An armada of white sails cut across Cape Town's Table Bay on Saturday (January 16) as 59 yachts set out in the first Cape to Rio de Janeiro race.
An armada of white sails cut across Cape Town's Table Bay on Saturday (January 16) as 59 yachts set out in the first Cape to Rio de Janeiro race. The international field included many famous names, among them Britain's lone round-the-world sailor Robin Knox-Johnston.
Experts estimate the 3,500 mile (5,600 kms) crossing will take between 23 to 40 days to complete, depending on conditions.
Form is much more difficult to predict. On of the race favourites, the big 22-metre Canadian schooner Graybeard, skippered by Lol Killam, was one of the first to show clear after the start. Graybeard won her last race -- from British Colombia to Hawaii -- by the comfortable margin of four days.
Another favourite, South Africa's main hope, was the 17-metre yawl Jakaranda skippered by Bruce Dalling, who came second in the 1968 single-handed race across the Atlantic. But Jakaranda -- built specially for this race -- hit had luck today ( Monday ) as the race entered its third day. A broken rudder forced her to withdraw from the race when lying 11th.
Robin Knox-Johnston made a good showing in the early stages, and after 20 hors was reported in the lead in the British fibreglass ketch Ocean Spirit.
But the latest placing put the British entry in fifth place. The South African Navy sloop Voortrekker was leading the fleet on both actual and handicap positions.