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Young People From Across South Africa Selected For Unique Global Adventure

Young people from across South Africa selected for unique global adventure

Sapinda Rainbow project working with Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in unique initiative to develop young community leaders of future and global ambassadors for Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

DURBAN KZN, SA – 24 JUNE 2013: The Sapinda Rainbow project and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) has revealed the eight young South Africans selected to create a “tag” team, each to participate in one of the eight legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – at 40,000 miles it’s the longest ocean challenge on the planet! The unique initiative aims to develop young community leaders of the future and global ambassadors to raise international awareness and funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

30 young people from across the country aged 18-23 were shortlisted and have participated in a tough selection process over the last three days hosted by Sail Africa in Durban. All candidates were put through their paces in a series of tasks which include sailing familiarisation and aptitude; media, communications and presentation skills; writing and blogging exercises, and one-to-one interviews.

“We had an excellent group of young people here over the weekend and the selection process was very difficult for the judging team,” explained David Cusworth, the Clipper Race crew manager who was part of the selection panel. “We were looking for candidates who would benefit the most from the experience in terms of their personal development and the imact they could make on their communities after competing in the Clipper Race.”

The Sapinda Rainbow project is working with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) which promoted the opportunity throughout its network and encouraged nominations from the communities it serves of young people aged 18-23. The successful candidates will also raise awareness around the world of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.

Mpaki Pule, donor relations manager with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was present at the announcement and said: “All the young people who participated this weekend demonstrated the strength of the youth of this country. The ones that have been selected to compete in the Clipper Race are exceptional. I hope this experience will help them achieve their full potential.

“This is a unique partnership and the opportunity it will give us to reach a global audience to support the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital project is another important dimension. I think it could make a huge contribution towards achieving Nelson Mandela’s legacy of a world class specialist medical facility for South Africa’s Children. I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially its sponsor, Sapinda Group.”

The project is funded by the Sapinda Group to give young people a unique personal development opportunity through participation in a life-changing global adventure and at the same time encourage them to become a catalyst and role model within their own respective communities.

Dirk van Daele, Sapinda Executive Committee member and CEO of Anoa Capital, participated in the 2009-10 edition of the Clipper Race and experienced first-hand how the event was used to develop young people from other countries. He said: “The Clipper Race is a unique event which changes lives. I am delighted with the young people that have been selected to participate in this exciting project. All the candidates we saw were quite remarkable and fro a diverse range of backgrounds. We were not only be looking for what candidates can do individually, but what they can contribute through leadership and gaining confidence which will ultimately be a catalyst back within their own communities.”

The Clipper Race is the world’s longest at 40,000 miles and will visit 14 ports on six continents over eleven months. It is unique in that it trains amateurs from all walks of life to take on some of the most challenging oceans on Earth under the guidance of a professional Skipper following an extensive training programme. The ninth edition of the Clipper Race starts and finishes in London, departing on 1 September and stops in Cape Town in late October when all candidates will be invited to participate in stopover events and to experience sailing aboard the new Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts.

The team will leave for the UK from Cape Town on Friday 26 July – the official “birthday” of NMCF – to undertake an intense period of training prior to the race start on 1 September 2013. Cape Town is the South African host port for the Clipper Race and will host the fleet of twelve 70 foot ocean racing yachts in late October

The eight crew and two reserves are detailed below together with quotes from interviews during the selection process:

Sapinda Rainbow Project Crew and Reserves


Candidate name Town Community sponsor
Leg 1 UK ??? Brazil:

Siyaya Nomcebo


“The biggest challenge is I think a lot of people lack confidence and they don’t have the confidence to achieve their dreams. I think being away from home will be hard. I’ve never been away from home and this trip to Durban has been the first time. The weather on the race looks very challenging. I’ve never been that cold!”



Kwazulu Natal


Rec Star 4 Life


Leg 2 Brazil to South Africa

Nokulunga Nkwanya


“I could teach people from my community everything I???ve learned through the Clipper Race. It will be a big challenge but I’m excited at the thought of being able to do it.”


Kwazulu Natal

Rec Star 4 Life
Leg 3 South Africa to W Australia

Mbongiseni Oludlu


“As young people we are facing big challenges like peer pressure and teenage pregnancy. We don’t have enough good facilities like sports centres where we could expose our talents which is a big issue. I hope to inspire my community and show them dreams can come true. It’s my dream to come to Durban and then take part in the race.”

Johannesburg, Gauteng


Diepsloot Youth Projects


Leg 4 W Australia – Sydney, Australia

Masibulele Liyaba


“My friends and parents believe in me and lots of people believe I can do it in my community. It will prove that even if you have done bad things in the past you can change and achieve good things.”



North West


Guidance Education Youth Project


Leg 5 Australia – Singapore – China

Blessing Lethukuthula


“A lot of young people abuse drugs which is a big problem in our communities, people dropping out of school. Some people do not understand the importance of education. I think the biggest challenge in taking part will be adapting to the new situation and being out of my comfort zone.”




 Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
Leg 6 China – San Francisco USA

Nqoba Mswazi


“My seamanship skills would improve a lot through the Clipper Race, without those skills you cannot sail a boat correctly. I enjoy helping new people find sailing while working for Sail Africa but I want to improve.”

Durban Sail Africa
Leg 7 San Francisco – New York USA

Mency Madolo


“Where I live there is nothing to do. So many people get into trouble. This would be a great opportunity for me to do something very different with my life.”


Kwazulu Natal


Rec Star 4 Life


Leg 8 USA – Europe – UK

Lebalang Molobele


“When you dream something big there’s not a lot of people to support you. You have to go out and try and do it yourself. You go out and figure it out but it’s not easy as some people have more resources and help than you so some people get demotivated. The hardest part will be the weather and conditions. I think adjusting to conditions I’m not used to will be hard but I will adapt and learn how things work and about other people.”




Diepsloot Youth Projects


Reserve 1 (There are 2  reserves who will go to the UK to do all the training with the rest of the team and watch Race start in London – They will be on standby in case there is any reason the main crew cannot participate)

Tshepo Shai







Reserve 2

Lazarus Tshikovhi




Thohoyandu Victim Empowerment Programme




Sapinda, an investment holding company with particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa with existing investments in South Africa and Zambia, is engaged in a wide range of socially responsible initiatives and is taking particular interest in promoting leadership among young people in South Africa.

Through the Sapinda Rainbow project, Sapinda is encouraging the potential of youngsters from a variety of communities and backgrounds who might otherwise not have the opportunity of the hands on experience of participating in the Clipper Race.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children’s lives. The fund introduced the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust as a legacy project to provide world-class healthcare for all children of Southern Africa. The hospital will be a dedicated specialist hospital working on a referral basis – and no child will be turned away due to inability to pay. Currently in its planning and fundraising stage, the Hospital Trust aims to break ground later this year.

The Clipper Race is fully supportive of the initiative and is project managing the programme which includes a month in the UK in August to undergo final training before participating in the race start from the UK later this year. It will also support the young Ambassadors in raising awareness and fundraising for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

The Clipper Race was set up thanks to the vision of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-9. He wanted people to be able to experience ocean racing no matter what their background. Forty-five years after setting off on that record breaking voyage he is still very much at the helm of the Clipper Race and will play an active role in supporting the Sapinda Rainbow project.


About Sapinda Group

The Sapinda group is a privately owned investment group led by a team comprising experienced entrepreneurs, former managing partners/CEO’s of law firms, private equity and financial services such as Lars Windhorst, Rob Hersov and Dirk van Daele. The group is funded by selected prominent high net worth families who sought exposure to special situations investment opportunities across continental Europe, Asia and Africa. This wide network of relationships enables Sapinda to provide creative equity and debt solutions for complicated transactions and investment products. Since inception the group has executed several billion Euros of investment and financing transactions across a wide range of geographies and asset classes. In 2012, Sapinda was active in sub Saharan Africa in a number of sectors; more specifically Sapinda built and is the reference shareholder of the South African coal mining business Ichor Coal ( which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and continues to grow by acquiring more assets. Sapinda is also the largest shareholder of Amatheon Agri, an agribusiness growing crops in Zambia ( As an advisor looking for growth capital, Sapinda works with its financial services partner Anoa Capital ( on a number of assignments such as the capital raising for Minocongo Group in the DRC engaged in the flour/bakery business in Kinshasa.

Today Sapinda employs over 85 professionals and has offices in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Moscow, and Johannesburg.

Sapinda is engaged in a wide range of socially responsible initiatives and is taking particular interest in promoting leadership among young people in South Africa. Through the Sapinda Rainbow programme, Sapinda is encouraging the potential of youngsters from a variety of communities and backgrounds who might otherwise not have the opportunity of the hands on experience of participating in the Clipper Round the World Race. Sapinda is particularly proud to be able to work in close co-operation with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund; not only in sharing the same objective of helping young people but also to assist in the funding of The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

About Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children’s lives.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be a state-of-the-art specialist paediatric academic and tertiary referral hospital, providing child-centred best quality medical services to all children of Southern Africa, irrespective of the social and economic status.

About Sail Africa

Sail Africa is a development initiative. Its objective is to provide education, skills training and personal development and empowerment through the medium of sail training, for young South Africans who could otherwise not afford the privilege of participating in sailing. The project aims to provide life skills, increased confidence and opportunities which are currently unavailable to most young South Africans, ensuring them of a career path in the sailing industry, or a springboard to a career of their choice.

About Clipper Ventures Plc

Clipper Ventures Plc was established in 1995 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.  Sir Robin founded the company on the premise that sailing should be made available to everyone, regardless of age or experience. So he launched the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. The company owns and operates its own matched fleet of ocean racing yachts and so far more than 3,000 people have competed in the eight editions of the Clipper Race to date. The company also owns the rights to the professional solo round the world VELUX 5 OCEANS race and runs a successful events division offering corporate sailing and development programmes. Today Clipper Ventures is recognised as a leading international marine events company which is focused on developing and promoting major global events such as the Clipper Race.

Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race will start in summer 2013 and return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 miles route, making it the world???s longest ocean race. The event was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 650 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro. It???s the largest race ever. Crew members can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of eight legs. The only qualification for the race is the minimum age of 18 (there is no upper age limit) plus a thirst for adventure. The overall race is divided into individual stages and points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

It is 45 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set off on his record breaking solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1968-69. Now, as Executive Chairman and founding Director of Clipper Ventures Plc, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Sir Robin has been involved in sailing all his life and holds a Department of Transport Master???s Certificate. He set the record for the fastest circumnavigation with Sir Peter Blake. In 2007; he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. Sir Robin has considerable experience of the administration of round the world races having served on the Whitbread Race committee from 1990 to 1994 and having organised the BOC Challenge Round the World Race in 1982 and 1986. He has been named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times and participated in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart race at the age of 71.

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