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More Midgets

I
refer to your article Midget Ocean racing (22 AprilL 2008) where they
race with 5 m boats.Well, here in South Africa we race with yachts as
small as 5.8 m across False Bay between Gordon’s Bay and Simon’s Town
in the Wilde False Bay Challenge

The
Wilde False Bay Challenge
is the brainchild of the late Bertie Reed
who sailed 3 times single handed around the world onboard maxi’s.There
are only 2 people onboard. You have to cover 21 nm across False Bay and
within a month you have to sail back. Overall boat length is restricted
to 8 m ( originally it was 6 m ) . And no swing keels or water ballast
are allowed.

False Bay is notorious for it’s unpredictable weather, strong South Easters
and obviously you have to navigate around two shoals as well as Seal Island
with it’s well known Great White sharks. * This yacht on the photo is
a T L C 19 designed by Dudley Dix. Overall weight is 750 kg. Onboard is
Etienne Laubscher. This boat was originally sailed by Bertie Reed and
Etienne Laubscher in the very first challenge. On there way back from
Simon’s Town in a very strong North Wester and white water they collided
with a whale and lost the rudder with a big bang. The accumulated time
for this boat is now 10 h 36 min (record for boats shorter that 6 m).
And her fastest time across False Bay is 4 hours 10 m.

Regards,

Etienne Laubscher
Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club
South Africa