Cape to Rio 2017
JML Rotary Scout had a very successful 2017 Cape to Rio yacht race with all the crew enjoying the adventure immensely. Apart from the two skippers who needed to be on board for the crossing to fulfill the race organisers’ qualification requirements, the crew comprised scouts and scouters, ranging in age from three 18-year olds to the others in their 20’s. The youngsters took responsibility for sailing the yacht to Rio de Janeiro and managed to choose a very good course that saw only two mornings of near-windless conditions during the entire race. There were no major challenges or breakages on the yacht which was attributed to her being very well prepared for the trip as well as being sailed responsibly and she finished a close 4th in her class.
JML Rotary Scout is a Tosca 39’ cruising boat that is owned by Scouts SA and she is managed and maintained with the generous support of sponsors by a dedicated group of volunteers to run sail training programmes for aspirant keelboat sailors among scouts. The vessel is sailed extensively throughout the year and has now participated in three Cape to Rio races, three Governors’ cup races to St Helena and she completed the Vasco da Gama race from Durban to Port Elizabeth last year. In the past 12 months several sailors have obtained there Competent Crew qualification on JML Rotary Scout, three have obtained their Coastal skipper tickets and three their Yachtmaster tickets.
Highlights of the 2017 Cape to Rio race included being followed for a good distance by a pod of Minke whales frolicking in the boat’s wake, having a sail fish take the boat on as it raced us while sailing downwind (the sailfish won) and catching a bounty of different fish off the stern, including Yellowtail, Dorado, Tuna, Mackerel and Wahoo. The crew also has the privilege of watching the International Space Station pass overhead during a very clear night as well as witnessing a meteor disintegrating spectacularly as it burned up whilst entering earth’s atmosphere another night.
JML Rotary Scout once again proved to be a worthy ambassador for the scouting movement and we are very grateful to our various sponsors for helping make adventures such as the Cape to Rio race possible for youngsters participating in her sailing programme.