Water is no stranger to the yachting fraternity. They do, after all, stare in the face of an intimidating storm and sail through it with panache.
That’s why they didn’t let a bit of flooding get in the way of having a whale of a time at Milnerton Aquatic Club (MAC) on Saturday.
While the wind was howling, the cold biting and Rietvlei once again crept up towards the clubhouse, members celebrated the annual MAC Opening Cruise.
It didn’t all go according to plan, however.
In Roman times, nations went into land battles waving banners to identify themselves and they chanted war cries to intimidate the enemy.
In drier times (remember them?) MAC members used to adopt this ancient tradition to decorate their boats at opening cruises. This weekend they had to make do without fancy decorations. But, there was plenty of flour!
Conservation officer, Pat Downing says: “Eve Howarth told me that, in all her 30 odd years of being a member, has she laughed so much at the antics of the children and Patrick, the groundsman, who sprayed everyone with the fire hose, water pistols and flour bombs.”
The communication officer Angela Gray elaborates on this annual event at the beginning of spring: “It is usually marked by a formal raising of the national and club burgee (flag) followed by a review of the fleet – a colourful tradition that is steeped in more than 600 years of Royal Navy tradition and history, wherein Admirals (and/or royalty) used to review their fleet on special occasions. Unfortunately boats were unable to launch for the sail-past and thus this couldn’t happen.”
Given that the opening of the new season also marked the anniversary of a five-year plan, Commodore Ross Cowing chose to use the occasion to review the club’s achievements by honouring those who had been working towards these goals.
Continues Gray: “Clearly the plan had worked and there was an extensive list of achievements – from MAC having the youngest team in the Lipton Cup for a few years, to boasting National Champions in various boat classes, as well as having youngsters who have travelled the World and represented South Africa at various World Championships in wake-boarding, sailing, windsurfing and water skiing. Their achievements are an inspiration to all and have certainly laid down a great foundation for what promises to be another enjoyable and successful season at MAC.”
Downing agrees when she adds: “The Flag Officers pranced around like Neptune’s workers and with such a start to the aquatic season of 2013/14, which was a complete break-away from the traditional ceremony of an opening cruise, the new season promises to be a good one for aquatic sports.”
Go to http://www.tygerburger.co.za for a photo gallery of the day.
 ***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***
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