Tough race predicted for 11 yachts in Vasco da Gama

2014-06-19 00:00

ELEVEN yachts and crew are expected to sail from the Mozambique capital Maputo at 9 am this morning in a 300 nautical mile (about 500 km) race to Durban.

The boats are taking part in the 45th Vasco da Gama Race hosted by the Royal Natal Yacht Club.

Sophie Thompson, who covers the race on behalf of the club, said weather predictions would ensure it would be a tough slog for the 11 yachts.

The sailors will race around Inhaca Island and tackle the elements offshore. The conditions they will battle include south-westerly winds nearing 40 knots with big swells, she said via e-mail.

The navigators will more than likely opt for keeping close to the shore and not heading out towards the strong Aghulas current as the sea conditions will not be friendly.

Thompson said the fleet is due in Durban in the late hours of tomorrow night or the early hours of Saturday morning. However, the cut-off time is 9 am on Sunday.

Prize giving for the winners will take place at the Royal Natal Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon once all the boats are back safely in Durban, she said. Participants in the race are coming from as far as Cape Town with the majority made up of Durban residents.

As a warm-up to the voyage, the fleet participated in the annual Mohante Race yesterday. — Witness Reporter.

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