Solo veteran John Martin arrives

In closing stages of SAP Cape-Rio race

Tuesday February 4th 2003, Author: Ronelda Visser, Location: Transoceanic
With less than 24 hours to go before the official cut-off of the SAP Cape to Rio 2003 ocean race at 13h00 GMT (15h00 SA time) on Wednesday, tension is mounting at the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club. Anxious supporters and race officials are now waiting on the thirteen yachts in the fleet, which are trying to beat the cut-off time.

VCR90.6FM are expected in later today and the other yachts still to finish are: Norwegian entry Barracuda (147miles), Madam Pazzazz (235 miles), 34 South @ Knysna (301miles), Big Reef (498 miles), Inspia!2041 (225), Scorpio (296), loveLife (429) as well as in the Rally fleet the PE boat Inyoni, Albacore, Cumin Thur, Nauty 40’s and Forsdicks BMW.

John Martin on board the Fast 42, MTU Fascination of Power, and his novice crew finished the race late Tuesday evening. A tired, but fit-looking Martin said in a telephone interview at 12h00 today (Wednesday) that he was delighted to be in Rio de Janeiro.

“We were a bit off the pace, but better late than never. We got stuck in a lull about four days out of Cape Town and it really took a lot of effort to fight our way out of it. I had to have a serious chat with the guys (a crew of novice naval cadets) and explained to them that this was what ocean racing was all about,” said Martin.

Reflecting on the 3400-mile race, Martin picked the second part of the race as his highlight. “After we came out of the lull, we had nine days of great sailing and the boat performed really well. I’ve really discovered some great talent on board and it was amazing to see how such a totally diverse group of men can gel together to form a racing crew. Handsome (Thamsaqa) Matsane was definitely the star of the race.”

Martin was one of the few competitors to escape the curse of Cabo Frio and managed a nice run down to Rio averaging about ten knots. “But then we had a terrible finish. The current turned on us and the boat was just going absolutely nowhere. It took us two hours to finish the last 5 miles - a very frustrating experience,” commented Martin.

After an absence of twelve years in competitive sailing, Martin mentioned that he was very sceptical about doing this race. “Although this is a stunning event, racing was not on my schedule. But after about two weeks on the water, I got the old feeling back and I was back to my old self. It really felt great and I’ve already chatted to the crew to look at doing the local regatta circuit once we’re back,” promised a fit-looking Martin.

After the interview, Martin and his crew were planning to go for a long, celebratory lunch. But Martin was adamant that he won’t be trying the local drink caipirinha. “I saw how much sugar they put in these things - it looked like about three dessert spoons. I’ve lost about seven kilograms during the race and am definitely not planning on putting it all back on in one sitting,” laughed Martin.

Handicap position, yacht, skipper, latitude, longitude, distance from Cape
Town, distance to Rio, distance covered in 24 hours, average speed.

1. BALEKA, Alex Schon/Wolf Seitz - RIO
3. INVESTEC,J McGraw/S Cumming - RIO
4. DIEL, Bernhard Diebold - RIO
5. VCR 90.6 FM,G Boshoff/H Karolius,23S,43.2.0W,3427,8,183.6,7.65
6. BARRACUDA,Nicola Amundsen,22.46.0S,40.32.0W,3289,147,161.9,6.75
7. JULIE III,Robin Green - RIO
8. SUIDOOS 2,Gawie Fagan - RIO
10. AUTO ATLANTIC T/Child,R & G Goldswain - RIO
12. HELSAL II, Bill Rawson - RIO
13. MADAME PAZZAZZ, Skeen/Hewitt, 22.46.0S,38.56.0W,3202,235,163.2,6.80
15. 34 SOUTH @ KNYSNA,Theo Beens,23.5.0S,37.44.0W,3143,301,160.7,6.70
16. MORNING GLORY,Hasso Plattner - RIO
17. BIG REEF, Brian Sutherland,21.56.0S,34.16.0W,2939,498,152.4,6.35
18. SAFARI - CTW,David Tideswell - RIO
19. MAIDEN, Terry Nielsen - RIO
20. FTI FLYER, Keith Mattison - RIO
21. INSPIA,Derek Shuttleworth,23.8.0S,39.7.0W,3217,225,175.8,7.33
22. SCORPIO,H Oliphant/J Dickson,22.13.0S,37.54.0W,3139,296,166.3,6.93
23. LOVE LIFE,Marion Cole,21.26.0S,35.39.0W,3008,429,165.8,6.91

1. NICATOR,Klas Nylof - RIO
2. ADRENALINA PURA, G Ehrensperger - RIO

1. AQUILA,Jon Thurlow - RIO
2. ACALANTIS,M Tattavitto - RIO
3. INYONI,HI Ferreira,22.46.0S,37.3.0W,3102,339,124.0,5.17
4. ALBACORE,Grant Saunders,23.13.0S,41.15.0W,3333,108,154.2,6.43
5. CUMIN THRU,Alexander Smith,20.35.0S,27.22.0W, 2769,892
6. NAUTY 40S,Falk Graser,21.55.0S,32.3.0W,2826,621,113.1,4.71

FORSDICKS BMW,Avelino/Dopke,22.33.0S,38.28.0W,3174,262,173.5,7.23

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