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MAC 24 Hour Challenge 2024 at Milnerton Aquatic Club, Cape Town - Preview

by Mark Algra 11 Mar 06:37 GMT 23-24 March 2024
MAC 24 Hour Challenge © Mark Algra

Sailors are preparing their boats for the annual MAC 24 HOUR CHALLENGE. This is the 25th attempt at the Guinness World Record for the most distance sailed in a dinghy in 24 hours.

Started in the United Kingdom in 1967 by West Lancashire Yacht Club and in South Africa in 1998 by Milnerton Aquatic Club. These are the only two countries to host this endurance sailing event.

Sailing Teams of 8 to 12 sailors in a team sail dinghies for 24 hours in an attempt to break the World Record.

Sailors swop,relay style every 2 hours for 24 hours and depending on the wind have a chance to break the record.

Sailors from South Africa have been sailing hard since 1998 to try and wrest the Word Record from the West Lancashire Yacht Club's sailors.

In 2000 a team sailing on a boat "Diel 2-Cell Guard" sailing in a very strong South Easter were just 2 miles short of the record.

South African sailors had to wait another 22 years for favourable conditions and finally a team on the boat "The Red Baron" smashed the record. Hard Sailing, Patience and Perseverance finally paid off.

This is an amazing achievement - now SA sailors are the official World Title Holders for the most distance sailed in a dinghy in 24 hours.

Sailors from the Sea Scouts, Youth Groups, Sail Training Groups and Yacht Clubs enter teams and sail their boats in the event.

The "CHANGEOVER BEACH" is a great spot for spectators and this is where teams change crews every 2 hours. There is always lots of action at the beach,especially when the wind picks up and a boat gets their change over wrong- and capsize right at the beach-much to the spectators delight - much cheering and jeering follows.

This year sees the inclusion of a 12 hour Challenge where sailors sail in the Daylight hours. MAC has an active youth sail training programme and 2 teams of young sailors are entering their very first 12 Hour Challenge. These sailors are very keen so please come and give them your support.

There will also be the Bar One Challenge which takes place straight after the final 24 HR hooter has sounded. This is an optional fun sprint Challenge for sailors who have a little extra energy left. The Bar One Trophy is for the extra hour - the 25th Hour.

The MAC 24 HR starts at 12 noon Saturday 23rd March, most of the boats sail through the night and finish at 12 noon Sunday 24th March.

If you are keen to enter a Boat and team, or to participate in this unique sailing event, or to assist the Bridge Crew as a "counter " please contact the MAC sailing office-021 557 7090.