Often described as the longest freshwater yachting race in the world (over 400km), this event, which is really more of an endurance test than a yacht race, takes place each year in July. It is at this time that the mwera blows strongest up Lake Malawi from Mozambique and the south-east.
The powerful winds can produce some very rough water indeed and this competition is not for the faint hearted sailor. Already in its 25th year it has grown steadily in popularity to the point where 30 yachts and crews, from all over southern Africa and further, entered the 2009 competition. Starting at one of the resorts dotting the southern lakeshore, the event takes entrants northwards and across to the islands of Malawian islands of Likoma and Chisimulu within Mozambican waters and ends on the beautiful silver sands of Chintheche just south of Nkhata Bay.
There are plans to make the event even longer in its 25th year, perhaps as far as the northern limits of the lake and through the stretch, north of Nkhata Bay, where the Africa Great Rift Valley narrows within dramatic mountainous scenery and the powerful winds are funneled to even greater fury.