Short report on the Hobie & Tornado National Championships
Registration of entries started at 08:00 on Wednesday 24 September and closed at 17:00, although competitors still wanted to registrer during supper. Further registration took place on Thursday morning. This event had a decided National and International flavour with entrants arriving from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Richards Bay, East London, Knysna and as far away as Maputo.
It was good to see so many youngsters sailing Hobie 14's. East London YC was well represented by the Youth, as was Cape Town entering two youth sailors, one a development sailor. Knysna also had one youth sailor entered. Well done to the winners of this section. Oliver Hobson from ELYC won the Youth regatta. This was the only class who qualified for a SAS gold medal (13 entries) Lionel Hartly won the Veteran Trophy (ELYC).
The Hobie 16 Ladies managed to muster 10 entrants, of which one came from Maputo. (Unfortunately they had to leave early) The winner's were Inge Schabort (a J22 sailor as well) teamed up with Lindy McGillivray. Second was Caroline Hutchinson and Caroline Fulton.  Another J22 sailor Shellee Nel (Potts) and crew Toni Smith finished third. Well done girls
The Hobie Tigers only managed to get 9 boats together. Blaine Dodds and Richard Ayres dominated this event with Alan Lawrence and Gordon Mc Gillivray close on their heels. Shawn Ferry and Jaco Colyn finished third.
The Tornados' also managed to muster 10 boats together with an entry from Maputo in this fleet as well. The winner was Wayne Bird and Clinton Wisserkerke from Zululand YC closely followed by Eric and Janine Cook from TCC.
The wind was strong every day and it was a long trek to the start where the Bridge Officer, Richard Purchase from Cape Town was laying the course. Six races were sailed in total allowing one discard. On Saturday only one race was sailed as the strength of the wind increased. A meeting was held and the racing committee decided to call it a day and have prize giving on Saturday night instead of Sunday as originally planned. This also allowed competitors from far lying regions to travel early on Sunday morning.
It was reassuring to have the NSRI team from Richards Bay in attendance which was appreciated by all. No serious incidents took place although a few boats lost their rig and plenty of competitors capsized.
Prize giving was a tremendous success with each competitor receiving a prize, followed by a party that lasted well into the night. Which was just as well as a storm came through in the early hours of Sunday morning damaging boats on the foreshore. Poor Chris (Costa) and a few others had to go to the harbour to secure the boats for the rest of the storm.
Qwantani Resort is situated on Sterkfontein Dam opposite (across the dam) the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve. The resort boasts 53 chalets all of which have 3 rooms (sleep 6), swimming pools, bar, small shop, squash courts, Boma, horse riding, a trip on the barge on the dam and many other facilities. All the chalets have a fantastic view of the dam and surrounding mountains
A sincere thanks to Theresa Smith, the co-ordinator of the event and her team for a well organised event.
And thank you to all the sailors who made the long trek from all over the country.