CAPE TOWN, South Africa, October 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Invest Africa secured a podium finish in the latest stage of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race by finishing in third place into Cape Town today, crossing the line at 14.49 local time (12.49UTC).
After racing 4,000 miles from Rio de Janeiro the amateur South African crew on board Invest Africa were determined to win a podium position into Cape Town. The African team looked certain to win second place last night but lost out to Henri Lloyd just hours before crossing the finish line this afternoon.
The professional Skipper of Invest Africa, Rich Gould, said, "For me it's always been about go hard or go home.I looked at the position of the South Atlantic highs in Rio, and we decided that we were going to go as far south as we could. This put us in twelfth position for over a week, but once we were at the bottom of the high and the top of the lows, we had the wind behind us and just watched ourselves climb up the leader board. We're thrilled to have won a podium position into Cape Town, but frustrated to have lost out on second place to Henri Lloyd so close to the finish line."
Novice sailor and Invest Africa crew member, Suzie Fontannaz, 48, who studied at Cape Town University and runs her own business in Stellenbosch was thrilled to sail into her home port having never set foot on a boat prior to undertaking extensive training for her Clipper Race challenge. She said:
"It feels incredible to be sailing into Cape Town. I had my family and friends here on the quayside waiting to greet me. It feels very special to be here and I can't wait to show the crew Cape Town."
Invest Africa is also hosting the Sapinda Rainbow tag team, a group of young people in a project that's working with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. Nokalunga Nkwanya, 20, who was chosen to compete in Leg 2 to Cape Town shared her excitement on winning a podium position:
"It was tough, the watch system was hard and it was very cold. The highlight was being with my crew, I really enjoyed whipping and trimming the sails; The spinnaker is enormous and beautiful and makes the boat go fast. The experience has changed me. I am a different, much more confident, person now. I now know I can do much more with my life."
Direk Van Daele, Executive Committee Member for the Sapinda Goup which has supported the initiative, said, "I am delighted that Invest Africa chose to break from the fleet and its gamble paid off, taking them from the back of the fleet to winning a podium position. I am especially proud of Nokulunga who prior to taking part in the race had never set foot on a boat before. It has had a profound effect on her and the rest of the Sapinda Rainbow team."
Next Saturday 2 November will be Sapinda Rainbow Day with a busy programme of activities and celebrations with a public party in the evening.
The remainder of the fleet will arrive in Cape Town over the next two days. Race 4 to Albany Western Australia, will start on Monday, 4 November. Their progress can be tracked through the Clipper Race Viewer at http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/raceviewer
To download official team photos and video, which will be updated throughout arrivals, please visit the 'Race 3 arrivals Cape Town' folder at:
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Sapinda is a privately owned Principal Investment holding company focused on special situation investment opportunities across continental Europe, Asia and Africa. Sapinda manages a global portfolio of long-term holdings in selected sectors and industries, with current focus on agriculture, mining, oil & gas and technology. The group invests across the capital structure in both the private and public space, and with its exceptional network Sapinda can leverage relationships to ensure an enviable pipeline of unique opportunities. Furthermore, unlike most investment funds, the group's shareholder structure enables to be decisive and move quickly to take advantage of even the most complex investment situations. The group has offices across Europe, Africa and Asia, including London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Moscow and Hong Kong, and employs a large team of professionals in management, back office and execution functions. For more information on the Sapinda group, please visit the website at http://www.sapinda.com
Sapinda is engaged in a number 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 do so with the endorsement of 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 legacy project.
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 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.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Ruth Harrington, PR Officer
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SOURCE Clipper Ventures Plc