And finally it is here, months and months of hard work, frustrations, time, snafus and snags – and today is RACE DAY. The Loots family all up at 5.00 am (not getting away from this dam time am I?) all kitted out in black Banja/Pennypinchers branded gear and off to the club.

The Navy band (more like a mini orchestra is playing James Last classics and all sorts of BIG BRASS is wandering around, tears of joy and sadness, tea and sandwiches, last minute arguements driven by nerves – a speech – boat introduction – prayer for the safety of the boats – instruction for the spectators (we are all off on the navy tugs) and off to the start.

As part of the whole adventure Jamie sails the boat out of Simonstown harbour and to the start.
“Hows he going to get off the boat and what happens if you start with him on board?”
Quite a valid question for these rought shark infested waters in False Bay
“Oh… well ….. um….. we just chuck him off and a spectator boat will pick him up”
“Well thats the way we do it in Simonstown – they’ve been doing like this for hundreds of years”
Now you must understand, my sailing knowledge is not that peachy – Im going to watch this space.

Rosie and myself are sheparded along with the rest of the spectators to the waiting tugs. Now I really have to take this opportunity is saying that as we approached the tugs there were 4 of the most addonis looking men getting changed on OUR tug – these were the Naval Divers – boy did we get a good draw in tugs.
To say the least the start of a major yacht race is just so exciting, sea, boats, tugs, motorboats, naval vessels, fishing boats and of course the competitors. It is big, it is well just so adventurous. There is something about it all that makes you think “I will sail the next one”, what is it about some people who do these wonderful things and the rest of us that sit on tugs and watch them do it – personally I do not (divers aside) want to be a tug sitter anymore.

For the next 10 odd days Jerry and Frans will have living quarters the size of a small bathroom. The will sail the blazes out of a home built boat and get to one of the most remote islands on our planet.
Sail safe, have fun – we applaud you.

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