Prodigy takes Cape to Rio line honours

2011-02-01 00:00

PRODIGY, skippered by Durban man Chris Frost, received line honours for being the first yacht to finish the 2011 Cape to Rio yacht race yesterday.

Line honours means the boat was the first to reach the finish line. However, that does not make it the overall winner.

According to the regulations, different boats have different ratings and a boat with a lower rating might be declared an overall winner without receiving line honours.

Prodigy reached Rio at about 1 pm (South African time) yesterday.

Frost’s father, Jack, said he had been agonising about the race because the crew had to anchor the yacht for about five hours after it became becalmed.

Updates on Prodigy’s Facebook site said they had wind on Saturday, but lost it on Sunday and finally crossed the finish line at 8 am (local time) yesterday morning to take line honours in the 2011 Cape to Rio yacht race.

The 54ft yacht completing the race in just less than 16 days.

Facebook updates said Prodigy ran into calm about 30 nautical miles from Rio, which stalled her progress before she crossed the finish line near the Fortress of Copacabana in lifting fog and in only two knots of breeze.

“It was like being stuck in a Formula One car without petrol,” said trimmer Craig Schweitzer.

“It took us seven hours to complete the last 500 metres.”

“It’s great to have a record-breaking race. It wasn’t quite as fast in finishing the race as the owner had predicted, but it was good enough for me,” he continued.

At about 1 pm, Chris wrote, “The most frustrating end to a yacht race … ever … period!!!

“With 0,5 nm to go and zero knots of wind, the tide turned against us … and we were going backwards.

“Had to put the anchor out for five hours with the finish line almost in touching distance.

“We are now under way again and inching toward a finish. Thick fog … zero visibility, and very very little wind!”

A businessman, Frost (48) was born in Durban but grew up in Pietermaritzburg. He is a senior member of the Royal Natal Yacht Club.

He learnt his sailing craft on Midmar Dam in Howick. His father Jack Frost, is a retired letters editor for The Witness.

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