Wits Yacht Club’s new inter varsity tournament a first for South African university sailing clubs.
Wits Yacht Club (WYC) hosted South Africa’s first student-organised intervarsity regatta in Durban this holiday, and the event’s success will see it added to the annual university sailing calendar.
“The planning took up all my free time for a solid two months. It made for some great exam procrastination! It was all worth it though,” said WYC committee member Ryan Robinson, 1st year BCom.
The regatta, now dubbed the Intervarsity Match Racing Championship, took place on the first weekend of July and saw eight university sailing teams from around South Africa come together. Results were obtained from a round robin format with teams competing in three days of fast, one-on-one races, which were ideal for spectators.
Robinson said: “We only had great responses from all the competing universities, most of whom said that they will be increasing the amount of teams brought down to the next installation of the event.”
University sailing teams only have one other intervarsity race each year in December, which is organised by University Sport South Africa (USSA).
“I thought it was such a tragedy that we could only compete at USSA in December and thus the Intervarsity Match Racing Champs came into being,” said Robinson.
WYC partnered with Point Yacht Club in Durban CBD which allowed them to provide the yachts for racing as well as daily dinners and camping accommodation. This meant teams could simply arrive and begin racing straight away.
Despite being the host university, the two Wits teams only secured a 4th and 5th place, with Stellenbosch taking home first prize, followed by UCT in second place.
- Wits Vuvuzela, Six Sailing Ladies, March 2016