GAC Laser boosts marine leisure logistics credentials with sponsorship of first South African crew to complete the 2014 Cape-to-Rio Race

  • calendar

    24 January 2014



Explora' finished the 3,300 NM course in third place overall.

Teamwork in action, Explora crew members Gary Neill at the winch and Ken Venn with his back to the camera

Cape Town, 24 January 2014 – GAC Laser is entering the world of marine leisure logistics with its sponsorship of the racing yacht Explora, which has just finished the 2014 Cape-to-Rio Race in third place overall.

The 3,300 NM race across the South Atlantic – now in its 43rd year – is organised by the Royal Cape Yacht Club and is one of the world’s oldest, longest and toughest ocean races. This year’s event started on 4 January with 36 yachts from eight different countries, including 27 from South Africa. Among them is the 60-ft long eight-tonne Explora, which crossed the finishing line in Rio de Janeiro this week, becoming the first South African yacht to complete this year’s course.

Cape Town-based GAC Laser is building a reputation as a leading provider of logistics services to the yacht and marine leisure sector and the iconic Cape-to-Rio Race was an ideal opportunity for raise its profile and show its support for the South African yachting community.  GAC Laser partnered with the all-South African crew of racing yacht Explora and has been closely following their exploits since the race set off from Cape Town at the start of the month.   Explora finally arrived in Rio de Janeiro at 14:00 local time on 21 January as the first South African entrant to complete the grueling 3,300 mile voyage across the South Atlantic.

 Explora crew member Phil Lamprecht
Explora crew member Phil Lamprecht

Simon Hayes, CEO of GAC Laser, says: "We want to congratulate Explora on their fantastic result as the leading South African crew in the Cape-to-Rio Race.  As a sponsor, it is important to partner with teams and athletes that you feel reflect your own values and ambitions.  The Cape-to-Rio is an incredibly demanding race that requires huge amounts of skill, perseverance and passion, and these are qualities that we hugely admire in the Explora crew, led by skipper Craig Sutherland.

"From a business perspective, GAC Laser is actively expanding further into the marine leisure sector, as we have the knowledge, resources and infrastructure in place to cater to this market. The appetite for sailing in South Africa is growing fast and it is important that customers can work with a trusted and experienced logistics provider to ensure the safe transportation of their yachts, as well as their spares and supplies.  The opportunity to lend our support to a leading South African team in such an exciting race was an opportunity that we had to seize."
Skipper Craig Sutherland led the crew of the Explora, a group of adventurers from Cape Town who took time out from their day jobs as executives and engineers in a voyage from South Africa to Brazil that saw them competing against some of the world’s best sailors.  The team will be meeting GAC Laser clients to share their experiences of the race during post-event celebrations.