Cape2Rio – the First Night At Sea


by Richard Crockett

The staring cannon was fired at 14h00 by the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, setting the fleet off across the South Atlantic with Rio de Janeiro as the destination.

The first night at sea is never an easy one as it takes time to settled down, get into an onboard rhythm and generally acquaint oneself with life at sea.

I was interested to see that within a few hours of the start Adrian Kuttel on ‘Atalanta’, the only single-handed entry in the fleet, was making a dive south, while ‘Nemesis’ also took a similar route. I wondered whether this would pay as the traditional safe route is to keep “northing” for the first few days. Well surprised as I was then, I was delighted this morning to see their move pay as they have swung up and around and ahead of the fleet to take an almost 20 nautical mile advantage on the fleet. This puts ‘Nemesis’ just 2nm closer to Rio in terms of line honours than ‘Atalanta’ – both being monohulls. Today will be a critical day for them as the updated position reports will, throughout the day, show whether they maintain or extend that early advantage as they have transitioned a light patch and should be in some good winds for the rest of the day.

Much further north on the traditional route are the monohulls ‘Tarini’ and ‘Ray of Light’. This is the safe route, and has often been the race winning route although it is far to early to even consider that especially as they have a light patch to traverse today, as do most of the fleet.

Interestingly, streaking along at the front of the fleet are two multihulls, ‘Norhi’ and ‘Aventurerio 4′ on similar trajectories and making good boat speeds of 13,8 and 11,4 knots respectively. Talk about being off like the proverbial robbers dog! The have wind and a big 50nm jump on the fleet.

And by the way, for those interested in the handicap results this early, a bunch of inland sailors on the L34 ‘Nyamezela’ are leading the fleet.

It’s early days yet as the fleet has not even been at sea for 24 hours, so there will be big swings on the leader board as each boat settles into their chosen routes and life at sea.


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