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.