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Three second lead wins Mykonos Offshore Yacht Race for Team Jackal

by Royal Cape Yacht Club 22 Feb 03:12 PST
Mykonos Offshore Yacht Race 2024 © Royal Cape Yacht Club

The Mykonos Offshore Yacht Race 2024 took place this past weekend in Langebaan on the West Coast, and had a staggering 89 entries, breaking a 10-year entry record.

The Mykonos Offshore Yacht Race is a key event in the South African Sailing Western Cape Keelboat Offshore Championship Circuit for 2024. Alongside other prestigious races like the Double Cape Race and the Mossel Bay Race, winners of the circuit will be awarded SAS Western Province Colours.

The Annual Regatta constitutes two races, resulting in one overall winner. There is one long-distance race from Cape Town to Langebaan, a total of 70 nautical miles, as well as one shorter bay race in the lagoon towards Saldanha and around Jutten Island.

The race weekend was full of surprises and excitement as the expected 'downwind dash' set off amidst an unexpected westerly wind in Table Bay on Friday at 09h00, leaving tacticians with the difficult task to choose an offshore or inshore route. Those who decided to hug the coast line could arguably say that it was the choice that paid off.

Saturday's Pursuit Bay Race, the pinnacle of the event, kicked off at 11h30 with perfect conditions - a moderate and building South Easterly breeze, with boats starting in 12 knots and competitors finishing in a constant 20+ breeze.

Skipper Jimmy Jacka of JACKAL, overall winner of the Regatta, shares the last few minutes of this thrilling race: "The finish of Saturday's Bay race was the most exciting of our lives! With us and FLICA having a first and second place in Friday's long-distance race, we had to finish no more than one place behind FLICA in the bay race, to take the overall title. FLICA rounded the last mark leading the fleet, followed by JACANA, FOMO and then us. It was a 2-mile downwind run to the finish in a wind strengthening to over 30 knots. Fortunately, JACANA managed to get ahead of FLICA, winning by about 30 seconds. That left us needing to beat FOMO and get a third, to take the trophy."

"The JACKAL crew took a chance and headed straight for the finish, spinnaker up and running by the lee most of the time - not the safest way to sail but we came charging into the finish line. FOMO was still slightly ahead, but with us on starboard tack and them on port, they had to do a final gybe. In those heavy conditions their spinnaker caught slightly on the gybe and we were through ahead of them by three sec, after almost three hours of racing!"

This important annual race hosted by the prestigious Royal Cape Yacht Club attracted local and international entries including Saldanha Bay Yacht Club, False Bay Yacht Club, Port Owen Yacht Club, Zeekoevlei Yacht Club, Unions Yacht Club Wolfgang See (Austria), and moving inland, from Wits Yacht Club, Aeolians Club, and Deneysville Aquatic Club on the Vaal.

With Cape Town's blue economy being a key pillar in the City's economic success, races such as the Mykonos Offshore Yacht Race, Cape to St Helena Race (26 December 2024) and Cape2Rio Race 2025 hosted by the Royal Cape Yacht Club, play an enormous role in the City's eventing calendar.

Industry Association SABBEX/ Boating South Africa (SABBEX) reports that the Western Cape is the largest marine manufacturing centre within South Africa and houses approximately 80% of boat builders. The total value of the sector is currently estimated at R4.bn, providing 6500 jobs.

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