Mark has vast experience with over 100000nm at sea. This his 5th Atlantic crossing amongst his numerous adventures at sea. Originally from Durban, he got into sailing through his father who was a member of Point Yacht Club in Durban and the provincial championship at the age of 14 in an Optimist. He spent some years after school doing other things but got back into sailing in 1995 again when friends invited him to go with them on a trip to Madagascar. He has never looked back from there. He is also a RYA instructor
Shaun has always had a love of the sea which he got from his father from fishing as a youth. He had done some informal sailing over the years but after a trip with a mate Patrick Jay to the Vaal Cruising Association (VCA), he was formally hooked.
He was soon convinced to buy the same boat as Patrick, an Elvstrom 1/4 ton. He has done some sailing on the dam but not as much he would have liked, so when this opportunity presented itself then he was the driving force to make it happen.
Jean Marie Van Der Elst
This “Spaniard Forensic Expert” who acts as Navigator aboard, developed a passion for sailing after having met Robin Lee Graham of “The Dove” fame. Years later JM sailed on Lac Leman in the early 90’s and participated in the Bol D’Or in 1992.
A race with a number of casualties! Having teamed up with Andrew Hakin and Viv Gutsche,he was able to sail and race not only regularly around Cape Town but also in beautiful Seychelles on a number occasions and between Langkawi and Phuket in the East. This year thanks our good friends, Johan Bergamnn, we spent a stunning week sailing from Denia and around Formentera and Ibiza in mid summer! Thanks to Graeme Riddick (Mr Airbus) we were able to participate in “Les Voiles de St. Tropez, a serious race with some of the most beautiful yachts in the world. With all this experience all we needed was the theory and we all passed the Yacht master certificate after much sweat in October! We were thus ready to fulfil our dream and sail across the Atlantic with good mates from London and Moscow days supporting the IMAGINE CHARITY for kids with Cerebral Palsy. A life long dream made possible by the support and love of my family.:)
An extremely handsome individual who used his looks to get on board. Kevin took up sailing after he took part in Keel Boat week at the Vaal Dam in 2008 after being invited by Shaun Verster. He sailed with Shaun and Robert and had such a wonderful time that he took up sailing himself and bought a First 35 which he sails regularly on the Vaal Dam. When he heard Shaun and Robert were doing the Cape to Rio he immediately said he was in.
Is Loving life on the ocean! Prefers the wind in his air and the spray on his face. His crossing, a childhood dream, is dedicated to Ethelbert Youth and Child Centre where he is running a number of projects encouraging and enabling the kids pursue their own dreams even though they may currently find themselves in tough circumstances.
Having Grown up on the shores of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe, I spent many weekends on various forms of boats, dreaming about the day that i would be able to sail across the ocean. I am finally able to realize this dream, by sailing the Cape to Rio.
I am hoping to use this opportunity to learn some more about myself.
My first sailing experiences were on family weekends at Midmar Dam in Kwa-Zulu Natal. I mainly sailed on Paper Tiger, Mirrors and Lasers and managed to grasp the basic principles during these breaks. Over the years I have sailed on the Solent and in Turkey but mainly as a passenger. I got back into sailing again when I was invited by Shaun to join him for a day sail at the VCA in 2006. Soon I was a member of the sailing club and a proud owner of an Elvstrom 1/4 tonner bought from none other than Patrick Jay. I sail not as often as I like to these days. The idea of crossing an ocean has always been a dream of mine and to do it with friends is even better. I am supporting Imagine on this trip, which is a cause close to the heart of my wife and I.
Wilson – the mascot
Our mascot is a soccer ball that was given to us by the city of Cape Town and SAFA to take to Brazil in honour of them hosting the soccer world cup later this year. We christened the ball after the character in the movie staring Tom Hanks – Castaway.
The ball is firmly wedged on a our front window. He is who we talk to on our long lonely night time watches. He now has eyes and a tail!