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Clipper Race Reveals Crew to Support Nelson Mandela Legacy

DURBAN KZN, South Africa, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

UK based Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in unique initiative to develop young community leaders of future and global ambassadors for Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital

Clipper Ventures, with Sapinda Rainbow and Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF), has revealed the eight young South Africans selected to create a 'tag' team, each to participate in one of the eight legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - at 40,000 miles it's the longest ocean challenge on the planet! The unique initiative aims to develop young community leaders of the future and global ambassadors to raise international awareness and funds for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

30 young people from across the country aged 18-23 were shortlisted and have participated in a tough selection process over the last three days hosted by Sail Africa in Durban. All candidates were put through their paces in a series of tasks which include sailing familiarisation and aptitude; media, communications and presentation skills; writing and blogging exercises, and one-to-one interviews.

"We had an excellent group of young people here over the weekend and the selection process was very difficult for the judging team," explained David Cusworth, the Clipper Race crew manager with organisers Clipper Ventures, who was part of the selection panel. "We were looking for candidates who would benefit the most from the experience in terms of their personal development and the impact they could make on their communities after competing in the Clipper Race."

The Sapinda Rainbow project is working with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) which has promoted the opportunity throughout its network and encouraged nominations from the communities it serves of young people aged 18-23. The successful candidates will also raise awareness around the world of the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust.

Mpaki Pule, donor relations manager with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund was present at the announcement and said: "All the young people who participated this weekend demonstrated the strength of the youth of this country. The ones that have been selected to compete in the Clipper Race are exceptional. I hope this experience will help them achieve their full potential.

"This is a unique partnership and the opportunity it will give us to reach a global audience to support the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital project is another important dimension. I think it could make a huge contribution towards achieving Nelson Mandela's legacy of a world class specialist medical facility for South Africa's Children. I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially its sponsor, Sapinda Group."

The initiative is funded by the Sapinda Group to give young people a unique personal development opportunity through participation in a life-changing global adventure and at the same time encourage them to become a catalyst and role model within their own respective communities.

Dirk van Daele, Sapinda Executive Committee member and CEO of Anoa Capital, participated in the 2009-10 edition of the Clipper Race and experienced first-hand how the event was used to develop young people from other countries. He said: "The Clipper Race is a unique event which changes lives. I am delighted with the young people that have been selected to participate in this exciting project. All the candidates we saw were quite remarkable and from a diverse range of backgrounds. We were not only be looking for what candidates can do individually, but what they can contribute through leadership and gaining confidence which will ultimately be a catalyst back within their own communities."

The Clipper Race is the world's longest at 40,000 miles and will visit 14 ports on six continents over eleven months. It is unique in that it trains amateurs from all walks of life to take on some of the most challenging oceans on Earth under the guidance of a professional Skipper following an extensive training programme. The ninth edition of the Clipper Race starts and finishes in London, departing on 1 September and stops in Cape Town in late October when all candidates will be invited to participate in stopover events and to experience sailing aboard the new Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts.

The team will leave for the UK from Cape Town on Friday 26 July - the official 'birthday' of NMCF - to undertake an intense period of training prior to the race start on 1 September 2013. Cape Town is the South African host port for the Clipper Race and will host the fleet of twelve 70 foot ocean racing yachts in late October.

Founder and Chairman of race organisers Clipper Ventures, legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has sent a message of congratulations to the crew that have been selected for the Sapinda Rainbow project. Sir Robin said:

"Congratulations on being selected to take part in the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.  I look forward to meeting you when you come to England for your training.   I shall watch your progress with interest.   By passing the selection process you have created for yourselves a wonderful opportunity and a chance to develop those elements of skill and character that will be a sure foundation for the rest of your lives. Well done and good luck."

The eight crew and two reserves are detailed below together with quotes from interviews during the selection process:

Sapinda Rainbow Project Crew and Reserves

    Candidate name                      Town             Community sponsor

    Leg 1 UK - Brazil:

    Siyaya Nomcebo

    "The biggest challenge is I
    think a lot of people lack
    confidence and they don't
    have the confidence to
    achieve their dreams. I think
    being away from home will be
    hard. I've never been away
    from home and this trip to
    Durban has been the first
    time. The weather on the race
    looks very challenging. I've       Mtubatuba,
    never been that cold!"             Kwazulu Natal         Rec Star 4 Life

    Leg 2 Brazil to South Africa

    Nokulunga Nkwanya

    "I could teach people from my
    community everything I've
    learned through the Clipper
    Race. It will be a big
    challenge but I'm excited at
    Hluhluwe, the thought of being
    able to do it."                  Kwazulu Natal         Rec Star 4 Life

    Leg 3 South Africa to W

    Mbongiseni Oludlu

    "As young people we are
    facing big challenges like
    peer pressure and teenage
    pregnancy. We don't have
    enough good facilities like
    sports centres where we could
    expose our talents which is a
    big issue. I hope to inspire
    my community and show them
    dreams can come true. It's my     Johannesburg,        Diepsloot Youth
    dream to come to Durban and       Gauteng              Projects
    then take part in the race."

    Leg 4 W Australia - Sydney,

    Masibulele Liyaba

    "My friends and parents
    believe in me and lots of
    people believe I can do it in
    my community. It will prove
    that even if you have done
    bad things in the past you
    can change and achieve good       Orkney,              Guidance Education
    things."                          North West           Youth Project

    Leg 5 Australia - Singapore -

    Blessing Lethukuthula

    "A lot of young people abuse
    drugs which is a big problem
    in our communities, people
    dropping out of school. Some
    people do not understand the
    importance of education. I
    think the biggest challenge
    in taking part will be
    adapting to the new situation
    and being out of my comfort       Springs,
    zone."                            Gauteng              Nelson Mandela
                                                           Children's Fund
    Leg 6 China - San Francisco

    Nqoba Mswazi

    "My seamanship skills would
    improve a lot through the
    Clipper Race, without those
    skills you cannot sail a boat
    correctly. I enjoy helping
    new people find sailing while
    working for Sail Africa but I
    want to improve."                  Durban              Sail Africa

    Leg 7 San Francisco - New
    York USA

    Mency Madolo

    "Where I live there is
    nothing to do. So many people
    get into trouble. This would
    be a great opportunity for me      Mtubatuba,
    to do something very               Kwazulu Natal       Rec Star 4 Life
    different with my life."

    Leg 8 USA - Europe - UK

    Lebalang Molobele

    "When you dream something big
    there's not a lot of people
    to support you. You have to
    go out and try and do it
    yourself. You go out and
    figure it out but it's not
    easy as some people have more
    resources and help than you
    so some people get
    demotivated. The hardest part
    will be the weather and
    conditions. I think adjusting
    to conditions I'm not used to       Soweto,
    will be hard but I will adapt       Gauteng           Diepsloot Youth
    and learn how things work and                         Projects
    about other people."

    Reserve 1 (There are 2
    reserves who will go to the
    UK to do all the training
    with the rest of the team and
    watch Race start in London -
    They will be on standby in
    case there is any reason the
    main crew cannot participate)       Tzaneen,
    Tshepo Shai                         Limpopo           Huresic

    Reserve 2

    Lazarus Tshikovhi                   Thohoyandou,      Thohoyandu Victim
                                        Limpopo           Empowerment


Sapinda, an investment holding company with particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa with existing investments in South Africa and Zambia, is engaged in a wide range of socially responsible initiatives and is taking particular interest in promoting leadership among young people in South Africa.

Through the Sapinda Rainbow project, Sapinda is encouraging the potential of youngsters from a variety of communities and backgrounds who might otherwise not have the opportunity of the hands on experience of participating in the Clipper Race.

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children's lives. The fund introduced the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust as a legacy project to provide world-class healthcare for all children of Southern Africa. The hospital will be a dedicated specialist hospital working on a referral basis - and no child will be turned away due to inability to pay. Currently in its planning and fundraising stage, the Hospital Trust aims to break ground later this year.

The Clipper Race is fully supportive of the initiative and is project managing the programme which includes a month in the UK in August to undergo final training before participating in the race start from the UK later this year. It will also support the young Ambassadors in raising awareness and fundraising for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

The Clipper Race was set up thanks to the vision of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-9. He wanted people to be able to experience ocean racing no matter what their background. Forty-five years after setting off on that record breaking voyage he is still very much at the helm of the Clipper Race and will play an active role in supporting the Sapinda Rainbow project.

Media interested in more information should contact the Clipper Race media contacts listed below.

Or please contact the Clipper Race media office in the UK:
Amy Martindale, [email protected]
Office Tel: +44-(0)2392-526-000 Mobile: +44(0)7824-817-270

For further information about the Clipper Race please visit

Images and video to illustrate this release available on request

About Sapinda Group

The Sapinda group is a privately owned investment group led by a team comprising experienced entrepreneurs, former managing partners/CEO's of law firms, private equity and financial services such as Lars Windhorst, Rob Hersov and Dirk van Daele. The group is funded by selected prominent high net worth families who sought exposure to special situations investment opportunities across continental Europe, Asia and Africa. This wide network of relationships enables Sapinda to provide creative equity and debt solutions for complicated transactions and investment products. Since inception the group has executed several billion Euros of investment and financing transactions across a wide range of geographies and asset classes. In 2012, Sapinda was active in sub Saharan Africa in a number of sectors; more specifically Sapinda built and is the reference shareholder of the South African coal mining business Ichor Coal ( which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and continues to grow by acquiring more assets. Sapinda is also the largest shareholder of Amatheon Agri, an agribusiness growing crops in Zambia (

As an advisor looking for growth capital, Sapinda works with its financial services partner Anoa Capital ( on a number of assignments such as the capital raising for Minocongo Group in the DRC engaged in the flour/bakery business in Kinshasa.

Today Sapinda employs over 85 professionals and has offices in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Moscow, and Johannesburg.

Sapinda is engaged in a wide range of socially responsible initiatives and is taking particular interest in promoting leadership among young people in South Africa. Through the Sapinda Rainbow programme, Sapinda is encouraging the potential of youngsters from a variety of communities and backgrounds who might otherwise not have the opportunity of the hands on experience of participating in the Clipper Round the World Race. Sapinda is particularly proud to be able to work in close co-operation with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund; not only in sharing the same objective of helping young people but also to assist in the funding of The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

About Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children's lives.

The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital will be a state-of-the-art specialist paediatric academic and tertiary referral hospital, providing child-centred best quality medical services to all children of Southern Africa, irrespective of the social and economic status.

About Sail Africa

Sail Africa is a development initiative. Its objective is to provide education, skills training and personal development and empowerment through the medium of sail training, for young South Africans who could otherwise not afford the privilege of participating in sailing. The project aims to provide life skills, increased confidence and opportunities which are currently unavailable to most young South Africans, ensuring them of a career path in the sailing industry, or a springboard to a career of their choice.

About Clipper Ventures Plc

Clipper Ventures Plc was established in 1995 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.  Sir Robin founded the company on the premise that sailing should be made available to everyone, regardless of age or experience. So he launched the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. The company owns and operates its own matched fleet of ocean racing yachts and so far more than 3,000 people have competed in the eight editions of the Clipper Race to date. The company also owns the rights to the professional solo round the world VELUX 5 OCEANS race and runs a successful events division offering corporate sailing and development programmes. Today Clipper Ventures is recognised as a leading international marine events company which is focused on developing and promoting major global events such as the Clipper Race.

Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race will start in summer 2013 and return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 miles route, making it the world's longest ocean race. The event was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 650 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro. It's the largest race ever.

Crew members can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of eight legs. The only qualification for the race is the minimum age of 18 (there is no upper age limit) plus a thirst for adventure. The overall race is divided into individual stages and points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

It is 45 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set off on his record breaking solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1968-69. Now, as Executive Chairman and founding Director of Clipper Ventures Plc, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Sir Robin has been involved in sailing all his life and holds a Department of Transport Master's Certificate. He set the record for the fastest circumnavigation with Sir Peter Blake. In 2007; he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. Sir Robin has considerable experience of the administration of round the world races having served on the Whitbread Race committee from 1990 to 1994 and having organised the BOC Challenge Round the World Race in 1982 and 1986. He has been named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times and participated in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart race at the age of 71.

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