Cape Town - Best known as lead vocalist of rock band Just Jinjer, Ard Matthews is preparing for an epic sailing experience from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.
Matthews is using a historic sailing vessel, The Impossible Machine Sailing Vessel (TIM SV), most famously known as the Howard Davis, a purpose-built naval training vessel built in 1965 in Iroko wood.
The Cape2Rio race is expected to start on January 2, 2023.
“This is my first ocean crossing. In June/July, I realised the race was pretty much half a year away and we’ve been trying to find a way, a reason, and a deadline to do an adventure like this, so I entered her and it’s been half a year of the most intense preparation I have ever done in my life.
“It’s been a struggle, but we are proud to say we are ready and terribly excited to go,” Matthews said.
The now recreational vessel, named after Matthews’ past album, Impossible Machines, is set to carry a crew of around seven.
“It’s 3 300 nautical miles but we’ll be following the mid Atlantic high pressure system which means that we’ll be heading up the west coast for a couple of days before we can turn around, and it’s predominantly a downwind sail from there based on past speed calculations.
“We estimate that we could do the race in 22-24 days if we don't hit any unforeseen circumstances,” Matthews said.
With an interest in the vast blue his entire life, Matthews has had a particular interest in sailing for about 15 years and acquired a RYA Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster License in 2010.
“I guess it's every sailor’s dream to do a crossing at some stage and so I saw this opportunity as about the best that I could do.
“It is definitely diving into the deep end and I’m very aware of my limitations but I’ve chosen an amazing crew to join me with vast experience.
“We feel confident that we’re going to have a very successful race,” Matthews said.
“TIM, then the Howard Davis, was part of the first ever Cape2Rio in 1971 and so 50 years later, we’re going to honour that legacy and take her across to show that she’s a capable vessel in capable hands.”