Portimão Global Ocean Race

After a long and arduous slog from Portimão the two Cape Town brothers, Peter and Lenjohn Van Der Wel sailed into Table Bay to complete Leg 1 of the Portimão Global Ocean Race. Their official finish time was 16:55:24 UTC (18:55:24 local time). Looking tired and slightly more gaunt than the last time we saw them, both sailors were ecstatic to be back in their hometown and thrilled by the massive turnout to welcome them back.

“This is just amazing to see all these people and be back in South Africa,” said Lenjohn. “I guess we finished at just the right time.” The Wednesday evening sailors were all out racing and had just finished as Kazimir Partners sailed across the finish line. It was a superb homecoming for two well deserving sailors.

The leg from Portugal had been tough. It seemed as if Lenjohn and Peter had nothing but bad luck as they bounced from rotten weather system to rotten weather system since falling behind the rest of the fleet.
“We lost the race off the Canary Islands,” said Peter. “”In my 17 times crossing the Atlantic it’s always paid to go outside the Canaries, but this time it was a disaster for us. We dropped behind the fleet and never recovered.”

Kazimir Partners and Hayai enjoyed a close race north of the equator with the boats within miles of each other on a distance to go basis. Day after day the lead between them changed until finally Nico Budel on Hayai got away on his private weather system leaving the Van Der Wel brothers to languish in their private wind hole. From then onwards Kazimir Partners struggled to keep up until they started to run desperately low on food.

“We started to ration food two weeks ago knowing that we were looking at a forecast of light winds,” Lenjohn said, “and it’s a very good thing we did. We ate our last meal three days ago.” When asked what he was looking forward to eating he said simply; “Nothing. I actually feel nauseous and not interested in food.”

The good news is that a couple of hours later both Lenjohn and Peter were tucking into fine South African steak and enjoying every bite. With the arrival of Kazimir Partners the entire fleet is now tied up safely at the Royal Cape Yacht Club.  The focus will now turn to the restart of the Portimão Global Ocean Race on December 13th.

Read more about the  Portimão Global Ocean Race

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