Cape To Rio 2023 | A Diverse Entry List – Sail+Leisure
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Cape To Rio 2023 | A Diverse Entry List

by Ingrid Hale
Cape to Rio 2023

The 2023 Cape2Rio Race starts in just a few weeks time. Although a smaller fleet than in the past, the race will be no less of a challenge for the diverse group of entries.

The Cape2Rio race takes place every three years between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. Hosted by the Royal Cape Yacht Club and the Iate Clube do Rio De Janeiro, the Rio Race, as it’s affectionately known, is a daunting but thrilling trans-Atlantic adventure. The 2023 race is the 50th edition of the Cape2Rio race.

Follow the race live here.

A diverse entry list

Keep the music playing

Ard Matthews is one of South Africa’s most prized singers, song writers and award-winning artists. Matthews launched his debut solo album in 2012 and his second studio album ‘Impossible Machines’ in 2017. It seems fitting that the boat that will take him from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro is named after this album.

The Impossible Machine (TIM), formerly known as The Howard Davis, was designed by Kurt Oehlman and built by Louw and Halvorson. It is a classic 66-foot wooden sailing vessel commissioned by the SA Navy in 1966, made of Mahogany on Oroko frames, with a 16-ton lead keel and approximate 200sqm sail area.

In 1971 The Howard Davis competed in the inaugural Cape2Rio race under the command of Captain Phil Nankin, and subsequently completed several Atlantic Ocean crossings to South America.

The Impossible Machine will represent a constant voyage of hope and ocean-saving initiatives and will naturally join the fight to reduce global warming and plastic pollution. She will promote the importance of strengthening the immune system, by educating people about the powerful properties that have always existed in nature,” according to Matthews.

Matthews has never done a crossing before, but he will be joined by a crew with vast experience from all walks of life. His team to date consists of Tavish McKenzie, Jules Lambert, Victor Kapurura and Joe Heywood.

Matthews will have a mobile studio on the boat with the aim of continuing his recordings while sailing across the Atlantic ocean, all while documenting as much as possible for the world to see.


Keeping it in the family

The Ray of Light, is no stranger to the Cape2Rio Race. In the 2017 Rio Race, Ray of Light was crewed by the Kavanagh and Bailes families. In 2023 they will be racing against each other, the Kavanagh’s and friends on Ray of Light and the Bailes and friends on Nemesis.

Siyanda Vato was part of Ray of Light‘s crew in 2017. In the 2020 Rio Race, MAZI Asset Management backed Siya and crew on Zulu Girl in the race. Siya will be racing his 3rd consecutive Rio race.

Sailing for new horizons

The Alexforbes ArchAngel crew is from the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy made up of skipper Sibusiso Sizatu (30), first mate Daniel Agulhas (29), Renaldo Tshepo Mohale (29), Thando Mntambo (23), Azile Arosi (22) and Justin Peters (21).

The crew was selected based on their commitment to the Academy programme and on their experience.

“Azile, for example, has a 100% attendance rate for the past three years,” said Jennifer Burger, Cape2Rio Race Administrator. “The team didn’t know the Rio race was an option. They committed to the program at the time because they enjoyed what they were doing.”

All crew members have their basic skipper’s ticket and three have their offshore skipper’s ticket too. The crew have completed several yachting programmes such as personal survival techniques, and competent crew courses. Justin and Sibu also completed a diesel mechanic course.

The Alexforbes ArchAngel is one of the smallest boats in the race, she will race to maximise her handicap.

A first mate with experience

Daniel Agulhas, the Grassy Park born-and-bred 29-year old has been sailing for more than half his life. This will be his third Cape2Rio yacht race. As a sports-mad teenager, Agulhas discovered sailing aged 13, at Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club.      “In 2008, I had the opportunity to join the RCYC Academy as one of their first intakes, where I started sailing bigger boats.”

Agulhas started to study physiotherapy after school, but the lure of the ocean proved too strong, and instead he completed a boat building course at False Bay college. “My current job is building boats for a company which does electronics on yachts,” he said.

He aims to better his previous results in the 2015 and 2020 races.

“Sailing is about the experience; it is never the same – you have different conditions and wind directions, and there can be problems with the boats. It is always a challenge,” he said. With the benefit of experience, Agulhas said he would counsel his crew members to hold back at the start. “This is a race of endurance.”

Sailing has taught him valuable life lessons, like commitment. “If you put your all in, you will get the reward at the end of it. No matter what you do, never give up! I am doing the race to give back what I got out of sailing. I hope to create the opportunity for others from my community to follow in my footsteps”, he said.


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