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Clipper Race reveals crew to support Nelson Mandela legacy

by Amy Martindale 24 Jun 2013 16:28 BST 24 June 2013
Young South Africans selected to be part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Stages at the Point Yacht Club in Durban, South Africa © Sabelo Mngoma / BackpagePix

UK based Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in unique initiative to develop young community leaders of future and global ambassadors for Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital

Clipper Ventures, with Sapinda Rainbow and Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF), has revealed the eight young South Africans selected to create a 'tag' team, each to participate in one of the eight legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - at 40,000 miles it's the longest ocean challenge on the planet! The unique initiative aims to develop young community leaders of the future and global ambassadors to raise international awareness and funds for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

30 young people from across the country aged 18-23 were shortlisted and have participated in a tough selection process over the last three days hosted by Sail Africa in Durban. All candidates were put through their paces in a series of tasks which include sailing familiarisation and aptitude; media, communications and presentation skills; writing and blogging exercises, and one-to-one interviews.

"We had an excellent group of young people here over the weekend and the selection process was very difficult for the judging team," explained David Cusworth, the Clipper Race crew manager with organisers Clipper Ventures, who was part of the selection panel. "We were looking for candidates who would benefit the most from the experience in terms of their personal development and the impact they could make on their communities after competing in the Clipper Race."

The Sapinda Rainbow project is working with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) which has promoted the opportunity throughout its network and encouraged nominations from the communities it serves of young people aged 18-23. The successful candidates will also raise awareness around the world of the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust.

Mpaki Pule, donor relations manager with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund was present at the announcement and said: "All the young people who participated this weekend demonstrated the strength of the youth of this country. The ones that have been selected to compete in the Clipper Race are exceptional. I hope this experience will help them achieve their full potential.

"This is a unique partnership and the opportunity it will give us to reach a global audience to support the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital project is another important dimension. I think it could make a huge contribution towards achieving Nelson Mandela's legacy of a world class specialist medical facility for South Africa's Children. I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially its sponsor, Sapinda Group."

The initiative is funded by the Sapinda Group to give young people a unique personal development opportunity through participation in a life-changing global adventure and at the same time encourage them to become a catalyst and role model within their own respective communities.

Dirk van Daele, Sapinda Executive Committee member and CEO of Anoa Capital, participated in the 2009-10 edition of the Clipper Race and experienced first-hand how the event was used to develop young people from other countries. He said: "The Clipper Race is a unique event which changes lives. I am delighted with the young people that have been selected to participate in this exciting project. All the candidates we saw were quite remarkable and from a diverse range of backgrounds. We were not only be looking for what candidates can do individually, but what they can contribute through leadership and gaining confidence which will ultimately be a catalyst back within their own communities."

The Clipper Race is the world's longest at 40,000 miles and will visit 14 ports on six continents over eleven months. It is unique in that it trains amateurs from all walks of life to take on some of the most challenging oceans on Earth under the guidance of a professional Skipper following an extensive training programme. The ninth edition of the Clipper Race starts and finishes in London, departing on 1 September and stops in Cape Town in late October when all candidates will be invited to participate in stopover events and to experience sailing aboard the new Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts.

The team will leave for the UK from Cape Town on Friday 26 July – the official 'birthday' of NMCF – to undertake an intense period of training prior to the race start on 1 September 2013. Cape Town is the South African host port for the Clipper Race and will host the fleet of twelve 70 foot ocean racing yachts in late October.

Full details of the eight crew and two reserves with quotes from interviews during the selection process can be found here.

About the Sapinda Rainbow project

Sapinda, an investment holding company with particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa with existing investments in South Africa and Zambia, is engaged in a wide range of socially responsible initiatives and is taking particular interest in promoting leadership among young people in South Africa.

Through the Sapinda Rainbow project, Sapinda is encouraging the potential of youngsters from a variety of communities and backgrounds who might otherwise not have the opportunity of the hands on experience of participating in the Clipper Race.

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children's lives. The fund introduced the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust as a legacy project to provide world-class healthcare for all children of Southern Africa. The hospital will be a dedicated specialist hospital working on a referral basis – and no child will be turned away due to inability to pay. Currently in its planning and fundraising stage, the Hospital Trust aims to break ground later this year.

The Clipper Race is fully supportive of the initiative and is project managing the programme which includes a month in the UK in August to undergo final training before participating in the race start from the UK later this year. It will also support the young Ambassadors in raising awareness and fundraising for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

The Clipper Race was set up thanks to the vision of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-9. He wanted people to be able to experience ocean racing no matter what their background. Forty-five years after setting off on that record breaking voyage he is still very much at the helm of the Clipper Race and will play an active role in supporting the Sapinda Rainbow project.

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