Adventure 9

The Adventurists  »  Adventure 9

Adventure 9

Duration: up to 2 weeks
Countries: Tanzania
Racing the length of the Tanzanian coastline in a dugout powered by a hanky. All the sailing you’ve ever done has been working towards this.

Adventure 9

We're guessing you're doing a gap year because you want to step out of your comfort zone. To get away from safe package holidays and to take on something most of your mates havent the balls to do. That's where Adventure 9 comes in.

The Ocean. The last frontier of adventuring on the planet. Unhindered by health and safety. Limitless opportunity for getting overwhelmingly lost, or drowned. How can you resists? The best way to get stuck into the ocean is to get stuck in the ocean, you can't do that on a big safe boat gently crusing along. You need a small, light boat that rides over the waves, not crashing through them.

The Race
The race takes place in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, amongst the islands of the Zanzibar archipelago, off the coast of Tanzania. Driven by the local trade winds the course runs south to north in July and north to south in January.

This is a 500 km staged race; driven by the Kusi and Kaskazi trade winds. The January edition begins with training on Pemba Island and races from Nungwi on Zanzibar to the finish line on Kilwa Kisiwani Island. Kilwa hosts the July training with the start gun on Kilwa Kivinje. The July finish line is Emerald Bay, Pemba Island.

On each stage of the race you'll be navigating your own way through a string of tiny islands and a few checkpoints, staying each night on which ever island you reach, trying to find your way to the finish line and perhaps a victory.

The Boats
The ideal vessel for racing the Indian Ocean is the local Ngalawa fishing boat. The hull is dug by hand from a mango tree and the outriggers are stuck on with string. The locals have been sailing these things for hundreds of years, in which time the design has remained unchanged. Why mess with perfection?

With a double outrigger for stability and a triangular sail they can sail close to the wind, for their size they're pretty quick. The controls are pretty basic so should be easy enough to pick up. Under a good wind the outriggers act as hydrofoils so you can surf over the seas. 

They also take on water like a camel at an oasis, there's virtually no room for stuff and you're about as protected from the elements as an American streaking at the mass games in Pyongyang. You'll probably need to fix them as you go and they suck in a storm.

Even if you've been sailing for years you've probably not experienced anything like this so we give two days of training before the race. At the end of training there is a test to make sure you've got the sailing and navigation skills needed to compete. Anyone who doesn;t pass the test will take a local skipper during the race.

Saving the World

We quite like this green and blue rock they call Earth and we want to look after it. We ask all teams on the Rally to raise £1000 for charity. The first half goes to our official charity Cool Earth, the rest can go to any registered charity of your choosing.

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. The Adventurists should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:



Getting to tell your grandchildren you sailed the greatest ocean adventure on the seas

Use of the mighty Ngalawa for the duration of the race & training

2 days of pre-race training

One day test sail with your own skipper

Support vessel in case of emergencies.

Use of GPS & Tracker

Local charts for navigation

Launch and finish parties

Safety Stuff

The oceans are somewhat dangerous. People drown, get eaten, fall off the edge of the planet. Because we like to keep tragedy to a manageable level we’ve a thrown a safety fishing net in place.

We train you and give you a bunch of safety equipment and - in the case of having a leg chewed up by an angry shark - a support vessel you can hail to assist you.

We’ll also ensure one member of each team has enough experience to handle the race (RYA Day Skipper or equivalent) and you will all need to be able to swim. You will be assessed after training and if you’re lacking in the skills you won’t qualify to race.

You’re going to have to wear a fetching life vest to stop you sinking and you’ll all be given a tracking device and your boat will have an LED flare.

Each team can be of 2-4 people, A one man team just wont work.

The Rules

This is an outline of the rules, the full version will be published in the sailors’ handbook.

The course will be locked down outside of daylight hours and we will lay down a penalty on your arse for ignoring it.

You’re on your own. While accepting assistance from the race organisers will earn you a time penalty feel free to make use of local skills to keep your boat afloat and on track.

Don’t mess with the sails. No modifications to the boat to make it faster. Feel free to make it slower.

You’ll be slapped with a penalty for false starts or missed check-points.

Chivalry first. If you see another boat in trouble you must stop and help them.

The race crew reserve the right to amend the course or hold the race.


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Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. The Adventurists should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

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