The Noakes Foundation is proud to announce their latest partnership with The Vulcan Sailing crew – current IRC South African yacht racing champions, and serious contenders to win the upcoming Cape to Rio Yacht Race starting in January 2017.


This month The Noakes Foundation joined the crew members of the Vulcan Sailing team to kick off what is to be the beginning of a formidable partnership. Two months earlier, the sailing crew approached the Foundation to discuss their plan to become a fat adapted crew and compete in the Cape to Rio race on a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet. The Foundation jumped at the opportunity to provide dietary guidance to a team of disciplined endurance athletes as it is the perfect opportunity to test and showcase the LCHF diet, while creating awareness about the dangers of sugar and carbohydrate consumption.


The crew came to the Foundation with very clear specifications – they needed to maximize performance and minimize weight loss and fatigue. Given the mammoth task that lay ahead of them, approximately 12 – 14 days of continuous exercise with minimal sleep, the Foundation recognized the importance of proper nutrition and knew that the only way to optimize performance would be to get the crew fat adapted – to a state where their bodies are using stored fat for energy. In this state, also known as ketosis, the body turns into a fat burning, high energy machine. Further challenges the crew faces are the lack of cooking facilities on the boat, the stringent weight constraints and the fact that all meals taken on board must be freeze-dried – all of which making the dietary specifications of these athletes somewhat unique.


The meeting was held in a beautiful home overlooking the city of Cape Town, and marked the beginning of what is to be an exciting build up to the 2017 Cape to Rio Yacht race. Professor Noakes gave the team a “crash course” in Banting and raised the important issue of why this team needed to win the race – to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive sugar and carbohydrate consumption, and to stress the importance of eating real, healthy, unprocessed food.  


Professor Noakes highlighted that the race can be an “opportunity to create awareness about the diabetes and obesity epidemics that are set to cripple national health care within a matter of years,” and can be used as a means to “educate people around the world about the importance of good nutrition”.


The team will drastically cut their sugar and carbohydrate intake over the next few months building up to the race, ultimately dropping below 50 grams of carbs per day. By changing their diets the eight crew members will naturally reprogram their metabolism and transition to an upgraded operating system, they will switch from “a petrol engine to a diesel engine” as Rob from Real Meal Revolution aptly put it in his presentation to the team. They will ultimately feel better and perform better while reducing body fat.


The Foundation will be using the entire process as a miniature research project – before changing their diets each crew member had a number of blood tests done by Pathcare, these tests will be analysed by the Foundation’s in-house Doctor, Dr. Salih Solomon, and will be used to track various health markers throughout their LCHF journey. Dr. Solomon will be consulting with the crew throughout the build up and race, and the Foundation’s Dietician will be advising on the meal plans.


Each crew member was given a sample of our affiliate products, Heba Pap and Probyo, to kick-start their lifestyle change.


The Vulcan Yacht was imported to South Africa by Hylton Hale and Johnny Cullum in 2012 and was converted and modified to compete on the local yacht racing circuit. Team Vulcan, who sails for Royal Cape Yacht Club, are three-time South African Champions, and have won numerous trophies including South Africa’s largest offshore race – The Mykonos Offshore.


The Cape to Rio race is expected to be viewed by 3.2 million viewers around the world.


  • Check The Noakes Foundations FAQ’s on our website for the various blood tests you can do before beginning your LCHF journey. Pathcare is well equipped to run the blood tests required.
  • Follow the team as they become fat adapted and follow their race preparation on Facebook: Vulcan Sailing and the Cape to Rio Yacht Race and The Noakes Foundation   Instagram: vulcansailing_cape2rio  

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