Two yachts have finished the 2017 Cape to Rio race: Runaway, crossed the finish line at 03:04:15 UTC on Saturday 14 January and Black Pearl, who crossed the finish line at 01:35:13 UTC on Sunday 15 January 2017. At present they are also first and second on handicap.
The first South African registered boat to finish will be Lion of Africa Vulcan who, at 10h00had 269 nautical miles to the finish and if they continue to travel at 13.5 knots will arrive in Rio at approximately 06h00 – but that continuous high pressure offshore of Rio de Janeiro in Guanabara Bay could make the expected arrival time much later.
Traditionally the finishing yachts get a complimentary case of beer tossed onboard after crossing the finish line – nice with breakfast, or any other meal!
As at Sunday 10h00 15 January 2017 Port Elizabeth‘s Bailes family on Ray of Light have 973 nautical miles to go to the finish and averaged 181 nautical miles in the last 24 hours. If they continue at that rate then they have another 5.3 days of sailing to reach the finish on Friday 20 January at around 17h00.
As you will see from the tracking image taken at 10h00 today Ray of Light is the only yacht diving South back towards the rhumb line (that straight red line form Cape Town to Rio) – all the rest seem to be staying high in anticipation of the high pressure (no wind) which looks like it will continue camping just above the rhumb line for the rest of this week – except for Wednesday which shows favourable spinnaker sailing downwind conditions which will on Thursday convert back to broad reaching conditions. Friday could see some close racing as those more northerly yachts will have perfect downwind sailing conditions from Cabo Frio down into Rio de Janeiro.
We hope that Ray of Light has called the Southerly dive correctly, if not they will be stuck in no wind for a while.
Ray of Light is in the IRC Division 2 and competing against 5 other yachts. The official interim results up to 08h00 on 14 January show her lying in sixth place on handicap with 1146 nautical miles to go.
An interesting comparison is this one showing handicap positions, distance to finish (DTF) for each and distance travelled (NM to Rio) in the previous 24 hours:
- UCT Team Powered by B&G – 1036 (DTF) and 185 (NM to Rio)
- Raymarine Regardless- 1158 (DTF) and 169 (NM to Rio)
- Black Cat – 1189 (DTF) and 178 (NM to Rio)
- Blue Label Telecoms Skitzo – 1160 (DTF) and 190 (NM to Rio)
- First 40 – 1202 (DTF) and 168 (NM to Rio)
- Ray of Light – 1146 (DTF) and 181 (NM to Rio)
Ray of Light has the most onerous of handicaps in the fleet at 1.116 so has to sail faster and less distance to Rio than all the other yachts she is competing against. This is why we are wondering the reason for the ‘flyer’ as they dive South.
Ray of Light update received 14 Jan 20h00:
Right, so the pancakes that were up, went down 🙁
A wave rolled us as Heidi was pouring the oil, it all crashed to the floor & sent Heidi ice skating all around downstairs. Pancake mix has made a swift exit from the boat.
Finally we have had the S2 up most of the time. A full days labour in repairing the S4, gave us the option to give it a try again. Patches went up mid afternoon & held out perfectly. Unfortunately during a gybe, our new bowman Tammy got the gybe preventer around her thigh & got a nasty rope burn. First time that our big red first aid came out to patch Tammy.
We have been experiencing some of the infamous squalls. The first small squall provided light rain during the day. Midnight squall however presented 30 kts wind. Two of us on the deck, one full main, staysail & S2. We pulled it tight and hung on for the ride. Thirty minutes later we were left in the wirly light wind behind it. However, Mike & Siya experienced a similar squall last night, only it did not last for 30 minutes, but rather 3 hours! Wind in excess of 30 kts with big waves! The initial YEE HAA eventually sounded more serious like EASE VANG! EASE SPINNAKER! HOLD ON!! Two knockdowns later it was decided to call it quits.
At 12 o’clock or so, the call was made to drop the spinnaker. All hands on deck & the two sleepy teenagers pulling the spinnaker in from below decks. The Newly Patched S4 that held all day unfortunately ripped again!! Once stowed below, a tired looking Tammy asks politely “what is the time?” Someone answered saying 12:05,Tammy comments “see, nothing good happens after 12 o’clock”. Thanks Mr Tiley Sir?
Great fun yesterday was hoisting Siya along the end of the pole. He needed to adjust the luff tension on the spinnaker. He hasn’t stopped smiling since. Although the speedsters last night resulted in Siya sleeping for about 4 hours this morning on our stylish red & blue bean bags.
It was such a beautiful day, crew and boat needed some good cleaning. Badedas came out & the bucket. All were drenched, foamed & rinsed. Air dried and watched a squall fast approaching. Hard work for the crew indeed. Sail changes, gybes, more sail changes. Squall one….. Reef main, spinnaker down, jib 4 up. Each time our young deck hands jumping to help on the foredeck. Jenna on pole, Tammy on mast & pole. Sean on mast helping halyards run. Siya overseeing his young crew. Sean trimming the staysail & Tammy deploying it and furling it. Pleased to say that no wet spinnaker yet.
So, 2500 odd nautical miles done …… only another 1070 to go. We heading westwards again, long may it last.
Crew Ray of Light
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