The Dam Fine Times

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Spring has sprung,

the grass has rizz,

I wonder where da boydies iz?

Da boids is on da wing,

But dat's absoid;

Da wing is surely on da boid!

 - Damon Runyon

Greetings LDYC!

Another Covid-19 winter of discontent began to lift and lighten from the Women’s Day long weekend in early August. Members cautiously emerged to enjoy the gentle weather. 

Some sailing souls raced in the “NR Combined Keelboat Provincial Championships” hosted by DAC which scored results from 38 competitors.

Big John 25 Hour Endurance Race

Online platforms then began to buzz with info and eloquent enticements from Heather Opperman & Co to sign up for the Big John 25 hour endurance race, 21st - 22nd August. The sailing challenge was launched in 2017 to honour Jake Opperman’s dad John Coetzee, who fought a brutal war with cancer for 25 years. Funds raised are donated to the @Peace Care Centre for terminally ill cancer patients. LDYC has officially adopted the  event which is believed to be the longest time lapse race in the southern hemisphere.

Our Rear Commodore Nigel Beckett and Commodore Luke Quinn hitched a berth on Altantis 36 “Sillago”, with Trustee Rodney (Skipper) and Sharron Beresford.

Nigel recounted the experience, “On race day the fleet bobbed slowly across the  10h00 start line. The early afternoon breeze steadily escalated to a 20 knot blaster gusting 31 knots. After hours of hanging on and fighting through, the wind went away just after a spectacular sunset. We settled in expecting a chilly but slow and steady night sail. Just after 02h00 the heavens ignited. We battened down and sailed through bolts of lightning and thunder, howling wind and sheets of rain. Come early morning much appreciated coffee arrived. And then the wind evaporated.” Twenty-three of the twenty-six starters limped across the 11h00 finish line.

That afternoon’s prize giving at LDYC  proved a complaint yet spirited affair. The American Auction of donated stuff netted a whopping R10,000. Funds raised in previous years roughly totaled R60,000. This year donors – corporate, private,  competitors, club members -  came from a variety of sources but were all incredibly generous; the total is a whopping R47,420.28!

Big John25 Buffs in white and black are selling from LDYC’s office.

MAY 2021

Greetings LDYC!

Four months and counting into 2021, the club is weathering the global epidemic pretty well. With judicious date juggling most sailing fixtures have been held including the Round the Island Regatta and prize giving in March . So life at LDYC is the same only different!

Member.making a difference.

LDYC has been built on the foundation of members stepping up to help in the running of the club and contributing in a variety of other ways.

In January Wendy Doubell took on the challenge of Transformation Officer. More recently Lynne Baines offered to step up as Entertainment Officer; her first project will be the upcoming annual AGM Dinner and Prize giving function.

Nominations are open for MANCOM and other committee posts to be ratified at the AGM in June. We appeal to members to follow these examples and volunteer. Watch your mailbox or contact the office.    


Members constantly identify needs they can meet and thanks are extended for enlightening solutions so far in 2021.

  • Adam Scott and Mike Pelser have donated solar lights for the walk on moorings

  • Terry Parker has supplied and installed  sorely needed additional lighting in the clubhouse.

All the action was on the water in LDYC's Round the Island Regatta 2021.

Originally scheduled in early February 2021, our 63’ d annual Round the Island Raœ Regatta was successfully raœd from 12 to 14 March.


The regatta comprised raœs on Friday and Saturday afternoons, cu!minating in the Round the Island raœ itself on Sunday. Traditionally it's a sizable gathering of enthusiasts and supporters sailing and socialising; it's the funest yachting raœ of the year with a core of ferociously competitive sailors. This unique fixture on the national sailing calendar still holds its Guinness World Reord TM for “The most yachts to finish an in!and yacht raœ (389) awarded in 2007.

The racing kicked off on Friday afternoon with the Commodore's Cup. Skippered by Tony Norris, Cape 31 "TNT" won 1" p!aœ in the 28-sFoot fleet of finishers. The team gamely towed their spectacu!ar boat all the way up from Theewater Sport Club (TSC) in the Western Cape. This re!atively new Cape Town built 31 foot sport boat class !aunched in 2017 and notched another first by competing in, and ultimately winning the Round the Island Raœ.

Saturday's Tune Up Sprints got the sailing juiœs flowing after months of lockdown inactivity for many competitors.  LDYC's Rear Commodore Anthony Engelbrecht remarked, “We had no idea how many entries to expect and were greatly heartened by the final number. Sailors may be tetchy and independent but are fierœly loyal and supportive of their sport. ”  Sunday dawned clear and challengingly quiet. For many of the 142 registered entries the raœ marked the first time back on the water in over a year. The raœ commenœd with 2 separate starts to offer the faster boats (ultra Class) clean wind and water. This group went over at 08h00 in a gentle north easterly followed by the rest of the fleet at 08h20.

A northerly wind lifted across the dam for the front runners at Mistral point ahead of the south rounding of the Island. As often experienœd, the wind dropped off at the back of the island. The leading boats headed off to the north western shoreline hoping to pick up the promising north-easterly breeze they had spotted which proved to be about 7 knots; the best speed of the day thus far.  Three boats led the approach and rounding of the top of the island - Mark Hammick on Seacart “Bog Monster”, and Nacra F20’s "Girard Racing” sailed by Charles Girard and "Flipping Fast" raœd by Jonathan Crawford and Brian Lion-Cachet.  A jibing raœ ensued, maintained by the same north-easterly all the way back to the finish line but died off shortly thereafter rep!aœd by a low level easterly for the following fleet.

Jonathan Crawford and Brian Lion-Cachet grabbed Line Honours for the 4th time on their Nacra 20 "Flipping Fast". The duo has a!so won 2 raœ titles.

Special thanks to Ronny Gurnell from TYC for a smartly run bridge and NSRI for running emergency rescue serv iœs.  Overall LDYC Round the Island Raœ Results Line Honours Nacra F20 "Flipping Fast" Jonathan Crawford LDYC; 1st Cape 31 ’TNT" Tony Norris Theewater Sports Club (TSC); 2nd Viper "Antidote” Nevan Lucas (LDYC); 3r d Seacart “8og Monster” Marc Hammick (LDYC)


Our Commodore Luke Quinn summed up the sailing weekend, “We aptly themed our 2021 regatta “All the action's on the water”. In diligent response to prevailing legis!ation we restricted entry to the club grounds and implemented complianœ with all protoco!s. Although this was undoubtedly and  memorable as ever.                   

August 2019


SA Team hoists our flag in Viper 640 World Championships  - California here we come

Three Gauteng-based sailing teams with a total crew complement of nine have set their sights on the country’s first participation in the 2nd international Viper 640 World Championships later this month. The event will be hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in Long Beach, California from 17th to 24th August 2019. Of the 49 International entries thus far, South Africa ranks third after the USA and Canada in the number of national crews represented. The team’s sailors are all members of local inland club Lake Deneys Yacht Club (LDYC) located on the shores of the Vaal Dam. Established in 1958, the club is the region’s largest in size, facilities and membership.

LDYC’s Commodore Luke Quinn elaborated, “Vipers are the new kids on the South African sailing block; all the country’s four craft were imported during 2018 and are based at our club, LDYC on the Vaal Dam. In spite of public perceptions, we inland sailors regularly participate in Durban and Cape Town-based offshore sailing regattas and often give our coastal competitors a good run for their money.” The international Viper 640 fleet numbers about 300 and is growing rapidly. Of all the single hulled keelboats raced in this country, relatively few are classified as sport boats. The Viper joins the ranks of the Thompson 27, Melges 24 and Pacer 27’s.

Viper - MSC 2019.webp

Viper 640 ‘Antidote’ flying its purple spinnaker during a race in Durban's MSC Week last month 1 – 6 July, hosted by Point Yacht Club. Nevan Lucas (Skipper) with crew Steven Haywood and Colin Becker won both races in which they competed.

Competing internationally is a costly business. Vice Commodore Anthony Engelbrecht explained, “Although LDYC has raised a sizeable donation, the majority of the costs will be covered by the competitors.” Of the nine sailors there is one woman, Yolanda van der Vyver. The crew range in age from 14 year old Alex Weiderhold accompanied by dad Richard, to well-known veteran 55 year old Alex Schön.


The crew line up is:

1. Nevan Lucas (Skipper), Steven Haywood and Yolanda van der Vyver

2. Alex Schön (Skipper) Marco Seitz and Robert Edwards

3. Richard Wiederhold (Skipper), Greg Plunkett and Alex Wiederhold


When quizzed on what would be considered a commendable achievement one of the skippers, Alex Schön responded, ”We are all novice sailors by international standards. We would be absolutely delighted if any of our teams place in the top 20 overall. But just being there, racing against so many other Vipers promises to be unforgettable!” 


The best of both


The Viper 640 is a two to four person, high performance, one-design sports boat. At 6,4 meters long and weighing only 340 kg the craft displays the steadiness of a keelboat with the acceleration and planing abilities of a dinghy. The relatively affordable cost coupled with high-performance sailing on the most comfortable boat in its class, makes the Viper an achievable option for most sailing enthusiasts. The ideal combined crew weight is between 230 and 275kgs.


Raced to one-design class rules, the boat delivers a precise and exhilarating feel on the helm from the spacious 3-person cockpit.  The sturdy carbon mast and wide cockpit, combines into speedy and secure sailing in a big breeze. Safety is paramount – the 100kg keel bulb ensures the boat qualifies in the stringent self-righting test according to the European Recreational Craft Directive and international stability buoyancy standard ISO 12217. Safety lines built in under the gunwale prevent “Man Overboard” (MOB) situations.


Tow easy


The Viper can be towed by a medium size vehicle and manoeuvres easily on land. Launching and recovery is simple down a slipway or shoreline and requires only 60cm of water to float the boat off or on to the trailer. The mast splits into two pieces. Rigging can be accomplished by 2 people in minutes (approximately 40) rather than hours.


Brian Bennet designed the original Viper to a maxim of “Simple, Clean and Effective”. Ronday Raceboats in the U.K. took over construction, producing new moulds and applying their high-performance dinghy building experience. The result is an immensely strong boat that is light weight, affordable and immensely safe.


Viper 640 is a recognised world sailing international class .There are several regular racing circuits worldwide; Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes/Canadian and a winter series based in Sarasota Florida are all USA-based. International events include the imminent Viper World Championships in Long Beach California, Pan American Championships held every March in Miami Florida, the Euro Cup every second year on Lake Garda in Sirmione, Italy and a full regatta racing circle throughout Australia.


The local Viper 640 dream is to host the International Championships within the next decade.

Big breeze in North American Championshi.webp
A Viper's nest.webp