members.

Former commodore, Robin Parker, donated a new 09’er (a base training dinghy) to the sail training school as the winner of a club draw for the boat aimed at boosting the fleet and providing additional money for additional purchases. Likewise, long-serving member, Roger Orpen, paid for the acquisition of another craft. They have been aptly named Jolly Parker and Jolly Roger and have already had their keels wet.

The two new donations brought the existing fleet of the youth development training initiative to 7 with a plan to acquire more complex Laser Pico’s for advanced training before crews take to the highly competitive environment aboard the Jewish Maritime League’s L26 Class “JML 3”, which recently performed exceedingly well at the Lipton Challenge Cup for L26’s, held in False Bay.

While the Laser Pico’s will provide much welcome relief from the demand to join the initiative under Sam Leggatt and award winning skipper, Theo Yon, himself a product of the youth development scheme, it will still not be enough to satisfy the curiosity of at least another 8 youngsters from Hout Bay who crowd the quayside on training days hoping for their turn on the water.

Vice commodore, Jeremy Nel, who pioneered the latest round of advancements in youth development, by successfully encouraging the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund to donate a sizeable sum to create better facilities at the club, says: “It is a wonderful gesture of behalf of Robin and Roger and we would sincerely hope others will follow with similar classes or other capable vessels to ensure this effort gains momentum. Sailing is a wonderful educational tool, teaching discipline and respect, particular in an environment where in many areas social cohesion has deteriorated.”

Nel hopes to soon see Laser Pico’s on the water followed by larger, more complex Lasers 4.7’s, or RSA Tera’s  to fulfil a growing need among the Valley’s youth for a chance to develop a sailing future.

So far this year the club has held several events designed to raise funds for development including a highly successful auction. More are planned in the future along with quayside developments to make access to the water easier.

Should you wish for your child to participate in this programme, please call the Hout Bay Yacht Club on 021-790 3110 in order that we may assist in their growth and education on the water.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More Wednesday Sailing

This lovely picture of the start of last night's race from Pierre's iPhone belies the wild conditions we sailed in. 20-30 knots it was, what a workout!

After some deliberation (on whether to sail or not), we set a port course around Dunes, Fish-on-the-Rocks and Ore-Jetty. Faraway streaked off never to be seen again, while a close battle ensued between JML-3 and Nandi for 2nd place. Savannah moved around the course with dignity and control and reasonable speed, whilst Quest battled a bit in the conditions. Beer and supper was well earned I can tell you!

Thanks to Pierre for running the bridge.

Results, pending the numbers, showed:

1 Faraway
2 JML-3
3 Nandi
4 Savannah
5 Quest

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Walter has for breakfast!!!

This is Walter, he that co-owns and runs Muriel's Munchies outside the club. The reason Muriel isn't in the picture is because she isn't the one having about 9 pounds of sweet pastry for breakfast! I could hardly believe my eyes walking past the club this morning - Walter had just settled down to tackle this monster pie, and seemingly to prove to Tim Noakes and others that not all people are carbohydrate intolerant! Amazingly Walter is not a bit overweight. He claims to be Austrian or German I think, but I can tell you there's more than a bit of Danish in him today!!

Try their food, it's always fresh and of the best quality and very reasonable. Did I mention Walter is an ex vice-Commodore of HBYC, and a long standing member too?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jolly Roger takes the Lead!

What a sight from the club deck!
Our new boat (Jolly Roger) from the auction is on its maiden voyage and right in front I understand! Viva HBYC Junior Sailing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday Sailing, wild and weird!

Our lovely braai table, as seen by my old Nokia,
evidently now with a saltwater haze on the lense.

Sorry no sailing pics this time, I really had my hands full last night with laying and moving marks, fouled halyards, mainsail jumping off the clew, stopwatch wouldn't work for the countdown sequence etc. And 25 knots. So a pic of our braai-table must suffice, its a great tradition after sailing!

The wind looked SouthWest at 17:30, at 17:45 it was clearly South East. Mark was moved to Chappies. Start slightly delayed one way or another, we got under way at 18:12. Absolutely mauled under Chappies, then a wild bob-sleigh ride down to Ore Jetty. Then ..... nothing..... except a miserable chop (on the sea I mean). Course was shortened to include another small triangle up to Fish on Rocks. All boats finished except yours truly on Quest (already showing my running lights), and Aquamaniac. Character building stuff.

Thanks to Chris Sutton on Faraway for bringing the mark down from home, then fetching it after the race, and doing the scoring as he always does.

Aries JML 3  Theo Yon 0.965 1   14-Nov-12    19:06:00   1.000  3821
Megafreight No 3 Jendo Ocenasek   1.075  2 14-Nov-12   19:02:00 2.000  3999
Faraway No 3  Nick Fairley  1.005  4   14-Nov-12    19:18:00  4.000  4703
Quest Justin Phillips  0.840 5   14-Nov-12  DNF  DNF  7.000
Aquamania Tojan Winterbach 1.000    6   14-Nov-12  DNF  DNF  7.000
Savannah  Keith Gemmell   0.910  7 14-Nov-12   DNS  DNS  8.000

Monday, November 12, 2012

Summer Series 1, a great day on the water...

 Savannah and Quest retired after five hours, as the wind died completely...
Time to put the running lights on and call it a day!

Sunday was the first of our new weekend "Summer Series" racing. The idea was to have 2-3 races perhaps, but the conditions seemed right for a middle-distance race, for which many competitors had been nagging quite a while. So we laid a mark out near the south-end of Noordhoek beach, complete with GPS co-ords etc, and laid a course out past Vulcan Rock, down to the South Mark, and back to the harbour via ore-Jetty.

The first leg of this race was very unusual, with the small boats suprising some of the rest by streaking out ahead. Except for Faraway, who practically disappeared from the start. Faraway and Megafreight seem to find their gears in the light winds, and made it back into the bay, where they were becalmed, retired and headed straight for the bar. The rest of us waited several more hours before coming to the same conclusion. Except JML-3!!! They were the only finisher and so took home the coveted first prize, whatever that is.

It wasn't a bad day out though! Long live the Summer Series!

HBYC's Junior Sailing programme gets a fantastic boost!

 Roger unveils the name "Jolly Roger".
Many thanks to Roger for his very generous donation!
Theo Yon, accepting the proceeds from Robin Parker
(two new 09ers and some cash!!)
on behalf of HBYC's Youth Sailing Programme.
In the centre is Jeremy Nel, he with the big smile
who managed this whole affair (as usual!)
Hout Bay Yacht Club's Junior Sailing continues to go from strength to strenghth. The sailing programme is in full swing, the 09ers are out regularly with the little ones, and the L26 contiues to thrash the rest of us with the more advanced sailors.
In this case the club received a generous donation from Roger, which we raffled - in order to raise funds for the Youth Sailing programme. As it happens, the draw was won by Robin Parker who then kindly donated it back to the programme. So the club is richer by two brand new 09ers, plus some cash!
Well done to all those who were involved in this great programme. Is this happy news or what?!

Monday, November 5, 2012

HBYC Junior Sailing Programme in full swing!

Jeremy Nel sent me these pics. I dont know who took them, it doesnt matter though! What a wonderful sight. Sailors and public alike stopped in their tracks to watch this wonderful sight as the little ones learnt the ropes in Hout Bay Harbour. Many many thanks to Sam, to the HBYC committee, and the SA Lotto Board for making this all possible. These kids are having a great time and learning one of the best sports possible. They will remember this more than anything at school......

You can do a lot worse than get your kid sailing! HBYCs junior programme is working really well.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Windy Wednesday

This is what the bay looked like at 16:30 on Wednesday. Further out there were notable "wind spouts" and generally conditions were horrible.

I noticed one of the island ferrys going out to the island in this gale, what have they learned in a week? Later the skipper radioed me to say conditions were horrible, at some point they had seen sixty knots on the bay. Needless to say the bar was the winner.

At 18:00, almost exactly, the wind subsided to about 10-15 knots in the inner bay . . . . ! What is a person supposed to do? But I must admit it was still quite wild further out. Anyway, we live to fight again next week!

Meanwhile, good luck to Faraway on the Yachtport overnight race (Fri/Sat). Conditions look good if a bit light. But they have a nice flat sea to return on, and a great party in the offing. (Now all they need is a good skipper (hahaha lets see if our commodore reads this blog!))

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday Night Racing

click to expand the picture

What a beautiful evening to be on the water. Six boats turned out in the very light conditions. Originally hoping for a race to Vulcan, conditions were too light, and we settled on a course in the bay. Megafreight retired soon after the first leg, citing concerns about pending darkness, followed soon after by Aquamaniac, and headed straight for the pub.

Almost immediately, a slight breeze flowed off the mountain and spirited the remaining four around the rest of the course. Faraway had a good old ding-dong with JML-3, while Savannah and Quest had their customary battle at the rear. In fact it was really great racing!

Final results on PHRF showed:

1 Quest  Justin Phillips 0.840 19:06:30 3352
2 JML-3 Theo Yon 0.965 18:59:15 3431
3 Savannah Keith Gemmell 0.910 19:07:30 3686
4 Faraway Chris Sutton 1.112 18:56:56 3799
5,6 Megafreight, Aquamaniac DNF

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Opening Cruise!

 Chris and Rosemary Sutton, taking the salute,
in company of the Roeloffzes onboard Footloose.
 The fellow on the cabin top is Jeremy of course, cheerful as ever!

 Aquamaniac, powered by jib and bunting alone,
makes a lovely sight across the bay!

The fresh conditions did not deter our local fleet -
 it was great fun having a jib-race!
 Commodores own boat and crew, another cheerful bunch!
Thanks to Pierre for this pic.

This time its Megafreight, shipshape as ever,
bringing the Dutch contingent into range!
Another great pic from Pierre.
Festivities continued at the clubhouse, what a great day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wednesday night racing resumes at HBYC

10-15 kts SSW, a flat sea, and slightly cold conditions saw a small fleet turn out for the start of the Summer Season. Amongst them Faraway, Savannah, Quest and JML-3.

JML-3 launched a very spirited start, leading the first two legs even against Faraway, before the giant overhauled them and disappeared! But the L-26 had a lot of crew aboard, and was very fast on the beats. They also flew their bag off the wind and generally gave it their all. This was a truly great spirit and apparently good viewing from the club. The finishing order was closer than usual, with Quest following Savannah over the line by a mere eight seconds.

Results on RCYC PHRF ratings showed:

1 Quest
2 JML-3
3 Faraway
4 Savannah

Positions based on PHRF Time Correction

SeriesName  Summer 2012 Race 1 Start Time 10-Oct-12 18:00:00
Yacht     Skipper            PHRF  Position Finish    Points  Corrected Time
Quest               Justin Phillips    0.840  1   10-Oct-12  18:54:33  1.000   2749

Aries JML 3     Theo Yon          0.965  2   10-Oct-12  18:49:17   2.000   2854

Faraway No 3   Chris Sutton     1.112  3   10-Oct-12 18:43:35  3.000    2908

Savannah         Keith Gemmell  0.910  4   10-Oct-12   18:54:25 4.000   2971

Sunday, October 7, 2012

HBYC Boats return from Spring Regatta

 First Sight of Hout Bay as Slangkop lighthouse approaches at 7.5 knots on the return voyage. The last leg into Hout Bay was like a downhill sprint in the fresh Westerly. But there were giant breaking swells rushing into Chapmans Bay . . .
Cape Point was cold and very lumpy coming back . . .
Quest, Savannah and JML-3 all elected to take a brief gap in the (otherwise horrible) weather patterns we have recently had, to return from Simonstown on Saturday. With swells running over 3m, a moderate-fresh westerly blowing, and quite a nip in the air, it was quite an invigorating sail. For Quest this was quite a fast trip, covering the route in 6h45. Spring Regatta was a fine event this year, and the trips to Simonstown are good coastal practice and a chance to get out of the bay!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hows this one for a Fireside Tale!?

Jo Charnock and Jan Wouters used to have a 47' steel boat in Hout Bay. They sailed off to the UK (or somewhere in Europe), and for various reasons sold that boat and decided to come back via the Cairo to Cape Town route on bicycles, folding bicycles that is!!!! Jan felt that folding bicycles make it easier to get lifts, catch trains etc, and it certainly is an interesting travel philosophy. They call it hitch-biking.

 Their talk was all about this adventure, about Africa, people, and travel. And how things are never what they seem to be, its just a matter of attitude! Anyway, they made the trip safely and successfully, with remarkably little trouble. Never ones to rest, they leave tomorrow (Tuesday 2 October as I recall) for yet another adventure on folding bikes from Mozambique to Namibia on the shoreline!

Jurgen tries his hand. He was somewhat more successful than the next guy who flipped right over the settee you see there, with "wiele in die lug"!

Links to the adentures of Jan and Jo can be found here and here, and are very interesting!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Keith Gemmell visits our Lipton Team at FBYC

Spotted recently at FBYC with the HBYC Lipton Crew, Keith is the one in blue . . .

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HBYC boats head South for "Spring"!

Sunday 08:00. Hout Bay recedes at 5kts on a beautiful Sunday morning.
Somewhere in that mist Nandi and Savannah are heading out too.

 Cape Point appears on the port bow at 11:50.
Conditions are extraordinarily calm.

Here is the pointy-bit itself. Nandi had three folk rounding for the first time.
Couldn't be nicer conditions.
Quest took 7 hours into Simonstown harbour, used 16 litres of fuel, averaged 5.1 knots. No sails were used or harmed in any way in the making of this documentary. Hopefully they will come in useful during Spring Regatta this weekend, 22-24 Sept at FBYC.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Boy from Bolivia!

Another great Wednesday night Fireside chat! In this case its our own Mark Hainsworth (off Faraway), telling us about his time on an epic rafting expedition down a river in Bolivia. Something to do with nicotine and narcotics having been discovered near the Pyramids in Egypt, and an eccentric British adventurer who was trying to prove they must have found them in Bolivia, using inflatable rafts, landrovers, satellite phones etc etc. Whatever the reason, it was a great adventure, showing the primitive rural life in South America, great natural scenery, and a very challenging expedition.

Many thanks Mark! Your slideshow and talk was top class!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Discovery arrives in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane, Oz.

STOP PRESS: George Wenman's facebook page seems to think they (Chris Sutton, George Wenman, Joyce Wenman, and Rob Browne) have arrived in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane. They seem rather pleased. No doubt we will hear more one the obligatory showers, beer and steaks have been processed. Watch this space. You heard it first on !!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HBYC JML-3 going great guns at Lipton!

JML3 returns to moorings after a days racing with some tired but happy campers onboard!
Picture credit to Jeremy Nel and phone!

13, 16, 15 - these are their race placements after 3 races, out of 25 boats. A great result for such a young crew, on a very small budget, and on an older boat! They are only one point behind the RCYC JML entry with Murray and Willcox, and far ahead of JML2. Well done guys!

See the action and full results at

Friday, August 17, 2012

Skip Novak's Talk

Jeremy Nel, Skip Novak, chatting before the show!

 Skip is behind the pool table, see whats on the screen!

Fascinated faces of the HBYC Members

For me personally, this must rate as one of the most interesting and best delivered presentations I have seen in many years. I can't summarise it here, suffice to say this is no ordinary man, and the stuff he gets up to is almost beyond belief. After this, I think more than a few of us were left with a new resolution to get out of the bar from time to time . . . .

Skip is a US citizen by birth, moved to the UK at 24, did every big-name yacht race worth talking about until about 10 years ago, then started some REAL adventure specialising in the area around Cape Horn! He has mixed it with all the big names you can imagine, but comes across with delightful understatement and humility. We were very lucky to meet this great man, those who get to sail with him are far luckier still. Ask Jeremy Nel!

If it's the Roaring Forties, Cape Horn, South Georgia, adventure skiing, mountaineering, photography, or just extreme adventure you are looking for - Skip is your man. Or even just sight-seeing - you don't have to be a trained adventurer! Thank you Skip.

See there website at

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Great new book on the Traditional Boat Association

I was very priviliged to receive a copy of this book last week through Roy McBride. It is a great piece of work by Colin Davies (with help from his friends), who tells the story of the Cape Town T.B.A. and its various interesting characters. I know (or know of) most of the names (as many local sailors will), but the context and what they got up to in the T.B.A. was quite revealing. It really was a very interesting time, and the T.B.A. a fine institution. Sadly, the T.B.A. was wound up earlier this year, but I think the best of it is preserved in this fine book. I should mention all the fine cartoons that were used to bill the events and meetings of those years are included - quite amazing. It covers a great piece of Cape Towns boating history.

Roy McBride may still have a few copies left - they can be had for R120 which is donated to the N.S.R.I.

Well done to Colin and all those who helped put this together!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Joyon sails 668 nm in 24 hours . . .

Thats an average speed of 28.3 knots! And singlehanded at that!
Click here for details on Yachting World!
Joyon IDEC
Glad he's not in our club series - imagine what PHRF he sails off . . . .

Stir Crazy!

As if they weren't crazy enough, or stirring enough for that matter! Reality cooking comes to HBYC in the form of the Thai Cooking Series called "Stir Crazy". Ramsay eat your heart out, this is the real thing!

The cheerful fellow with the apron is our very own Pierre Albertyn - I think he won the series after he voted the rest of the tribe off or something. On the left his the ever patient Brett Nussey, who runs the show! What a hoot!

Skip Novak talk 15 August, 7pm at H.B.Y.C.

What can I say - don't miss this one!

A Talk by Skip Novak

Based in South Africa, Skip Novak is a seasoned yacht-racer who has competed in
four Round the World Yacht Races, first visiting Cape Town in the 1977/78 Whitbread. He is also a keen mountaineer and an author of two books. In 1987 Skip constructed the fifty four foot expedition boat, the Pelagic, and combined his mountaineering passions with his sailing skills by heading for southern South America, Antarctica and Southern Georgia for mountaineering expeditions. In 2003 he launched the 74 foot Pelagic Australis, built in Durban, which is currently berthed at the V and A Waterfront Marina for her annual refit.  Both Pelagic and Pelagic Australis operate in the South from October to June specializing in adventure tourism but also for providing logistic support for film teams and science projects.
The Galley opens at 17h30 for Mushroom and Cashew Nut Curry, Fish and Chips, and Roast Chicken. We expect a large crowd so please arrive early if you wish to have dinner ! No need to book – no entry fee - Call Penny on 073 6111 444 for more details.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday Night Fireside Tales!

Mike Lundy - member of HBYC and award-winning author of many great books on walks and tours in the Cape Peninsula (and SA) - was our esteemed speaker last night. And what a great talk it was! The club was packed and listened with admiratrion as Mike regaled us with stories and facts of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula. Too many to repeat here but certainly he has a knack for making things interesting and adding some colour! Mike has several books in print - they really are a must for every Capetonian - see them on for example . . .

Mike, live in concert!

 Lots of H.B.Y.C. faces and some others too.

 Even more . . .

 Robin Parker, and thanks to Mike!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lipton Auction 2012

The Lipton Auction has returned in 2012 after a break over the last two years. Returned with avengeance I should say! Over R20k was raised to support the club's youth-sailing campaign for Lipton 2012, hot on the heels of their brilliant success at the PicknPay Youth Regatta (previous post). I understand the hangovers were also at least on a par with the Mexican Party, and the general clowning-about hit a new record too! Thanks to Jeremy and all members who contributed the pictures - not bad for cellphones in low light I think!
Click on them for full size!
Tony of RCYC handing over the trophy to HBYC's JML team.
How cool is that!

The obligatory picture of Jurgen who gets into every slideshow somehow!
Must be his cheerful face!

HBYC paying attention. Can only be prizes, money or wet T-shirts . . .

The "Mystery Prize" that Robin Parker very kindy bought for R450, thus saving the club the need to display it in the entrance way. . .

Wow - a wave jumper! Look out for this one next year.

The Auction chief conspirators, (acting) el-Commodore Jeremy, and Robin Parker (also acting). Would you buy a used teapot from these two?

More next year! Meanwhile, well dne again to JML-3 and all the best for Lipton 2012!