SA America's Cup Team Shosholoza celebrates new sailing base in Cape Town

The South African America’s Cup Team Shosholoza opened its new sailing and training center in Cape Town at the weekend.

Wolfgang Jakob, CEO of T-Systems South Africa, welcomed around 250 friends of Shosholoza at Robben Island on Friday evening (25 February) to celebrate the opening of the roughly 2,000 m2 base. Among the guests was the German ambassador, Harro Adt.

The base in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront will serve as the control center for the first African team competing for the world’s oldest sports trophy.

The new sailing and training center will allow Team Shosholoza to prepare itself for the preliminary match races for the America’s Cup in Valencia (Spain), Malmö (Sweden) and Trapani (Italy) in 2005. Newcomer to the team and international sailing pro, Tim Kröger has been training with his South African team mates for close to two weeks and says he is impressed with the daily progress they are making. “The crew is highly motivated. In mid-April we’ll have a new boat. These are ideal training conditions.”

As part of the event the commodore of the Royal Cape Yacht Club, Russell Vollmer, and his counterpart at the North German Regatta Verein (NRV), Gunter Persiehl, are promoting a youth exchange programme called “Sailing without Borders.”

The programme introduced by T-Systems makes it possible for 20 young sailors from each country to attend training in the other country. Promising young athletes between the ages of 13 and 22 are supported in three boat categories: Optimist, 420 and Laser.