by Richard Crockett
A little over a week ago I wrote an opening piece on this event under the heading “Something Very Special is About to Happen in RSA Sailing”, and went on to say that this was “no ordinary team – this is a mouth-watering mixed team of both race and gender – all exciting up-and-coming born and bred young RSA sailors”.
It was everything I said, and loads more as these sailors did not disgrace themselves in any way, and can come home exceptionally proud of what they have achieved – and undoubtedly learnt. I am sure that the lessons learnt, the friendships forged and the memories will last a lifetime.
Neither team was anywhere finishing on the podium, and that was expected. Instead they experienced the cut and thrust of top quality competition, big fleet sailing, and all the while learning what it takes to ‘win big’.
Asenathi Jim & Elsje Dijkstra made the Gold Fleet and while their results were inconsistent, they had some good ones just outside the top 10 in 3 of the 6 Gold Fleet Races. They finished 24th out of 77 boats.
Michaela Robinson & Sibusiso Sizatu were unable to make the Gold Fleet cut, yet did not disgrace themselves in any way as they finished 53rd overall in a fleet of 77 boats.
They certainly improved as the event progressed and finished the competition with an 8th and 2nd – two very solid results which will give them confidence about their own ability and the future.
This event was a ‘Proudly South African’ moment – thanks to our two RSA teams who made it that way and who showed that there are no boundaries of any sort in this wonderful sport of ours.