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          Robtek Holiday 23 ‘Fun Worlds’ 2013 


Hi All

We had a fantastic ROBTEK Holiday 23 “Fun’ Worlds over Easter. While the rest of the Western Cape was either blown away by strong winds or washed away by an abundance of rain. We were lucky and could sail all races we wanted to, please see Kirtsen Veenstra’s report below.

One thing I have noticed was that almost the whole fleet flew spinnakers. Two or three “Worlds” ago one could still sail for a good place without a kite. This shows that we as a fleet has grown and learned from others that flying a kite is not that big a big deal, even I got converted!.

How do you write a report without saying thank you and run the risk that you may forget someone. Well what shall we say about our sponsors, supporting the Holiday 23 class now for many years. I saw some 2006 t-shirts worn this year and somebody says it is becoming “Africana” with ROBTEK’s name on it.

Frank put together an all men team making breakfast, the average age must have been 75 plus, but oh boy did they serve breakfast with a smile and a positive attitude!

The bridge were run perfectly, mark laying boat on the spot every time, the two big cats presence must have been a reassuring sight for the fleet arranged by Patrick and son.

We were blessed with too many spot prizes, Gordon, Marna and Roel.

The Port Owen Yacht Club, their hospitality, their facilities, outstanding!

Here are some images of how the 17 entrants enjoyed themselves.

Abundance of images courtesy Kirsten Veenstra can be seen at

A slideshow courtesy Marna Cilliers "One Step" can be seen at

Here is a complete update and revue courtesy Kirsten Veenstra:

The Robtek Holiday 23 Fun Worlds 2013 

By Kirsten Veenstra 

The Holiday 23 Class has their National Champs, called the Fun Worlds, every second year over Easter in Port Owen. The last Robtek Holiday 23 Fun Worlds was in 2011 and it has been a long wait for this one – definitely one of the best regattas one can do and a must for the sailing bucket list! 

This year the regatta attracted 17 entries from all over the country – an impressive fleet but not as great as 2011’s fleet of over 30 boats, which in 2011 was facilitated by all the public holidays around Easter which allowed all the up-country boats to tow their boats to the West Coast and have a great holiday at the same time. This year, as usual, there were sailors of all ages and competencies – one of the great attractions of the Holiday 23 Class.  

I can never rave enough about what a beautiful sailing venue Port Owen and St Helena Bay is. Not only is it picturesquely stunning, but the sailing in St Helena Bay is just magic - beautiful flat waters and almost-always lovely winds. Add to that the unbelievable hospitality and friendliness of the members of Port Owen Yacht Club, a great bunch of sailors and 17 great little boats, and you have all the ingredients for a fantastic regatta! 

The Holiday 23 is a really awesome boat – bullet-proof, comfortable, and with the most incredible interior design and amazing space. They have a heads, small galley, nav station – and can sleep 4-5 people comfortably! In addition, the deck –stepped mast is easy to drop, and the keel lifts, so one can motor up rivers and under bridges – fantastically versatile. Lavranos really designed a great little boat. The class has two headsail options – roller furler or hanks – and the Holiday 23 class give prizes for both divisions. The Holiday 23 can be sailed with anywhere between two and four crew. 

From the first race, it seemed clear that the race for 1st place was going to be between Port Owen local Frank Stuyck on Sea Mist, and semi-Port Owen local, Kevin Webb, on Maxilmilan. Kevin’s last regatta, the Governor’s Cup, involved taking line honours on his Farrier trimaran, Banjo, so he and fellow Governors’ Cup skipper Sarel van der Merwe had to adapt to a slower pace. His other Governors Cup crew member, Brad Stemmett, sailing with Frank Stuyck, had to do the same!

In the mix was also Patrick and JC Knobel on Barato Gordon Fitzsimons and crew on Smidgen, Ray van Rensburg and his crew on Aquafox and sponsor Derek and Sharon Robinson on Calypso, sailing with circumnavigator Petr Musik, who celebrated his 75th birthday this year and who swore he had never worked so hard on a boat in his whole life! 

Good Friday saw the fleet fit in one substantial windward-leeward race, won by Kevin and his crew on Maximilian, before the wind came up to over 22 knots and racing was stopped for the day, giving the sailors a chance to enjoy a restful afternoon in Port Owen.

Easter Saturday was the day for the distance race. The idea was to sail to Shelly Point, stop for their famous fish and chips, and then carry on to Britannia Bay and anchor there for the night. Kevin and his crew on Maximilian immediately had legs on the fleet as they took off in the moderate breeze to Shelly Point, and it looked for most of the race like no one stood a chance of catching them. Frank on Sea Mist was holding a comfortable second place. But on the last leg, the wind dropped completely, and came up from the back of the fleet – throwing the whole race open again and favouring all the boats behind Kevin. A nail-biting finish was the result, with Frank crossing the line half a boat length ahead of Kevin. After a lunch of the best fish and chips ever, the wind had come up fairly significantly, and as the prediction was for an increase in wind speed, the decision was made to call off racing – so sadly the overnight in Britannia bay was also not to be – and the fleet made their way back to Port Owen at leisure, where Diane Webb and her team catered the most magnificent espetada braai that she would have catered at Britannia Bay.

Easter Sunday laid on light winds and race officer Alan  Biesheuvel got in four races – three windward-leewards and one Olympic course, the last one in really flooky winds. In the light airs, no one could catch Frank Stuyck on Sea Mist, although Kevin Webb gave it his best shot, and Frank and his crew ended up the comfortable winners with Kevin and his crew a comfortable second.

Racing was rounded off with a good kuier and the famous Port Owen snoek braai – also definitely one for the bucket list.  

The class had a leisurely champagne brunch prize giving on Easter Monday, a great way to round off three great days of sailing. After brunch some of the boats headed home, and some spent a further few days in Port Owen, with an overnight trip up the Berg River and lots of fishing. 

Coenie Thiart, chairman of the Holiday 23 Class, is to be commended on excellent class communication at all times, and really doing great things for the class. A huge thank you goes to the sponsors, Robtek, race officer Alan Biesheuvel, the team at Port Owen Yacht Club for everything (especially all the wonderful food!) and to the organising committee of Derek Robinson, Coenie Thiart, Frank Stuyck, Patrick Knobel, JC Knobel and Gordon Fitzsimons. 

Results Overall

1st  -  Frank Stuyck – Sea Mist

2nd - Kevin Webb - Maximillian

3rd - Gordon Fitzsimons - Smidgin

4th - Patrick Knobel- Barato

5th - Ray van Rensburg - Aquafox 

Furler Division

1st - Rob le Roux - Ancient Mariner

2nd - Richard Angus - Freya

3rd - Philippe Pringers - Umoya


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