3 of several destination/trip articles written for https://www.spartanoceanracing.com/
The Cape2Rio is a world-class offshore sailing race like no other. Steeped in tradition, it is without question the southern hemisphere’s premium sailing event, attracting huge international attention since its inception in 1971.
Join us on this epic adventure as we dash across the blue waters of the South Atlantic from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.
The race starts on January 2, 2023, but you’ll want to arrive early in Cape Town – the iconic port city on the southwest coast of South Africa. Make your trip truly memorable by allowing for time to stroll beautiful white sand beaches and explore the many historic landmarks. With majestic Table Mountain as its backdrop, take in the old-world charm of the waterfront where you’ll be spoiled for choice with international and local cuisine eateries.
Your adventure includes a four-day training session before the start of the race. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a novice, there is a sense of excitement and pre-race anticipation as we bring everyone up to speed with our high levels of safety awareness and offshore crew management systems. Together we will discuss tips and strategies to push the boat fast.
Every three years we prepare for this prestigious race that attracts crews from all over the world. At 3300 nautical miles, it’s the longest continent-to-continent yacht race in the southern hemisphere, demanding tactical seamanship and weather-savvy skill.
After leaving Table Bay, it’s a non-stop trek across the South Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro – the chosen destination as it allows for a pleasing down-wind race. However, the skippers are challenged with a critical decision: do they follow the stronger trade winds or gamble on the more direct route to South America with the possibility of lighter winds? Make no mistake, for approximately three weeks we’ll be racing our hearts out and having the time of our lives!
It’s an incredible moment as Rio comes into view and you realize the race is ending but the memories will last a lifetime. Your journey has brought you to the shimmering capital city of Brazil, known as the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City), a title that does not disappoint. Relive the thrill of the race as you take in the golden beaches, lush mountains, and samba-fueled nightlife.
If the Cape2Rio Race is on your ‘bucket list’, do it in style with a World Class Skipper, a Pedigree Race Boat and full safety & deck operations training – all at a great price.
MARCONI TRANSAT JULY 20, 2022
In 1901, a historical event happened at Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Guglielmo Marconi received the first wireless transmission ever made across the Atlantic. It came from the Marconi Transmitter Station at Poldhu, just outside the port of Falmouth in the UK, 1901 NM away.
In the iconic Cabot Tower atop Signal Hill, Marconi huddled over his equipment, struggling for hours, and finally through the background static, he managed to pick out the faint clicks of the Morse letter ‘S’ being sent all the way from England. In that moment, he ushered in a new era of wireless global communication and connectivity; effectively creating the very foundations of the data-dependent world we live in today. The Marconi Transatlantic Voyage is a race that celebrates Marconi’s outstanding achievement.
Start your adventure in the vibrant, historic city of St. John’s with a well-earned reputation for humour, musical talent, and friendly locals. Don’t miss the colourful jellybean row houses and legendary George Street, packed with bars and eateries.
The event leaves from a “start” line under Signal Hill in St. John’s harbour. As we follow the rugged coastline, keep an eye out for seabirds. With over 400 species of birds including the famous Atlantic puffin, St. John’s is considered the seabird capital of North America.
Our offshore trip follows the path of that famous landmark transmission in reverse for 1901 NM – the shortest possible route across the Atlantic. We’ll be sailing 60ft yachts and the crazy thing is… you could be at the helm of one of them! Onboard Spartan Ocean R/T boats, all the crew do all the jobs, all the time. Good or bad. With boat speeds of 25+ knots, these 60ft missiles can leap clear of the cold Atlantic swells. It’s sure to be the drive of your life!
With no land in sight for days, we’ll watch for the welcoming beacon of the 18th century Lizard Lighthouse on the most southern tip of Britain. Our “finish” line is Poldhu Cove in Cornwall, England where the first transatlantic radio signal was sent. Here you will find miles of coast and countryside, beaches, and wildlife both at sea and on land. There are several walks to explore – a great way to stretch your legs after being at sea.
EAST COAST FLYER MAY 2022
Your journey begins in blissful Bermuda, where wide crescents of pink sand beaches and hidden coves are tucked along this Caribbean island's dramatic coastline. You’ll want to arrive early to let sun, sand and sea melt your cares away.
Make your way to historic St. George’s where you’ll step back in time as you stroll the centuries-old brick streets. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site complete with colonial buildings, an 18th century town hall, and notable landmarks like St. Peter’s Church, founded in 1612. It is here in this iconic setting that we prepare for the voyage.
Your adventure includes a three-day training session that takes you through all aspects of safety on board. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a novice, there is a sense of anticipation as we bring everyone up to speed with how things work on deck before we set sail.
Take in the view as we leave beautiful St. George’s and navigate the narrow passage known as Town Cut to get offshore. We’ll head out around the reefs to the north and point the bow for Nova Scotia.
We’re likely to see flying fish in the early part of our journey while we’re still in warmer waters. They can ‘fly’ up to 50 metres and occasionally land on deck! Keep an eye out for Ribbon Seals to pop up or playful dolphins as they ride the stern and bow waves. If we’re lucky, we’ll even spot a humpback whale displaying its fluked tail.
This will be an exciting 750 Nm open ocean passage, in deep Atlantic waters the whole way. The adventure intensifies when we encounter stronger winds and bigger seas with the transition from warm waters of the Gulf Stream to cold waters fed by the Labrador Current along the coast.
It’s always an amazing experience to see a shoreline from a distance and Lunenburg does not disappoint. The “Ovens” (sea caves) are the first natural features to be seen and then details start to appear as we near the incredible natural harbour of Lunenburg and catch a glimpse of the colourful 18th and 19th century buildings on the waterfront.
Like St. George’s, Lunenburg is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was established in 1753 and by the 19th century the town had evolved as a major centre for offshore fishing. Lunenburg yards specialized in building fishing schooners – the most famous being the Bluenose which was built in 1921. If our timing is right, the Bluenose II, an exact replica of the original, will be in port when we arrive.
You’ll be ready to stretch your legs and explore this charming town filled with art galleries, book shops, a terrific maritime museum, unique shops, and amazing restaurants. Did we mention that lobster is available and delicious throughout Nova Scotia year-round? Enjoy fresh seafood and friendly locals as you reminisce about your adventures on the high seas.
5 of several articles written for the Bridgewater & Area Chamber of Commerce
(interviews conducted and photos taken)