UCT students racing for research and youth upliftment in Cape to Rio 2017

We want to do more than just sail across the Atlantic - not that that's a small feat.

Peter Marsh, member of the UCT Yacht Club

A small group of students from the UCT Yacht Club is aiming to compete at the Cape to Rio race in January 2017.

Aside from winning, the group also plans sail for change by contributing to a youth development project and oceanography research.

The UCT Yacht Club began a fundraising campaign earlier this year to ensure that they are able to depart come January 1, on a journey of 4 000 nautical miles.

There will be six UCT students on an 11 metre-long yacht over at least 18 days, competing with at least 27 other teams.

In an effort to transform yacht sailing and make the sport more inclusive, the UCT Yacht Club established the Izivunguvungu Sailing Project which exposes underprivileged children to the sport and other important life skills.

UCT Yacht Club member Mikhayla Bader explains that a portion of their fundraising proceeds will go towards the local youth development project.

Bader says the overall budget was R700 000 and sponsors have helped with money and goods to bring the costs down.

The team has raised R36 250 through their crowd-funding page Thundafund so far and hope to reach R50 000 by December 21.

Team member Peter Marsh explains that they have teamed up with the UCT oceanography Department to help collect data during the trip about the Benguela current, climate change and weather patterns.

The pair spoke about the challenges on the voyage, its unpredictable nature , rotations, their readiness and other elements of the race.

Sailing across an ocean is great fun - something everyone wants to do.

Peter Marsh, member of the UCT Yacht Club

Take a listen to the eager duo here:

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