The Yacht Reaction


Reaction is a Royal Cape One Design (RCOD) that originated from a Van der Stadt design commissioned and built in Holland for Kees Bruynzeel in 1955. A few years later (1958) Kees Bruynzeel came to South Africa and introduced his new boat,  Zeeslang, to the Cape Town sailing community. Sailors where very sceptic about this  “oversized dinghy” but she made her debute in an ocean race to Dassen Island in near gale conditions, unexpectedly beating contenders for this race. Kees Bruynzeel himself took an interest in this and at his own expense modified the plans to suit Table Bay conditions. The final result was a boat with a narrow beam, low centre of gravity and a high coach-roof which gave it excellent reserve stability thereby making it safe and seaworthy for offshore racing. In 1960 the Sailing committee of the Royal Cape Yacht Club purchased these plans for a selected one-design boat and named the design a RCOD.1  The first RCOD’s were built out of plywood in the early 1960`s. Reaction (number 38) was one of the first to be built in fibreglass in the early 1980`s.

RCOD’s competed in almost all offshore races in South Africa, made a number of podium finishes and held many speed records ie. Line honours in the 1971Vasco da Gama race 2, Richard’s Bay to Durban in 7 hours 13 minutes (Sun Tonic, 1990) and Durban to Richards Bay in 7 hours 03 minutes (Sun Tonic, 1990).3 In 2006 the famous Suidoos 2 made 3rd position on corrected time in the Cape to Bahia race.

Reaction also had a number of podium finishes. She raced from Richards Bay to Durban (date?) and came second over the line behind a 76ft maxi and won on handicap.4  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 race in the Mykonos Offshore Regatta in her class. In the 2010 Governor’s Cup she was the 6th boat to arrive at St Helena island and finished 2nd to Our Dianne on corrected time in the IRC class, only 1 day 14 hours 8 mins behind Our Dianne, even after she lost 48 hours by diverting to Langebaan with a broken rudder that had to be fixed.

In the 2012 Governor’s Cup she was sailed by two of her regular crew members; Thinus Groenewald (owner-skipper), Nicolaas Basson and the skipper’s two son’s CornĂ© and Ruan Groenewald. Her crew has sailed her into victory a number of times and also sailed her in the  2010 Governor’s Cup race and won the 2012 Governor's Cup on handicap.


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  2. Well done Team Reaction! A second place for our Wed Twilight series is not too shabby!

  3. Hi Tiens and crew, good luck for the race, Enjoy.

    JB & Michele Nel
    SY Philani

  4. Baie geluk Teins, Nikki, Corne en Ruan!! Ons het julle met groot belangtelling gevolg oor die laaste 12 dae en is gewldig beindruk!!

    Coetzees van Vishoek.