Mossel Bay, Garden Route – South Africa (September 2021) – The inaugural Mossel Bay Race (MBR) took place in 1955, its route steering intrepid previous-century sailors from Simon’s Town to Mossel Bay. This year’s event follows that same itinerary, setting off from the picturesque Mother City naval hub on Friday October 1.
Initiated by False Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) in collaboration with Mossel Bay Sailing Club, MBR forms part of the town’s Great Escape campaign with its manifold offerings, events, and marketing opportunities.
The race came into being when well-known yachtsman Ted Kuttel and Dale Kushner were discussing their concern over the lack of offshore sailing events in the Western Cape. They soon started the ball rolling with a fresh event, along what both considered a workable course.
Taking sailors past the continent’s southernmost tip, contending with currents and potentially challenging conditions, participants also had to prepare for the possibility eventuality of strong south-easterly winds. Kuttel and Kushner shook on it, and then made it happen.
The latter-day event is branded MBR and intended to take place annually – with its founders still playing a role in this historic oceanic occasion. This year’s race is proudly supported by Protea Hotel Mossel Bay and Cape St Blaize Artisanal Distillery.
After setting off at 9am on October 1, sailors will navigate the 210 nautical mile course to Mossel Bay in the shortest possible time. The first yacht usually arrives at this popular Southern Cape port on the day after the start, with the rest of the craft coming in over the next 24 hours.
The race committee’s intention is to allow boats to be delivered back over the weekend, so a prize giving is planned for the following Friday evening at FBYC.
Says one of the organisers, Wilhelm von Schutz, of Mossel Bay Yacht Club: “Our appreciation to patron Ted Kuttel whose vision that the race be reintroduced was a strong motivating factor, not to mention his assistance in many other areas.”
The race committee this year welcomes back past and new participants. Among these counts Yacht Assagai, which returns after participating in the 2017 edition. Cape to Rio veteran ‘Rocket’ – a Simonis 55 – announced her entry into MBR 2021 alongside the Simonis 35, ‘Wallbanger’.
‘Alegria’ is a Whitbread 30 designed by Maarten Voogd and now owned by FBYC past commodore Ant Wentworth; ‘Argonaut’ is no stranger to the SA racing circuit, having competed in several Cape to Rio tours and a dozen down-wind dashes to Mykonos. But this will be the first MBR done under her motto of ‘Party Bus with Sails’…
With all this excitement planned for the first weekend in October, it’s time to start booking your Great Escape to Mossel Bay! Go to www.visitmosselbay.co.za or call 044 691 2202 for info.
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A weather-beaten but victorious collective of yachtsmen and sail-savvy ladies gathered at Café Gannet in Mossel Bay’s historic CBD on Sunday morning, to enjoy a scrumptious brunch and compare notes after conquering a gruelling ocean trial during the preceding 48 hours.
Inclement weather around the Cape Peninsula postponed the kick-off of this weekend’s Mossel Bay Race (MBR), from September 30 to October 1. After setting off from Simonstown on Friday morning, participating crews braved choppy False Bay waters in a howling southeaster, stretching all on-deck abilities to successfully circumnavigate the continent’s southernmost point in one piece.
Anthony Wentworth of False Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) says of the eight starters, two craft had to retire before even reaching Cape Agulhas. He expressed his gratitude to the FBYC staff who contributed to the success of the event, and to Wilhelm von Schutz of Mossel Bay Sailing Club for manning the bridge from home turf ‘til the last boat was safely moored.
“We are also indebted to JJ Moorcroft of Café Gannet for Sunday morning’s hearty reception,” he adds. This year’s race was supported by Protea Hotel Mossel Bay, where the able Gannet staff ensures all guests are suitably sated, and Cape St Blaize Artisanal Distillery, products of which enhanced the sailing party’s welcome bubbles upon arrival.
The first yacht to arrive from Simonstown, Sentinel Ocean Explorer (aka Atalanta), reached Mossel Bay just after 4.30pm on Saturday October 2, having spent nearly a day and a half in particularly challenging waters.
Skipper Adrian Kuttel and his crew of Theo Yon, Gerry Hegie and Alex von Nes were back on their yacht before the lunch hour to return to Cape Town, albeit at a much slower pace. The second yacht to reach Mossel Bay was Maker’s Mark.
Third-placed Cape Dancer had the distinction of counting local sailor Megan Robertson, 22, as part of its seven-strong crew. Proud dad James says Megan has been sailing since her early teens, and this preparation would have come in handy when being offshore in the early morning hours, winds lashing in excess of 40 knots.
To add to Cape Dancer’s obstacles, two of its crew suffered severe bouts of seasickness throughout the race. But young Miss Robertson says she was bolstered by the fact that single-minded determination powered their effort, and relieved that no one was injured.
Mossel Bay Tourism ensured the race received due coverage on national TV and regional radio and print media. Book your Great Escape at www.visitmosselbay.co.za or call 044 691 2202 for details.
Press release on behalf of Mossel Bay Tourism:
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mimi finestone | email@example.com | +27 84 583 3144