South Africa's AC Team Shosholoza afterguard have come out of hybernation, ready for Valencia 26/1/07
Team Shosholoza is on the water again after a winter break with a boat that is as good as new. In the course of the past few weeks the RSA 83, the first boat built on the AC Version 5.0, was given a big face-lift. The team built a new bow, made some changes to the stern as well as a few to mast and keel.
Captain Salvatore Sarno reports: “This boat is the result of 1,5 years of testing. We studied and tank tested 23 models, interchanged 200 different appendages and then decided to modify the current boat, instead of building a completely new one.”
After weeks of around-the-clock work, the big moment everyone was impatiently waiting for arrived early this week; Team Shosholoza sailed for the first time in 2007.
After only a couple of days testing, the young America’s Cup crew is excited. Sports Director Tommaso Chieffi said: “We sailed with more than 20 knots without incurring any major problems, so this is an absolutely good sign.”
Next week’s schedule for Team Shosholoza includes match-races against Mascalzone-Latino and AREVA Challenge. The team will sail as much as possible depending on weather conditions and any technical hitches that might occur.
The big goal however, remains unchanged. Captain Salvatore Sarno, also back in Valencia, is sticking by his credo: “Shosholoza will be in the semi-final.”