Boats taking part in the Cape to Rio 2020 race give a public sail-past and fleet farewell at Quay 6 at the V&A Waterfront. Photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
With a light westerly wind and a sun-drenched bay, perfect conditions saw a successful send-off for the smaller boats participating in the Cape to Rio 2020 race.

The Blessing of the Fleet and farewell held at Royal Cape Yacht Club and the V&A Waterfront saw supporters as well as mayor Dan Plato wish participants a good race and safe sailing to Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

The send-off for the larger boats is this coming Saturday.

By having two starts, the smaller and larger boats finish closer together.

Winners will be honoured at a prize-giving in Rio on February 2.

Now in its 16th edition, the Cape to Rio Yacht Race is South Africa’s premier ocean sailing event and is the only transatlantic race in the Southern Hemisphere.

It has been held roughly every three 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 (6670km), it attracts club and professional sailors alike.

The race is organised by the Royal Cape Yacht Club in co-operation with Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro and has attracted 25 entries this year, ranging from hard-core racers, family cruisers and youth teams to avid adventurers.

This year, Cape Town-based adventure charter company Allspice Yachting teamed up with renowned ocean sailor and Cape to Rio veteran Mark Wannenburg with the aim of making ocean sailing more accessible to amateur sailors and adventurers.

The crew of the catamaran Ronin consist of amateur sailors and clients of Allspice Yachting.

“The Cape to Rio race offers a unique platform for ordinary people to experience true ocean sailing and to participate in its fascinating history,” said Allspice yachting director, Gerrit Louw.

Cape Times