The Impossible Machine (TIM)
Ard Matthews is one of South Africa’s most prized singers, song writers and award-winning artists. He is a beloved household name and personality. He is also entry no 16 to the Cape2Rio race on his boat The Impossible Machine (TIM) on 2 January 2023.
The Cape2Rio race takes place every three years between the Royal Cape Yacht Club and the Iate Clube do Rio De Janeiro. It’s a daunting but thrilling cross-Atlantic adventure of on average 22 days. Ard Matthews will take part in this 50th celebration of the Cape2Rio race, in a vessel that original took the trip to Rio 50 years ago in the inaugural race.
Matthews launched his debut solo album in 2012 and his second studio album ‘Impossible Machines’ in 2017. It is therefore fitting that the boat that will take him from Cape to Rio, is named after this album.
The Impossible Machine (TIM), formerly known as The Howard Davis, was designed by Kurt Oehlman and built by Louw and Halvorson. It is a classic 66-foot wooden sailing vessel commissioned by the SA Navy in 1966, made of Mahogany on Oroko frames, with a 16-ton lead keel and approximate 200sqm sail area.
Matthews explains that The Impossible Machine was launched at Quay 4 in the Victoria Basin and spent the next 25 years based at Granger Bay. During this time she was used for sail training and navigational exercises by SAMNA General Botha.
In 1971 The Howard Davis competed in the inaugural Cape2Rio race under the command of Captain Phil Nankin, and subsequently completed several Atlantic Ocean crossings to South America.
Twenty years later in 1991, due to restructuring in the budget as well as the training syllabus of the Academy, she was sold into the private sector. Then, early 2020, Matthews acquired her and spent the best part of the year restoring her to her former glory.
In April 2022, Matthews had his Skipper’s ticket commercially endorsed by SAMSA and is currently in the final stages of upgrading to Offshore Yachtmaster.
“The Impossible Machine will represent a constant voyage of hope and ocean-saving initiatives and will naturally join the fight to reduce global warming and plastic pollution. She will promote the importance of strengthening the immune system, by educating people about the powerful properties that have always existed in nature,” according to Matthews.
Having never done a crossing before, Matthews will be joined by a crew with vast experience and from all walks of life so as best to safely represent the spirit of the race. His team so far consist of Tavish McKenzie, Jules Lambert, Victor Kapurura and Joe Heywood.
Matthews will have a mobile studio on the boat with the aim of continuing his recordings, all while documenting as much as possible for the world to see. We are hoping that this incredible sailing journey of approximately 3300 nautical miles across the Atlantic will spark creative moments for all his fans to enjoy in the near future.
About the team:
Tavish McKenzie (Co Offshore Skipper and Navigator)
Cape town-based sailor and sail coach, Tavish, has travelled the world extensively – from racing in Europe and United States, to countless local offshore sailing events. He has been a part of several teams that have taken home some notable trophies and titles, in particular overall winner of the prestigious New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta Series and Bloc Island race week. This will be his second attempt at the crossing. An unfortunate breakage to the rig saw him and his team retire from the race back in 2008 aboard then Gumption.
Jules Lambert (Engineer, Medic)
Lambert, CEO and owner of Rig Repairs International is a certified H.S.E First Aider, a PADI Dive Instructor, a FRC Rescue Boat Captain, an ASME 9 Welder, a Salvage Diver and a Combat Instructor (Ronin CC Protection SA).
Victor Kapurura (Crew)
Kapurura is currently working onboard The Impossible Machine a deck hand with basic qualifications.
About the boat:
Construction: Mahogany on Oroko frames
Length overall: 66 ft
Length waterline: 58 ft
Gross tonnage: 53.65
Ballast: 16-ton lead keel
Original compliment: 3 Officers and 12 Ratings
Main Engine: Brand new 225hp 6 Cylinder John Deere (20hrs Run time as of Jan 2021)
Fuel Capacity: 3800L
Sail area: +/- 200sqm
Follow TIM on Instagram or Facebook for announcements and regular updates leading up to the race: @followtimsv. Instagram: @ardmatthews
Make: Oelhman 66
Sail #: ON 350522
Country: Cape Town
LOA: 20 m
Beam: 5.5 m
Owner: ARD Matthews
Skipper: Tavish McKenzie (Co Offshore Skipper and Navigator)
Number of crew: 7