Tough race for yachts

2016-04-07 06:00

Ocean racing is not for the faint-hearted especially when it is along South Africa’s notoriously difficult East Coast.

But the Vasco da Gama Ocean Race on South Africa’s East Coast has stood the test of time and has been going since 1968. This year is the 45th running of the race.

That’s a massive achievement as overnight and long distance racing in our country has become almost non-existent in recent years.

A total of 17 yachts have entered in this years race and organisers are expecting to breach the 20 entry limit by the time that late entries close on 15 April 2016.

This year’s race will start on Saturday, 23 April - the course being from Durban to Port Elizabeth - a distance of 400 nautical miles.

Despite its toughness, the race has a long, proud history and tradition, as do the host Clubs, the Point Yacht Club and the Algoa Bay Yacht Club.

This year the yachts will once again be equipped with YB Tracking satellite trackers thanks to Phil Gutsche of GIMCO (Gutsche Investment & Management Company), who has again generously sponsored this aspect of the race.

Transmitting every 15 minutes, the trackers will relay several packets of data, including GPS position, speed and direction. So, friends and family left on shore can easily follow the progress of the entire fleet, or just an individual boat.

Last year the Algoa Bay Yacht Club welcomed the fleet in a warm and friendly manner. It is tradition in the Vasco da Gama Race that there will be hot breakfast on arrival, irrespective of the time of day or night. The breakfast is sponsored by SPAR Eastern Cape.

(-Reporter)

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