CAPE TO RIO BONANZA FOR LOCAL SHIPYARD

Incoming vessels already making their presence felt in Cape Town

The race hasn’t started yet but Cape Town is already winning thanks to boat repair work linked to the famous Cape to Rio race, which set sails from the Mother City on January 4.

City boat builder Manuel Mendes from R & M Boat Builders reports a welcome economic boost in the form of work on two Cape to Rio yachts, Maserati and Mussulo 40 – Team Angola Cables. Mendes says the work is a vote of confidence not just for his yard but for the entire local industry: “We have specialised skills and money-wise we are a very good option,” he told SABBEX. “It means that our quality is good.”

R & M also recently completed work on one of the world’s biggest superyachts, Aquijo, which docked beside the Cape Grace Hotel during October. “They (Aquijo) also chose Cape Town as a pit-stop because we do good work,” Mendes said, adding that the famous superyacht ketch might well return for more work in a year’s time.

The Cape to Rio boats require a range of services, including repair work on rudders and keels.  Said Mendes: “The work was definitely a bit more elaborate on Angolan Cables.”

Earlier this year Mendes reported a yard milestone with two simultaneous superyacht commissions in the Robinson dry dock. “That was a lot of work, especially as cradles had to be made,” he said.

“All in all it is turning out positively for everybody,” he added.

A fleet of 25-30 yachts are expected on the start line of this year’s Cape to Rio, including a 104 ft Italian superyacht built in Cape Town.  The race has two starts: 4 January 2020 for the lower handicapped fleet, and 11 January 2020 for the higher handicapped fleet.  Prize giving takes place in Rio de Janeiro on 2 February 2020.

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