RS Tera Nationals 2021 – Richard’s Bay

A team of 5 MAC junior sailors plus a junior coach took part in the 2021 RS Tera Nationals in Richards Bay from the 24 to 26 April. The team consisted of Olivia Purchase, Jessica Matchette, Blake Madel, Sean Kavanagh and Patrick Kessel, supported by James Matchette as coach. All sailors except Jessica come from an Optimist background and started sailing the RS Tera to take part in the 2020 RS Tera Worlds in Sedgefield, South Africa. The Worlds never happened due to Covid so it was decided to take part in the WC RS Tera Champs in Mosselbay and the RS Tera National Championships in Richards Bay, KwaZulu Natal.

Olivia, Jess and Patrick traveled to Mosselbay beginning of April. Two days sailing in very light conditions saw Patrick and Roux le Roux, a sailor from Richards Bay, tied on points in the RS Tera Pro Class after 6 races. Roux won the regatta as he won the last race. Patrick came second and Jessica 3rd and got the trophy for first girl.Olivia finished 6th.

For the National Champs in Richards Bay the team was joined by Sean Kavanagh and Blake Madel. They sailed in the RS Tera Sort division. The Sport uses a slightly smaller Dacron sail and can be sailed until the sailor turns 15 . The RS Tera Pro sail is a laminated sail and can be sailed until the sailor turns 19.

The first day of the regatta was a blow out, winds gusting up to 35 knts and very choppy seas. Blake broke the mast of his charter boat within 20 minutes and was towed back in. Racing was abandoned before he could go out again. Sunday dawned with a much welcomed break in the constant rain and much more manageable sailing conditions. The race officer decided to go for 7 short races, around 25 minutes each. The course was within the lagoon in Richards Bay, so our sailors had to factor in unknown elements such as current and tide. They all did well, finishing the day with Patrick second , Jessica third and Olivia fifth in the Pro Class and Sean leading the Sport Class comfortably with Blake right behind him in second place.

The last day of the regatta saw very light winds but another three races were sailed in tricky conditions. Advice from coach James with support  from Michael Kavanagh (both on the support boat of Team MAC) came in very handy, resulting in Patrick taking a first place in race 9 and Olivia only losing her lead on the last leg of race 10 to an almost unbeatable Roux le Roux.

The final results saw Patrick in second place in the Pro Class, Jessica in forth and Olivia in fifth place. Sean won the Sport Class convincingly by winning all races. Blake came second after Sean, a great result taking into account that he never had sailed a Tera until the first race.

Patrick Kessel and Sean Kavanagh have been selected to represent South Africa in the RS Tera World Championships in Denmark later this year.

All in all MAC had a strong representation in both events and the sailors had very good results. We are proud of you!

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