Categorized | Offshore

Farewell, António João Bartolomeu

Posted on 06 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Farewell sailor,

His name was António João Bartolomeu and unless you have a close relation to the sport of sailing in Angola you, most probably, have never heard of him. The 47-year old from the capital city of Luanda, wasn’t a sailing “rockstar”. In fact, he wasn’t even a professional sailor, his day job being sound technician at the National Radio of Angola.

However, the sea and the ocean were his big passion since early childhood. At the age of 9 he joined the Sailing Academy of the Angola Sailing Federation at Ihla de Luanda. Five years later, he moved to the Vaurien class, a simple and affordable two-person racing dinghy, popular in Africa. He was one of his country’s best sailors in the class and had an equally successful number of races in various regattas in bigger, cruising yachts.

António João Bartolomeu was part of the BILLE crew that together with her sistership MUSSULO III, represented the emerging country of Angola for the first time ever in the history of the Cape 2 Rio race. The two Bavaria 54 yachts sailed into rough seas with 6-meter waves and 60-knot gale-force winds, during the first night of the race, and although MUSSULO III got out nearly unscathed, BILLE initially reported mainsail problems and informed the race committee they were heading back to Cape Town. However, a few hours later they reported they had dismasted, having suffered two injuries and a tragic death.

BILLE and MUSULLO III are the first ever Angolan yachts that take part in this iconic African sailing race. Angola is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and both Angola Cables and the country’s government saw the regatta as a perfect platform to showcase the emergence of the country. Angola Cables will provide the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) that will connect their country to Brazil with 6,000 miles of sub-sea cabling. When complete, SACS will provide the shortest and most direct link to connect Africa with the high traffic internet usage stemming from the USA. SACS will be the second cabling system owned by Angola Cables after the West Africa Cable System (WACS) that links London to Cape Town through Africa’s main west coastal cities.

It’s a shame such an exciting initiative for the sport of sailing in the African continent is marred by such an unfortunate and tragic accident. Angola Cables had scheduled an extensive series of events to support their entry in the Cape To Rio Race. The most significant of these were a series of outreach events in Lisbon, Luanda, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro with the goal to promote both Angola Cables’ business and their participation in the race. At this stage we aren’t aware whether they will take place or not.

Rest in peace António João Bartolomeu.

António João Bartolomeu, sailor of the Angolan Bavaria 54 that lost his life during the Cape 2 Rio race. Photo copyright Angola Cables

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Abhilash Tomy Says:

    Deepest condolences to the family of Toni.

    In relation to the question posed by Peter, it must be remembered that the decision to race strictly rests with the boat and solely with the boat.

  2. Bev Shaw Says:

    It is a tragic turn of events – losing someone to the sea is always a strong reminder that we as sailors have a rough and unforgiving playground, never turn your back and always “keep the weather eye open”. I hope and pray that the family and close friends are comforted by the support of the sailing community around the world. RIP Antonio sail on sailor.

  3. Enda Connellan Says:

    Condolences to Tita and crew on sad loss from your neighbour in Vilamoura who watched you all prepare so well. Enda

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. THE RACE MUST GO ON… | XS Sailing Says:

    […] condolences go out to the friends and family of our fellow fallen sailor.  HERE is more info and a fitting tribute to António by […]


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