By Luke Scott
And so…as the finished sailors regather and regroup in Rio…and by all accounts there is concurrence that this was a tough edition of the race out on the transcontinental waters…the recharge commences.
The last day of January dawned with the overnight finishes of the charging double-handed super Mumm 36, Ballyhoo Too, with Rijk Kuttel and Stof Garratt, followed (somewhat ironically) just a few minutes later by the original Ballyhoo, now called Tam Tam, which is a Simonis 35 yacht that first completed this race in the 1993 edition; a race where both of the aforementioned double-handers competed as youngsters.
Stof and Rijk sailed their way to a provisional second place overall in the race on monohull handicap and in the doublehanded fleet. Their friend, Oli Dawson, sponsored an ice-cold bottle of bubbles, carefully hand delivered and presented to them by Dave Hudson after they finished.
Does this herald a new era of doublehandedness in the race, remembering that overall provisional race winners Mussulo 40 also sailed doublehanded?
Both have a number of past races to their names…
Tam Tam carried an indomitable spirit of resilience, and each crew member embodies the kind of person you could go to war with. You sailed for good, and you rocked it! To see you and your supporter group of wives, friends and partners 6 miles out, singing ‘treffers’ at 02:40 in the morning after you finished this race will remain with me for a long time.
This concluded the marathon stream and unrelenting sequence of finishing yachts spanning just three days. The race management team soldiered on relentlessly to deliver an entirely appropriate finishing celebration for all 18 of the finishing yachts up to that time – somewhat of a well appreciated race tradition for the sailors.
And then, in the morning daylight of 31 January, in came the highly spirited and cerebral champions aboard Northern Light, alone and unattended to on the finish line. You did not deserve this, you brave seafarers. We were 20 minutes late to the finish, and I apologise for this. You so absolutely embody the best of what’s around. Thank you for re-hoisting and parading your beautiful sails for the future benefit of the race in front of Pão de Açúcar!.
These three campaigns – Ballyhoo Too, Tam Tam and Northern Light – could not be further apart, yet are certainly aligned within the #Sail4Good goals of this race.
A feature of this race has been the 5pm “Roll Calls” on the vantaged Convés Deck at ICRJ, and this evening was a special treat. Before a sizeable and attentive audience, we celebrated the centenary of the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro. ICRJ’s Ricardo Baggio spoke of the warm welcome of the club to all competitors in the race, and ICRJ Sailing director, Fernando Madureira, spoke of the importance of the race to ICRJ over many years.
RCYC Trustee and highly respected sailor, Dave Hudson, spoke of the incredible importance of the relationship between RCYC and ICRJ, and the privilege the sailors have earned, and to respect this heritage for future editions of the race.
As the night continued, crews and stories mixed. The way it should be.his race wasn’t what we expected. Not what the brochure promised. It wasn’t a nice easy mainly-down-wind ride to Rio. It was far more interesting. A much more complex set of weather systems. As a life-long navigator, something I could really get my teeth into. I loved the difficulty of it. I’m doing the next one. It happened.
The Cape-to-Rio. So very much more than a sail-boat race.