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Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon

The Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon (LMSM) has taken place since 1984. The idea was born by a group of sailors, in the form of a casual sail northward up the Lake, with deck chairs lashed to the hulls. The Marathon is more than just a race up the Lake, it is a challenge, an adventure, an opportunity to experience the country of Malawi from a perspective witnessed by few, and a chance to enjoy the camaraderie shared on this sailing safari. The numerous sailors who return annually to the shores of Lake Malawi to take part confirm its attraction.

700 metres deep in parts and the most southerly 'Great Rift Valley' lake in Africa it's not surprising that such a mass of fresh, warm water offers much to the water sports enthusiast. The Marathon falls in the season of the Mwera which provides a strong south-easterly wind, which can blow up without any warning and provide very exciting sailing for even the most skilled and experienced sailor.

The decision to alternate between a full sailing marathon and half sailing marathon is simply based on adjusting and cooperating with other regional and global sailing events. The next full Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon will be in held 2017.

Lake Malawi Half-Marathon 2016

We're pleased to announce that this year's Half-Marathon will take place from August 10th until August 14th. 


Entry fee -crew, supporters, family members * per person  US$ 200
(* children up to 12 years pay 50%)

Entry fees per boat                                                            US$ 200

Transfer from/to Lilongwe airport         per person       US$ 100 (both ways)

Transport per boat from South Africa (container) (please contact Charles Girard at charles@hobie.co.za for details)

The entry fee includes dinner and breakfast, transport of supporters, family members and luggage between stop-over’s and camping fees at each stop-over.  The entry fee is payable by all persons taking part in the event, whether sailors, crew, ground support or supporters. Please contact sailmarathon@webmail.mw in case you would like to pay entry fees in another currency (Malawi Kwacha, US Dollar, Euro and ZAR are accepted). Please fill out the registration form and send it to sailmarathon@webmail.mw



Wed 10th August
Registration and opening of the Lake Malawi Half-Marathon.
Thu 11th August

7am start from Club Makokola to Chembe Eagles Nest Lodge, Cape Maclear

Fri 12th August
7am start from Chembe Eagles Nest - famous Domwe around the Island's Race. Overnight stay at Chembe Eagles Nest.
Sat 13th August
7am start from Chembe Eagles Nest to Salima/Senga Bay. Closing Ceremony and Price giving. Overnight Stay.
Sun 14th August

Kids Race and Departure.


The Competition:

There will be two distinct competitions within the 2016 half- Marathon – one for classes that carry spinnakers, and one for classes that do not. Within each competition boats will be rated according to a handicap system prescribed by the committee. There will be a daily winner for each competition, and two competition winners at the end of the event, based on shortest elapsed time corrected by handicap.

If there are more than two boats in any class, sailors will also compete in a class competition. There will be one winner per class at the end of the Marathon, based on the shortest elapsed time.

Examples of boats that have previously entered the marathon are:

Spinnaker Class : Hobie Tiger, Nacra Inter 20, Hobie Fox, Tornado, Multi 23, Hobie 18 Formula, Hobie 16 Spinnaker, Dart Hawk, Hobie Wild Cat

Non-spinnaker Class : Hobie 16, Dart 18, Hobie 18

Boats will be entered into one competition at the start of the Half-Marathon, and may not switch competitions after the start, regardless of whether a spinnaker is used or not.

Boats will normally start from, and end on, a beach - but safety will be paramount and may dictate a water start on any day. Special timing arrangements will be made by the Bridge for boats that cannot start from the beach.

More information will be given during the daily ‘skippers briefing’.

Kid’s race on Sunday August 14th: weather permitting. One adult and up to 2 kids per boat. Format: around the buoys.  Minimum 8 years and up.

For More Information Download the Malawi Sailing Info Sheet for 2016 here.

For questions please contact sailmarathon@webmail.mw