Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Farewell Reaction

After 6 years of sailing Reaction it is time to say “Goodbye, may you fare well Reaction!”
When her owner, Marthinus Groenewald, bought her 6 years ago, we had been sailing on a 40 ft van der Stadt cruiser. We all laughed at him asking. “What must we do with this small boat”. Little did we know that she will give us tremendous pleasure in the years to come. We sailed her in all imaginable conditions the Cape of Storms could throw at us. From calm windless conditions and flat seas to howling gale force South Easters and stormy North Westerly winds with huge seas. Under all these conditions she proudly presented herself as a sturdy and seaworthy boat comforting and protecting her crew (although not always very comfortable as a result of her small size).
During the last 6 years her crew raced her into victory a number of times. She came first on handicap in her class in the 2009/2010 Twilight Series at the RCYC and for three consecutive years (2010-2012) she won the Cape Town to Mykonos Offshore Regatta in her class. To crown it all, in January 2013 she won the 2012 Governor’s Cup race to St Helena Island.
But time has come to let her go! Marthinus and his crew are now advancing into the well known L34 yacht class racing on Ebb Tide. We will now be sailing in a more competitive class; however, I am sure that we will not experience the same exhilaration we got from Reaction while sailing on spinnaker in 25+ kn of wind surfing down a swell with a boat speed of 20 kn. 

Farewell Reaction!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Reaction won the 2012 Governor’s Cup Race

Reaction and her crew Tiens Groenwald, CornĂ© Groenewald, Ruaan Groenewald and Nicky Basson won the 2012 Governor’s Cup yacht race from Simonstown to St Helena island. She was overall winner, winner on handicap, made line honours in the keelboat class and arrived 3rd of all boats. (multihulls and monohulls).  

The start was slow with little wind mainly from the NW during the first 4 days. After that we found the trades on a more easterly course,  we hoisted the spinnaker and enjoyed a fabulous sail all the way to the island. Our best distance covered during a 24 hour period was 186 nm with a max speed of 17.8 knots. We covered the total distance in 11 days and 23 hours.

Monday, 3 December 2012

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Only 3 weeks left before our departure. We sailed Reaction from the RCYC, Cape Town to the FBYC in Simons town on Sunday, were she will be moored until the start of the race. We selected a weather window with a predicted light 10 knots North Westerly so that we can have a comfortable downwind run for most of the trip. However the wind around the Cape of Storms can never be predicted accurately. We struggled with very little wind of about 2 knots from Green Point to about Sandy Bay. Then the wind gradually picked up to around 10 knots. We hoisted the Spinnaker and were running comfortably at around 6 knots. In the mean time the wind picked up to 30 knots and near the Sentinel at Hout Bay we broached and was out of control for a while, after which we decided to take the spinnaker down. We then hoisted our no 1 and were still doing 8 knots with an occasional 12 knots surfing down the waves. From Cape Point we had to beat upwind to Simon’s town, very bumpy, wet and slow. We arrived 15h30 at Simon’s town after a 9h30minute trip.
The Skipper relaxing in his custom made chair for the race. Believe me, this will be a huge improvement in the comfort of the helmsman for the 12 days at sea.

Here you can see the chair in use.

Friday, 16 November 2012

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Reaction came second in class 3 on Wednesday 15th November in the Puma Twighligt race at the RCYC. We made good use of the opportunity to check all systems for the Governor's Cup.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Reaction and her crew are currently in earnest preparation for this big event in our South African sailing calendar. In between our Wednesday evening club races at the RCYC, we have to get Reaction ready for her second Governor's Cup attempt.
We had to do a 200 mile or 48 hour sailing trip as a qualifying trip, which we did the weekend of 2-4th November. The wind was blowing a pleasant 7-10knots from the NW on Friday evening and we sailed out of Table Bay Harbour at around 19h00. By the time it was getting dark a thick fog and terribly cold came over Table Bay, reducing the visibility to almost zero. We had to fight the dark, the cold and the zero visibility until around midnight, dodging freighters and tankers  anchored in the bay. Once we rounded Robben Island (with our chart plotter as only guide) we knew that we were out of the anchoring zone and could relax a bit.
We wished for a sunny day the next morning, but instead a cloud cover was keeping the sun away for most of the Saturday. Luckily the wind was in our favour for most of the trip and remained a light NW for the rest of the weekend. We all know that the South Easter can cause havoc around Cape Town this time of the year.

Friday evening before we left the RCYC

Nicky and Nic at daybreak the Saturday morning, hoping for some heat from the sun.

Rigging the Spinnaker on Saturday afternoon