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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race- 30 hopefuls to attend selection

by Amy Martindale on 22 Jun 2013
Clipper Race Sapinda Rainbow - 30 hopefuls attend selection © Backpagepix http://www.backpagepix.co.za/
A team from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is in Durban this weekend with 30 young South Africans from across the country who have been shortlisted for a tough three day selection process to find just eight who will go on to participate in the longest ocean race around the planet. They will come to the UK for intensive training prior to the start in London on 1 September.

The Sapinda Rainbow project is working with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund which 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 become global ambassadors for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust which aims to raise funds to build the first dedicated facility of its type in South Africa.

The Clipper Race has a proven track record of personal development, especially with young people from challenging backgrounds. Clipper Race Crew Recruitment Manager, David Cusworth, is in Durban to help with the selection process. He said: 'We have had an excellent response with a very high quality of applicants from across the country. We have devised a stimulating and, hopefully, enjoyable three-day programme with Sail Africa in Durban to put these young people through their paces. There is a very competitive atmosphere here already.'

The selection process sees all thirty shortlisted candidates 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.

The Sapinda Rainbow project is funded by the Sapinda group to identify young South Africans who could be future community leaders and give them 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. It is very exciting to have had such a strong response and to have chosen the initial shortlist. It’s great to meet all the candidates here at the selection event in Durban.'

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 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, South Africa in late October.

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.

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 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 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website

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