Hank Buchanan Recognized in South Africa
HANK BUCHANAN, our RC Laser stalwart, and multi-class RC top skipper, travels to South Africa in the winter for family reasons and was able to cobble up a regatta…A Regatta in his own name! The following is Hank’s report of the event.
During our winter, I travel to South Africa visiting two daughters, their offspring and an ex-wife that still talks to me. For want of things to do while there, (abhorring animal parks) I got in touch with the local RC sailing community and found an active Laser fleet; the Pretoria Sailing Club headed by John Wright, an avid small boat and RC sailor.
The PSC folks sail on select Saturdays at Rietvlei Dam north of Johannesburg. Contacting John, we tried to find a preselected Saturday that coincided with my visit. Failing that, he declared a special regatta during my stay, and The Hank Buchanan Annual was born. The first year we held it, I sailed a loaner. We all know that loaners become loaners for some good reasons… leaving it to your imagination. Suffice to say, I did poorly.
This year I brought my own boat (checked bags were free on SA air). Seven skippers showed up and since not all had A rigs, we sailed in rather light air with Bs. The 1st heat began and I got the course wrong. Caught up to fourth place. The next heat I fouled another boat and after a painfully slow turn, managed a fifth. Next came a wire-to-wire first. Then a third. After that, got weeded for a five in the 5th. By now the leading boat had me by a comfortable margin and though I beat him in one more heat of the total 8 we sailed, he beat me handily overall. I guess the moral of the story is that you’re not supposed to win your own regatta?
John Wright’s wife “Dil” officiated and did a great job of it. A good day was had by all and my sincere thanks to the skippers attending.