Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lake Malawi International Yachting Marathon 2010

The Lake Malawi yachting marathon kicked off today morning at Nkopola Lodge beach club. This is the world's longest fresh water yachting Marathon. Unfortunately it doesn't receive as much publicity as it deserves.

I counted more than 35 yachts, some zoomed very close to our fishing trawler MFV Kandwindwi on the south side of Boadzulu Bird Island. I cheered the indigenous Malawian participants led by veteran yachtsman Gilson Jana as they sailed past us by our trawler's the stern.

The damn things are fast, our crew thought they had motors on them. One of the yachtsmen literally hangs outboard over the water, I guess for stability, with water splashing all over him/her.

Malawi needs more of it's indigenous citizens participating in this international event. Sponsors need to come up and sponsor a team by buying them the hobie and cart, other equipment, training and providing funds for the participants and support crew who travel alongside the race on the lakeshore. The support crew organises camping and repairs after each leg and prepares the team for the next leg.
If sponsors were to come up, I would be first to volunteer for training and be part of this fantastic international event. Gilson's team is sponsored by Club Makokola, Toyota Malawi (assuming by the logos on the main sail) and other organisations.

The sport is not for every Jim and Jack, swimming and physical fitness I guess are a prerequisite; navigation and sail handling etc equally important.

By the way the marathon is a charity event, the prize money is donated to charity, so these guys are not doing it for money but fun and humanity.

Goodluck guys, I am praying for some good mwera winds this year.

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