10 November 2023

Another sporting victory for South Africa as Capetonian Skipper wins Atlantic race into home city

Submitted by: MyPressportal Team

A team led by South African Skipper Ryan Gibson has won the South Atlantic stage of a global sailing race, arriving into Gibson’s home city of Cape Town this morning. Ryan is the skipper of a mixed nationality team called Dare To Lead which included six South African non-professional crew mates. This is the first time a South African has won this leg of the Clipper Race, an event which started in 1996 and sees people from all walks of life trained to take part in an eight-stage race around the world. 

As the sun rose over Table Mountain this morning, Ryan and his team Dare To Lead sailed across the Finish Line after racing 3,555 nautical miles from Uruguay. The team had been in second place for the majority of the 19 day race but with just 48 hours of the voyage to go, the team utilised a tactical feature of the race, Stealth Mode, (which allows the teams to become hidden from each other for a 24 hour period) and popped back onto the race’s tracker in first place after heading south – a gamble that paid off. Dare To Lead won Race 3 of the global circumnavigation, just five nautical miles ahead of second placed team Perseverance.  

The South Africans on board were probably some of the only Springbok fans to not watch the Rugby World Cup Final last month. With no tv or internet available on board – the team was emailed the results over sat comms – but celebrated at sea nonetheless. 

This is first time in 15 years that Skipper Ryan Gibson has sailed into his home city of Cape Town. As he arrived into the V&A Waterfront today (9 November), Ryan said: “This feels unbelievable. It’s sinking in now, and I am super proud of everyone.    

“We just wanted to keep fighting and fighting. We learnt from the other legs to just never give up. It’s been a challenging crossing, we had some really high pressure which gave us some good speed, and then this morning ended up in a wind hole – so we had a painfully slow and tense finish. But everyone is so excited to be here in Cape Town. The South Africans on board have been talking about it so much, so arriving into Table Bay this morning was such a special moment. This is definitely a highlight of my career, and it will be forever.” 

The South Africans on board Dare To Lead are as follows: 

  • Ryan Gibson, 34, Cape Town, Race Skipper
  • Retief Jordaan, 38, Langebaan, Construction Manager, Circumnavigator
  • Donavan Hendricks, 46, Johannesburg, Managing Director, Leg 2
  • Nathali Immelman, 40, South African living in UK, Mental Health Practioner, Leg 2
  • Pieter Malherbe, 53, Malmesbury, Business Owner, Leg 2
  • Marco Xinisteris, 43, Bedfordview, Food Processing, Leg 2 & 3
  • Antoon Hofman, 31, Johannesburg, Product Developer, Leg 2

The fleet of eleven Clipper 70 (70 foot) ocean racing yachts will be berthed at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town until 18 November. The public are invited to tour one of the yachts and see what it like to live on board from 14-16 November, 1100-1900. They’ll also be a schedule of discovery talks to find out what it takes to become Clipper Race Crew. The fleet will then set sail to Fremantle, Australia on 18 November. For the full Cape Town schedule, click here

The Clipper 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race features over 700 people, aged 18 to 71, representing 55 nationalities and many diverse walks of life including electricians, orthopaedic surgeons, police sergeants and teachers, and the event’s first mother-daughter duo, competing together on a matched fleet of 70ft ocean racing yachts. 22 percent of the crew had never sailed before signing up to the challenge, as a mandatory and intensive four stages of training is provided. Each team is led by a professional Skipper and First Mate. 

The Clipper 2023-24 Race got underway from Portsmouth, UK in September, and so far on this edition, its fleet has sailed over 12,000 nautical miles. Next, the teams will sail across the infamous Roaring Forties from Cape Town to Fremantle before racing around Australia to both Newcastle and Airlie Beach. The next stops on the race route are then Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Qingdao and Zhuhai - China, Seattle and Washington, DC - USA, before returning to Portsmouth at the end of July, 2024, via Oban, Scotland.

About the Clipper Race 

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. This unique, epic event sees teams battle extreme conditions as they race more than 40,000 nautical miles around the globe in a true test of fortitude and determination.

The Clipper Race is the only event of its kind which trains people from all walks of life to become ocean racers, and many have no previous sailing experience before signing up for the intensive four levels of training prior to racing. Led by a professional Skipper and First Mate, Race Crew can complete the full eleven month circumnavigation or choose to test themselves on one or multiple legs.

The Clipper Race was founded in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world.


Published in Sports Range