The second stage of the Trans Agulhas Inflatable Boat Challenge will be remembered for a strong wind and choppy waters. Four teams failed to finish the stage, one of which the winners of stage one, Team Infanta / Yamaha.
Pilot Dave Barnett and Tjaart Oosthuizen's bladder sack burst en route to Stilbaai and they couldn't complete the stage. Disaster also struck at the fuel stop at Gouritz River Mouth for Team Brent Oil Racing (Marc Gleed and Wiltas Leeuwner). "Our bladder sack burst and the floor board broke. We were in fifth position at the time and it was our best day yet ... we managed to finish in time, but way behind the leaders," said Gleed.
The second stage is the shortest of the challenge and spans a distance of 86km. "It may be short, but it's an extremely difficult stage with the teams having to navigate their boats past a number of reefs. The sea was unpleasant today," said Wimpie Ackermann, pilot of Team Imperial Cargo. Ackermann and team mate Whitey Louw won the second stage of the race in a time of 1:28:03.
The second team home was that of Johann Lodewyks and Flip Schoeman (Wingfield / Bok Radio / Gemini) in a time of 1:28:47. Third to cross the line was Team Nulandis / Pomula with Stefan Lindique as pilot and Tony Ingram co-pilot.
Newcomers to the Trans Agulhas, Team Strandfoam (Johan Niemand and Arno du Toit) managed to end the stage in fifth spot, a mere four minutes after the stage winners. "We had a good race, despite the rough conditions. Our bodies were stiff this morning, but the hard work before the race has paid off and I'm feeling much better today," said Niemand.
In the overall standing after two days of racing, only a couple of minutes separate the top three teams in each of the four categories (novice standard; standard; professional and modified).
The top three teams are:
Novice standard class: Liquorland (Gordon Meyer, Danie Otto); Liquorland (Jacques Mostert, Jean-Pierre Mostert); Isuzu Bakkie Centre (Iwan Botha, Hugo Erasmus)
Standard: Valumax (Peter Groenenstein, Nichol Parr); Albertinia Meubelvervoer (Pierre and Philip Naude); Four Cousins Fiver (Jacques Matthee, Japie Swart)
Professional: Nulandis / Pomula (Stefan Lindique, Tony Ingram); Imperial Cargo (Wimpie Ackermann, Whitey Louw); Clemen Gold (Des Potgieter, Ruan van Tonder)
Modified: Wingfield / Bok Radio / Gemini (Johan Lodewyks, Flip Schoeman); Landrover CPT (Wade Ball, Bobby Shaw); Robertson Farm Assured Meat (Eben de Bod, Gerhard Fernhout).
Tomorrow's stage spans 161km, from Stilbaai to Struisbaai with beach stops at Witsand and Arniston. The first boats are expected at the finish at around 10:42.
Click here to view Day 2's gallery.