A 50-knot south-easter caused their motor to falter and they reported sail and rigging problems near Long Beach, said Darren Zimmerman, Simon’s Town station commander of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).
“(The couple) were on the final stage of their voyage, and ran into problems just outside of the Simon’s Town harbour, having departed from there 12 years ago,” he said.
NSRI sea-rescue craft were dispatched and found them aboard their 45-foot yacht, Calypso, “drifting towards rocks”, said Zimmerman.
The rescuers threw them a tow line but they struggled with it, so two NSRI crew members were transferred to their yacht to help them rig the tow line.
Rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine 111 brought them into the harbour and berthed.
Crew from the False Bay Yacht Club had gathered at the berthing area to help tie Calypso up safely, Zimmerman said.
The couple reported three other yachts in trouble, with six struggling crew.
The NSRI rescuers worked for nearly four hours, from 7pm until 10.48pm on Friday, to help the four yachts to the safety of the harbour in the strong winds.
The others were two Spaniards aboard the yacht 45ft yacht Elusion, a solo sailor from France on the 30ft Westwood and three Brazilians aboard the 50ft Kantolou, according to the NSRI.