Saturday, July 21, 2007

Team South Africa in Helsinki and Kotka

On Thursday around 5pm Sarah, Belinda and Daphne arrived to Helsinki airport where Bettina was to meet them. I met them all at the bus station and carrying the luggage through the city we made it to the hotel!!

On Thursday we wandered around the city a bit and had a lovely dinner in a little Chinese restaurant and then it was time for bed. 11pm and still light outside, the girls could not believe it.

Friday morning we took a stroll around the Kauppatori market where we were amused by the Finnish fur hats and circus woman with cats and a poodle and also bought some little souvenirs. After that headed to the bus station to get our luggage and buy some lunch before it was time for our bus to Kotka!!

When we arrived to sunny Kotka there was someone to meet us at the bus station and we got a lift to the harbour where the magnificent sight of hundreds of mast was waiting. Europe was still open for public for another hour so we left the bags on boards and went to have a look of the world biggest tall ship, the Russian ship Sedov, impressive. 5pm we could board on Europa. After all the signing in there was little bit of time to practise the gumboot dance and chat before the dinner was ready and it was my time to leave back to Helsinki. I wish I would have a place on Europa too, it looked like there was really nice crew and the girls will have an awesome adventure ahead!!

After all the planning and preparation it was great to see the team South Africa on board of Europa in Kotka.I’ve been so glad to be part of all this. All the best for their journey on Baltic ocean!!

Sanna, CWET volunteer 2006

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Race starts - Team SA leaving Cape Town yesterday

It's done. Team SA left Cape Town to join the Tall Ships' Races in the Baltic Sea. Yesterday evening at 23.25 pm, the girls set off to Helsinki, Finland via Amsterdam, Netherlands. In Helsinki they will meet Bettina Kabutz, their fourth team member and Sanna Räisänen from Finland. Sanna has been a Cape Windjammers volunteer in 2006 and is since addicted to the idea to Tall Ship Sailing. She will show the team around Helsinki and tomorrow she will travel together with the team to Kotka, where team SA will embark on the Europa to start the Tall Ships' Race. What an excitement amongst the girls at the airport. Family and friends as well as the co-ordinating team of the Sail Training International South African Initiative made their way to the airport to wave the girls "Good bye"!

The last few days were still full of excitement …! Tuesday between 13:05 and 13:30 the team was at the SABC3 studios in Sea Point to tell their story live on air in the SAfm program "Otherwise". Rather nerve wrecking was to wait for the passports of the girls to be sent back from the Polish Embassy in Pretoria. Some system error at DHL had caused a delay upsetting all of us and the whole of DHL. Eventually it was the commitment of some individual DHL staff members who made it happen that the passports arrived in Cape Town late at night.

And then, we were all rewarded with a generous donation from the Ackerman family covering the remaining costs of one team member! Thank you so much!!

Now it is up to you girls to make this voyage a success. Enjoy it! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Follow the team on their voyage on and click on Follow the ship and Logbook. Find out where Belinda, Daphné, Sarah-Leigh, Bettina and the ship they are crewing on are in the race.

The team will be back on 7 August, 21:35 pm. After a few days of settling in there will be a follow up workshop in Cape Windjammers offices. Furthermore there will be a “Welcome back eventat the False Bay College on 4 September. You see, the STISAI team is still busy :-)

"Girls, keep it up, have fun and proudly represent SA!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Last Workshop - Everyone is excited

Excitement is mounting as we organise the final things for our depature next week. We met at 10.30am at Cape Windjammers offices in Woodstock and quickly set to work on what we wanted to share about South Africa. We then talked about the traveling involved once we leave Cape Town, what to pack for our adventure and what to expect. Everyone is very excited! We were lucky enough to get warm fleece tops sponsored by Sarum Engineering,hats sponserd by Design Ahead and super practical sailing knifes by Manex Marine.
Thank you very much to them.

Sarah-Leigh Enticott, 14.07.2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Preparation Weekend Sunday - Never take, what you see, is what you get

Sunday morning, meeting again at the Cape Windjammers offices for the 2nd last time. On the 18th the girls will be leaving for the Tall Ships' Race in Europe. Since most of the participants, who will be taking part on the race never set their foot "eMzansi" - in all the home areas of the team like Langa, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Ocean View, Constantia and Sea Point. So what we are decided was to make a tour around our communities just to give all of us a glance of where we are coming from as South Africans.

And the other main objective was to clear the stereotypes that we had of these communities. I can say most of us believed in things which we didn't know whether they are true or not. So Sunday was pretty different, because we went straight to the spots where the smoke was coming from and we kind of realised how huge were the flames. And we actually saw that some of our stereotypes they can be true and some they can be not. "Never take them as the way they are approaching you.

Never take "What you see is, what you get."

Sakhekile Qoyi, 13.07.2007

Sea Point; Ocean View; Constantia-Wynberg; Khayelitsha; Gugulethu and Langa

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's final now: Team SA is an all girls Team!

All week long we had hoped to still get the passports for Sakhe and Theo, but unfortunately the passports have still not arrived and their opportunity to be part of Team SA going to Tall Ship's Race in the Baltic Sea has gone. For this year that is.

But Sakhe and Theo please don't be too sad, you have done very well in the whole process and you impressed us so much. We are sure there is another chance to send you to the Tall Ship's Races next year.

So we decided that Bettina, who signed up as a mentor for the trip, will move up to the team as fourth team mate. Bettina will now have a double role in the race as a team member in the watches on board and as a mentor who supports the Europa crew to facilitate the youth exchange activities.

The final Team:
Daphné Jacobs from Ocean View, Sarah-Leigh Enticott from Constantia, Bettina Kabutz from Sea Point and Belinda Mabilwana from Langa.

And to all of you reading this blog: we need still sponsorships so that the team can represent South Africa in an impressive way (team clothes, costumes for the harbour days etc.). So please spread the message! Don't hesitate to contact us ( or click here for a quick donate.

Preparation Weekend Saturday - Izandla Ziyagezana

Hi everyone,
we as team SA are gathered together on Saturday the 7 July 2007 in Woodstock in the CWET offices. Today we focused on preparing different games so that other youth in the boat can learn from us. Firstly, we played introduction games to get to know each other. We decided for a game calling "Tomorrow" where one person will go inside of a circle and will say three special things about him or herself. The others outside the circle will clap their hands and sing. The second game, which we decided calls "Jigga". In this game everyone will get the chance to dance in a circle and show how special he or she can move. Again everyone else will sing and clap their hands to give the rhythm.

Furthermore we thought of a language game, lolympic game and as well as a country game. For the country game we had to think of 35 questions covering areas of knowledge such as Geography, History and Politics, Entertainment, Arts and Culture and Sports. We also discussed the outfits that will represent South Africa during the harbour days and the last dinner on board and what we and other youth on board can do to raise some more funds during harbour days. Sakhe suggested the Gum Boot Dance and thaught us how to do it. At the end of the day we also discussed stereotypes about our communities and South Africa as a whole, which prepared us for the next day and also for a game that we will play on board. Read more about this challenging task in the next blog entry!

"Enkosi kakhulu izandla ziyagezana!" - (Thanks very much a hand washes another!)

Belinda Mabilwana, 07.07.2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wanted: 100 Sponsorships @ 500 Rand for the Team SA!

What a nervewrecking week!
But it is as it is: The public strike, which took about a month, has thrown a monkey wrench into our plans. Two team members, Theo Braaf and Sakhekile Qoyi, had applied for passports but while the skeleton staff did the best to approve the passports, it was then the printing machine that failed us - it broke and because of the strike there was nobody to fix it...

So our hands were tied and we had to book the flights for the team and to start the process to apply for the two different visas required for the voyage.

We now booked 3 flights to Europe - the first one is for Belinda Mabilwana, the second one is for Daphné Jacobs, and the third is for Sarah-Leigh Enticott, the back-up team member, who will take the place of one the original team members.

Though sad for Theo and Sakhe we congratulate Sarah for moving up into the first team. You have done very well throughout the process and you well deserve this spot!

There still is a slight chance to get the passports for Theo and Sakhe this week, but that means: the flights will be much more expensive!
So if you still want to give Sakhe or Theo the chance to go, we need your HELP! Support us with 100 Sponsorships @ 500 Rand each and the team can be complete!

Give Team SA a chance to present South Africa during the Tall Ship's Race and allow disadvantaged youth , who have worked so hard to be on the team to have this life-changing experience !

Click here for a quick donate, we need 100 people, who each give 500 Rand!
That button links you to the Greater Good SA website, which offers an online donation facility! Please use 'Tall Ship Race' as a reference!