Cape2Rio starts with a bang in Cape Town as 16 boats set sail for top honours

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All eyes are on the development crew from the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy, who are sponsored by Alexforbes in their historic bid to win this iconic race. (Photo: Supplied)
All eyes are on the development crew from the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy, who are sponsored by Alexforbes in their historic bid to win this iconic race. (Photo: Supplied)
  • The Cape2Rio 2023 race started in Cape Town on Monday.
  • The race will see 16 boats chasing victory.
  • The Alexforbes ArchAngel is a young crew to keep an eye on.
  • Just Jinjer's Ard Matthews will also be taking part in this year's race.

Cape Town offered up the perfect weather for the start of the 2023 edition of The Cape2Rio 2023 race on Monday.

The teams all left the Cape Royal Yacht Club early afternoon to line up for the start, and it was the premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, who fired off the cannon at exactly 14:00, signalling the start of this year's race.

The Cape2Rio yacht race began nearly 49 years ago and was previously known as the South Atlantic Yacht Race.

Sixteen boats are competing for the top honours in this year’s race as they sail 3 300 nautical miles to Rio de Janeiro, South America.

"Two are multihulls which are racing against each other, and the remaining 14 are monohulls which are competing against each other in a handicap system," said Jennifer Burger, Cape2Rio race administrator.

The ArchAngel

Alexforbes' ArchAngel, a monohull, will have the youngest average crew onboard, all of whom were trained by the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy.

Skipper Sibusiso Sizatu (30), first mate Daniel Agulhas (29), Renaldo Tshepo Mohale (29), Azile Arosi (22) and Justin Peters (21) hail from Masiphumelele, Khayelitsha, Grassy Park and Athlone in Cape Town.

Their sailing dreams of taking part in the iconic race came true when Alexforbes stepped up to sponsor their effort.

"It’s the day we have all been waiting for – the most exciting moment of my life," said skipper Sizatu.

"Our game plan is to stay more south on the Atlantic, closer to the coast to keep the wind with us. After Namibia, we sail in and go as close as St Helena, before changing course to stick with the winds," Sizatu added.

To prepare, the team took a few days break from each other, ahead of spending three weeks in close quarters on their 12m boat.

In wishing the team well in their quest for success in the race, Viresh Maharaj, Alexforbes Executive: Strategy and Customer Experience, said Alexforbes identifies with the team's pioneering spirit of determination to triumph over obstacles and challenging backgrounds.

"Their grit has embodied their personal journeys towards the starting line, which has been more difficult than the one from Cape Town to Rio. You don't have to be a sailor to connect with the symbol that these young people provide to us and we wish them all of the best in their race," Maharaj said.

The Impossible Machine

Singer-songwriter Ard Matthews, from the band Just Jinjer, is also competing in this year's race. He'll be racing on his boat The Impossible Machine (TIM).

According to a statement on the Cape2Rio website Matthews will be "joined by a crew with vast experience and from all walks of life so as best to safely represent the spirit of the race".

He will also have a mobile studio on the boat with the aim to record music while on the journey.

Supporters can follow along on the live tracker at www.cape2rio.live.

ALSO READ: 'The thrill of racing is what I like most about sailing' – Young SA sailor ready to take on Cape2Rio


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