It is with great pleasure that I can advise you on behalf of the Royal Natal Yacht Club and the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, that the 2018 Vasco da Gama Ocean Race, a 400 nautical mile race from Durban to Port Elizabeth, will start on Thursday 26 April 2018.
After the success of the past 3 races to Port Elizabeth, it is hoped that a record fleet will make the start line in 2018.
The RNYC now take control of this race for the next 3 years and have committed themselves to the race being run between Durban & Port Elizabeth.
The race course South has struck a chord with South African yachties as they can now compete without having to be concerned about foreign clearance as the race is ‘wholly South African’.
The course is a challenging one, as one has the fast south flowing Agulhas Current to consider, and sometimes strong South Westerly winds. The core of the Agulhas current can flow up to 5 knots at times, giving those who find it a distinct advantage. But, as the Agulhas current moves quite quickly inshore and seaward again, to find it and stay in its core is a challenge every keen navigator relishes. And that is not the only challenge. Navigators will have to choose between a seaward course with the possibility of current, and an inshore course that could bring strong land breezes at night.
It has also made it attractive to Cape sailors, as by the time they finish in Port Elizabeth they are already half-way home. Cape sailors have taken the major honours in the past 3 races, so they may well be back again to maintain their dominance.
The Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) is simply a superb place to finish as their hospitality and warm welcome is infectious and conducive to a great party after a gruelling ocean race.
“Our members thoroughly enjoy hosting the Vasco Race finishers and being part of this historic event” said Alan Straton, Commodore of ABYC. “We could also have 4 or more ABYC boats competing next year”.
The official Race documents as listed below are available for download HERE
or from the Race Secretary, Gill Campbell, HERE
1. Notice of Race
2. Entry Form
3. Schedule 1 – Safety Equipment & Scrutineering Check List
4. Schedule 2 – Trophy List 2018
5. Boat information sheet
6. Crew List
7. Deadline dates & info
1. Notice of Race. There are some changes to classes for the 2018 race, with the ORC handicapping system being used in the place of IRC. This change is due to the fact that ORC is gaining momentum in this country, and to get a certificate is now a lot easier and cheaper than previously.
The PHRF and Rally Classes continue as previously.
2. Entry Form. The entry form is an Excel Spreadsheet which we request all entrants to complete and submit as a file. Entrants are requested to complete the Excel Spreadsheet electronically and e-mail that together with a scanned copy of the original signed entry form and their proof of payment to the Race Secretary.
3. Schedule 1 – Safety Equipment & Scrutineering Check List. With Safety always a major concern, this document is included up-front so that entrants have ALL the information they require without any last-minute surprises.
4. Schedule 2 – Trophy List 2018. This race has a handsome array of fine trophies available to winners in the various divisions, and which have been won by some legends of offshore sailing in this country. Medals will be awarded to the crew of all boats recorded as finishers.
5. Boat Information Sheet. Some of the information previously requested on the entry form has been included in this spreadsheet. Plus there is additional info requested, all simply to let race organisers have additional information on your boat for safety and handicapping purposes. Please complete the form electronically and mail it to the Race Secretary together with your entry form – and supply a colour pic of the boat and a separate one of the skipper.
6. Crew List. This has been fine-tuned further and is also supplied as an Excel file. It must be completed electronically and copies of ID documents to be supplied electronically as well.
7. Deadline Dates & Information. This handy form simply gives competitors a schedule of critical dates and times by when information is required by the organisers.
Points of Interest
Rally Class. This class is aimed at permitting cruising type boats to compete safely and make the finish in good time to enjoy the festivities the Algoa Bay Yacht Club provides. The Rally Fleet may motor for 8 hours in every 24 from the start, and have unrestricted use of autopilots.
Multihulls. This is one of the few races which permits multihulls to compete in either a racing or cruising division. So, if you are a multihull owner, please give some serious thought to entering and being part of this classic ocean race.
The 2018 Race Tracking – Sponsored by GIMCO. An aspect of the race that simply blows people away is the incredibly accurate ‘race trackers’ which allows loved ones and followers at home to keep tabs on the race, almost in real time, with just 15 minutes between updates. The tracking service is supplied by YB Tracking and sponsored by Gutsche Investment & Management Services (GIMCO) who have committed their sponsorship again for 2018 due to the huge following the race received, and the positive feedback.
Request for Early Entries. There is an earnest request from the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Richard Crockett. “It always helps to receive entries early for a race of this nature as each entry helps build interest. The earlier we receive entries the quicker the momentum picks up and the more interest we receive. So, please submit your entries early”.
So please don’t delay and enter NOW!
RNYC Website. All the Official Race Documents are on the RNYC web page, plus additional information on the oldest Yacht Club in Africa. Get them HERE
Facebook. The organisers will be using Facebook as the key platform for disseminating information. This is the link HERE
Should you require anything further or have any queries please let us have them and the Race Committee will address them immediately.
Key Race personnel are:
Jimmy Melville Race Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Gill Campbell Race Secretary email@example.com
Manuel Souza RNYC Club Liaison firstname.lastname@example.org
John Tudehope ABYC Liaison email@example.com
Richard Crockett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chairman – Organising Committee