RCYC Academy crew make history in Cape2Rio yacht race

Five youngsters from marginalised communities around Cape Town made history when they completed the 50th Cape2Rio yacht race in an epic 24-day sea voyage.

Also read: SA students finish third in Cape2Rio

This comes after the Alexforbes ArchAngel docked in Rio De Janeiro with the first complete crew from the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) Sailing Academy. 

After nearly a month at sea, the crew from Masiphumelele, Khayelitsha, Grassy Park and Athlone landed in third position, giving their family, friends and supporters plenty of cause for celebration.

The crew, skipper Sibusiso Sizatu, 30, first mate Daniel Agulhas, 29, Renaldo Mohale, 29, Azile Arosi, 22, and Justin Peters, 21, were trained by the academy, which was formed to provide youth from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to sail.

The race saw 16 teams from South Africa, Brazil, India, Italy and the US set out on the 3,300 nautical mile voyage from Table Bay in Cape Town to Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro on 2 January.

In a close finish on Thursday, the Alexforbes ArchAngel was neck and neck with their closest competitor, Argonaut, only to finish 23 minutes adrift.

The overall race was won by Atlanta, followed by Ray of Light in second place.

The overall race was won by Atalanta, with Ray of Light in second position.

“This is the achievement of our lives, said Sizatu. So many years, so many obstacles, yet we kept moving forward.”

“Thank you to my crew, the RCYC Academy, our sponsor Alexforbes and our supporters. When we were down at sea, your support drove us. This one is for you.”

“For us, this was just a taste and our main goal was just to cross the finish line, but now we have an idea of what to do and next time we are going to push for first place,” he added.

The skipper added that he hoped to see an all-female crew from the academy participate in the race in the near future in an effort to further disprove stereotypes of the marginalised and underprivileged. 

“I knew they had it in them to do really well as they all, by nature, were extremely competitive,” said RCYC Sailing Academy manager Jennifer Burger. “Sibu, as the senior instructor at the academy, will be flying home next week.”

“We have students waiting to start the year with the sailing programme. Azile starts college, so will also be flying home.”

“At this stage the plan is for the remainder of the crew to bring the boat back to Cape Town after some repairs,” she added.

Also read: 

Cape to Rio: Disadvantaged youths join yacht crew

Picture: Cape{town}Etc Library

Best of the Cape – CapeTown ETC