Crew centre stage in RSHYR press conference

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Clipper Race crew from South Africa, China and the UK were centre stage today at the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) press conference showcasing international entries in the Australian yachting classic.

Sbu Masibulele Liyaba (Invest Africa), Vicky Song (Qingdao) and Ollie Phillips (GREAT Britain) faced a battery of bright lights, television cameras, microphones, photographers and reporters at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) to talk about their involvement in the RSHYR.

Sbu and Vicky represent debut international appearances; Sbu is the first black South African crew member and Vicky the first Chinese woman to participate in the RSHYR. Both talked about their pride in representing their countries.

“I only heard this morning. It is a great honour,” commented Vicky Song. “The race from London to here has produced some great sailing. The last stage which took us past Tasmania and up to Sydney was good practice for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.”

Sbu said he is very excited at the prospect of participating in the race to Hobart. “I have learned how we need to work together as a team. We are a strong team aboard Invest Africa and will work hard.”

Former England Sevens captain Ollie Phillips racing aboard GREAT Britain agreed that as a professional sportsman he is very competitive. “We want to win, naturally, but there are a lot of strong teams in the Clipper Race fleet.

“We will not only be racing against each other but also looking to put in credible performances within the entire fleet of 94 entries. It’s going to be very exciting on the start line. I can’t wait.”

The 69th RSHYR, starts on Boxing Day (Thursday 26 December) at 1300 local time (0200 UTC).

To see the continuing press coverage of the Clipper Race in the Australian media follow the links posted in our Twitter feed @ClipperRace