Every year, at the end of January, we all drive 2 hours north of Cape Town to go and sail the River Race in Port Owen, see attached NoR.
It is quite an unusual dinghy race, it is sailed on the river, and therefore you have to negotiate current, tide, eddies, sandbanks, submerged obstacles and the odd 505 on port tack. Sometimes it can become quite windy. You cannot sail it on an Optimist, you won’t make it upstream.
On Saturday we normally have a short practice race to get accustomed to the current, that can be quite strong, and in the afternoon we sail the River Race.
On Sunday we sail along the river, out to sea, around 2 marks and sail back up the river to the finish.
Both Friday and Saturday evening there is a Legendary fish braai (BBQ for you) at the clubhouse. That alone is worth the road trip.
As a club, and family, we have been going for quite a few years now, at the beginning we were sailing with the kids on Picos, now we sail against them on 420s and they beat us, ungrateful youth.
This year the wind was the lightest we ever experienced there, topping at 12 knots, and for that reason it was not possible to sail out to sea, the current going out would have prevented most of the fleet from coming back in the river mouth. Therefore we sailed a second river race on Sunday. Two races sailed on handicap, no discard determine the winner. For classes that have enough entries there is a separate class prize giving too. There is also a inter club prize.
There are pictures here. – Anarchist Stefan.