The country’s top international sailors will converge on Milnerton Aquatic Club as they throw their support behind this weekend’s launch of the new national Team Sailing League (TSL).
Two-time Olympians Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson will be joined by Jim’s new 470 teammate Sibu Sizatu and a host of others as they take to the water at the exhibition event on Saturday, 9 September.
Alex Burger, who along with Benji Daniel recently sailed to victory at the 29er World Championships in California, will also be in Cape Town for the launch.
Speaking about the new league which promises to draw larger numbers into the sport, Hudson explained: “Team Racing/ Sailing in the USA and UK has proven a very strong model for the sport at school and university level, bringing together large numbers of new and existing sailors and generating strong and healthy competition between institutions, ultimately benefiting the sport.
“There are even examples of USA Olympic sailors from Rio 2016 who spent a lot of time honing their racing and tactical skills in a similar team-racing format while at university.”
Anyone keen to find out what team sailing all about is encouraged to join in a day of fun activities at Milnerton Aquatic Club on Saturday as different groups will go head to head in a demonstration of what can be expected in the national league.
With the support of the National Lotteries Commission and Sports and Recreation South Africa, SA Sailing have already commissioned the building of 28 boats which are easy and fun to sail and maintain and affordable but robust, for the TSL.
The League will essentially be split into four tournaments: a Youth Team Sailing League, an Inter-club Sailing League, a Corporate Challenge and a Women’s Sailing League – targeting specifically identified areas in which the sport can expand and develop.
“Now that the TSL boats exist, the challenge of the South African TSL will be one of organisation, logistics and maintenance. If this challenge is strongly met, the TSL could bring huge numbers of people into the sport of sailing in South Africa and could generate young sailors with the more acute and advanced tactical and racing skills that are a pre-requisite at international level competition,” added Hudson.
The country’s top international sailors will form a “Rockstars” team that will compete in this weekend’s launch.
Those interested in more information or getting involved in the SA Sailing TLS can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.