International yachts race against approaching storm

The German yacht 'Solo', an Amel 54, arrived at the Zululand Yacht Club well ahead of an impending gale, but others in the international fleet may face a tough time in the next two days Photo: Dave Savides

WITH 11 of the 15-strong fleet taking part in the 2017 World ARC cruise already safely moored at the Zululand Yacht Club, and the arrival of two more imminent, all eyes are watching the outstanding pair of boats… and an approaching cold front of hefty proportions.

According to ZYC Commodore Wayne Bird, the strong northeasterly that has brought most of the boats safely and speedily into Richards Bay this week will start to turn tomorrow morning.

ALSO READ: Heavy rains and severe thunderstorms predicted

‘Predictions are that by tomorrow afternoon we will be facing a southwesterly of about 40 km/h, with heavy rain and swells that could reach almost five metres.

‘We are expecting that the port might be closed at some stage.’
The Swedish yacht ‘Sandvita’ is currently just over 100 nautical miles (NM) from Richards Bay and should beat the storm, but German boat ‘Cesarina’ is still some 700NM away and although she is a sturdy and fast Swan 55 Yawl, she could well be forced to take shelter or backtrack.

Dave Savides

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