​Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms Start today

07 October 2015

At 1600UTC (1300 local time) the Clipper Race fleet slipped lines and departed Rio de Janeiro in preparation for the start of the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.

The official start time for Race 2 to Cape Town, South Africa is 1800UTC (1500 local time), with the start line lying just off Copacabana Beach.

Speaking about the adventure that lies ahead for the Leg 2 crew, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston says: “The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms is when the fleet gets its first taste of really big weather. It’s from Rio to Cape Town and the speediest route is historically to go south, pick up the westerly winds of the Southern Ocean and use them to scoot in towards Cape Town.

“Getting down to those south-westerly winds can be tricky. You can get the South Atlantic High delaying you and if you try to take a short cut you will almost certainly get becalmed and slowed up. So it doesn’t seem logical to take the shortest route, but quite often in ocean racing the shortest distance is not actually the geographical distance, the shortest distance is the fastest one even if it is more miles. In this case don’t take the short cut, it seldom pays.”

As a South African-sponsored team, this race is of particular significance to IchorCoal and Skipper Darren Ladd is hoping it make a strong impression heading into Cape Town. Darren said: “This being effectively our homecoming leg we really want to do well in the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms. I love South Africa and Cape Town so am definitely excited to go back. Two years ago when the Clipper Race had a stopover in Cape Town I actually came down to see the boats coming in and then spent seven months there teaching sailing. So I know Cape Town well and Langabaan just further north.

“During Race 1 from London to Rio our attitude changed entirely. We got stuck in the Ushant Doldrums at the beginning and we were drifting backwards, falling into last place and all those sorts of things. We looked at each other and said winning isn’t everything but coming last isn’t what we want to do. It turns out we are really quite competitive.”

One member of the IchorCoal crew for this race is Rveida Lungelo Mthethwa, a 20-year-old from Gunjaneni, Mtubatuba who is one of eight young South Africans chosen to take part in the world’s longest ocean race as part of the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation.

Rveida is one of 218 amateur crew participating in this second leg of the Clipper Race, named the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms after the race’s Official Wine Partner from South Africa.

Before starting the adventure that entails crossing almost 4,000 nautical miles and spending more than two weeks at sea, Rveida said: “To be a young South African woman sailing into Cape Town is such a unique thing, I can’t really put it in words other than I am very proud. I am willing to do my best on the boat and help the team to win this race to South Africa because that is my home land and many people are looking forward to seeing the IchorCoal boat.

“When I come into Cape Town I want to feel like a queen because I’ll have sailed for almost three weeks and not many people around the world get the chance to sail a racing yacht across an ocean. Not bathing for three weeks is going to be a huge challenge for me. I don’t care about the waves, they are fine, but not bathing is a probably the most difficult thing for me. I’m looking forward to sailing with our Skipper Darren Ladd and the rest of the crew. I can’t wait to be on watch, I love the watch, the night watch especially.”

LMAX Exchange and Qingdao are anticipated to start racing on Sunday 11 October after repairs are completed following LMAX Exchange running aground while being delivered to another marina and Qingdao getting into difficulties while offering assistance. Race Director Justin Taylor has clarified why the incident does not attract penalty points. He explained: "These incidents occurred outside of racing and are not subject to penalty points which are specifically for racing incidents." The two teams will match race on an elapsed time basis so that they can be placed against the rest of the fleet in Race 2.

On the water team photos and race start images will be available as soon as we can after the start and there will also be a highlights video of race start made available at a later stage. You can re-watch a live video of the line slipping on the Periscope app. Just search @ClipperRace within the app to find it.

To read more about the challenge that lies ahead for the crew in the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms, click here.

The fleet will be berthed at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. To find out more about the Mother City, click here.

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