Cape2Rio Draws to a Close

Sail News

With just four boats still on their way, it has been a long road to Rio for the fleet competing in this year’s Cape2Rio.

Larry Folsom’s American-flagged Balance 526 Nohri took line honors and a win in the MORCA fleet, finishing with a corrected time of 18 days, 20 hours, and 42 minutes. Second in the two-boat fleet went to Aventureiro 4, the Brazilian Outremer 51 owned and skippered by Johann Hutzler, arriving just over a day later.

In the ORC fleet, solo skipper Adrian Kuttel aboard the Namibian JPK 1030 Atlanta took an early lead and maintained it across the Atlantic, only to have the win scooped from them in the final miles by Ray of Light, a South African Beneteau First 44. After crossing the entire ocean, just an hour separated the finishes of these two boats. They were shortly followed by the Brazilian third place finisher Audaz II and the Italian Translated 9.

To see the fleet tracker, click here

One of the joys of following this non-professional fleet is the stream of updates from the boats, which include frustrations, humility, and a good dose of playful introspection. To give you a taste, here are a few favorites.


From Argonaut

“We are considering conducting a feasibility study on reefable spinnakers. The following questions arise:

  1. Would we need to drop from masthead halyard to fractional halyard or would we just fly it half-hoisted? Of course we could just clip on both halyards and at the appropriate moment switch out
  2. Is this going to be most useful for reducing sail area in heavy winds or reducing flapabililty in light bouncy conditions?
  3. Is North down to experiment..?
  4.  What is the courier cost to just off Ilha da Trindade
  5.  Does this count as outside assistance?
  6.  Would we need to rig another set of sheets to handle the reefing?
  7. Would these then be called sheets or reefing lines?
  8. Would the pole length need to change?
  9. If so, would a telescopic pole be best or an entirely different pole?
  10. How many reefing eyes would be required?
  11. Why is Conor looking at the skipper and navigator as if they’ve lost their minds?
  12. Why is Emily is pulling out the medicinal rum for the skipper and navigator?
  13. Why is Conor now trying to rig this up in his mind??”

From Felix:

“In the Comrades marathon they have a sweeper van that picks up the runners that Kan nie Meer. Runners refer to it as the vulture van, and if it follows you for any length of time you know you are in trouble. Felix is hopefully the van and not the runner. The wind will decide this. Doubtfire found the sailor frothing at the mouth at the helm today, demanding that the crew be woken to install the autohelm. A few tweaks on the sails, wind found the sweet spot, and the Kan nie Meer attitude evaporated. The Meerkat is up from her burrow and has taken on the baking challenge with Doubtfire. The drunken Miss C was flirting with the artist until early hours of this morning, and is today paying the price in this sweltering heat. His commitment to install the autohelm is unwavering, unlike his helming, and he had been put on a drinking ban. For those that know the Comrades we are in Hillcrest, making the cutoff in Pietermaritzburg is still in sight, and getting into the van is not an option.”

From Adventurerio 4
“The night before was the calm before the storm… this night at 2am we where literally hit by a sudden gust of 37 knots that caught us with all sails up (main and genoa). Only ½ hour later the wind subsidized enough to allow us to put 2 reefs on the main. In this meantime it was a wild ride with the Captain on the helm reaching speeds above 20 knots! Heavy rain followed during the whole night, and later on we put the 3rd reef and rolled half of the genoa. For the past 10 hours the wind has been above 30 kt and the seas build to 3-4m waves, some towering above the 4m… we are surfing the waves and have reached 22.5 kt! A real rollercoster! The toughest conditions on this Cape2Rio, less than 200nm from the finish. During this ordeal our computer got a corrupted file and stopped to be able to receive our much needed GRIB files. Without them we can’t update our routings and can’t decide the best routes to safely negotiate this storm and the calm that lies ahead. Yes, after this storm, we will need to face a calm before the finish! Those are the challenges of a sailboat race, specially a long one. Thanks God we have a sound boat and great crew. Our spare computer is already working and we were able to receive the weather forecasts again. They will prove essential on this last stretch. We just heard that Norhi has crossed the finish line. They sailed a great race and reached the well deserved Line Honors! Congratulations Larry, Norhi, kids and crew! We exchanged the lead a few times during the first 4 days of a much disputed race, but after that they showed greater speed and opened on us day by day, consolidating their lead. Well done guys! Sunday morning we shall be arriving in Rio.”

For more check ins from the crews and final updates on the scoring, click here

For SAIL’s preview of the Cape2Rio, click here

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