Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to be patron of Team Shosholoza 11/10/06

Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has accepted an invitation to be patron of Team Shosholoza, South Africa’s first ever challenger for sailing’s prestigious 156 year old America’s Cup.

Archbishop Tutu, who celebrated his 75th birthday on the 7 October, will meet the crew of Team Shosholoza for the first time on the 27 November in Cape Town when they return home from their base in Spain for a two month winter break.

An initial approach was made in January this year when Team Shosholoza were back in South Africa but because of Archbishop Tutu’s busy global schedule a meeting was impossible to arrange. For instance between now and November he will have appointments in New York, Hiroshima, Doha, The Hague, Ankara, Bochum and Brussels. Correspondence continued after the team returned to Europe for this year’s America’s Cup precursor regattas in Valencia – the Spanish host city for the 2007 America’s Cup. But it was only last week that the November date was finally agreed on.

Team Shosholoza managing director, Captain Salvatore Sarno, said he was honoured by Archbishop Tutu’s acceptance, commenting: “I love and respect the Archbishop Tutu in the same way as I love and respect Nelson Mandela. For me they represent the heart and soul of the new South Africa, which is something that we are trying to portray through Shosholoza. I am a believer and for me the Archbishop is someone very close to God. I am convinced that Team Shosholoza has the protection of God and this is why we have asked him to support us through our hurdles for the America’s Cup next year.”