Well folks, the move to Cape Town hasn’t been easy. It’s been a blur of activity, with us running around like mad men without touching the ground. We’ve been looking for accommodation, talking to the commodores of yacht clubs, speaking to suppliers, and battling with the one thing we need to communicate with you — reliable Internet.
As you all may know, Manie has been working on our first SATOSA Challenge boat Celebrator at the Vaal Dam. He moved down to the dam on Tuesday 10 May 2016 and finished the build alone, out in the open, which was extremely difficult and time consuming. He never expected to be hammered by wind and cold weather but was happy to know that he could endure the harshness of being out in the open for the entire winter. While he was getting used to some “off-the-grid” freedom in the sticks (that he, as a spoiled city boy, never quite had the chance to experience as such before), he started to see life and the world from a very different perspective.
Manie has had lots of time to read and think, to ‘analyse’, to figure out what he’d like to do with his life from here on out. He needed new challenges in his life, something tough, something rewarding, something that makes a contribution towards correcting the destruction we see in our daily lives all over the world. What makes Manie’s story interesting is that he, a divorced man of 63 – married for 31 years, with two very successful kids (and a very successful ex-wife) – who’s worked in business as a CEO for 37 years, decided on packing it all up to go and live in isolation for 5 months. To some, that decision could be described, at best, as “different” — at worst, “nuts”. However, as one gets older and sees friends become frail and pass away, Manie started realising that true wealth is good health.
Simple. Good HEALTH — nothing else.
Anthony de Richelieu has finally joined the project full time and has pulled his cousin Matthew Ryan in as our apprentice. Anthony has worked in the Business Software industry for over 10 years and has travelled to countries all over the world, including the US, Dubai, Sydney, Hong Kong, Stockholm and most of Europe. Although he has travelled to over 40 countries, this is where his adventure truly begins and he hopes to inspire the same in others. If you are not working on your own dream, you will most likely end up working on someone else’s!
Before leaving Sweden, Anthony was fortunate enough to pick up a sponsor from his previous employer HansaWorld and CEO Karl Bohlin, for which we are all very thankful. Please check out their website here: www.hansaworld.com.
We are now in a very good position to start sailing our first SATOSA Challenge boat Celebrator and get some serious training and experimentation done. This training will start now at Langebaan Yacht Club, 110 km north of Cape Town. It’s going to be the fun part that our supporters all over the world have been waiting for, and we’ll post lots of videos of these adventures. The basic tests at the Vaal Dam showed that – thankfully – Celebrator floats upright. And, with a huge sigh of relief, Manie got her back on the trailer in one piece, at a very low, shallow and muddy Vaal Dam.
You may smile and wonder why we do what we do. … That’s okay.
It’s something about ticking off the bucket list, something about throwing caution to the wind, something about finding out if you still have what it takes, something about being tough. Maybe we don’t fully understand the answer to the question ourselves. It’s one of those mysteries in life that are hard to verbalize — why we go to sea, why we risk life and limb to climb high, frozen mountains or jump off their peaks. We don’t know. We suppose people have their own ideas about what gets the adrenalin pumping.
Adding to our adventure and mission of making the world a better place, a friend of ours, Peter Jacops, has invited us to have a look at building a new sailboat specifically designed for the disabled community — the SV14. The SV14 is the brainchild of Peter Jacops, Russell Vollmer and Alexander Simonis. This opportunity has come at a perfect time, because it slots in beautifully with our SATOSA Challenge programs and projects aimed at giving back to the community. We are absolutely thrilled to get involved with this project and will be involved with all the aspects of it: Building, Sailing, Fundraising and Promoting. The designer of the SV14 is Alex Simonis (naval architects Simonis Voogd). They are doing a lot of design work for Robinson and Caine, the builders of the Leopard Catamarans. Peter Jacops is very involved with disabled sailing and he is building an SV14 in Thailand. Alex is building the prototype at Robinson and Caine and we will be building our own SV14 at home in Bloubergstrand, 18 km north of the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town. Russell Vollmer is the most inspiring person that you could ever wish to meet. As a quadriplegic himself, he is an excellent sailor and past commodore of the Royal Cape Yacht Club. We are very blessed to be able to be working with these esteemed three gentlemen.
Now that we are here and settled into a house in Bloubergstrand, in the stunningly beautiful Cape Town, we at SATOSA Challenge will endeavour to set up endurance races that challenge the mind and body, will strive to inspire a lifestyle of adventure and exploration, and will help make the world a better place with a number of charitable projects and activities. Please follow our progress on our Youtube channel, Facebook page, BoatDesign.net, Patreon, Blog and home page: www.satosachallenge.com.
We need your support.
Take care and happy adventuring.
Look after yourself, eat as close to vegan as you can, and exercise regularly.