The Annual Stanbic DYC Zanzibar Adventure Paddle

Departing DYC @ 5.00am Saturday 30th June, 2018
After paddling for 4-7 hours through changing sea conditions, conversations of encouragement with fellow paddlers, short stops to rest and refuel, Zanzibar will likely be within your grasp.


This epic paddle was founded in 2015, when a group of Dar es Salaam Yacht Club paddlers teamed up with sponsors, Stanbic Bank, to complete the 6.5 and 7 hour paddle adventure. Four years later, with Stanbic Bank still, this paddle adventure has become an annual event and as from 2018 will have 10 Stanbic Sponsored EPIC surfski's available for out of town and/or International participants. In 2018 the event will take place on the 30th of June. 
Approximately 34km of sea lies between mainland Dar es Salaam and the pungume sandbank in Zanzibar. What looks like a simple trip on Google Earth turns into a very respectable challenge to those who might aspire to such things. The sea floor in this passage is variable, ranging from very deep to very shallow and the currents can be strong, but with the right preparation, one experiences a magical early morning departure in the dark, panoramic sunrise out of the ocean and a rewarding run with the ocean swells and breeze.


Key information for paddlers participating in the event:

  • Safety Procedures
  • Qualifying Paddles
  • Registration
  • Travel and Accom Packages
  • Contact Event Organisers

Much thought and preparation have been invested into the safety procedures and qualifying paddles. At 5.00am, all the adventure paddlers depart DYC together, under a setting moon, led by the top mast of the guiding yacht till sun rise when paddlers break into pods determined by their average speed and remaining within 200 metres of their safety boat at all times.
Based on a reverse start model any advanced paddlers registered - wanting to race the event - can leave the club at sunrise and must be escourted by their own Safety boat.

Paddlers still in the water after the 8 hour cut off mark will be asked to board a safety boat to ensure their safe arrival.

All paddlers are required to carry essential safety equipment (please note that this will be checked before depature. No gear - No paddle!), including;
1.    Life jacket/PFD.
2.    A waterproof VHF radio and/or a cellphone in a waterproof pouch with emergency contact details and where possible a navigational app such as ‘Navionics African maps’ 
3.    Paddle & boat leash
4.   Lighting & reflection as follows: flashing LED on paddler and/or kayak and glo-sticks on paddler and kayak and reflective tape on kayak and paddle, with optional waterproof headtorch. The paddler needs to make sure they are visible to safety boats supporting at the front and the back. 
5.    Bright hat & bright/reflective wear for day paddle
6.   Whistle & 8m rope
7.    Each paddler will carry their own food and drink (suggest 4 litres)additional supplies can be placed on safety boat for your batch – must be labelled and in dry bag so safety crew can throw to you. Please note that collecting things from a safety boat is an advance paddle skill so please try to carry as much of what you need on you.

It is highly recommended all paddlers carry;

1.   Sun protection
2.   Essential personal medicine
3.  Flares (of a type commonly carried on yachts, but if carried they must be suitably and safely stowed and you must know how to use them) and/or water dye marker.

There will be additional safety measures in place for the event. These will include;
1.      Nominated Pod Leads (paddler keeping tabs on a pod) and we will operate a buddy system for pairs to keep track of one another. Please not that if you ate nominated as a pod leader you must carry a waterproof VHF radio, an know how to use it. 
2.   Service from Tanzania Sea Rescue: TSR volunteers will act as spotters to assist with hourly checks and search & rescue should anyone go astray.
3.   Medical personnel on the safety boats and Doctor on standby.
4.   Safety Boats will have 2 engines on the boat, swim ladder, Marine VHF radio, rope to pull boats on board, First Aid kit, lookout & helmsman, one person familiar with CPR & basic first aid, a horn, flashlight and water.
5.   13h00 is the cut off time – at this time all outstanding paddlers will board safety boats and proceed to finish/prize giving.
6.   Should bad weather arise the event organiser’s reserve the right to call for all kayaks to be mounted onto safety boats."
In a paddle such as the Annual Stanbic DYC Zanzibar Adventure Paddle, paddle fitness is of great importance. The nature of the open ocean conditions make 40km seem further than it may be in more sheltered waters. To assist paddlers prepare, both mentally and physically, for the event, qualifiers events have been implemented. Although only two of the qualifying events are compulsory, we suggest that paddlers participate in as many of the qualifiers events as they can to ensure that they are prepared for the rigor of the open ocean conditions.

In an effort to ensure that everyone has a safe and favourable paddle experience,  a full four lap time trial paddle is required before participating in any qualifiying event. 

See the 2019 Stanbic Adventure Paddler qualifier dates here

The qualifying events are designed to:

  1. Build confidence and competence in the paddler.

  2. Ensure that participates are fit, stable and competent to paddle – in a variety of weather conditions, and thus ready to take on the ocean paddle challenge.

  3. Provide opportunities for night and deep sea paddles. Completing one of each are non-negotiable qualifiers, thus we have provided two opportunities to complete this criteria.

Qualifiers for International paddlers and SUP's are:

  1. RSA - CSA registered with an A - D river rating.

  2. Professional paddler - Registered with country canoe/kayak federation or association and has an international race record.

  3. Mozambique - registered and rated by Club Maritimo’s Paddle Section.

  4. Australia - Derek Howe.

  5. SUPs - Complete local qualifiers with kayaks.

All paddlers must register to take part in the 2019 Stanbic DYC Zanzibar Adventure Paddle. The registration form requires all participants to agree to the terms and conditions set by the event organisers. Register on the calendar. (Member Central / Calendar/ Events Stanbic Zanzibar Challenge) Participants are also required to complete an indemnity form.

Registration is done via the DYC web page Calendar.
Non-DYC members should contact the  Event Registrar 

Event Day Timetable

Friday 14 Jun

16h00 - Check all boats in working order for morning paddle

17h00 - Load safety boats with paddlers gear for early start, brief on conditions and status – confirm details for am start

Saturday 15 Jun

04h15 - Meet at the club, prepare kayaks & boats.

04h30 - Last briefing & inventory check list

05h00 - Paddlers set out. Paddlers stay in one group until daylight. 

06h30 Sunrise - Advance Paddlers leave the club with their own safety boats.
Adventure Paddlers already out at sea break into batches and stay within 200m of the  safety boat. Paddlers break together as and when necessary. Paddlers falling off or slowing down are sent to the slower group – 1 safety boat to follow paddler

09h30 - 10h00 - First paddlers reach Zanzibar

11h00 - Everyone on the island and ready for light lunch. Take stock of what paddlers are not yet in

12h00 - If anyone is on the water (8hours) – call them in onto powerboats and head to finish. Pack the kayaks on the boats and transfer luggage, of paddlers and/or their families staying over in Zanzibar, onto the Safari Blue dhow

12h30 - Lunch and prize-giving on the sandbank 

13h00 14h00 - Safety Boats and paddlers wanting to return to Dar-es-Salaam head back to the DYC. Paddlers staying on in Zanzibar will catch the Safari Blue dhow to either their hotel or shuttle pick up point.

The following hotels are offering package deals to both local and international paddlers participating in the 2018 Stanbic Zanzibar Challenge:

In Dar es Salaam

The Slipway Hotel is situated approximately 2km from the Dar Yacht Club. The package includes Coastal Air Flights back to Dar es Salaam as well as airport transfers where necessary.

In Zanzibar the following low, mid and high end hotels, in Kizimkazi, Zanzibar have been recommended for their ease of entry from the finish (via a dhow):

The Promised Land Lodge is a budget B&B 
The Karamba Hotel is a Mid-range option 
The Unguja Lodge is a luxury option  

Contact the event organisers with any further queries:

  1. Event Organisers : Karen Cockerill & Ryan Wienand

  2. Registrations : DYC webpage calender

  3. Safety: Martin Talbot  

  4. Primary Safety Boat: Maxan II - Skipper Erik Kok; BIGFOOT - Skipper Marcus Becker; Kutandura - Skipper DYC staff member