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Final day of Trans Agulhas action-packed

PUBLISHED ON 1 JANUARY 2014

The 26th Trans Agulhas inflatable boat challenge, described as the world's "toughest and longest", ended in Strand today, 702km from the start in Plettenberg Bay five days ago (Saturday December 28).

Thirty one boats lined up at Hermanus's new harbour for the start of the final stage over a distance of 131km. Three teams had to turn back to Hermanus after experiencing mechanical problems. Two of the teams got lost at sea and a coastal search was conducted by die police task force to locate the missing boats. They were found more than two hours after the first boats finished the stage, the one in Camps Bay and the other in Muizenberg.

With only a light breeze, the top three teams finished the stage in less than an hour and forty minutes. Today's stage was won by Team First Road Emergency, which competed in the modified class, in a time of 1:36:02. Second and third home were the professional teams of Imperial Cargo (1:39:21) and Nulandis (1:40:07).

This year's Trans Agulhas proved as tough as ever. Six of the 34 boats that started the challenge on December 28, failed to make it to the finish, one co-pilot fractured his neck vertebrae and one of the Special Forces crew on the rescue boat broke a nose and lost some teeth.

The 2013 race will also be remembered for the dramatic rescue of a bather by the co-pilot of Team Rusgenot, Dreyer van Niekerk. The team experienced engine problems and had to row to shore in Wildernis. Seconds after reaching the shore, Van Niekerk had to swim back in to rescue the girl, who was swept into sea by a strong current.

According to the pilot of Team Imperial Cargo, Wimpie Ackermann, this year's Trans Agulhas was much easier than last year, mainly because of the excellent weather conditions. The teams only experienced strong winds on the first two stages. "Thanks to the calmer conditions, we could reach top speeds of between 70 and 75km/h. It was fantastic."

The final results (top 3) in the respective classes:

Novice stock (standard) class

  1. Overtrans / Superbrands (Johannes de Villiers, Nico Wasserfall) – 11:52:29
  2. Plumbcore (Uys Kruger, Conrad Jacobs) – 12:31:27
  3. Lethaba Green (Pierre en Philip Naude) – 12:39:20

Standard class

  1. Robertson Abattoir (Eben de Bod, Gerhard Fernhout) – 10:33:23
  2. Van Loveren (Jacques Matthee, Michael van Geems) – 10:43:16
  3. Valumax, Amigos, Excellparts (Peter Groenenstein, Nichol Parr) – 11:11:26

Professional class

  1. Imperial Cargo (Wimpie Ackermann, Whitey Louw) – 10:12:07
  2. Nulandis (Stefan Lindeque, Tony Ingram) – 10:16:30
  3. Genric Insurance (Marc Gleed, Odette Maytham) – 10:35:14

Modified class

  1. First Road Emergency (Dave Barnett, Tjaart Oosthuizen) – 10:11:03
  2. Wizzard Marine / Eastwoods / Robertson Abbatoir (Bobby Shaw, Wade Ball) – 11:12:53
  3. Rusgenot Transport (Rocco Erasmus, Arnold Myburgh) – 11:24:18

Follow this link to view Day 5's image gallery.

Tags


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