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Cape to Rio Hall of Fame - Lunch with the race legends

by Simone Balman 13 Nov 2019 05:14 PST 4-11 January 2020
Cape to Rio - Hall of Fame © Alec Smith / Image Mundi

On Monday, Cape to Rio 2020 Race Officer John Martin caught up with some very old friends for lunch, one thing that they all have in common besides their passion for the sea is the Cape to Rio Race.

The race has forged friendships that have lasted for decades.

John Martin, who is this year's Race Officer, besides as a competitor, has been actively involved in the Race over the years. He was Race Chairman in 2009 (to Salvador) and 2011 (to Rio).

During his ocean racing career of some 40 years, John Martin is arguably the most capped Springbok for Ocean Racing having been awarded colours 8 times. He skippered famous yachts such as Voortrekker II (Tuna Marine) and Allied Bank (both 60ft monohulls) achieving notable success in six Transatlantic Races; Two Round the World Single-Handed Races, winning three legs; State President's Sports Award (Gold) twice; Yachtsman of the Year - twice; three times winner of the Gordon Burnwood Trophy for Outstanding Yachting Achievements in South Africa.

Over the course of his illustrious career, John and Sir Robin Knox Johnson became firm friends.

In 1969, Sir Robin became the first person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. Along with Sir Peter Blake, he won the second Jules Verne Trophy, for which they were also named the ISAF Yachtsman of the Year award.

Sir Robin, Leslie Williams and their crew, which included Peter Blake, took line honours of the inaugural 1971 Cape Town to Rio Race. In 2007, at the age of 67, he set a record as the oldest yachtsman to complete a solo round the world voyage in the Velux 5 Oceans Race. In 1996, Sir Robin established the first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and has since worked with the Clipper Ventures company as chairman.

Also old friends, John and Bernhard Teuteberg joined the Navy at the same time and "slung hammocks" aboard the good ship SAS Jan van Riebeeck and they sailed Flying Dutchmen together as Midshipmen.

Bernard is older brother to Hanno Teuteberg who skippered "Broomstick" (a locally manufactured maxi) in the 1993 race managed to beat rival Parker Pen across the line by just five hours, to take line honours in a time of 15 days, 3 hours and 10 minutes - a new record time. Bernard crewed with Bertie Reed in the 1976 race on Voortrekker and is now retired as Deputy Chief of the Navy.

Hanno Teuteberg has not only won the Cape to Rio race, line honours once and twice in the handicap class, but has now also since retired as Deputy Chief of the Navy.

Between these four sailing legends, they have millions of sea miles under their keels, but the enduring friendships that have withstood the test of time and tides, can only serve as an inspiration to the younger generation setting out on their first #adventureofalifetime.

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