Scouts competing in Cape to Rio Yacht Race

JML Rotary Scout is the official yacht of Scouts South Africa and has a crew of Scouts on board to compete in the Cape to Rio 2014 yacht race. Experienced yachtsman, Peter Bosch is the skipper and the crew is made up of the finest young scouts who have come through the Sea Scout program in various parts of South Africa.

The race started in beautiful conditions on Saturday 4 January. Table Bay was buzzing with spectator boats to view the spectacle as 36 racing yachts took the start of this great race.

The tranquil conditions of Saturday afternoon were unfortunately short lived as the fleet was hit by a heavy storm on Saturday night, the first night of the race! Reports from crews spoke of winds up to 60 knots and swells of 6 metres! The conditions have tested the endurance of all crews and boats, wreaking havoc across the fleet as many boats are limping home with damages. Sadly one crew member aboard the boat Bille has lost his life when their mast came down in the heavy storm.

It is with much relief that the crew of JML Rotary Scout contacted home to report that all is well on board despite the very trying conditions.
Navigator Grant Chapman’s decision to avoid the worst of the storm by sailing west along the rhumb line has paid off. The yacht has come through the storm well so far – Skipper Peter Bosch said “The steering cables slipped off the quadrant for a while. But after using the emergency steering tiller briefly we managed to get the cables back in place.

The yacht is currently in about 30 knots of wind and the swells are about 4 meters. The main sail is completely down and we are sailing with a little corner of the genoa unfurled, making about 7 or 8 knots in the stormy conditions, surfing waves every now and then!”

As of Monday 6 January JML Rotary Scout is leading class 2 on the official timing screens which is a phenomenal achievement for this young crew in these extreme conditions.

Ocean racing is can be dangerous and extremely challenging. JML Rotary Scout expects to take 25 days to reach Rio and is stocked with ample supplies for the crew to survive over this time. They have 360 liters of drinking water in the main tank with a further 190 liters in the forward tanks. Furthermore they are carrying 200 liters of emergency drinking water in 8 x 25 liter jerrycans. They have about 350 liters of diesel on board which would enable them to motor for about 700 nautical miles should they need to in an emergency. They also have enough rations on board to eat 3 meals a day for 40 days! Communications-wise, they have an HF radio, a satellite telephone and fleet broadband, which means they are able to send and receive emails. After all; the Scout motto is “Be Prepared”. Scouts South Africa wishes this well prepared crew a safe and memorable journey, while our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the crewmember of yacht Bille who unfortunately lost his life.

The progress of the race can be tracked live on the official website:

For more information on JML Rotary Scout visit:

Scouts South Africa:

L-R: Peter Bosch (Skipper), Grant Chapman (Navigator), Virgil van der Horst (2 Oceans District), Chris Meier (2nd Plumstead Sea Scouts), Marcus Farnham (1st Mosselbay Sea Scouts), Lorraine Le Sueur (1st Benoni Sea Scouts), Cathleen Hughes (1st Fish Hoek Sea Scouts), Ashwyn Davis (1st Bergvliet Sea Scouts) Photograph: Gavin Withers – (Action Pix)

JML Rotary Scout taking the start of the 2014 Cape to Rio yacht race.
Photograph: Max Bosanquet – (Action Pix)