- 02 Jul
UKZN Sailing Team Announcement
Point Yacht Club
Offshore of Durban:
UKZN Sailing Team Announcement
The sailing team representing the University of KwaZulu Natal has been announced for the upcoming Lipton Challenge hosted by Point Yacht Club which takes place offshore of Durban from .
Full of enthusiasm, the crew have been hard at work putting in hours of training behind the scenes and getting their L26, SLFC Spindrift, ship shape ahead of the most prestigious sailing event in South Africa. This will be the first time for majority of the team to compete in this esteemed sailing event that started over a century ago.
Leading up to the announcement, the team have competed in a variety of shake down events offshore of Durban. The team will be flying the University’s burgee at the MSC Week, the annual regatta that starts a week before Lipton, where they will iron out any kinks in their armour.
Leading the team is helmsman Hannah Fokkens from Durban North. Hannah, a first year Bachelor of Medical Sciences in Physiology student, has ten years sailing experience, starting off as a Sea Scout and advancing through the classes, including Oppies and sailing Hobies with her brother and Halcats with her dad. Her experience includes two MSC Weeks, Hobie, Laser and Youth Nationals.
Working at the sharp end of the boat is Hannah’s older brother, Rudi. Rudi, a Bsc in Biological Sciences student, has 11 years sailing experience. His career started with a 5 minute lesson on the bank before pushing off solo. A well-known name in the catamaran community, Rudi moved onto keelers in a baptism of fire as foredeck during his first of 5 MSC Week’s, and also has a Vasco win under the belt. Rudi will be accompanied on the bow by their honorary member, keen sailor Ed de Lange who is a long standing member at UKZN Dive Club and UKZN Yacht Club’s Treasurer.
In the heart of the boat, Serah Goldman from Gillitts will be taking up the role on the piano. Goldman started her sailing career two years ago through a Rotary programme at school. Since her introduction to keelboat sailing, she has been selected as captain for Gelofte School’s sailing team. The Highway sailor was then selected to join Hannah Fokkens where they competed in an all-girls team at the EMC Race. The two joined forces in last year’s MSC Week creating an all-girls team racing on an L26. She is currently a Bcom Supply Chain Management student.
Working together around the mast are Ryan Naidoo and Gabriel Davies. Naidoo, from Phoenix has been sailing for three years. He started in his second year of university when he was encouraged by Rudi to give it a go. He claims he has been hooked on the sport ever since. The Bsc Marine Biology student has since notched up a 9 Hours, Inter-Varsity Match Racing, an MSC Week, and a SAS Grand Slam event.
Davies, a Mechanical Engineering student who hails from Westville, started sailing in Grade 8 doing a dinghy course through Sail Africa. Advancing quickly from an 09er he started sailing regularly with the Glenwood High School sailing club. Davies is the only crew member to have sailed a Lipton, competing the last time the event was held offshore in 2013 racing on Container World. He has also sailed a number of 9 Hours on various boats, two J22 Youth Nationals and an MSC Week. The L26 is not unfamiliar to him, as his uncle bought an L26 and a Laser a few years ago, which Davies crews on regularly for Wednesday night sailing.
In the hopes of raising the historic trophy, six students from University of KwaZulu Natal have been selected to represent the varsity in the upcoming Lipton Challenge that takes place offshore of Durban this July.
About the Author