14 Days Into the Cape2Rio – Message From The Alexforbes ArchAngel Crew!
Photo Cred: Alexforbes ArchAngel

To our fans and families, we have been having good times and all your well wishes are coming through! We are closing in on our destination and it would not be possible without your support. We have been reading the messages that you all wrote for us – those messages have a positive impact on us and gives us added reason to keep pushing – much appreciated!


South Africa (17 January 2023) – Fourteen days in and we have just received an exciting update from the Alexforbes ArchAngel team who are currently somewhere in the South Atlantic Ocean.

In a uniquely SA story of hope, courage and grit, six young South Africans are making history in the iconic Cape2Rio yacht race, as the first complete crew from marginalised communities to do so.

The sailors, hailing from Masiphumelele, Khayelitsha, Grassy Park and Athlone in Cape Town, have been trained by the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) Sailing Academy and are sponsored by Alexforbes.

Their yacht, the Alexforbes ArchAngel, leaft Cape Town for Rio on 2 January 2023, sailing 3,300 nautical miles across the South Atlantic Ocean, relying not only on the crew’s skills but also on the support of our nation. The Alexforbes ArchAngel crew comprises skipper Sibusiso Sizatu (30), first mate Daniel Agulhas (29), Renaldo Tshepo Mohale (29), Thando Mntambo (23), Azile Arosi (22) and Justin Peters (21).

Life aboard the Alexforbes ArchAngel entails racing 24 hours, with the crew working in pairs – four hours shifts at a time during the day, and three-hour shifts during the night, while the remainder sleep in a hot bed system.

Fourteen days at sea, lots of hours and miles have been covered, and sailors are starting to feel it but the excitement is still going strong as we look at a few more days to go until the finish line.

The sailing this week has been super exciting with lovely weather out here and doing easily 7/8 knots boat speed. There is nothing that makes a sailor happier than having excellent wind conditions. And yes, at times, we get a bit bored and the boat feels a bit small, but we are still going strong.

On the technical side, we have not had any issues. At this point, the boat is behaving well and we have managed to get most of the issues out of our way. The diesel spill went easy on us; the only issue (which we think will not be a big issue) is the rudder aliment.

The team has made a good recovery after three days of no wind and sitting in one place feeling frustrated. The day before we got into a no wind situation, we were doing 20+ of wind speed and sailors were having a great competition on board on who does the best boat speed. We had Azile with the top boat speed record of 15.2 that hasn’t been broken yet and the boys are still working hard to break her record. ‘I hope they don’t break the boat as well’. We then sailed into the no wind situation. We now find ourselves competing on who makes at least 1knot of boat speed. Renaldo seems like he has a good touch and excellent feel when it comes to light wind.

After few hours of the competition and who makes the boat move in no wind, we finally crossed the Greenwich Meridian. At this point, we didn’t see the point of trying to fight to get the boat to move – we dressed into our party costumes and started having fun on board. It wasn’t just any celebration; it was the celebration of the crew crossing the GWM for the very first time. We had all kinds of goodies specially organised by the sailing office. The funniest moment was when we saw one of our crew members come back to life after a few days of fighting seasickness in bed. But when we crossed the GWM he said to hell with seasickness it is time to party. I guess miracles do happen. Steam bread and beef stew was made by the Skipper, plenty of sweets and fun games took place. It looked like we just had to loosen up a bit because straight after the party, the wind came through and the day was finally made!

When we crossed the GWM, we struggled a bit with keeping time going to bed because it took us a while to adjust to the new time zone – we were now 2 hours behind SA time and we had few moments finding crew half-asleep on the helm. We spend our free time playing games and telling stories about our childhood – one thing we have picked up on is that all parents are the same, lol!

Sailors thought of swimming once the boat started moving, funny enough no one thought of swimming when it was three days of awesome swimming conditions and the boat not moving at all, if you jump into the ocean, one can easily climb back on board. Skipper said ‘you all had your swimming chance, if you jump while the boat is moving be sure you are an Olympic swimmer with gold medals because there will be lot of catching up to the boat and there is no way I’m turning back for you’.

On board we have tested all kinds of food with Danny boy becoming the head chef, making sure he keeps everyone’s tummy full at all times. We are trying very hard to persuade him to follow his other career, which we all know about but he doesn’t recognise it, and that is being a chef.

We hope by this time next week when we send our next update, we will be looking at Rio de Janeiro harbour. So far, we have beautiful wind conditions and navigation and tactics among the team is going really well. We have noticed that all the boats that went far west at the beginning of the race, had come up slightly even – some went above our line and our game plan is to stick with the fleet and no fancy moves – we will just stay with the fleet and will keep on making those good calls on board. We have completed 1,725 nautical miles with 1,575 to go.

To our fans and families, we have been having good times and all your well wishes are coming through! We are closing in on our destination and it would not be possible without your support. We have been reading the messages that you all wrote for us – those messages have a positive impact on us and gives us added reason to keep pushing – much appreciated!

Kind regards
Sibusiso Sizatu and the Alexforbes ArchAngels.

WOW! Go team. Wishing you all the best.

Supporters can follow the team on the live tracker at www.cape2rio.live

Sources: AlexForbes Archangel 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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