Sail Ho... Libertad, the world’s fastest frigate set to sail into Cape Town

Apr 21, 2008
Author: P&S


The holder of the Boston Teapot Cup for the fastest transatlantic crossing by a sailing ship under sail, the magnificent Argentine Navy sail training ship ARA Libertad, arrives at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront on Saturday (16 April) at 10am for a six day visit.

During her stay in the Mother City the ship will be open to the public. Libertad will not however be calling at any other South African ports

The 104m long sailing ship carries a crew of 320 men and women which includes 90 midshipman and 60 sailors. Each year more than 10 junior officers from other nations and from the Argentine Army, Air force and the Naval Coastguard are invited to make the trip with the members of the Argentinean Navy.

This has included university students from many countries and when the ship leaves Cape Town she will have on board a young female sub lieutenant from the South African Navy as a member of the crew.

ARA Libertad is a three-masted frigate, with foresail, mainmast and spanker and bowsprit. She displaces 3,765 tons fully loaded and has 2,650 square metres of sail surface spread across 27 sails. The height to the top of the mainmast is 56.2 metres.

In addition to her sails the ship has two diesel engines each of 1200 hp, driving a single propeller and giving the ship a 12 knot capability under engine power.

This will be Libertad’s third visit to Cape Town, the first being in 1970 with a second call in 1993. She departs on 2 May at 10am for Mauritius.



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