RCYC hosts a Portuguese delegation, by Liesl King
Every year the Royal Cape Yacht Club receives funding from the Portuguese Ministry for our very popular Portugal Day Race and this year was no exception. We are very grateful for their continued support. This past weekend, our past Commodore Vitor Medina entertained the Portuguese Secretary of State, Dr Berta Nunes, the Portuguese Consul General Dr Jose Carlos Arsenio and the Ambassador of Portugal in South Africa, Dr Manuel Carvalho at Royal Cape Yacht Club.
Dr Nunes is the current Portuguese Secretary of State for the Portuguese communities all over the world. While roughly 10 million Portuguese live in Portugal, it is estimated that another five million reside outside of Portugal and Dr Nunes considers it important to be in touch with these Portuguese communities. The visit to South Africa was due to a reported increase in crime affecting the Portuguese community. She was however quite happy that these attacks were not aimed solely at the Portuguese community and that the community is doing very well.
With the Club’s close connection to the Portuguese community, especially through the annual sponsorship of the Portugal Race Day, we welcomed the delegation to a dinner at the Club. As host, Vitor Medina explained the history of the Yacht Club as well as the Club’s long standing involvement with the Portuguese community, going back some 25 years.
The following day he took Ambassador Carvalho for his very first sail. The Ambassador has always loved the sea and has a keen interest in Portugal’s history especially its great seafaring discoverers. “We went out in a 17 knot southeaster and gave him the helm”, reported Medina. “He had never sailed before and absolutely loved it. He has now found a new passion and wants to come down to Cape Town a lot more often to sail.”