Latest Cape2Rio entrants are inland sailors with offshore ambitions

The Vaal Dam and the Atlantic Ocean finally have something in common – in the form of two sailors based in Deneysville who have an affinity to sailing locations both big and small.

Hubert Saayman and Wynand Grovè generally don’t lose sight of land when setting off from Manten Marina on the Vaal Dam, but come January 2 they will be doing exactly that when they join the Cape2Rio fleet for the second time. They had to retire from the previous Cape2Rio edition after exceeding the cut-off-time, but they completed the race nevertheless – and received a hero’s welcome after towing a stricken yacht to safety.

They will compete next year as a double-handed team in a local L34 which they are currently prepping at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Last time they competed as part of a crew of four in a 34ft Van der Stadt.

The pair joke that they have been forced to compete double-handed “because no one else wanted to sail with us.” In a more serious vein they told Race organisers they had been awed by their previous Race experience and wanted more of the same. “We could not resist doing it again,” they said in an interview published in the most recent RCYC newsletter.

“Although they still regard themselves as newbies in the ocean crossing fraternity, with each having done two previous crossings, their idea is to double up on experience whilst also sailing back from Rio and hopefully being able to stop at an island or two on their return,” the RCYC newsletter said.

The 3300 nautical mile Cape2Rio yacht race is the longest continent-to-continent yacht race in the southern hemisphere. It attracts sailors across the spectrum of sailing as a sport – from those wishing to undertake an ocean passage to others enjoying the cut and thrust of competitive sailing.

The 2023 field is gearing up to one of the most interesting yet, with local rock star Ard Matthews also featuring in his newly-acquired boat ‘The Incredible Machine’.

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