Today sees the first ever Team sailing League regatta in this country, a really fine initiative by South African Sailing (SAS) our national body.
The country’s top international sailors have thrown their support into this weekend’s launch of the new national Team Sailing League (TSL).
Two-time Olympians Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson will be joined by Jim’s new 470 teammate Sibu Sizatu and a host of others as they take to the water at the exhibition event today (Saturday, 9 September).
Alex Burger, who along with Benji Daniel recently sailed to victory at the 29er World Championships in California, will also be in Cape Town for the launch.
Speaking about the new league which promises to draw larger numbers into the sport, Hudson explained: “Team Racing/ Sailing in the USA and UK has proven a very strong model for the sport at school and university level, bringing together large numbers of new and existing sailors and generating strong and healthy competition between institutions, ultimately benefiting the sport.
“There are even examples of USA Olympic sailors from Rio 2016 who spent a lot of time honing their racing and tactical skills in a similar team-racing format while at university.”
“Now that the TSL boats exist, the challenge of the South African TSL will be one of organisation, logistics and maintenance. If this challenge is strongly met, the TSL could bring huge numbers of people into the sport of sailing in South Africa and could generate young sailors with the more acute and advanced tactical and racing skills that are a prerequisite at international level competition,” added Hudson.