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Vasco Da Gama Yacht Race

Vasco da Gama Yacht Race

Good Initial Interest Shown

Ocean racing is not for the fainthearted especially when it is along South Africa’s notoriously difficult East Coast. This is why the Vasco da Gama race has always had something of a checkered past as entries wane following a particularly difficult race the previous year.

It’s a tough 300 nautical mile ocean race between Maputo in Mozambique, and Durban in South Africa. The race is known for the tactical decisions skippers and their navigators have to make. Many refer to it as a “navigator’s race” due to the demands on the navigators as they have to weigh up the choice of course as the inshore option brings the possible land breeze and flatter water into account, whereas the offshore leg often brings with it a favourable current and stronger winds.

Despite some tough downwind conditions in gale force winds last year in the race from Maputo to Durban, initial interest suggests that a record fleet could be on the cards when the race starts on Thursday 2 May this year.

Yet despite its toughness, the race has a long, proud history and tradition, as do the host Clubs, the Royal Natal Yacht Club and Clube Naval. This year will be the 43rd running of the race.

The other factor making this race of interest to possible to competitors is the fact that the host club in Maputo, Clube Naval will be celebrating its centenary during this year. The Club always welcomes competitors who enjoy the Mozambiquan beer and fresh seafood.

Although no official entries have been received yet, the following have all indicated that they have every intention of competing:

Alkistis                          Paul Erskine                 Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey

Aquavit                         Ross McGill                 L34

Bellatrix                         Gregg Hurter                Beneteau First 40

Bellissima                      Vernon Goss                Hanse 43

Ciao Bella                     Mike Robinson              Simonis 35

Doughty                         Ryan Lotter                   Simonis 70

Flyer                             Brad Rayson                Beneteau First 10

Gazza                          Garry Warren               Mayotte 50

Kimaya                         Gavin van der Merwe     Fast 42

Phezulu                         Leo Kroone                  Fast 42

Southern Storm             Chris Frost                     Pacer 37

Spindrift                         John Banfield                R&G 40

Sticky Fingers                Rob Samways              MG 30

Yolo                               Dale Kushner                Jeanneau Sunfast 3200

Zap                              Graham Rose               L34

There are also some rumblings from the Cape with a hi-profile boat looking to enter, but wishing to remain anonymous at this stage.

There are always people looking to crew on the race, so if you need crew, or are wanting to sail, please let the race officials have the details.

One person who has already made contact and is available to crew is circumnavigator Ralf Dominick who can be contacted on:

Information may be obtained from:

Gayle at the Royal Natal Yacht Club (031-301 5425 or )

Organising chairman, Richard Crockett (083 265 3885 or )

Facebook: The Race has a presence on Facebook. Type: ‘Vasco da Gama Race 2012-2014’ in the search field and it will bring up the page.


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