Wits Cape to Rio race highlights

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The 14th annual Cape to Rio yacht race set off on 4 January 2014 with 36 confirmed entries who sailed from the Cape Town Yacht Club in an effort to reach Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before 1 February 2014.

Competing against extreme weather and a host of international teams in a race across the Atlantic Ocean and coming in 6th place were six WITS students, with a corrected elapsed time of 23 days, 18 hours and 41 minutes.

Key to the preparation for the Alladin-Amtec WITS team, which consisted of current and alumni members of the WITS University Yacht Club, was ensuring that they had adequate hazardous pursuits cover for their extreme adventure, for what has been considered one of the toughest races in recent years.

According to Chris de Klerk, Executive Director at PPS, it is particularly important for all consumers who may engage in activities such as sailing, paragliding, quad biking or other extreme sports to consider having the appropriate cover against death or disability, especially when dependents – including family members and employees – are involved.

Patrick Chappel, President of the Medical Students Council and Health Science Students Council, says that he is grateful for the support that PPS has given the team for the adventure they have just taken part in, which many others regarded as too risky and unattainable for students.

“Through this partnership, we had the necessary insurance needed for a race of this nature, especially taking into account the potentially life-threatening risks.”

“The Cape to Rio yacht race was a test of physical and mental endurance. Over the past three weeks we faced the elements with no more than a 40 foot yacht stocked with essentials to keep us alive, as we crossed the Atlantic Ocean. It was anyone’s race and, as a crew, we embraced the adversity and obstacles that came our way during it,” Chappel adds.

The team made it to Rio with only having suffered one major breakage of the forestay (cable holding up the mast) and no injuries to the crew.

De Klerk says that like the sailors who took part in the race, those who plan on doing any leisure activity that would be considered a ‘hazardous pursuit’ by your insurer need to ensure that they are fully covered in the event of an accident.

“Insurance providers may not cover consumers in the event of an accident, if the policy taken out contains specific exclusions for this type of activity. It is therefore important that consumers who engage in these types of activities ensure that they are adequately covered.”

He says that PPS covers members across the globe, be it due to travel, emigration or partaking in an international sport.

“When selecting the right type of insurance, consumers should find cover that will also include protection against hazardous pursuits or dangerous sports, such as motorised racing, scuba diving or sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.”

The reality is that most extreme sports and activities have an element of risk, which could result in injury or even death, points de Klerk out.

“This may not always be the case, however, ensuring that your family is looked after should something happen is crucial.”

De Klerk says that it is vital for consumers to speak to their broker, as most policies require people to apply for the additional cover at an extra premium, which can often prove to be very expensive compared with the cost of an ordinary policy.

“It’s not cheap to get coverage for activities that are perceived as hazardous. In fact, some insurers not only automatically exclude coverage for hazardous pursuits, but will also refuse to provide cover against such activities at all.”

He adds that the company believes that its professional members are provided with the freedom to do what they want, where they want to.

“When taking out a standard sickness and disability insurance policy with PPS, it is not necessary to inform PPS of any extreme activities that the member may take part in, as there are no loadings or exclusions applied.”

PPS members have the peace of mind of knowing that they can have comprehensive cover, which includes global cover and hazardous pursuits cover with no extra loadings.

For more info on hazardous pursuits cover visit: www.pps.co.za

Watch the Wits Cape to Rio video below:

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