Ralph Villiger and his Ed Dubois- designed yacht Ntombifuti
Ralph started sailing in 1994and since then has cruised about 30,000 nm in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, mostly short-handedly. He has been the owner of a 40 Ed Dubois designed yacht, Ntombifuti, since 2003. In the same year he embarked on his first single-handed trip, out of necessity, because his co-skipper could not join. This trip from Portugal to England served as his qualification leg for the 2011 Azores and back race, where he definitely caught the bug of single-handed offshore sailing.
Ntombifuti is a 40 foot aluminium sloop, built in Germany by Dubbel and Jesse and finally equipped in Lymington in 1983. This will be her 3rd OSTAR, and she has competed in a TwoSTAR event and several AZAB and RB&I races. In 2003/4 she underwent a refit and was sandblasted revealing her aluminium hull. Her current looks are more of a battle ship than a race yacht! She has also been slightly modified to offer some more comfort and to allow sailing to more remote regions. Her name means “the other woman” or “another girl” in Zulu.