Keen ebay bidder wins 18th man position for a day aboard Team Shosholoza

There was a first in the history of the America’s Cup when a place on board one of the competing yachts was auctioned on virtual Internet marketplace eBay, fetching 6,350 Euros.

Team Shosholoza from South Africa will be joined on board by the highest bidder during one of the regattas in the coming Acts in Trapani (Sicily, 29 September – 9 October 2005). And with official chief sponsor T-Systems adding another 5,000 Euros to the auction proceeds, a total of 11,350 Euros will be going to the Izivunguvungu Foundation, which runs a sailing school near Cape Town for socially disadvantaged children and young people.

Supported by media partner, news of the eBay auction for the position of 18th man on board Team Shosholoza spread like wildfire among sailing enthusiasts. From a starting bid of 1 Euro the total immediately began to spiral upwards. Andreas Langhoff (40) ultimately came away with the prize with the highest bid of 6,350 Euros.

Originally a software developer, this passionate sailor has lived in Italy for some time and has made a career of his hobby: now he is a provider of catamaran cruises. Langhoff is delighted to have won the eBay auction: “Having the opportunity to sail with Team Shosholoza as the 18th man is for me the culmination of my passion for sailing. I’m a real technology fan and I’m very excited at being able to actually sail on an America’s Cup yacht. What really motivated me to put in a bid was the fact that all the proceeds would be going to the Izivunguvungu MSC Foundation and used for providing sailing instruction to young people.”

Langhoff is looking forward to the opportunity of being on board Shosholoza during Acts 8 & 9. In Sicily he will hand over the cheque to representatives of the Izivunguvungu Foundation jointly with T-Systems and will spend an entire day with Team Shosholoza. From the strategy meeting through race preparations to the regatta itself, he will be right there in the middle of the action and will be able to experience crewmembers responding to a live competition situation. And to round off the day there will be an evening meal with the whole team at the crew’s base. And who knows – perhaps even a spontaneous Shosholoza party to celebrate.