Slow run home

Unless you have a 60ft trimaran - Ronelda Visser reports from the SAP Cape-Rio race

Sunday January 26th 2003, Author: Ronelda Visser, Location: Transoceanic
Swedish trimaran Nicator has been tied up alongside the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club for nearly two days now and the locals are eagerly awaiting the Brazilian entry Adrenalina Pura. She has spent a very frustrating day as the notorious lull of Rio de Janeiro claimed another victim. Skipper George Ehrensperger reported on Saturday that they were approximately 90 miles away near Cabo Frio. This morning she still had 69 miles to go before reaching the Carnival City.

In the mean time, the race for handicap honours is on. Gauteng-based Baleka is still clinging to her top handicap spot with Investec close on her keel.

Crew member Dave van der Spuy e-mailed: “As of yesterday we maintained the handicap lead, closely pursued by a spread of our competitors. Hot competition is Investec, also a Fast 42 yacht that seems hell-bent on getting ahead of us. Each day we plot all the boat positions and calculate how we are doing against our nearest rivals. It was interesting to note that some of the boats in our wake were at last picking up some of the winds that blew us on our way and that they were making better daily averages than we did.

We are pulling out all the stops to get round Trinidad and to Rio as fast as possible. Our current winds are good for our optimum sailing angles that deliver the best speed. Crew morale is high and we banter constantly about a variety of stuff. We calculate that we now have only some 7 more days to go, before we have Rio in sight. After rounding Trinidad, our speed of progress will depend a lot on winds and the coastal currents down
the Brazilian coastal plain,” wrote Dave van der Spuy.

Gawie Fagan and his three-strong crew continue to push the little 9-metre Suidoos 2 very hard and has moved back up into third position on handicap. Fagan and the German maxi Morning Glory have both passed Isle de Trinidade. Erwin Boulard from the Madiba Racing Team reported: “The excitement today came from spotting a whale in the morning. The flying fish continue to entertain with their flittering bursts of life out of the surface of the ocean, and then there was a white bird with a long tail, which must have come from the island of St Helena.

"With the increase in wind it's harder and harder to sleep between watches. At speeds of over 10 knots the boat starts humming, a bit like the sound of a stopping train. Everything vibrates. We lean at steep angles and all the lee cloths are up. Lee cloths are the mats we can clip on the side of the bunks so we don't fall out. They get a lot of work at the moment. From time to time I wake up with more of my weight in the lee cloth than on the bunk.”

Fifteen-year old Tessa Behrens, the youngest competitor in the race and only female on board the yacht Diel, sent a short e-mail reporting on their progress. Skipper Bernard Diebold and his crew, which includes six pupils from Reddam House, are hoping for an upset by upstaging the professional sailors and get a handicap win in class A. “There is a very competitive spirit in the air, trying to maintain our place in the handicap ratings.
Living with twelve males makes for interesting experiences, especially since we’re packed like sardines. Emergency sail changes in the middle of the night, with no moon, are memorable, but not much fun. There is a buzz of excitement on board as we near the island (Trinidade) and we can't wait to reach Rio,” wrote Tessa.

“During the night the new spinnaker (worth approximately R30 000) was blown to shreds. It was damaged so badly that we decided to dump it. In this same process, some of the halyards also sustained minor damage. We’re now hoping for 15-20 knot winds, as we only have the heavy bag left and it cannot be used in light winds. We’re are also currently sewing like mad to repair what was left of the Avery Berkel bag, which we tore earlier,” said Tessa.

Pos Boat name Type Skipper Lat Lon DTF
1 BALEKA Fast 42 Alex Schon/Wolf Seitz 21 18.0 S 20 20.0 W 1294
2 INVESTEC Fast 42 J McGraw/S Cumming 20 12.0 S 19 42.0 W 1329
3 BARRACUDA Sun Magic Nicola Amundsen 20 45.0 S 15 35.0 W 1559
4 SUIDOOS 2 RCOD (Mod) Gawie Fagan 20 32.0 S 30 27.0 W 724
5 MADIBA RACING TEAM Leisure 42 20 20.0 S 20 28.0 W 1285
6 DIEL Bernhard Diebold 20 54.0 S 21 15.0 W 1241
7 MORNING GLORY RP 80 Hasso Plattner 21 12.0 S 35 29.0 W 441
8 AUTO ATLANTIC T/Child Lavranos 52 R & G Goldswain 20 52.0 S 22 59.0 W 1144
9 DALYS INSURANCE Lavranos 80 Mike Daly 19 36.0 S 22 54.0 W 1153
10 HELSAL II Adams 65 Bill Rawson 20 1.0 S 23 6.0 W 1138
11 JULIE III Miura Robin Green 20 33.0 S 24 36.0 W 1053
12 KONICA/MALLINICKS INDABA Stadt 34 John Levin 19 56.0 S 26 10.0 W 967
13 MADAME PAZZAZZ Far 38 Mod M Skeen / G Hewitt 20 47.0 S 13 41.0 W 1666
14 VCR 90.6 FM Gitana 43 G Boshoff / H Karolius 24 41.0 S 13 38.0 W 1693
15 FASCINATION OF POWER Fast 42 John Martin 20 45.0 S 15 45.0 W 1550
16 MAIDEN Terry Nielsen 20 31.0 S 16 31.0 W 1507
17 INSPIA Challenge 67 Derek Shuttleworth 21 26.0 S 14 38.0 W 1612
18 34 SOUTH @ KNYSNA Dix 46 Theo Beens 22 1.0 S 10 59.0 W 1817
19 BIG REEF Brian Sutherland 23 22.0 S 9 35.0 W 1899
20 FTI FLYER Charger Keith Mattison 20 28.0 S 21 17.0 W 1239
21 SCORPIO Islander 51 H Oliphant / J Dickson 21 35.0 S 11 35.0 W 1783
22 SAFARI - CTW Vicker 41 David Tideswell 22 30.0 S 22 5.0 W 1210
23 LOVE LIFE Lello 78 Marion Cole 20 2.0 S 10 47.0 W 1831
NICATOR Open 60 Cat Klas Nylof 22 59.0 S 43 11.0 W
ADRENALINA PURA Multi Cat G Ehrensperger 22 19.0 S 40 37.0 W 148
AQUILA H Rassy 42 Jon Thurlow 20 18.0 S 21 43.0 W 1215
INYONI Miura HI Ferreira 20 54.0 S 17 30.0 W 1452
ACALANTIS Roberts 45 M Tattavitto 22 16.0 S 21 54.0 W 1216
CUMIN THRU Barens S/Trad Alexander Smith 21 5.0 S 13 16.0 W 1689
ALBACORE Corrida Grant Saunders 20 49.0 S 18 33.0 W 1393
NAUTY 40S Roberts 45 Falk Graser 21 17.0 S 15 50.0 W 1545
FORSDICKS BMW Island Spirit M Avelino/H Dopke 21 33.0 S 11 44.0 W 1774

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