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EASTER 2009 10 - 12th APRIL !!!!


RACE REPORT & REVUE:                                                                                Robtek Holiday 23 ‘Fun Worlds’ 2009

REVUE ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My impressions of the the 2009 Easter Holiday 23 Fun Worlds. (Editor)

It was once again my privilege to attend this year’s Holiday 23 event in Port Owen. I refuse to load my boat on a trailer. I did it once over the past 15 years and I don’t know what it is, but it just don’t feel right, maybe in my mind I am a big boat owner, owning a small boat. This is also the reason why the sailing there takes a lot of preparations. Preparing the boat, planning the trip, getting the right weather window, arranging for crew etc. This year we had to plan the trip going there even more meticulously, because of my friend from Pretoria that wanted to sail with us. So planning the weather, knowing when to make the call to go and not wasting the friend’s airplane ticket was part of my preparations to sail to Port Owen. 

As always the reception in Port Owen was warm, friendly and the hospitality overwhelming. We had two entries from Boskop Dam, Michael Robertson and Ray van Rensburg. The other 10 Holiday 23’s were from Gordons Bay, False Bay, Cape Town, Mykonos and Port Owen. We also had a L21 (mini tonner or L21) “Mighty Lemon Drop” who joint us and gave the Holiday 23’s a good run for their money. Michael and Ray use their Holiday 23’s in the way it was initially designed for. Putting it on a trailer and take it to where you want to sail it. They really makes it look easy getting it in and out of the water. Ray told me, I hope my memory serves me right, that it takes him and his two sons 20 minutes to launch the boat, put up the mast and sails and then be ready to race!!


Maximillian waiting for         Having a braai on Thursday night                     "Annie" on her trailer

her mast to stepped                                                                                                Thursday night

Thursday the 9th Ray (Aqua Fox) and Morné Basson (“Annie”) arrived with their boats on trailers. “Aqua Fox” was lifted in the water on Thursday and “Annie” the next morning. Thursday night at the club we had a braai and getting to know each other better.


Brian and his "Bokkie       Patrick holding on to             "Annies" keel           "Ancient Mariner" last few preparations         6  X H23's rafted up       Birthday boy Christ-

sorting things out             "Annie's" keel                          in position                                                                                                                                         opher




"Oron Mor" and others motoring down the                                                Lining up for the first race on Friday

 river on Friday afternoon

The around the buoy races on Friday and Saturday was great fun. We left the front runners, to have their own race and we tried to beat “Fat Cat” and “Aqua Fox” With a few calls for “starboard” between me and “Fat Cat” we had a few "lekker" laughs and great fun.


Frank Stuyck and his helpers "braaing"  the "snoek" on Friday night.....



                .....while we all were having a good time..............                                             Nigel ?         .....and for some till late..



There were the serious racers...

The sail to Shelley Point harbour on Saturday was somewhat of a endurance race with the wind pumping at 20 to 25 knots. The wind also deprived us from doing an over night anchor in Sandy Bay. Soon Shelley Point harbour got overcrowded with Holiday 23’s and four big boats from Port Owen, this all contributed to the merriness.


    ....................................Shelley Point Harbour.                                                                                                                                    ...and Nigel



Saturday night in Shelley point harbour  doing what South Africans do best, braai....... !                                     


We rafted up with three boats next to each other and at 22h00 our first boat against the jetty “Mighty Lemon Drop” touched the bottom and had to be moved to prevent causing and sustaining rig damage. I was on the outside of Smidgen who winched up her keel. By 01h30 the wind shifted from South to West, Smidgen then also wanted to move to anchor in the harbour. The bay is not too big and with two boats on anchor we decided to go out further and anchored in the wind that, which by then, changed again to South, blowing at 20 to 28 knots, we anchored in the "washing machine" and kept an anchor watch for the rest of the night.

On our sail to Shelley Point Harbour the legendary “Shoe String” with Peter Music on the helm was our “moving” weather mark in Slippers Bay. Our committee boat was  a wooden Trimaran “Take Three” with Allen Bieshuewel on the helm and Nigel the “legend” as the racing officer. One of the Port Owen members borrowed us his rubber duck to put out the marks.


Sailing back to Port Owen Sunday

Sunday night we were spoiled by Port Owen Yacht Club with a sitdown meal and after that it was prize giving. Monday morning’s famous Port Owen Yacht Club full cholesterol breakfast was a feast!


    Sunday night.                                                                                                                                                                Port Owen's Commodore, Ann



Overall winners                Prize giving                                                         Penalties...





...and Patrick, R10.00 fine for not having a proper mast!!!

Thinking back I do not have the words to describe this event. Where do you start, do you start with the warm hospitality of the Port Owen yacht club’s members, with the bridge boat and her crew, the Yacht Club with it’s clean and sufficient facilities or do you start with our main sponsor Michael Robertson and his brother from Robtek who have sponsored this event now for many successive years. They are willing to dig deep in their pockets to make this event possible, without the remote possibility to attract any contracts for their business only reason being, to promote the Holiday 23 class.

Or do I start with Ann, the commodore of Port Owen yacht club and all her helpers who are willing to forfeit their own Easter Weekend for the love of sailing, their club and we strangers. Frank and Gail Stuyck and all the other helpers who are willing to do bar duty, working in the kitchen, getting up early to prepare the meals etc. and some of them aren't that young anymore!! This unselfish offering of their own time without getting paid and who are prepared to just take a thank you, boggles the mind.

Hey guys and galls of Port Owen Yacht Club we salute you, you are great and I sincerely hope that we behaved ourselves in such a way that we may be welcome next time. 

Thanks again to our Sponsors: 

POMA:                                   Two weeks free berthing

Port Owen Boat Yard:             Free lift

Seaport Supplies:                     Prizes

North Sails Prizes:                    Prizes 

Full Race results: 


Boat name












Brian Gardiner

R500.00 voucher Seaport Supply and R100 Voucher North Sails (Team “Farr from 38”)





Patrick Knobel

R200.00 voucher Seaport Supply and R100 Voucher North Sails





Gordon Fitzimons

R200.00 voucher Seaport Supply and R100 Voucher North Sails



Oran Mor


Michael Robertson









Ancient Mariner

Rob le Roux









Morning Wings

Brian Cole









Mighty Lemon Drop













Coenie Thiart









Sea Mist


Frank Stuyck


broken rudder box bracket





Aqua Fox


Ray van Rensburg









Fat Cat


Johan Hartman











Morné Basson











Bernard Petersen

DNF          sick child.






Personal impressions:

Sailing to Port Owen, attending the Holiday 23 event and sail back takes me out of my comfort zone. I keep my boat in Gordons Bay and when I want to go for a sail, I look at the weather forecast and when I get there I go stand on the balcony and make my final decision whether to sail or not. But sailing to and from Port Owen forces me to:

Isn’t it just great? Getting all the knowledge hands-on renewed. Having the privilege to take novice sailers with me and give them the opportunity I was given to hone my skills and experience.


Although I sailed between Gordons Bay and Port Owen a few times, sailing back from Port Owen this time was a new experience again.

Pictures and the story will follow soon.


RACE REPORT _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Fourteen Holiday 23’s entered for the Robtek Holiday 23 ‘Fun Worlds’ held at Port Owen over the Easter Weekend. With a gentle 12 knot westerly blowing in St Helena Bay racing was going to be tight and the two races scheduled for the afternoon soon got going under the control of Race Officer Nigel Watkins and Alan Biesheuwel on the trimaran Take Three.


Frank Stuyck on Sea Mist had an excellent start sailing into the lead and rounding the weather mark first followed closely by Gordon Fitzsimons on Smidgin. Sea Mist had a bad spinnaker drop at the leeward mark and Smidgin managed to pass into first place. On the beat however the fleet experienced a large wind shift which Sea Mist took best advantage of to sail back into the lead at the weather mark with Smidgin still in second but followed by Patrick Knobel on Barato the newest Holiday 23 launched only a month ago.


By the second race the wind had strengthened to about 16 knots and with a port bias line the fleet were evenly spread along the start line. Brian Gardener on Maximilian took best advantage of the port bias and by the time the fleet tacked to port had a slender lead over the rest of the fleet. The back markers who tacked to port earlier experienced a large lift on the starboard approach to the weather mark and caught the leaders. Maximilian however still managed to squeeze ahead but lost the lead on the downwind leg to Mike Robinson on Oran Mor and Smidgin. The fleet split on the second windward leg with Maximilian regaining the lead around the weather mark only to loose it by a couple of seconds on the run down to the finish to Oran Mor with Smidgin in third.


Friday evening the Port Owen Yacht Club treated the entrants to a traditional West Coast "snoek braai" with over 100 entrants and yacht club members present. Needless to say in typical yachtie fashion it became a late evening for some!


Saturday dawned with a light 14 knot southerly wind and after a continental breakfast at the Port Owen Yacht Club it was onto the water for two windward leeward legs and a long distance race to Sandy Point harbour.

Frank Stuyck on Sea Mist set a cracking pace in race three to round the weather mark with a clear lead over Smidgin, Maximilian, Oran Mor and Barato. Without any changes in the positions Sea Mist had extended her lead by the second rounding of the weather mark and set off on the downwind leg to the finish. Halfway down the run Sea Mist’s lower rudder pintle snapped and causing the rudder box to break and ending their regatta. This allowed Smidgin to come through and take a win with Maximilian in second and Oran Mor in third.


Race four started in an increasing wind with some competitors opting for a working jib and full mainsail. Maximilian made an excellent start to lead from start to finish followed by Barato and Rob le Roux on Ancient Mariner.

By race five the wind had strengthened to 18 knots and all the fleet opted for working jibs while some also put in one reef. The course took the fleet on a beat to a weather mark then on a fetch to the Doctors Reef buoy followed by a beat into Slippers Bay. By the time they reached the Doctors Reef buoy the wind had strengthened to about 22 knots gusting 26 and it made for a cold and wet beat to the Slipper Bay mark. Patrick Knobel on Barato had made best use of the reef in his mainsail and managed to pip Maximilian sailing with a full mainsail around the mark and into first place. All that remained was a broad reach down to Sandy Point harbour and a position they held to the finish followed by Maximilian and Oran Mor in third.


The Port Owen Yacht Club shore team brought some ‘braai bakke’ to the harbour and soon the fires were lit and the braaing started. After a hard day of sailing it was early to bed for everyone.

Sunday morning dawned with the southerly still blowing strongly and the fleet agreed to cancel racing so everyone enjoyed a pleasant cruise back to Port Owen.


Sunday evening the Port Owen Yacht Club catering team had made a three course sit down meal for the participants and soon the prize giving party was in full swing. Patrick Knobel was compare and executed his task admirably and also swelled the coffers of the NSRI by fining just about every competitor for the slightest misdemeanor.

Special thanks to the title sponsors, Mike and Derrick Robinson of Robtek, and sub sponsors the Port Owen Boatyard and the Port Owen Marina Authority. Also to the Port Owen Yacht Club for the hearty reception, the use of the clubhouse and excellent meals, North Sails and Seaport Yacht Supplies for prizes, Errol Ribbink for the use of his rubber duck and Alan Biesheuwel for the use of his yacht Take Three.

(Thanks to Frank Stuyck for this race report)





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