THE WITS Yacht Club have set their sights on the prestigious 2014 Cape to Rio transatlantic yacht race.

The club has been raising funds for the team to get to Brazil and back.Last month they launched the “Buy a Mile” campaign that encouraged people to buy a nautical mile of the race for R50. In return, they promised to take donors with by printing their names on the side of the yacht.

The team were spurred on to race next year by the participation of three club members in the 2011 Cape to Rio race. They have not yet secured a headline sponsor but through their fundraising efforts have managed to raise R100 000 towards the trip.

They have also successfully secured the Cape Storm as their yacht for the race with the help of its owner Sean Cumming of the 2 Oceans Maritime Academy.

The team will be training hard says skipper Bradley Robinson, 3rd year BSc Geography and Earth Sciences. “The team will be partaking in the USSA Yachting Tournament in early December, which will be followed immediately by a 500nautical mile training trip up the South African coastline.”

Robinson says any student or staff member who happen to find themselves in Cape Town after December 25 should feel free to head down to the Royal Cape Yacht club to meet the team and check out the boat.

The team of seven consists of Robinson, first mate Ricardo de Carvalho, alumni BSc Aeronautical Engineering Honours, watch captain Alistair Moodie, alumni BSc Mechanical Engineering Honours, tactician Patrick Chappel, 4th year MBBCh (medicine), meteorologist Alexa Brown, 3rd year BA Geography and History, trimmer Sebastian Bode, alumni BSc Mechanical Engineering Honours, and navigator Rudi van Velzen, who is an external Wits Yacht Club member.

The club will be setting sail from Cape Town for Rio de Janeiro with the rest of the armada on January 4next year.