A ZIMBABWEAN student at Wits University in South Africa, Tawanda Chikasha, will set a record tomorrow when he becomes the first black Zimbabwean to participate in the Cape2Rio 6 000km yacht race.

By Sports Reporter

The race starts in Cape Town and ends in Rio, Brazil, and is expected to last 21 days.

Chikasha said he was looking forward to the race.

“It means a great deal for me to be part of this race. It is the biggest offshore sailing event in the Southern Hemisphere. It is not a race to be taken lightly,” Chikasha told NewsDay Sport from Cape Town.

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“Our objective is to win the race at the same time provide a platform to prove that young people are capable of doing extraordinary things and to encourage the youth to take part in great sporting competitions and compete at the highest level.”

Chikasha’s team consists of six students, two from the University of Pretoria and four from Wits University. The other team members are Emma Clark (Wits), Jonathan Ham (University of Pretoria), Hearn Johnson (Wits), Ryan Robinson (Wits) and Michaela Robinson (University of Pretoria).

The team is called JM Busha 54 Sailing Team, named after title partner, social firm, JM Busha 54, an organisation that is focused on fostering peace and unity in Africa.

The founder of JM Busha 54, Joseph Makamba Busha, said he was thrilled that a Zimbabwean student was part of the Cape2Rio Race, adding the race was aimed at promoting peace across the continent.

“They are participating just not as a race, but they are promoting peace through the JM Busha 54 Races for Peace and Unity in Africa. We want to raise awareness about peace and certainly the benefits of having peace because there is no economic or social development without peace, Busha said.

“We want to promote peace in the entire African continent and eventually the whole world. We thought this across Atlantic cross ocean race will be a very good platform for us to carry the message of peace and hope.”

The race is held after every three years.

The JM Busha 54 team came third at the last race.

The JM Busha 54 team will be sailing on a 11-metre yacht called Ciao Bella. This boat has previously been used to compete in two previous Cape2Rio Races.