Young South Africans Shortlisted for Clipper World Epic

clipper san fran to panamaA unique youth development initiative to find eight young South Africans to build their teamworking and leadership skills by participating in the world’s longest ocean challenge, the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, has revealed a shortlist of 30 candidates from across the country.

The opportunity is fully funded by the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation which will take the finalists to participate in a challenging selection weekend at Sail Africa in Durban from 27 February to 1 March.

The opportunity builds on the success of a national campaign run throughout the 2013-2014 race by the Sapinda Rainbow Project, which saw eight youths, aged between 18 and 24, each participate in a leg of the global Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in some of the world’s toughest conditions.

The majority of the Sapinda Rainbow Project team had no previous sailing experience before taking part and some had never even seen a boat before. Through taking part in the global challenge the young people became ambassadors of the project and have acquired significant personal development skills.

The project has now evolved into the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation which continues to support and mentor the young participants as they plan for their futures with specific development and career goals. Lebalang Molobele, a 22 year-old from Meadowlands, Soweto, completed the final leg of the Clipper 2013-14 Race last year and has since become an acting liaison and spokesperson for the foundation and her fellow ambassadors.

Lebalang, alongside her fellow ambassadors organised the search for the shortlisted candidates and will be involved in the selection process of the next young participants. She says: “The Clipper Race was a life changing opportunity for me; a remarkable experience. I have learnt so many things. There are not many people out there who can give the time to help overcome the challenges we face as young people in South Africa. It has been a great journey inspiring other young people to get involved and I am really looking forward to meeting all the candidates and supporting them on their own journey.”

The Chairman of the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation, Dirk Van Daele participated in the 2009-10 edition of the Clipper Race and launched the foundation to support and develop youths from challenging backgrounds in South Africa. Dirk says: “We have had such a strong response this year with almost 200 applications from young people across the country, each sponsored by their local community. To have chosen the initial shortlist for the next group of inspiring ambassadors is an important step in the next stage of this exciting programme, and I’m looking forward to meeting all the candidates at the selection weekend in Durban next month.”

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the longest around the planet at more than 40,000 miles and is regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges. It is uniquely aimed at amateur crew and sailing novices from all walks of life. Divided into eight legs and series of global races, participants can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew.

Clipper Race Crew Recruitment Manager David Cusworth will be joining the selection team in Durban. David says: “The Clipper Race has long been recognised as a powerful personal development challenge which provides learning and leadership experiences unlike any other that exist on this planet.”

Adding, David says: “The successful candidates will join a team which includes people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities and will learn to work, live and compete together in challenging yet highly rewarding situations, as well as having the opportunity to travel to exciting destinations as they race across the world’s oceans.

“I’m looking forward to meeting all the finalists next month in Durban where we have devised a stimulating and, hopefully, enjoyable three-day programme with Sail Africa to determine who will join the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation’s Clipper Race team.”

The selection weekend will see all thirty shortlisted candidates put through their paces in a series of tasks which will include sailing familiarisation and aptitude; media, communications and presentation skills; writing and blogging exercises, and one-to-one interviews.

The final eight candidates will be announced on Sunday 1 March and visit the UK for compulsory race training in May 2015.  The tenth edition of the race this 2015-16 will start in the UK on Sunday 30 August and will visit Cape Town in late October 2015.

Sapinda Rainbow Foundation candidate shortlist:
Lindokuhle Lindani Ngema                        21
Bhekinhlanhla Gumede                               18
Philani Mdumiseni Mkhwanazi                  19
Mndeni Shamase                                            17
Lindokuhle Khulekaninilinde Nxumalo    21
Sakhile Khulekani Makhanya                     21
Makhanya Khulekani Ben                           22
Ruth Mthembu                                              18
Rveida Lungelo Mthethwa                         19
Marika Zethu                                                19
Mlanduli Nolthando Moonlight               18
Mweni  Zanele                                             18
Ngxokela Mzwakhe Themba                    19
Siphamandla Ngcobo                                23
Rowanie Waldhausen                               18
Lindokuhle Siyabonga Sithole                19
Mukhethwa Chauke                                  20
Kabelo Johannes Thaba                          23
Madlanga Bongane                                 23
Nhlanhla Prince Maseko                        19
Masombuka Lerato Bridgette             19
Tshepo Radebe                                      23
Dineo Modise                                       19
Katlego Mikhane                               18
Oatile Sekgaile                                   19
Magane Sewisa Lawrence            22
Boitumelo Charlotte Maila        21
Nadzhali Gudani                         18
Thulisile Vanecia Lekalake        21
Palesa Pebane                              23