The Alexforbes ArchAngel crew seek to emulate the pioneering spirit of the first race by being the first team from their communities to make the crossing and, in doing so, act as a symbol of hope to all others who face the challenges of inequality, poverty and marginalisation.
Somewhere in the South Atlantic Ocean (10 January 2023) – We have just received an exciting update from the Alexforbes ArchAngel team who are currently somewhere in the South Atlantic Ocean.
In a uniquely SA story of hope, courage and grit, six young South Africans are making history in the iconic Cape2Rio yacht race, as the first complete crew from marginalised communities to do so.
The sailors, hailing from Masiphumelele, Khayelitsha, Grassy Park and Athlone in Cape Town, have been trained by the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) Sailing Academy and are sponsored by Alexforbes.
Their yacht, the Alexforbes ArchAngel, leaves Cape Town for Rio on 2 January 2023, sailing 3,300 nautical miles across the South Atlantic Ocean, relying not only on the crew’s skills but also on the support of our nation. The Alexforbes ArchAngel crew comprises skipper Sibusiso Sizatu (30), first mate Daniel Agulhas (29), Renaldo Tshepo Mohale (29), Thando Mntambo (23), Azile Arosi (22) and Justin Peters (21).
Life aboard the Alexforbes ArchAngel entails racing 24 hours, with the crew working in pairs – four hours shifts at a time during the day, and three-hour shifts during the night, while the remainder sleep in a hot bed system.
We’re only eight days into the race but we’ve received an exciting update from the team.
“We were all very excited as we started the race last Monday, and with a good slow start to the race, had time to settle in and adjust to being at sea for a long period. We have all gotten into the flow of four-hour shifts – Azile (Arosi) and I on one shift, Daniel (Agulhas) and Justin (Peters) on another, and our soldier on the boat Renaldo (Mohale) doing solo shifts with everyone checking on how he’s doing. Justin has battled with sea sickness but just kept fighting during his shifts. We have been sailing for a week now and everyone is very happy, although Renaldo lost his phone and instead of playing his music, is entertaining us with jokes.
Weather conditions at the start were very light westerly, which allowed us to settle in reaching out of Cape Town. By the first evening, the wind had turned north which allowed us to turn and head west which we did for two days, trying to also head north west at the same time the wind strength was 10 to 15 knots by day four we were in the easterly winds heading in the north west direction we were aiming for and making good ground towards Rio. We are currently on day seven, and the wind has died down to about five knots during the day and 10 knots at night.
The challenges we have faced was first trying to get out of Cape Town which we achieved with good wind and good direction, thereafter with the conditions being a bit bumpy. We had diesel spill in the boat and it was really tough to deal with trying to get the smell out and being all slippery; we are also having problems downloading weather forecasts so it’s difficult to place our boat in the right wind conditions. We also had battery-charging problems but we have figured this out now. With our first spinnaker hoist, we had a massive wrap around the forestay which took us 45 minutes to unwrap, but without any damages. On day five, we lost one of our spinnakers as it tore into two pieces, and the next day got a rip in our S2 spinnaker. So from here on, we are being more cautious with our spinnakers. Our rudder also has a bit of play while conditions are tough, but we feel we can get to Rio and will lift the boat when we arrive to check why this is. Other than this, we are pushing and moving forward to the best of our ability.
The mood on board is very jolly and everything is a funny moment. When you want to go to bed, you find Justin in it – he has tested every bed and finally declared that he has found the right one. I almost ended up taking a swim when the wind was very light but luckily, held on, which just shows that the skipper should not be found on the foredeck.
Off the start we stuck with the fleet but that only lasted the first night, after that we all split up with some boats heading straight west and some heading in a northerly direction, so to see another boat would be difficult. On day three we came close to Argonaught and had a fun chat over the vhf, but otherwise have not spotted any other boats.
After the first night we were positioned 13 but after that evening we fought back to 11th then eighth and at the moment we are fourth in the IRC fleet and fifth in the ORC fleet and we won’t stop fighting until we cross the finish line. None of this drive would be possible without the support from back home and we thank everyone for this – we hope we making you all proud.
Sibusiso Sizatu and the Alexforbes ArchAngels”
WOW! Go team. Wishing you all the best.
Supporters can follow the team on the live tracker at www.cape2rio.live
Originally published by The GoodThingsGuys.