Pursuit Race – Langebaan

By PG Jonker

The Saturday after the down wind dash from Table Bay to Mykonos, Langebaan, a pursuit race is hosted by the Mykonos yacht club.  Boats are set off in staggered fashion depending on their handicap.  In theory, if everyone sails to the best ability of his boat, everyone should finish at the same time.  Which means that the boat that finishes first takes line honours and need not wait for handicap calculations to be performed to know what his final position is.

Mafuta departs at 11h25:54.  Precisely, ek sê.  After the first turn we have the wind from behind.  This is now dashing!  The wind is blowing at some 25 knots, leading to the skipper’s decision to rather not hoist the spinnaker.  The decision turns out not to be over cautious.  We have great fun watching other boats getting bogged down in the water at peculiar angels as the wind in their spinnakers keeps them there.  One yacht loses his spinnaker in the wind. 

Those who successfully get their spinnakers up, though, come flying past us never to be seen again for the rest of the day. 

The race takes the whole day.  By the time we are back near the entrance to the Mykonos yacht club the wind is blowing to up to 35 knots. 

It turns out that some masochist worked out the route.  Just as you think the end is in sight, you realise you have another few legs of the race left, and that you might only see this spot again an hour or more later.  The increasing wind and water splashing over the deck makes the taking of pictures impossible – except, of course, if you have an underwater camera.

The crew hangs over the guardrails to stabilise the boat and keep it more upright against the push of the wind.  Those dressed in proper foulies are still warm and dry.  I can report that the municipal type of rain suits that you buy at your nearest hardware store are not made for this kind of conditions. 

By the time we reach the finishing line we are pretty tired, and most of us also wet.  Later the evening there is a prize giving ceremony, but our name is not called out.  I can only assume it to have been an error on the side of the judges. 



Your email is never shared.
Required fields are marked *