Please select your home edition
Edition
Musto 2017 728x90 Surefooted

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

Pioneering #LifejacketSafe newspaper
Crewsaver continues to lead the way in lifejacket safety Crewsaver is delighted to announce the publication of the first issue of its #LifejacketSafe newspaper. Packed full of lifejacket safety tips, guest articles and games, the newspaper aims to highlight the importance of the trusted lifejacket. Posted on 18 Sep
CYCA's Blue Water Pointscore is back for Race 2
92-nautical mile offshore challenge out of Sydney Harbour Saturday morning will see a fleet of 23 yachts line up on Sydney Harbour for the start of Race 2 of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Blue Water Pointscore (BWPS), the Flinders Islet Race. Posted on 14 Sep
JOG Cowes – Not Poole – Cowes Races
A wise decision to keep racing in the Solent Due to the weather forecast for Sunday morning suggesting (that setting a start line for the return leg of the JOG Cowes to Poole and Poole to Cowes races would be extremely difficult, racing was kept in the Solent over the weekend. Posted on 12 Sep
Boat Wraps, MacGlide & Propspeed
Protect your boat in more ways than one Grapefruit Graphics are more than just a Marine Graphics company... we install high quality vinyl hull wraps, and are the exclusive UK suppliers for both Mactac MacGlide fouling release film wraps and Propspeed; a fouling release propeller coating. Posted on 11 Sep
Royal Southern YC September Regatta
Including the Contessa 26 Nationals The Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series came to a conclusion with the September Regatta, incorporating the Contessa 26 National Championship. Posted on 11 Sep
Hempel Weymouth Regatta 2017
Including the IRC Spinlock Southern Championships Last weekend, yachts from along the South Coast enjoyed a hotly contested IRC Spinlock Southern Championships as part of the 2017 Hempel Weymouth Yacht Regatta. Posted on 9 Sep
MS Amlin Awards 2017 Seamanship Trophy
At TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show 2017 MS Amlin, continuing 17 consecutive years as race partners of The Round The Island Race in 2018, will be presenting the 2017 Seamanship Award on their stand at this year's theyachtmarket.com Southampton Boat Show. Posted on 7 Sep
Early Bird Discount ends 7 September
For the 36th Hamble Winter Series The 36th edition of the Hamble Winter Series will hold fast to its renowned reputation of offering challenging Solent Racing, and providing a great atmosphere ashore at the Hamble River Sailing Club. Posted on 6 Sep
RORC Cherbourg Race
Lady Mariposa over the Moon Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Daniel Hardy, has won the 2017 Cherbourg Race, after holding off a strong challenge from James Neville's HH42 Ino XXX. Posted on 4 Sep
125th Burnham Week Grand Finale
Town Cup J/80 glory marks conclusion Digger Harden sailing the J/80 Glorious Fools with his seasoned team including joint owner Peter Jackson, Doug Duce and Tom Adams have won the coveted Town Cup, to mark the end of the 125th anniversary celebrations of Burnham Week, writes Sue Pelling. Posted on 3 Sep