Shosholoza's Patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu pays tribute to the team in Valencia 11/6/07

 In “one stroke” Team Shosholoza, South Africa’ – first ever challenger for the 2007 America’ Cup – had been able to present a visual image to the world of what South Africa hoped to become, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, told a huge international media contingent at a press conference hosted at the South African base in Valencia, Spain, yesterday.

“In the past people were alienated and separated from each other. They couldn’t work together, live or play together and Shosholoza, in one stroke, has been able to present a new face to the world. It is a different image and a dream of what we want to become. Suddenly with Team Shosholoza the nation has discovered sailing. We didn’t know anything about sailing before Shosholoza. These guys did so very, very well. I want to congratulate all of them!” said Archbishop Tutu who agreed to be Patron of the team in May last year.

Archbishop Tutu, whose visit was hailed as a historic occasion for the 2007 America’s Cup, was visiting the South African base for the first time. He flawed the crowd when he jauntily donned a Shosholoza “18th man” sailing jacket and confidently tried out the wheel of yacht Shosholoza RSA 83 – albeit dock-side. Accompanied by his wife Leah, team managing director Captain Salvatore Sarno and members of the crew he even ventured to the tip of the narrow bow end of the boat, constantly asking questions.

“What Shosholoza has done is a superb thing for our country. It is a sport where we never thought we would even have a chance, but you have shocked the sailing world. You have demonstrated that the black community is able to integrate itself into this world and to be competitive in this sport,” he told the crew.