Clipper Race to host young South African crew

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The Clipper Race is to support the Sapinda Rainbow project in co-operation with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to select eight young South Africans to take on the challenge of the world’s longest ocean race and support the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.

The Sapinda Rainbow project has been launched today in Johannesburg. It is an exciting and ambitious new initiative funded by the Sapinda group to identify young South Africans from across the country who could be future community leaders and will give them a unique personal development opportunity through participation in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and at the same time encourage them to become a catalyst and role model within their own respective communities.

Clipper Race founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston flew into Johannesburg from the UK especially for the launch. He said: “I have been involved in a wide range of youth initiatives and have seen how powerful the experience of going to sea can be, taking on new challenges and responsibilities in a team environment. We have had a long relationship of bringing the Clipper Race to South Africa and I am really pleased that Sapinda has taken the initiative to make this happen.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust was initiated by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund as a legacy project to provide world-class healthcare for all children of Southern Africa. Says CEO, Sibongile Mkhabela: “This partnership with Sapinda Rainbow and the Clipper Race is a special one for both the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust. It is initiatives like these, where people are willing to literally go to the ends of the earth to achieve their dreams that motivate us in this mission to make Madiba’s wish to build a children’s hospital come true.”

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. It was not only an incredible experience for me but I also saw how it developed young people from around the world in building their confidence and leadership skills. It inspired me to see how we could offer a similar opportunity to young South Africans who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate.”

Former Clipper 05-06 Race skipper Craig Millar from Durban is also supporting the project through his organisation Sail Africa to coordinate entries and support the selection process with a sailing weekend for a shortlist of candidates in late June.

The Clipper Race will visit Cape Town in late October

For more information about the project and how to make a nomination click here. The closing date for applications is Friday 31 May.

You can download the full press release here.