Ready to set sail in Cape2Rio event

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LISA ISAACS

FOR 36 crews wait­ing with bated breath to set off from Cape Town in the Cape2Rio Yacht Race on Jan­uary 4, yes­ter­day was a chance to meet the com­pe­ti­tion for the first time.

The Royal Cape Yacht Club was alive with ac­tiv­ity and ex­cite­ment at the pre- race event, but most of the crews were qui­etly check­ing out their most se­ri­ous threats in the 3 600-nau­ti­cal mile voy­age.

It will be the sev­enth race for 72- year- old John Levin, whose first was in 1971. He said al­though his boat was the small­est in the fleet of 36, he was op­ti­mistic about his chances of do­ing well.

While Levin brings ex­pe­ri­ence to the race, oth­ers bring youth and ex­cite­ment.

Bradley Robin­son, 22, from the Amtec Wits team, is par­tic­i­pat­ing as one of the cur­rent and alumni mem­bers of the Wits Univer­sity Yacht Club.

He pre­vi­ously en­tered in 2011 as part of a fam­ily team. He says his team’s chances are good, al­though they’re com­pet­ing against the best. But one of their ma­jor chal­lenges would be spend­ing an es­ti­mated 21 days on a small boat with their six-per­son team, he said. The worst part of the race was over – be­ing pre­pared and get­ting into the ac­tual race. From here on, they just needed to sail well.

Cou­ples team Ian and Elske Hen­der­son said the race had pro­vided not only a chance for them to travel to­gether, but also to show their two young daugh­ters, Lola, 4, and Zazzie, 7, other cul­tures.

They will par­tic­i­pate aboard Isla, which Ian built.

Pre­vi­ous par­tic­i­pants agree that the race is a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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