Trans Agulhas Inflatable Boat Race

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The Trans Agulhas is known as the ‘World’s Toughest Inflatable Boat Challenge’. Nowhere else in the world is there anything quite like it. It starts every year on December 28 at Plettenberg Bay in South Africa and ends after five days of challenging the sea and elements, in the Strand on January 1. It is a fast-paced, action-packed water sports event with approximately 40 inflatable boats battling it out on the water.

Each leg of the competition enjoys a Long Haul event, starting at one point, with beach check points in between, and finishing at the beach where the next day of the challenge begins. Between legs, at approximately 13h00, there is a Surf Circuit event to entertain the crowds who gather on the beaches.

However, every second spent on the water counts toward the overall competitor’s time for the particular challenge and for their overall times. At the end of each day, the times for the Long Haul event and the Surf Circuit are added together to get an overall time for the day for each participating boat.


Novice class: this is for participants who have not entered the Trans Agulhas before as a pilot of a boat. If you were a co-pilot on someone else’s boat before, you can still enter as a novice when you are participating as the pilot for the first time. This class is only for competitors who race with standard motors.

Stock class: this is for participants with standard motors who have done the Trans Agulhas before.

Pro-stock class: for participants with boats whose motors have been worked on, formerly the Blueprint Class, to make them even faster.

Modified class: these are the big guns, where anything goes on the motor. This class is normally made up of a field with participants who have vast experience, having come through the ranks from Novice to Stock and Pro-Stock, finally settling in the Modified class.

In every class there is an overall winner after the race. Everyone participates with his equals (re engines) in the different classes and therefore there cannot be one overall winner for the Trans Agulhas. The first three boats in each class receive a medal, a trophy and a certificate reflecting the time that it took the particular participant to finish this challenge. From the fourth boat downwards in every class, they receive a medal and a certificate reflecting the time that it took him/her to finish this challenge.


1 Comment

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