Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - China, Africa and Burma represented

by Danielle McKay on 22 Dec 2013
Masibulele Liyaba first indigneous South African to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart with fellow Clipper sailor Ollie Phillips Andrea Francolini
For the first time in the history of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race a Chinese celebrity, a South African who lived the life of a gangster and an engineer from Myanmar are three sailors representing their homeland.

They’re part of a record fleet of international entries, which accounts for one in four yachts competing in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia event.

South African Masibulele Liyaba, or Sbu to his friends, is the first indigenous African to ever compete in the revered ocean race.

It’s a far stretch from the township of Kanana in the North West province, where the 22-year-old grew up.

He admits he lived a gangster-lifestyle in a bid to survive, and has been stabbed multiple times.

But just six-months ago Liyaba’s life changed when he was selected to be part of the Sapinda Rainbow Project, which is helping young South Africans develop leadership qualities through the Clipper Round the World Race and he is aboard Invest Africa.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that not much would scare Liyaba, but that’s not the case when it comes to ocean racing.

'I was scared to be honest, being on the seas isn’t simple for us,’’ he said. 'I thought ‘what might happen if I fall off the boat, will I get eaten by a shark’?'

But like many adversities, Liyaba has overcome the hurdle and has now sailed halfway around the world and assures that he is prepared for the Sydney Hobart.

Chinese celebrity Vicky Song is aboard Qingdao.

The 31-year-old, from Qingdao, China, home of the sailing competition for the 2008 Olympics, only found out today that she is her country’s first woman to ever venture 628 nautical miles south to the Tasmanian capital of Hobart and more than likely the first mainland Chinese person.

Song will be ditching her sailing commentator’s microphone for a piece of the action.

'Most people in China still don’t really know what’s going on, because sailing’s a fairly new event in China,’’ she said.

'But I hope this will help change that. It’s exciting to join the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

'If you love sailing, you just want to be close to the race, let alone to be a member of it. This is a big thing for me.'

To say few follow sailing in Myanmar (Burma) is an understatement, making Zaw Sis Naing’s participation even more unique.

The 23-year-old engineer is racing aboard the first ever entrant from Cyprus, the 100-foot super maxi Zefiro.

Sis Naing’s taken to his role as engineer seriously. However, when needed on deck, he is there with vengeance, with his crew marvelling at his ability to climb the near 30-metre mast with little and no assistance.

'It’s a present from God,’’ Sis Naing quipped.

A total of 22 entries from the bumper fleet of 94 yachts are from overseas. It’s one of the strongest fleets ever assembled to contest for line honours and the coveted Tattersall’s Cup, not to mention the Rolex Yacht-Master Timepiece that is awarded with each of the two Event website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
Kosinska to hit out against the Hyeres heavy metal in 2016 Olympic bid
Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at Hyeres later this week. 2016 Olympic aspirant, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at the third round of the Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Posted on 26 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Rio2016 - Winther hits ball firmly into Olympic selectors' court
2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team finishing 11th in the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships in Mexico. Running a self-funded campaign which took in the Princesca Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain followed by the World Championship on Banderas Bay, Mexico, Winther placed 11th overall and 10th country.
Posted on 21 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Kosinska flies out in RS-X Olympic bid
Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres, in her final attempt to gain NZ Olympic selection. Kosinska has been training in her own program in New Zealand with the 2015 Women's World Champion, Chen Peina (CHN) in the RS:X Windsurfer, and Zhichao Zhang the Men's #4 at the 2015 Worlds in Oman
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther makes top three in final Qualifying race
2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds 2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds and has moved up the leaderboard to be in 12th place at the end of the shortened Qualifying Round. She placed third in the only race sailed today and continues to improve as the regatta progresses, and her confidence builds.
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther scores three single digit places - Day 3
New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table at the 2016 Laser radial Worlds being sailed in Mexico. She now lies in 15th place overall after three days of racing. She achieved single digit scores in the three races sailed today, despite hitting marks in two races and having to perform penalty turns.
Posted on 17 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Kiwis locked in Olympic selection fight - Day 2
The points gap has narrowed between the two elading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection The points gap has narrowed between the two lading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection in the Womens Singlehanded Laser Radial class.
Posted on 16 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther off to a handy start in light airs
Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. She is best placed of the three New Zealand competitors in the regatta, lying in 22nd overall after two races were sailing the Qualifying Round.
Posted on 15 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Lancer Lasts LongerKiwi Yachting - LewmarInSunSport - NZ