Winning Tanzacat 2012 was not simply a victory of another regatta, Team Boskalis riders Gunnar Larsen and Frank de Waard called it 'a lifetime experience'. Both sailors from the Netherlands were very much impressed by the beauty of Tanzania and the incredible sailing environment. Larsen and De Waard wrote the following report on an amazing African multihull event that finished last weekend.
Tanzacat 2012 podium
Sailing a catamaran event in Africa, racing with high tech Nacra catamarans between 1000 years old 'Dows' (boats used by natives sailors locally). That should be cool and it was. The Nacra distributor of South Africa had supplied us a boat, as ours was still on its way back from the F18 Worlds in Long Beach, America. With some 'wheeling and dealing' they managed to get us an Infusion just in time before the regatta started. The fleet existed mainly out of competitors from South Africa and many expats from all over the world that are active in Dar es Salaam locally. The hosting club 'Dar es Salaam Yacht club' still has its colonial touch as the members show a mix of nations.
The event included four days of fleet racing around the buoys and a long distance race called the Zanzibar Raid. We won 13 out of 14 fleet races and skipped the last one to leave the honours to the other competitors. Our competitiveness was a bit overwhelming and instead of creating a bigger gap between the rest and ourselves, we shared our knowledge with everyone else.
The fleet was sailing on Nacra's, Hobie's, Dart etc and we pretty much spoke with every boat owner for some 'hot tips' in trim, tuning or sailing matters. All very well received and it was the least we could do. Truly within the spirit of Team Boskalis to be open about all our tips and tricks!
The Zanzibar raid was a blast and very special to sail. It consisted out of five starts and we won four legs in total. The fifth leg went to Frenchy and skipper, making them happy taking this one. We were just nine seconds behind though and gave them a fierce run for their money. In a total of almost 15 hours of sailing we won the Zanzibar Raid with a total lead of 50 minutes over the second boat on accumulated time.
The reefs and coral coastlines that we have been sailing along were absolutely stunning and amazing. One stop-over was such a great one. Our waypoint was a sandbank that is physically not above water when the tide is high. We needed there to be in time as lunch was waiting for us on this magical white piece of sand in the middle of the ocean. Unreal!!!
It just kept on coming and we probably need a couple of weeks to digest all the impressions it left on us. Stonetown in itself was an experience as Zanzibar used to be a 'slave market' for the Oman sultan as trade winds. Lots of history there.
Anyways, this whole trip was an eye-opener as well as an experience for life. We can only suggest to everyone out there with a cat to go down to Tanzacat next edition to find out for yourself. We have spread the Team Boskalis and Nacra spirit down into Africa. And the other competitors were thrilled.
Top three Tanzacat 2012:
1. NED - Gunnar Larsen and Frank de Waard
2. RSA - Blaine and Pieter-Blaine Dodds
3. Tanzania - Al Bush and Don White