Durban has just one long distance race on its calendar each year – that being the Vasco da Gama Race. However this is about to change as the two senior Durban yacht clubs, the Point Yacht Club and the Royal Natal Yacht Club, have joined forces to re-establish the tough Mauritius to Durban yacht race on a regular basis. This 1690 nautical mile race is scheduled for September 2010.
“We intend to revive this race and make it a regular feature on the South African sailing calendar” said Chris Frost, Commodore of the Royal Natal Yacht Club. “It's a classically tough race which needs to regain the momentum it had in the ‘80s”.
Campbell Alexander, Commodore of the Point Yacht Club said “It is great to see that PYC and RNYC will jointly host this intrepid Ocean race. Harmony between the clubs is so important when preparing and planning for this race. A lot needs to be done and I wish Richard Crockett and his organising committee all the best for the event. He and his committee has the full support of PYC.”
The clubs have appointed Richard Crockett as Chairman of the organising committee, and Jimmy Melville as the Race Officer. One of the unique selling points of this race is that it starts on the idyllic tropical island of Mauritius, and more specifically off Grande Baie where the race will be based. The Grand Baie Yacht Club is the most friendly spot where families can relax amongst the palms on the water's edge, on the open verandah of the yacht club where the tropical gently breeze blows, or simply explore the surroundings of the Grande Baie village and island.
“It is with great pleasure that I can confirm that the Grand Baie Yacht Club will be happy to host this proposed Mauritius to Durban yacht race” said Philippe Lenoir, Commodore of the GBYC. “All the GBYC sailing community is eagerly awaiting this event. We have a fantastic setting here and I am sure all the crew members, their friends and families will enjoy our famous Mauritian hospitality” he said.
“There is a lot of interest for the race from around the country” said Richard Crockett. “But before we turn this interest into entries there is a lot of work the organising committee and members of both clubs have to do” he said. The organising committee is being considered, and will be appointed as decisions on every aspect of the race are taken – including securing an overall sponsor.
In an email to mysailing.com.au, Richard Crockett said, “It would be really good to get a few AUS boats in the race.”
Further information from Richard Crockett at firstname.lastname@example.org