The Commodores Envoys And the Archangel
RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu
After the deal was concluded in November 2017, it was a race against the tide to get the boat ready to sail from Gordons Bay to
RCYC. A sleeping giant was being woken up, an old guard was being brought back to life. 1984, that’s the date written on the head sail,
1yr shy of my own age. A boat heaped in sailing history, a boat sailed by the best to ever do it. How on earth do you inherit that?
You acknowledge the past and fully embrace the future. Archangel will be the academy’s new offshore vessel and is about to embark on new adventures. Joe Heywood our academy chairman is a practical man, roll your sleeves up and let’s get our hands dirty kind of fellow. So it came as no surprise when our commodore requested we fetch the boat from Gordons bay to RCYC, he would be leading the charge. The 31
of January 2018, our window opened, we had a spring tide with a super moon. The wind was howling, a good constant 30kts when we arrived in Gordons Bay, the plan was to motor out of the marina and moor the boat in harbour Island. Everyone in the marina was not sure we could get the boat out even with a spring tide the keel was 2.2m and the tide was 1.89. We rigged the boat and prepared to head out. It was myself, Joe and Colin. I was down below monitoring the engine. Hot and loud, that’s the engine room. Full power ahead that was the consensus, the boat just glided out of the entrance and off we were to harbour island. After years of being stationary Archangel was on her way out at sea, where she belongs. She is an old boat, forgotten by time, yet here she was about to become a part of the future, this boat sums up a lot of our objectives, we hope to bring to life that which has been forgotten, we hope to chart a new course with old ideals. Our resolve is resolute, to quote from an instructor who is teaching our up and coming skippers. ‘’These past two weeks I have seen hunger, hunger for learning. I have seen a kind of commitment that means three students getting up at 4.30 in the morning to catch 3 taxis and a train in order to get to class 2 hours early so that they can leave in time to catch two different trains to get to False Bay to sail in Wed evening races before going home to do a whole load of homework.
In the past two weeks, these guys have never rocked up late.’’ Ours is a difficult task we are trying to marry the old with the new. To bridge what has been forgotten, with what is yet to come. I know as members you might not be fully aware of everything we are doing, you might not see us on the water as much as you would like, yet I say to you, we are here in the trenches getting ready for battle. Soon you will see what we have been up to. This coming weekend or the next, we are going to sail Archangel with our newly qualified skippers and their beloved instructor, other academy kids will be on board, and we will bring her home.