Team Shosholoza from South Africa is the third Challenger
The Royal Cape Yacht Club joins the Golden Gate Yacht Club and the Circolo Vela Gargnano as official Challengers for the 32nd America’s Cup.
Captain Salvatore Sarno is the driving force behind South Africa’s maiden America’s Cup challenge. Captain Sarno said; “South Africa is a modern, dynamic, exciting country, and we want to show that to the world. We want to show that on the boat, black and white can work together, do well, and have success together. We want to be part of the renaissance of South Africa.”
The team name, Shosholoza, is a word with roots deep in South African culture. It is a worksong with a long history with mine workers, and others engaged in hard, physical labour. As a word, it is understood to mean, ‘go forward’ or ‘make way’, an appropriate sentiment for an America’s Cup team.
The South African America’s Cup Challenge has already been working for several months from its base in Cape Town. It has purchased one of the Prada boats from the Louis Vuitton Cup winning team of 2000, and has been sailing on Table Bay for several weeks.
World-champion South African yachtsman Geoff Meek has been appointed skipper of the team. A five-time South African Yachtsman of the Year, Meek also has America’s Cup experience as the alternate skipper for the British team in training for the 1986-1987 America’s Cup.
Adding experience to the team is sailing manager Paul Standbridge, who filled that role for the GBR Challenge in 2003. Standbridge also brings experience from five Round the World Races, among other world-class offshore campaigns.
The Shosholoza team plans to build two new boats for the 32nd America’s Cup, and to that end has already enlisted designer and naval architect Jason Ker. The team is currently planning to launch its first new design on Freedom Day in South Africa, the 27 April 2005.