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SA biggest sailing event breaks Guinness World Record

Yep, I’m talking about the annual SAMSA Round The Island Race 2012 event, taking place from February 03 to 05 at Deneysville Yacht Club, Vaal.

According to the organisers Lake Deneys Yacht Club, they’re delighted that Guinness World Records has approved that this year’s entry surpassed previous entrants. Although no exact figures were reported.

The sailing event is the biggest in South Africa, and the backing of South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) re-affirms the potential this sport has in the lives of ordinary South Africans. 

SAMSA’s role is to ensure, promote and educate citizens, particularly young, budding sailors on the importance of preserving water and its safety. This year it celebrates its 54th anniversary of the regatta.

Our responsibility is to ensure safety on all of the county’s waters, both inland and offshore, says Tebogo Modibo, SAMSA’s Head of Marketing and Communications.

“Our active participation in this event offers us a great interaction opportunity to educate sailors and visitors alike on aspects of water safety and encourage compliance around proper usage. We also hope to encourage watersports as a healthy lifestyle activity and tourism to these areas in those pursuits.”

Sailing sport contributes millions into the economy of the country and tourism, commented the chief executive at SAMSA Commander Tsietsi Mokhele during last year’s interview.

LDYC has also taken a long, hard look at the profile of regular participants. They have identified that although keelboats and multihull participation quotas have been fairly steady, the numbers of dinghies and cats has been steadily diminishing over the years.

LDYC’s Commodore Tielman Burger said;” To encourage them to come along, the race has been restructured into 3 starts instead of 5. The first will be the Ultra Class , a maximum of 50 boats with a handicap of 1.00 and above, racing the faster boats of other classes, followed by keelers and micro-multihulls in the second start.

The third start will be for all cats and dinghies. All these boats will sail in very similar conditions as they will be within 20 minutes instead of 40 minutes apart. This will smooth the waters so to speak and make it easier for these competitors to go up against each other.”

As part of the SAMSA’s outreach programme, they’ve once again invited sailor academies from around communities in Vaal to partake at the event for free.

For those who have no interest in water sport-I guess there’s no one who does apart from ‘darkies’ so they say- entertainment will be galore from usual bar, catering, air shows, helicopter flips, top-notch live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights and great prizes in a lucky draw and raffles. This after-all is a meant to be a family outing. Amen!

The weekend will again feature a big screen on which live footage of the start and finish will be watched by the onshore crowd.

Entrance fee is R50 per person, however, those who want to camp must contact the organisers on www.ldyc.co.za or www. samsa.org.za or call LDYC : Tel. 016 371-1393


Another Record Breaker? On Your Mast, Get Set, Go!

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