Friday, May 12, 2006

Is this the year for Shosholoza?

You may remember that last year I got quite excited about our entry to the Americas' Cup, Shosholoza.



Well this year's Cup action started yesterday in Valencia, Spain (Called Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 10).

Sadly, Shosholoza lost its first heat to Cup favourite BMW Oracle, but early days yet.

The Cup has an awesome website. Go see.


UPDATE!! UPDATE!!


Shosholoza had a stunning day today - carding two race victories!

See more: BMW ORACLE Racing are unbeaten while the Swedes and South Africans move up

Shosholoza beat Areva in Flight 5 on Day 3 of Act 10 of the Americas Cup in Valenica - one of two wins on the day Picture: americascup.com


UPDATE!! UPDATE!! Monday 15th May


Shosholoza had another really good day today, trailing Alinghi (one of the two America's Cup favourites - the other is BMW Oracle) by only two boat lengths over the finish line. In their second race they won, beating +39.

Listen live during the next three days on America's Cup Radio.

The following is an article about Shosholoza from the America's Cup Magazine:

Valencia - 15.05.2006
New start for South Africa

The first ever America’s Cup challenge from South Africa, Shosholoza, is marching to the beat of a different drum in 2006. The team has a new base, a new boat configuration, a new mast and sails, and additions to the crew which give the team a more international – and Italian – flavour. This is Shosholoza in 2006, a team determined to make a move at this 32nd America’s Cup.
In 2004, the South Africans captured hearts with their passion and enthusiasm. In 2005 the team earned its first win in Malmö-Skåne, and followed that up with three more match victories in Trapani, and a surprising fifth place finish in the fleet races.

Now, in 2006, the team is determined to move up the ladder in a meaningful way. After two disappointing days, on Saturday, Shosholoza exploded for two victories, including a huge win over Desafío Español.

Enthusiasm
“It was important is to just keep going. On Friday we expected a win and didn’t get it, but it was important to keep our heads high, not change a lot and stay confident that it would come together sooner or later,” said Solomon Dipeere, one of the crew members on the team.“Personally, I think the spirit and team work on our team is fantastic. We just keep feeling good, as if we were winning everything and that feeling is good for the team.”

The driving force behind the enthusiasm on the team is Captain Salvatore Sarno, the ebullient founder and leader of Shosholoza. He recognises the need to balance passion and technology in his pursuit of the America’s Cup. On the ‘technology side, the team was the first to launch a new boat, with RSA 83 racing all 2005 Louis Vuitton Acts. The boat has been modified over this past winter, and with a new mast and sails is more competitive than ever with the rest of the fleet.

And experience
The additions of Dee Smith, Tommaso Chieffi and Paolo Cian have added skill and experience to the back of the boat, and Mark Sadler, a South African, has been appointed skipper.

“The crew is delighted by the new team and there is a lot of enthusiasm about our prospects this year.” Captain Sarno says. “I knew the victories would come. We only needed to tune the team and now I am expecting similar, positive results.”

While they are celebrating their deserved success, the team is leading another important campaign…against AIDS. One of their new spinnakers carries the red AIDS ribbon emblazoned across the white sail material.

“This is such an important issue, and we see the America’s Cup as an ideal platform to raise awareness about something that is critical for all of Africa,” Sarno says.

And it’s that disarming recognition from Salvatore Sarno that some things are more important than winning that might just make Shosholoza the most successful team – on and off the water – at this 32nd America’s Cup.


2 comments:

Aquila said...

nice...I'm sure we'll make up

It is the question said...

Aquila: we did - what a day!