The annual Langebaan to Saldanha Downwind Dash, organized by the Saldanha Beach Sailing Club, took recently place in January 2017. What a race it turned out to be with favourably strong winds and a record number of competitors jostling for top positions in a variety of disciplines included kitesurfers, surf skiers, windsurfers, Hobie Cats and SUPs.
Leisure Boating finds out more from the organisers about this fantastic event that has grown from strength to strength since it was started in the mid 1980s by Malcolm McGregor, who still windsurfs to this day at the age of 80.
How many participants were in this year’s race and was it the biggest race to date?
Yes, the 2017 Langebaan Dash was the biggest race with this course format we’ve had so far.
What were the weather conditions like during this year’s race?
The wind indication at 15h00 showed 29 Knots from port control instrumentation. The skies were clear but due to the high winds, every marker boat, rescue boat and sweeper boat gave their best as they tended to entrants that had fallen prey to winds that reached up to 40 knots at times.
Was it the first time the race was opened to SUP and surf ski competitors?
Yes, this year saw the inclusion of SUP and surf ski competitors which added a great new element to the race.
How many participants didn’t complete the race due to the strong winds and choppy conditions?
Approximately 100 competitors unfortunately didn’t make the finish due to the trying conditions.
Where can the public find out more about the Langebaan Dash?
They can visit the website at www.langebaandash.co.za to find out more about this wonderful annual event.
OVERALL WINNERS – MEN
1st place: Jean de Falbaire: kitesurfer – hydrofoil – Mauritius
2nd place: Jerome Bonieux: kitesurfer – hydrofoil – Mauritius (last year’s winner)
3rd place: Ralf Bachuster: kitesurfer – hydrofoil – South Africa
OVERALL WINNERS – WOMEN
1st place: Sjoukje Bredenkamp – kitesurfer (twin tip board) – South Africa
2nd place: Melanie Pearse – kitesurfer (directional board) – South Africa
3rd place: Claudia Kaech – kitesurfer (twin tip board) – South Africa
JUNIOR DIVISION WINNER
1st place: Ross-Dillon Player – kitesurfer (twin tip board) – South Africa
SURFSKI (DOUBLE) WINNERS
1st place: Boris Hales & Dion Duvenage – South Africa
1st place: Thomas King – South Africa
HOBIE CAT WINNER
1st place: John Ryall – South Africa