In 1993 I raced on the Shearwater 39 "Ukelele Lady" (yes, I know that ukulele is spelt incorrectly but the guy who carved the name board was a bad speller) as sailing master and navigator. The boat was owned by my friend Nick Taylor, entertainer and TV personality.
In 1996 I sailed on the Didi 38 "Black Cat", as skipper and co-owner. Between the 1993 and 1996 races I had designed and built the new boat for the race. After Rio, we cruised her to the beautiful Bay of Islands SW of Rio before I raced her back to Cape Town, double-handed with Jay Barnes, in the South Atlantic Challenge.
|Built in my garden in Hout Bay, here we are turning the hull.|
Now "Black Cat" is 18 years old and has many thousands of ocean and coastal miles under her keel. We are about to head out onto the South Atlantic Ocean again, in the 2014 Cape to Rio Race. We have assembled the same crew as in 1996 with the exception of the navigator. My good friend Brian Cole was navigator in 1996 but is now getting on in years, so we have a younger man in his place.
|Launch day in 1995.|
Adrian Pearson is owner and has sailed about as many miles on "Black Cat" as I have. He does not skipper, preferring to be one of the crew.
Sean Collins sailed many miles with me on my CW975 "Concept Won", racing in Cape of Good Hope waters. He was with me for many double-handed events as well.
Gavin Muller was the "baby" of our 1996 crew, having graduated from high school the month before the start of the race. Now, 18 years later, his age has doubled but he will still be the youngest on the 2014 crew.
Dave Immelman is the new member, sailing as navigator. Dave has done extensive international offshore and ocean racing and is in charge of the major refit of "Black Cat", which is currently in progress.
|Flying out of Table Bay after the start of the 1996 race.|
She will go back into the water when this work has been completed, then Dave Immelman will do extensive sea trials to test her thoroughly before I arrive in December to give her my own check-over.
|Relaxing in the Bay of Islands, Brazil.|
And, if anyone has an interest in sponsoring "Black Cat" in this event, please contact me to discuss what we can do for each other.
To view my boat designs, please go to http://dixdesign.com