Eastern Cape Report 2023 / 2024

Report by Warren Harvey
Youth sailing in the Eastern Cape is going very well and our youth sailors are showing fantastic signs of improvement which we are really excited about. It’s taken some time to get them where they are, but better late than never.

We unfortunately had to reduce the size of our sailing school from 27 to 11 kids, as it became too big to manage and we did not have the boats available to accommodate all. Not all was lost, as some have now moved into a Terra or Laser 4.7

In December we will be taking 4 of our top “A” fleet sailors to compete at the youth nationals at Wiggleswade Dam. This will be their first real event, so we are going to spend more time in getting them prepared for this.

Finding good quality boats is still problematic for us and I’m not sure how we can resolve this coupled with the cost of being able to afford to buy, as a lot of our sailors come from low income families.

The 6 boats we have were sponsored to our sailing school, 3 are owned by the club and 1 was donated. Thankfully we received some sponsorship funds which was enough to replace all the old sails and buoyancy tanks that were no longer fit for use.

Perhaps the Opti Class Association should look at the cost of bringing in some second-hand boats from abroad of the funds are available.

On a separate note, we are also in talks with Jacana Sailing School about running a possible youth exchange program in 2025. This is still in the early stages, but I am confident we can get something going here to help promote youth sailing.