Bottle brings in funds

2018-12-18 06:00
Gershwin Poole and Archie Leeuw (graduates of Lawhill Maritime Centre) help decant the 27F of wine to serve to guests. Photo: ALEC SMITH

Gershwin Poole and Archie Leeuw (graduates of Lawhill Maritime Centre) help decant the 27F of wine to serve to guests. Photo: ALEC SMITH

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A fundraiser was held at the Royal Cape Yacht Club to support and mentor maritime students from less advantaged backgrounds who are aspiring to pursue a maritime career.

The event was held on Friday 7 December with the proceeds from the ticket sales, auction and raffle going to Marine Inspirations, a charitable organisation which is the brainchild of two semi-retired South African yacht captains who reflected upon what a wonderful and exciting life they had led and decided to share their knowledge with learners that want to follow in their footsteps. They call this “sending the elevator back down to the ground floor”.

Marine Inspirations supports Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simon’s Town and the General Botha Old Boys’ Association Bursary Fund, which in turn supports learners who want to be in the maritime industry. General Botha Old Boys’ Association started a very successful bursary fund in 2011 and currently sponsors 19 students from underprivileged backgrounds, who are boarding and studying at the Lawhill Maritime Centre.

Phil Wade and Anthony Just started Marine Inspirations with the idea of showing young, underprivileged South African students the superyacht industry which is another possible avenue in the marine employment world.

They fly the youngsters (typically aged 17 or 18 and still at school) overseas and introduce them to the world of international sailing. “We thought we have been successful and enjoyed a good life at sea so why not do something meaningful for others? The idea is to show them the many varied aspects of the superyacht industry and the potential available to them.”

They fly them from South Africa to Mallorca where they both live and there they live aboard a 25m classic sailing schooner built in 1930. Here they get hands-on experience with sailing, rope work, navigation and all aspects of life aboard a sailing vessel. In between they are taken to many maritime support companies such as shipyards, medical kit suppliers, satellite communications, uniform suppliers and many others. For most of them it is the first time out of the country and the first time on an aeroplane and it is all a life-changing experience,” says Wade.

The Mexican-themed Big Bottle of Wine Party (BBWP), a fundraiser held at the Royal Cape Yacht Club was an enormous success. V Continued on page 2.

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