Simon’s Town Maritime Students Selected for Super-yacht Sailing Regatta in Spain

Maritime students Bradley Felix and Ronaldo Strauss

Maritime students Bradley Felix and Ronaldo Strauss

Bradley Felix and Ronaldo Strauss from Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre have been invited to participate in the Ibiza Rendezvous, the first super-yacht sailing regatta to embrace the island of Ibiza (http://ibizarendezvous.com/)

The trip forms part of a new charitable mentoring programme, ‘Marine Inspirations’ (www.marineinspirations.org) which aims to expose young South Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds to hands-on seamanship experience and possible career opportunities in the world of yachting.

‘Marine Inspirations’ is the brainchild of two South African super-yacht captains, Phil Wade and Anthony Just who – following a captains-lunch in Mallorca, Spain, earlier this year – reflected on how the quality maritime training they’d received in South Africa had contributed to their career success. This led to an agreed desire to share their good fortunes with the less fortunate in Southern Africa.

During the Ibiza Rendezvous sailing regatta, Bradley and Ronaldo, who are currently in Grade 11 at Lawhill, will join the Marine Inspirations crew aboard an 83 foot classic schooner where they will gain the practical and valuable boat-handling skills considered to be fundamental to good seamanship.

The trip will be a hugely exciting experience for the 17 year olds, who hail the Eastern Cape and Namibia, as they will be travelling abroad for the first time. When they fly to the Balearic Islands in Spain on Friday, October 3, it will also be Bradley’s first trip in an aeroplane.

Their life-changing trip to Spain has been made possible by Phil and Anthony’s initiative which is also well recognised and endorsed by the General Botha Old Boys Bursary Fund, amongst other private donors.

Please visit the website www.marineinspirations.org for details of this 2014 event in Spain, and www.GBBursaryFund.org to learn more about the committed educational support-programme provided to Lawhill Maritime Centre students by the General Botha Old Boys Bursary Fund.

Additional information:
More about the Lawhill Maritime Centre – Investing in a future maritime generation :

For the past 18 years the Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simons Town High School has successfully increased the post-school employment prospects of its students by providing them with maritime knowledge and skills while they are at school.

Lawhill’s effectiveness in helping to address youth unemployment and poverty in South Africa has been recognised both in South Africa and internationally, with several awards including The ‘Lloyds List Salute to Youth and Training’ Award (London, 1999), the international Seatrade ‘Investment in Youth’ Award (London, 2012) and a Platinum Award from the Impumelelo Social Innovation Centre (Cape Town, 2013).

Because Lawhill receives no state funding, its students – the majority of whom come from financially-stressed homes – are reliant on bursaries provided by maritime and related industries and individuals to fund their education and boarding at Lawhill from Grade 10 – 12.

Although a number of former Lawhill students have gone on to pursue careers in the yachting industry, the vast majority work in the shipping industry, either at sea or ashore.

By the end of 2014, Lawhill will have three of its former students – all of whom were previously unaware of the maritime industry when they joined Lawhill – as internationally qualified shipmasters.

Visit www.lawhill.org for more.

Background to Phil Wade and Anthony Just’s involvement with the Lawhill Maritime Centre
Phil Wade and Anthony Just attended the same physical maritime training base in Gordon’s Bay, although some years apart – Phil trained at the General Botha Merchant Marine College in the early 60s and Anthony attended the Gordon’s Bay S.A Naval Officers Training College at the same location in 1981.

More about Phil Wade
Durban-raised, Phil Wade spent two years (1960/61) at SATS General Botha College in preparation for a career at sea. By the end of the 60s he had left the merchant navy with a Chief Officer’s certificate and was working ashore in a shipping office in Durban.

He returned to sea when he was offered a trip on a yacht headed for the Caribbean. This trip marked the start of many new adventures and he has been sailing and racing yachts world-wide ever since. He is now a well-established and well known super yacht captain.

In 2011 he visited Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre as part of a 50 year General Botha Old Boys class reunion. Impressed by the work of the Centre, he and members of his Old Boys Association decided to initiate the General Botha Old Boys’ Bursary Fund (GBOBBF).

The Fund currently provides a full boarding bursary for six learners in Grade 10 – 12 to study at the Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simon’s Town. Members of the GBOBBF are also involved in providing mentoring support , motivational outreach activities and they meet regularly with students to assess their progress and to mentor their incorporation into the maritime industry.

More about Anthony Just
Following his initial formal maritime training at Gordon’s Bay Naval Officer Training College in 1981, Anthony entered the newly emerging international super-yachting world as yacht-captain and has managed numerous and varied yachts over the past decades.

A childhood spent on the Cape coastal shores around Kalk Bay in the 60s imparted in Anthony a great love of the sea and things maritime, which remain his great passion to this day.

In addition to commercial interests involving sailing and yachting, Anthony is also involved with the OK Prosthetics organization, an initiative set-up to provide modern, affordable and comfortable prosthetic limbs to neglected amputees in post-conflict and disaster zones around the world on a not-for-profit basis.

Anthony is also a keen and passionate guitarist-musician.

See http://marineinspirations.org/about-ok/ for more details of the OK Prosthetics amputee assistance programme.