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Programme of events for Cape2Rio 2020 first start on 4 January 2020

by Simone Balman 30 Dec 2019 23:18 PST From 4 January 2020

The Cape to Rio Yacht Race is South Africa's premier ocean sailing event and is the only transatlantic race to take place in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been held roughly every 3 years since 1971.

This famous yacht race connects the cities of Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro across the vast South Atlantic. With a course length of approximately 3600 nautical miles (6670 km), it is the longest single intercontinental race in the Southern Hemisphere, and attracts club and professional sailors alike. The race unites the iconic, exotic and historic in an incredible cocktail of deep blue water sailing, and has attracted 25 entries, ranging from hard-core racers, family cruisers, youth teams, to avid adventurers. Records will be broken and friendships made.

Now in its 16th edition, this race will have two start dates: the first start for the smaller boats on 4 January 2020, and the second start for larger boats on 11 January 2020. Both starts will provide an exciting spectacle and showcase of our city. By having two starts, the boats finish closer together in Rio. The prize-giving will be held in Rio on 2 February 2020.

The grand prize is the "South Atlantic Trophy", which is awarded to the winner on handicap. In addition, there are prizes for the fastest participant, for a possible new record time and for the first on handicap in each of the sailing classes. The race is organised by the Royal Cape Yacht Club, in co-operation with Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro.

For more extensive detail and competitor information, please see the race website at See the start day programme:

10h00 - Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony at Royal Cape Yacht Club.

Welcome by RCYC Commodore, Neil Gregory.
Team Introductions by the Race Chairman, Luke Scott.
City of Cape Town Official Send-off by Mayor, Dan Plato.
Blessing of the Fleet by Padre Tony Bethka.
Firing of the Ceremonial Canon.

11h00 - Fleet personal farewell period at RCYC.

Once cast off, boats will muster at the entrance to the Small Craft Basin.

11h30 - Fleet Departure to Quay 6 in V&A Waterfront

The VIP Spectator Boat, "SetSea" and the Media boat will depart RCYC and lead the fleet to the V&A Waterfront in Alpha Formation (one behind the other).

12h00 - Public sail-past and fleet farewell at Quay 6 in the V&A Waterfront.

The Noon Gun will signal the start of the public farewell procession of the fleet and their departure for the race start in Table Bay.

13h00 - Last yacht leaves the V&A Waterfront.

All yachts proceed to the Start Area in Table Bay.

13h15 - VIP and Media Boats leave to view the start in Table Bay.

13h50 - Race start warning signal.
14h00 - Start 1 of the 16th edition of the Cape 2 Rio Yacht Race.

Spectator boats are most welcome to enjoy the start on the water, but must please keep well clear and monitor race communications on radio channel VHF06 whilst in the bay. Marshal boats have orange flags - please follow their instructions.

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