South Africa

Cape2Rio breezes onto the radar

2016-10-26 19:26
Cape2Rio (Twitter)

Cape Town - The longest transatlantic ocean race, the Cape2Rio, will present this city with a majestic spectacle over the Festive Season as the race begins in Table Bay.

The Cape2Rio, presented by new sponsor Maserati, aims to cement – in its 46th year since inception in 1971 - its status as one of the most prestigious yachting events in the world. 

It gets underway on December 26 with the first start, while the larger Racing fleet sets off on New Year’s Day.

From the very beginning the Cape2Rio, staged over 3,500 nautical miles or 5,500km, has attracted interest from around the world and enticed some of the planet’s most celebrated sailors and yachts to its start line.

Tactical and testing, the race demands the finest seamanship of its participants. The latest edition is no different, with the best on show from 10 different countries preparing to set sail.

The 2017 entrants include crews from South Africa, Angola, Australia, Argentina, USA, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil.

Largest mono-hull entry is the 70ft Andrews 70 from San Diego, while the smallest is the 31ft Benetau from Cape Town.

Race crews include veterans from the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, multiple national champions, Lipton Cup, Sydney-Hobart, and the Caribbean 600.

Aiming for handicap honours will be the likes of Vulcan and Black Pearl. Vulcan is a GP 42, and is skippered and owned by South African sailor Hylton Hale who has been preparing the boat meticulously for the race.

Designed by fellow-South African Shaun Carkeek, Vulcan has undergone an extensive refit in preparation for the offshore conditions and is a real contender for the overall winner’s trophy. Their battle with the Black Pearl, a German entrant, could shape up as the most potentially thrilling battle of the event.

Another entry to watch is Gryphon, a crew that celebrates the diversity and depth of sailing skill that Cape Town has to offer.

Cape Town continues to produce some of the very best sailors and marine artisans in the world, and this team is a testament to that. A group of friends from communities on the Cape Flats, an area not usually associated with global yacht racing, have defied the odds and prepared a world-class campaign.

Reuniting in Cape Town from as far afield as Dubai, the team will compete in the 2017 edition of the race. Skilled, determined and professionally managed, Gryphon is certain to be the crowd favourite come the start on January 1, 2017.

After leaving Cape Town, participants head north-west towards the island of Ilha de Trinidad, and south-west from there towards South America.

As they near the coast, skippers need to decide whether to take the longer route with stronger winds, or a more direct route with the chance of lighter winds.

The race can be watched live, thanks to the live on-board satellite trackers. Xtra-Link will be providing the technology and links to the tracker can be found on

Read more on:    yachting

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