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!"