RCYC assembles young sailing team for Cape2Rio yacht race
RCYC academy entry will include national participation
SOUTH AFRICA: The Royal Cape Yacht Club’s (RCYC) Sailing Academy is assembling a team of youths to participate in the Cape2Rio Yacht Race in 2023 that aims to include not only Academy members, but also young sailors recruited nationally.
The Academy crew will sail on board Gryphon a Simonis 40-footer led by Skipper Sibusiso Sizatu. The current crew list includes Olympic Sailor, Asenathi Jim and a talented group of sailors in Joweal Klaase, Thando Mntambo, Azile Arosi and Daniel Agulhas.
While the list of reserves will increase, it currently includes Justine Peters, Lebogang January and Ovayo Myira.
Speaking to RCYC Commodore, Neil Gregory, in a YouTube video interview, Campaign Manager and Sailing Academy Director, Lindani Mchunu (pictured left) highlighted the importance of the race to the sailing fraternity, but emphasised the life-changing experience such an opportunity the race represents for some of the sailors hailing from a disadvantaged background.
“It has always been a serious ambition of mine to put a team together,” he told the Commodore online, adding that last year’s lockdown had been tough both for the Academy and its members. Admitting that lockdown made him realise his strong desire to travel again, he said that this same desire exists within the Academy membership.
“But to a kid from Khayelitsha or Langa it is an absolute dream and adventure,” he said explaining the impact that that youngster could have on their own community when they return with the story of sailing to Rio and show that dreams can become a reality.
“I have the opportunity to actually make those stories real. These kids can come back from holiday and actually have a story to tell,” he said.
Mchunu will himself be onboard the yacht during the race. “This race is close to my heart and a great way to turn 40,” he said adding that it was important that he participated and remained responsible for health and safety during the race. “There is risk involved,” he admitted.
Bruce Tedder, a yachting stalwart has been appointed as the team manager and the team will be backed by the Sailing Academy’s committee with additional advice and support.
Skipper, Sibusiso Sizatu, is due to join the Gryphon for the St Helena race as a warm-up in 2022.
According to Mchunu, the bulk of the funding to ensure the success of the team in the race has been sourced, a fundraising and PR team has been seconded to secure further funding.
Noting the interest from the Department of Transport (DoT), Mchunu said that the intention is to ensure that the team represents the whole country and that calls would be made to recruit team members from across the country in due course.