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October 2, 2004

Deaf sailor docks in Cape Town

From: SABC News, South Africa - Oct 2, 2004

October 02, 2004, 19:01

A brave South African sailor, who now stays in Texas in America, attempted to become the first deaf person to sail solo around the world this year. Charl de Villiers docked at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town yesterday afternoon after being on the sea for seven months.

The brave man left Palacios on the South Texas coast in March this year. He sailed across the Pacific Ocean to American Samoa where he stopped for provisions. De Villiers then sailed West through the Torres Straits, across the top of Australia and turned South and West to the Southern tip of Africa, making his way to the Cape of Good Hope in Cape Town.

His wife Bev de Villiers and members of the family used the Royal Cape Yacht to meet him as he approached the harbour. "It's fantastic, it's a great relief and I'm going to phone the children as soon as I get back and tell them not to worry he has safely arrived."

The sailor's sole sponsor, Vodacom, provided him with money for repairs and provisions, a satellite phone, a vibrating cell phone and lots of airtime so that he could have contact with the world on his silent voyage. He says he is happy to be in South Africa but had experienced lots of problems on the way. "I encountered lots of problems especially between Durban and South Africa ... on the way to Cape Town I lost my self steering radar."

After resting and reprovisioning, De Villiers will proceed back home before the middle of this month to enter the Caribbean Sea near Trinidad and sail directly to Palacois.

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