Team Nitro has won the main race of the Maserati Cape Town Race Week, the IRC 1 Division, after finishing third on the last day of the event. A total of 30 boats took off on Tuesday from the V&A Waterfront for the final day’s racing in winds that shifted from north-westerly to south-westerly and between 10 to 18 knots on different parts of the course.
The IRC 1 Division has been a two-horse race since racing the opening contest a week ago and the other main contender, Cape Fling, took the win on Tuesday but could not haul in Nitro’s overall standing. Nitro finished first on nine points with Cape Fling on 10 and Vulcan third on 14.
Nitro skipper David Rae and his crew were elated as they relaxed on board after the finish. “It was an awesome day,” said Rae. The wind had been good throughout but towards the end a breeze had built up and helped slower boats close the gap.
“Cape Town Race Week is great for the sport,” he said. “Cape Town sailors are very proud of what they have, so it’s a great way to show off the area.”
On Tuesday evening Rae and the crew of Nitro also hoisted the coveted Neptune In The Wind Trophy for “overall winner” – a special award calculated on average speed over the four best days of racing.
Cape Fling skipper Barney Smith was upbeat about the performance on the day and said the conditions had been “really good for sailing”. He added that Cape Fling’s challenge was dealt a blow on day one when they were disqualified after coming into contact with another boat at the start.
Hollard Jacana won the IRC 2 Division with 11 points and Windpower was second on 14.
There was also great competition in the club race’s two divisions. Stella took the final honours in Division 1 on eight points from Cape Dancer RCYC Academy on 15. In Division 2 Clean C Scarlet Sun romped home first with seven points and NSRI Far Med second on 11.
A delighted competitor in the Division 1 was Royal Cape Yacht Club commodore Vitor Medina, who skippered NSRI Far Med to second in its class. The Royal Cape Yacht Club is the host club for the event and the race village is situated in the V&A Waterfront.
“It was a fantastic race in nice steady winds today,” he said. “It was a beautiful course around Table Bay and took us out to Green Point and Robben Island.”
“Having Maserati as a sponsor has raised the bar in terms of professionalism and the calibre of the racing,” he said. “This race can now hopefully grow from having a regional and national flavour to one with more international participation.”
Also in the field was Theo Yon, who is about to skipper Cape Town yacht Gryphon in the Cape2Rio presented by Maserati. For the past five days, however, he has been skipper on Tenacity, racing in the IRC 2 Division.
“Today was really great and the conditions were nice … we enjoyed the sailing,” said Yon. “And we saw dolphins and whales,” he laughed.
Race officer Stuart Childerley was similarly upbeat, saying that shifting winds during the day had given competitors “lots to think about”. He believed the event had the potential to grow: “It’s a super place to sail and Cape Town has lots to offer on shore.”
Race chairman and event director Simon Borchert said the organisers, sponsors and hosts had set out to showcase Cape Town as a sailing destination and “I believe we are on the right track”.
He was delighted with the conditions that Cape Town dished up for the event. “The weather generally played ball and Stuart laid on some great courses.”
“By moving the event’s Race Village into the V&A Waterfront we’ve had a wonderful opportunity to generate interest in sailing, not to mention one of the most scenic settings in the world for a regatta.”
Maserati Cape Town Race Week is South Africa’s premier yachting regatta. The mix of world-class yacht racing and shoreside events and parties runs over six days from 15 to 20 December 2016 and attracts sailors from South Africa and around the world.