Shipshape regatta for young EL sailors

Pictures: MADELEINE CHAPUT

THE East London Yacht Club sent 4 four of its young sailors to compete in the 42nd Coca-Cola Inter-schools Regatta at Redhouse Yacht Club on the Swartkops River nearjust outside Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

According to sailing coach, Wayne de Klerk, this was the perfect location for tightly contested races along the long, meandering narrow Swartkops River. river.

“Camping on the Redhouse Yacht Club grounds provided an awesome experience for the competitors and parents alike,” dDe Klerk said.

“It wasis the perfect learning environment for fine-tuning that neverending list of skills required to be the best sailors they can be,” he said.

De Klerk said all of the young sailors only started sailing less than a year ago and he was it made him extremely proud to be a part of the National Sail Training ProgrammeSouth African Sailing programme, using their methods of teaching and achieving such great results.

“Our sailors really thrived in on the still water conditions and confidence levels were high. They are used to launching their boats in dumping waves and heading straight out to sea from their training grounds, alongside the Orient Pier at the entrance to the Port of East London,” Buffalo City Harbor,” he said.

The Yyacht Cclub is also home to of the Fflagship Waves for Change’, surf therapy programme which that work with helps about 250 young vulnerable children. Asa week and as part of the therapy their programme they also need to introduce these kids are also introduced to other sports and programmes.

“I have been asked to assist with training some of these kids, but due to a with the lack of boats this has been impossible until now. I am so excited that the Redhouse Yacht Club decided to loan us seven 7 of their boats and a trailer, which will help us grow sailing and assist the Waves for Change,” dDe Klerk said.

He said the results were even more encouraging and that watching the young sailors compete from the banks of the Swartkops rRiver banks, was great fun for the adults as well.

Keegan Martheus from Kidd’s Beach Primary School came first and Troy Ddu Plooy from Grens Primary Schoolin 1st place second in the Optimist Class. , while Troy Ddu Plooy from Grens Primary School came in 2nd place in the Optimist Class.

Luke Hartwanger from Selborne Primary School came second in 2nd Place in the Optimist Novice Class and Kanya Stofile from Stirling Striling High School fourth came in 4th place in the Laser Class.

“Sailing is truly an amazing sport where it uses multiple skills, factoring in many constantly changing conditions and harnessing the elements to achieve movement in a desired direction as fast and efficiently as possible while outsmarting your competitor,” concluded De Klerk.

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