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Club holds annual safeguard ritual

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, April 13, 2014

THE bright clear day provided the Royal Suva Yacht Club the opportunity to mark the beginning of the sailing season with a tradition as old as the club itself.

The sail past, where boats including the laser and hobie cats sail past the commodore of the club, saluting him after the boats have been blessed at the sea was held yesterday.

The tradition started when the club started 82 years ago and since then this has been an annual ritual.

Club commodore Mark Hirst said this was done to safeguard boats and yachts if they were to encounter rough weather while out at sea.

"It has been done from the very beginning. The boats are blessed and so are the members of the club," he said.

"It also gives sailors a sense of auspiciousness to the start of the new sailing season."

This year, the yacht club also had its new ramp blessed.

Club communication officer Patricia Evers said the new ramp was a good thing for the junior sailors.

"The juniors are now able to go directly into the ocean from their boat shed. It makes it easy for them," she said.

Although the program started one hour late, it was worth the wait as members sailed out into the harbour. The juniors led in their lasers followed by the hobies, B-Class and then the powerboats.

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