Vato, from Durban, is one of the youngest black skippers at the Cape2Rio which begins at the V&A Waterfront today.
He will lead a seven-member crew in the 16th edition of the longest continent-to-continent yacht race which ends in Rio de Janeiro later this month.
Zulu Girl Racing, powered by Mazi Asset Management, is among seven yachts who will compete in the second start which is for the faster and higher handicap boats. The first race, for the cruising and lower handicap boats, began last week.
“My expectations are pretty high as we got a competitive boat, a strong crew and a company which is backing us a lot.