Weather stalls Cape to Rio row

Paddle coach Guy Briscoe, left, with Wayne Roberts, at Three Anchor Bay last week.

Clyde Barendse, of Clifton, and Braam Malherbe, of Signal Hill, had been all ready to leave from Shimmy Beach at the V&A Waterfront on Sunday January 1 for their 6 700km Cape to Rio challenge, but, on advice from team member Wayne Roberts, of Bergvliet, they decided to wait for better conditions.

At the launch, Wayne said the forecast south south-east wind and high swell would push the paddlers back into shore, probably somewhere near Paternoster.

They now plan to leave at the weekend, if not sooner, depending on how long it takes for the weather conditions to change.

Five months ago, extreme adventurer Braam could not paddle let alone set off on a 58-day trip across treacherous oceans, but paddle coach Guy Briscoe stepped in and over the past months has fitted in coaching lessons between Braam’s fund-raising and sponsorship efforts.

Braam, who is also a motivational speaker, says he always takes on challenges for a reason and was all about changing people’s attitudes.

He expects the journey to Brazil to take about three months.

Clyde is an adventurer from Zinkwazi on the north coast of
Kwa Zulu-Natal, whom Braam describes as very fit.

Peter van Kets, Braam’s expedition partner and friend, had to withdraw from the Cape to Rio row for family reasons but will continue to be a key land-based point person.

“The purpose and significance behind the row is very important, says Braam.“We are developing an app called the DOT Challenge App. Dot stands for Do One Thing and is a simple acronym that is so much more than a trend, a fad or a catch-phrase.

“These three little letters boldly aim to unite the world in the hope that, together, we can still save our planet.”

Braam originally came up with the concept five years ago when he was a TV presenter on the wildlife show 50/50.

He hopes that the app will inspire others to make the small changes that will make a contribution towards a sustainable future for our planet.

“We have taken enough provisions to last us for three months. It could take shorter depending on the winds and tides. The main challenges we will face include the sea conditions with heavy swells. We also will have to worry about ships at night, but we have a tracker for that.”

Braam says they will each take turns rowing for two hours while the other rests. When asked about what his main worry about the challenge is, Braam simply says, “dying”.

He says the four things Cape Town and the rest of the world must confront to become sustainable are: conservation, energy, water and waste.

“It’s all about making small changes and can be something as simple as taking a shower instead of taking a bath. The earth is a dot in the universe, and we are dots on earth.”

Braam says small changes by lots of people can do a lot to achieve a sustainable future.

For more information about the row, visit the website at www.