Northern Region

Regional Chairlady

Jeanne Stanley
Phone: 073 933 0240

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NR Spring Grand Slam 2018 – Aeolians Yacht Club

The Northern Region Grand Slam and Optimist Provincials were hosted by Aeolians at Vaaldam on the weekend of 1 & 2 Sept 2018. A dry warm NW breeze had been blowing for the week preceding the regatta and was forecast to continue for the regatta. Saturday was forecast to be around 7-8 knots with 15-18 knots forecast for Sunday. The forecasts turned out to be slightly inaccurate, with less wind on Saturday and more on Sunday.

Despite the absence of the sailors representing South Africa at the worlds in Cyprus, the the fleet was strong with next generation of sailors pushing each other to new heights. Two races were sailed on Saturday morning before the wind died, giving the sailors the afternoon off. Young Alec Stanley was super excited to win the first race from Ingrid Holm, taking full advantage of his 26kg frame in the light air, coupled with some good decisions to get on the correct side of the oscillating breeze. Sean Kavanagh visiting from Cape Town took the second race ahead of Alec when the race was shortened at the second windward mark in a dying breeze.

On Sunday morning the breeze filled in nicely, initially around 10 knots and building through the morning to 15, gusting over 20. The race committee scheduled four races on a day that would test the stamina and fitness of the competitors. Sean Kavanagh took race three from Lena Holm, In race four, Ingrid Holm led her sister Lena home. Jude Stanley relished the stronger breeze, winning the last two races of the day, with Lena taking second in race five and Ingrid in race six.

The last race of the day was particularly exciting, with the first four boats jostling for position, pumping and working their boats to the line, where they finished withing seconds of each other. Jude pipped Ingrid, Sean and Lena.

When the numbers were tallied, Sean and Ingrid were tied on 11 points for the regatta, Sean winning on a count back. Jude finished third on 13 points, Lena fourth on 16 points and Alec fifth on 19 points. There ware tussles all through the 15 boat fleet and importantly great fun was had by all.

Many thanks to all involved in the regatta organisation, you did an amazing job.

Report by Michael and Heidi Kavanagh

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NR Awards Dinner

Dear Optimist and Youth

Please join us for the NR Awards Dinner. We will be recognising the achievements of all the youth in our region that participated in the Youth Nationals as well as the Class Provincials.

Make your Nominations for NR Yachtsman of the Year by email to

Sailing SA sailing training centre
Victoria Lake Club


Northern Region Provincial Regatta

The small town of Deneysville in the Orange Free State, on the banks of the Vaal Dam, played host to the NR Provincial Regatta for 2017 courtesy of LDYC.
This amazing club with its awsome location, incredible amenities and facilities, and fantastic galley was the perfect venue for the gathering.

Registration, boat issuing, rigging, and skippers briefing all went well and everything was set for a great regatta, and then …. no wind. Two attempts were made to get the racing started and each time the AP flag was raised. The weather otherwise was absolutely perfect. At 30 something degrees the pool in front of the clubhouse became the popular spot in between the attempts to get started.

After watching the breeze change direction constantly on the intermittent puffs, it finally settled at around 13h30 and the race committee managed to get the boats out of the bay and into the main channel of the Dam where there was a fairly constant breeze.

Finally …. Race on !

After first starting the 505’s and then the Lasers it was the turn of the Oppies. Two General recalls later the black flag was hauled out, and stayed out for the rest of the regatta. Incredibly though no sailor fell prey to it.

The first, and only race of the day, seemed to go on forever in the very light and shifty wind. The fleet handled the conditions incredibly well but the spoils went to those who were paying attention and looking for the all-important gusts.

All the Oppies sailed in one fleet which made for an incredibly long drawn out line of boats – 35 to be precise. What a fantastic turn out for the class !! – and what a pleasure to watch.

At the front end of the fleet the racing was incredibly tense and tight. The light conditions dictated that tactics would make all the difference. The race was won by Matt Ashwell, followed by Alex Falcon and Jared Tyler respectively.

Day two saw similar conditions with most of the breeze far out in the middle of the dam. Whilst this did not make for great spectating it allowed for the all important three races required to make up the regatta to be sailed.

Again the winds were incredibly shifty with intermittent gusts the order of the day. Races two, three and four, all under the black flag, got underway with no issues and racing was again tight and technical in the incredible heat. The NOR stated that no races could start after 2 pm so at 13h55 a fourth race was started which would have given the sailors a handy discard. Unfortunately though the wind was not playing along and just 10 minutes after the start the race was abandoned on account of no breeze.

A word of congratulations must go to all the sailors who took part and handled the tricky conditions, and remained motivated throughout. It really was fantastic to see such a strong turn-out for the event. The regatta was ultimately won by Matt Ashwell. Second place went to Jared Tyler, and third to Alex Falcon.

Report by Paul Tyler

Northern Region Youth Colours

Keagan and Calvin were awarded their South African Sailing Northern Region Youth Colours. I’m a very proud mom. Keagan’s had a great season. 1st NR provincials, 4th Nationals, 2nd WC Provincials, 2nd KZN Provincials. Now I’m really sorry we couldn’t send him with the team to the Optimist Worlds even though he qualified. Next year I’ll have to sell some thing when he qualifies for Cyprus.