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Historic SA entry in America's Cup

By unknown | Apr 02, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

The excitement is mounting in Valencia, Spain, where Team Shosholoza, South Africa's first- ever entry in the America's Cup, is gearing up for the start of the racing season for this year's cup. South Africa is making her maiden bid for the America's Cup in Valencia.

This will be the first African challenge in the 156-year history of this prestigious event and will see a South African crew participating on board on a state-of-the-art racing yacht designed and built in South Africa.

Included in the South African team are Solomon Dipeere and Golden Mgedeza from Gauteng.

Dipeere spoke to Sowetan during a break from racing in Valencia on Friday and said he and Mgedeza were excited to be part of the team.

Dipeere, a mid-bowman who operates in the middle of the boat, said he couldn't believe he was in Spain.

"I am so blessed to be here and really excited. This is a big moment and a dream come true.

"I might never have got to go sailing if I hadn't won a bursary to do maritime studies in the Cape. When we were in grade 8 at Eureka High, Golden and I were offered a bursary to do maritime studies at Simonstown High School near Cape Town.

"My very first sailing trip was on Voortrekker 1, one of South Africa's best known yachts because of Bertie Reed who campaigned in her in the single- handed Round the World races," Dipeere said.

On participating in the cup he said: "We are opening the door for Africa's future sailors."


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