by Richard Crockett
The iconic Cape to Rio Race started yesterday, well the first start anyway, with the smaller and slower boats getting off a week ahead of the main contenders.
Conditions were flawless at the start in warm conditions and with a light Westerly wind blowing.
These ideal conditions did not last long as before the fleet even reached the Dassen Island area the wind dropped considerably and they spent an agonising night in sight of Table Mountain and with little to no wind. And it’s not going to get much better as light winds are forecast for most of today. With some 3600 nautical miles to sail, the last thing anyone wanted, nor needed, was windless conditions within sight of the start line. Since the start the slowest boat, ‘Myrtle of Bonnivale’, has covered just 42 nautical miles, and the leader, ‘Mojie I’, 67nm. How thoroughly demoralising!
The best way to follow the race is via YB Tracking where positions will be updated every 4 hours. YB Tracking provides a mine of information on each and every single boat – and is worth logging in to every 4 hours.
At the 04h00 update, having hugged the coast up towards Dassen Island, the bulk of the fleet started heading seaward in the search of wind, although some continued up the coast in the vein hope of find some breeze close in. But with boat speeds in the 2 – 3 knot range they were simply not going anywhere fast.