Brave sailors seas the day as part of thrilling con­test


Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRINKING - JBJ REPORTER

EV­ERY three years some of the fastest yachts take to the seas for a thrilling race around the world.

The Volvo Ocean Race is staged over a to­tal dis­tance of about 37 000 nau­ti­cal miles, so it’s a long, long way to go on a sail­ing boat. There are six yachts and nine legs in the race.

The yachts sailed from Ali­cante, Spain on Novem­ber 5 to Cape Town, the first leg of the race. There will be a 17- day stopover be­fore the race gets un­der way to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emi­rates.

A race vil­lage has been set up at the V&A Wa­ter­front. There is a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme for chil­dren where they can learn how to keep the oceans clean, in­for­ma­tion on all the dif­fer­ent coun­tries in­volved in the race and what it’s like to sail on these boats for months at a time.

The vil­lage is also an ex­cit­ing venue to see the boats in and out of the water. The vil­lage in­cludes ac­tiv­i­ties for the whole fam­ily such as a 3D cinema, a race sim­u­la­tor, an environment ex­hi­bi­tion, chal­lenges and a va­ri­ety of live en­ter­tain­ment.

There will also be an al­ba­tross called Wis­dom, which will teach chil­dren in ev­ery port how im­por­tant it is to look af­ter all sea birds. The ocean is their play­ground, as it is for the Volvo Ocean Race sailors.

Lisa Duthie, spokes­woman for the Cape Town leg of the race, said that each boat had a team of 11 sailors, who were very fit and strong. They were some of the world’s best sailors, she said.

Each team has its own colours.

“They are some­times on the boats for 20 days at a time. They have to en­dure all types of weather con­di­tions, like rough seas and heavy winds. The men can get very cold. Some­times there is no wind and it gets very hot.”

Each sailor has a spe­cial job to do on the boat. They all need to work like a team to make the boat go as fast as pos­si­ble.

She said they also eat spe­cial food dur­ing the race be­cause there was lim­ited space on the boats and the kitchen was very small.

“When the boats reach land, the sailors are very happy to see their fam­i­lies and they can get a good rest.”

There were also teams on shore, called the shore- team. They were re­spon­si­ble for fix­ing any dam­age to the yachts and mak­ing sure they were ready to race again.

The yachts are made of spe­cial ma­te­rial to keep them very light and strong. This means they can go very fast.

“The sailors de­scribe the ex­pe­ri­ence like be­ing on a train on the water. Although if there are strong winds, it can be very scary. They also need to be care­ful not to smash into pieces of junk in the water, be­cause the yachts are so fast that the men can be hurt.” She said the yachts were not very com­fort­able to live in; the sleep­ing area and kitchen ar­eas were very small, and the boats usu­ally moved around a lot in rough seas, so it was not easy to re­lax. Sailors also did not get much sleep, she said, but they man­aged be­cause they were ex­tremely fit.

The yachts have spe­cial ra­dios that can tell peo­ple on the land ex­actly where they are all the time. Even if the sailors think they are lost, the ra­dio will send a sig­nal to men on the land, and they will know where the boat is.

The other cities and coun­tries the races stops over at af­ter Abu Dhabi in­clude: Sanya in China; Auck­land in New Zealand; Ita­jai in Brazil; Mi­ami in the US; Lis­bon in Por­tu­gal; and Lori­ent in Brit­tany. The last leg is to the fin­ish in Gal­way, Ire­land.

The Keep the Oceans Clean team will help to clean beaches in ev­ery place that the boats stop, so that Wis­dom and his friends have a clean beach to play on.

Four ’Beans stand a chance to win a prize for four kids to go for a ride on the fer­ris wheel at the V&A while the vil­lage is open, fol­lowed by a tour through the race vil­lage where they will be taught about the boats and the race. Sim­ply an­swer this ques­tion and SMS the an­swer, your name, sur­name and age to “34445”.

Ques­tion: called?

Fact­file: The Life­cy­cle of rub­bish:

Cig­a­rette butts: with fil­ter one to two years and with­out a fil­ter three to four months Plas­tic bag: 450 years Plas­tic bot­tle: 100 to 1 000 years Glass bot­tle: 4 000 years Alu­minium can: 200 to 500 years

Tin can: 10 to 100 years

What is the race

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