Roy Heiner, former skipper of VOR yacht Assa Abloy, will be part of the South African bid to compete in the 2005/6 Volvo Ocean Race
Roy Heiner, former skipper of VOR yacht Assa Abloy, will be part of the South African bid to compete in the 2005/6 Volvo Ocean Race.
The announcement of the intention to enter a syndicate in the next race was made at a two-day boat-building symposium hosted as part of this year’s stopover in Cape Town. David Gant, chairman of Boat Partners South Africa, said that the initiative would provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase South Africa and its industries to the world at large and raise the general level of awareness of the South African Boat Building industry and its huge international potential.
Heiner who is a South African by birth understands the concept of nation building and is keen to help to get as many South African sailors on board as possible. He said: ‘There is a challenge ahead of us to get a campaign going, carried by all South Africans and has the potential to carry the future. That challenge is quite big right now. For me, South Africa is a very special country – I lived here fore 25 years of my life. I wanted to be in a team that is really driven to make something happen in a beautiful country – it hits me deep in the heart. It is a decision that we have talked about for sometime, it is not a decision of yesterday, but it is something that has grown and is very special.’
In addition to Heiner and David Gant, a strong global team has been put together to manage the bid, consisting of some of the biggest names in yachting in Cape Town today. Significantly it includes Lars Ahren, a veteran of four previous Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race syndicates, Manly Hopkinson, a former round the world skipper and marine engineer, and Ian Douglas, chief executive of the Cape Town International Convention Centre Company. Bruce Parker-Forsyth, the Chairman of the Cape Town stopover will also join the board to handle the sales, promotion and marketing activities required by the initiative.