Please select your home edition
Edition
Lennon Thermalite 728x90 1

2014 Cape to Rio Race - Preview

by Louay Habib on 30 Dec 2013 4 January 2014
Cape to Rio Course: Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro 3300nm © Cape to Rio

The Cape to Rio Race sponsored by Xtra-Link and organised by the Royal Cape Yacht Club is one of the world's oldest, longest and toughest ocean races.

Although the race has finished in other South American destinations, the first Cape to Rio Race took place in 1971, pre-dating the Whitbread Round the World Race. The rhum line is 3300 miles across the Southern Atlantic, the vast expanse of desolate ocean is notorious for high winds and big seas and tactically there are many strategic decisions right from the start. Leaving Table Bay, the shallow waters of the African continental shelf and the wind shadow from Table Mountain can create a mogul field of Atlantic swell. 200 miles from Cape Town, the South Atlantic High must be negotiated and deep into the South Atlantic, mountainous seas can rear up propelled by ocean currents, storm force winds are a regular occurrence.

The finish in Rio de Janeiro can be tense, land effects can cause sudden changes in the wind and waves, a shifty light breeze with a confused sea state is a likely scenario to conclude a long and arduous race. Many of the yachts will spend over two weeks at sea, the Cape to Rio Race is a true test of seamanship, perseverance and determination.

36 yachts will cast off from Cape Town on January 4th with race crew from all over the world. A variety of yachts will be lying the flags of eight different countries; Angola, Australia, Croatia, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy and South Africa.

Giovanni Soldini's Italian Volvo 70, Maserati is the hot favourite for line honours and is currently predicted to complete the course in 11 days. Soldini has taken part in over 40 Transoceanic races and has won solo round the world and transatlantic races.

"I have been dreaming of participating in this historic race since I was a child." confessed Giovanni Soldini. "The crew is ready and very competitive."

Volvo 70, Maserati has an all star crew and was in fine form this year, settiung a new record between New York and San Francisco of 47 days and 42 minutes. For the Cape to Rio Race, Maserati will have a highly experienced crew of ten, including Olympic Gold Medallist and Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Martin Kirketerp from Denmark and Frenchman, Jacques Vincent with eight circumnavigations.

Whilst, Maserati may be the first yacht to finish the course, the Cape to Rio Race uses the IRC Rating system to calculate the overall monohull winner. Robert Date's Australian Reichel Pugh 52, Scarlet Runner is one of the favourites and currently routing at 14 days for the race. The Australian crew sailed the yacht to Cape Town from Sydney and after the race will sail the yacht up to the Caribbean to take part in the RORC Caribbean 600 and several Caribbean regattas.

The Cape to Rio Race is the flagship race of the Royal Cape Yacht Club and 27 yachts from South Africa will be taking part. Including RCYC Commodore, Dale Kushner's Sunfast 32, Yolo (You Only Live Once). Yolo will be one of the smallest yacht in the race and the Commodore will be racing Two-Handed with his long time crew member, Ian Coward. The duo have competed in almost every single Offshore event in South Africa as a pair.

"It is anyone's race." commented Dale. "Conditions, good decisions and a bit of luck will the overriding factors. As always we are being very particular in boat preparation ensuring that everything is prepped properly in order to minimise any potential gear failures that we may encounter. We have three rules on board; To make a safe transatlantic passage, be better friends at the finish than at the start and sail as fast as we can - in that order."

Cape Town local and round the world sailor, Pippa Hutton-Squire, will be competing on one of the smallest yachts in the race. Arnt Bruhns' German Archambault M34, Iskareen was shipped to Cape Town from Hamburg, especially for the race.

"The Cape to Rio Race is the most famous yacht race in South Africa and I am proud and honoured to be taking part, especially as I am racing with a team from overseas. It is really important to South Africans that this race gets the international recognition it deserves." commented Pippa.

All of the competing yachts are be fitted with hi-tech DMR 800D trackers provided by race sponsor Xtra-Link and many yachts have broadband data capability and will be sending messages and images from the South Atlantic.

To follow the race visit www.cape2rio2014.com

Related Articles

Be part of the 125th Anniversary Celebration
Of competitive sailing in Burnham Week Burnham Week, which runs from August Bank Holiday Saturday offers a challenging week of tidal racing set in complex waters supported by a plethora of special venues and social support which could provide your class with a fantastic end of year. Posted on 24 Feb
Hap Fauth's Bella Mente declared overall winner
In the RORC Caribbean 600 Hap Fauth's American Maxi72, Bella Mente has been declared the overall winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. Whilst yachts are still racing, none of the fleet can beat Bella Mente's corrected time under IRC. Posted on 24 Feb
Cloudy Bay announced as Presenting Sponsor
Of the Round the Island Race Cloudy Bay has today been announced as the Presenting Sponsor of the Round the Island Race™ which is forthwith branded 'The Round the Island Race™ in association with Cloudy Bay'. Posted on 24 Feb
Epic win for Bella Mente
In the RORC Caribbean 600 The All-American Maxi72 battle in the RORC Caribbean 600 lived up to expectations with Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and George Sakellaris' Proteus enjoying an epic match race. Posted on 23 Feb
Rambler 88 takes Monohull Line Honours
In the RORC Caribbean 600 George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 11 hrs 56 mins 17 secs AST taking Monohull Line Honours. Posted on 22 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 Day 3
MOD70 Nail-Biter While the multihull race record was not broken this year, Phaedo3 and Maserati had an incredible 600 mile high-speed duel. Posted on 22 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 Day 2
More Argyll than Antigua After a champagne start to the race there was a huge change in weather conditions by the end of the first day. The low pressure system emanating from the north arrived earlier than anticipated, extinguishing the trade winds. Posted on 21 Feb
An Awe Inspiring Start
To the 9th RORC Caribbean 600 The ninth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. Posted on 20 Feb
Abnormal Weather for RORC Caribbean 600
The infamous 'It's normally not like this...' Wouter Verbraak will be navigating Grant Gordon's 72ft Maxi Cruiser, Louise for the RORC Caribbean 600. Wouter has competed in the Barcelona World Race, the Volvo Ocean Race on numerous occasions and is Head of Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics. Posted on 20 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 Welcome Party
Less than 48 hours to go to the start With less than 48 hours to go, it's a busy scene around the docks as crews prepare for the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 on Monday 20th February, but on Saturday evening it was time to officially open the race and welcome everyone to Antigua. Posted on 19 Feb