Sailing Club Regatta

August 13th, 2006 by Thinus Leave a reply »

Bronkhorstbaai Dam
Near: Bronkhorstpruit, Gauteng, South Africa
GPS: -25.906526, 28.6955253
When: 2006-08-13
Who: Thinus, Tienie, Elbie, ThinusH and his family, Louis
View all photos on Ringo

Sailing Club RegattaA friend I work with, also named Thinus, owns a Catamaran sail boat, a Hobie 16. We got invited first for a casual sail with him, his brother and Louis, another friend I work with. We also hired the club’s Hobie 16, which is almost identical to Thinus’.

Sailing Club RegattaThe first day we went onto the water the wind was fairly calm, and with two persons per boat, we managed around 20km/h. This is fast enough to allow one person to trapeze – you hook a steel cable running from the top of the mast onto your belt, step on the side of the boat and lean over backwards until your back is parallel to the water. I got a chance to do this. It feels really good opening your arms, hanging only on the cable seeing only blue sky!

Sailing Club RegattaHaving tried out some basic maneuvers, crossing angry fisherman’s lines in the process, I passed Sailing 101 and a week later we came back for a regatta – a sailing competition. Thinus and me entered as a team, with his brother and son as a second using the club boat. We set up tent for the weekend’s stay, and had coffee. This time it was freezing cold, and the wind was gushing.

The idea of a regatta
is that all the boats cross between a comity boat and a buoy at the start of the race, and then find their ways wind up around a second buoy and back around the first. There usually are 3 rounds like this in a race.

Sailing Club RegattaOne thing that changed sine we last week sailed here is the cold and fog. The second is the wind. We were speeding over 30km/h, with the wakes from the boat soaking us with ice cold water. In strong wind like this trapeze isn’t an option anymore, but necessary to balance the boat and keep it from falling over! It was my job to hang on, and feeling how the whole one side of the boat lifts more than 5 feet from the water makes for a super adrenalin rush.

We competed in 4 races, not doing that well (there were national colors teams as well) but never coming in last. And we never tipped the boat over like so many other teams did. I would die in that cold water!!

We all had braaivleis and a beer for dinner, and slept very well in our tent. My friend Thinus and his family hired a caravan for the night.

Sailing Club RegattaSunday morning it was still chilly, but the wind was completely gone. About 20 setup and ready to go catamarans were quietly waiting on the side for even a faint breeze, but no luck – the last day’s regatta eventually got canceled. We tried to go out but ended up rowing back with our hands.

I’ve gone sailing with my friend Thinus a few times now, and are hooked. This is a very exciting sport to practice, and also very relaxing. It allows you to see places around a dam where you can’t go on foot, and if you pack a little picnic basket, it makes for a very nice birding trip up a river mouth. We saw many coots, swallows, the Three-banded Plover, Red-throated Wrynecks and a Giant Kingfisher.


  1. Nathaniel Wood says:

    i love to sail even if we do not have our own sailboat ‘.~

  2. LJ de Vos says:

    Hi Thinus

    Ek het ‘n search gedoen vir kiekies van Bronkhorstbaai en so op jou blog afgekom. Ek wil graag ‘n paar van die pics op jou blog gebruik vir ‘n pamflet wat ek daar gaan uitdeel as deel van my marketing campaign vir een van ons eiendomme wat ek vanaf die 19e Des tot 4 Jan daar gaan run. Ek moet vandag die art-work klaar maak en het nie baie tyd om ander pics te source nie. Dus wil ek hoor of ek ‘n paar van jou pics kan gebruik.

    LJ de Vos

Leave a Reply