Young South Africans selected to take part in Clipper Race adventure

02 March 2015

Eight young South Africans have been selected to take part in a life changing experience and compete in this year’s race following a tough three day training weekend.

The Sapinda Rainbow Foundation is sponsoring the places to develop the young people as future community leaders and role models. They will be supported by mentors beyond their race experience to help them pursue their career goals.

Of the 200 applicants, 30 young people from across the country - aged 18-23 - were invited to attend the selection process hosted by Sail Africa in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. All candidates were put through their paces in a series of tasks which included sailing familiarisation, aptitude testing and communication and presentation skills.

“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,” explained Clipper Race Crew Recruitment and Development Director David Cusworth, who participated in the selection panel.

“The candidates who participated in the 2013-14 edition of the race are a shining example of what can be achieved and the life-changing nature of participating in such a tough event which invariably teaches crew how to take on new challenges outside their comfort zone,” added David.

The initiative launched in 2013 and developed into a Foundation last year to provide longer term support and development opportunities for the selected candidates from challenging backgrounds in South Africa. The aim is for participants in the project to take their new skills back into their communities and to inspire others.

Its Chairman, Dirk Van Daele, participated in the 2009-10 edition of the race when he saw a similar project make a profound difference for young people from deprived inner city areas in Europe.

He stated: “We hope to build on the success of our first project in the last race. This is not only about participation in a team sport like sailing, but also broadening these young people’s horizons, growing their confidence and leadership skills, exposing them to the world and helping them translate this into their successful personal development. Ultimately I hope they will enrich their local communities and act as positive role models for other young people.”

Race Chairman, Sir Robin is an advocate for youth development projects through sailing. He is a member of the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation Advisory Board and is also personally mentoring some of the young people participating in the initiative.

The eight successful candidates will each complete a single leg of the race and be allocated to a team which includes people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. They will be flown to the UK in May to complete the intensive four-week race training and will return to South Africa and be flown back out to different ports around the world to re-join their teams for their particular races.

The selected candidates are:

Name Age Town Leg
Mweni Zanele 18 Mtubatuba, Kwazulu-Natal Leg 1
Rveida Lungelo Mthethwa 19 Mtubatuba, Kwazulu-Natal Leg 2
Magane Sewisa Lawrence 22 Groberlsdal, Limpopo Leg 3
Thulisile Vanecia Lekalake 21 Kwamhlanga, Mpumalanga Leg 4
Makhanya Khulekani Ben 22 Mtubatuba, Kwazulu-Natal Leg 5
Siphamandla Ngcobo 23 Durban, Kwazulu-Natal Leg 6
Masombuka Lerato Bridgette 19 Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng Leg 7
Magane Sewisa Lawrence 22 Groberlsdal, Limpopo Leg 8
Sakhile Khulekani Makhanya 21 Mtubatuba, Kwazulu-Natal Reserve
Rowanie Waldhausen 18 Durban, Kwazulu-Natal Reserve


The tenth edition of the Clipper Race starts in the UK on Sunday 30 August 2015 and will visit Cape Town in late October 2015.

Find out more about the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation here.

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