PALMA SUPERYACHT CUP 2015
Archie Leeu, who hails from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Tamsanqa Hoza from Welkom, South Africa, say that the trip was “a wonderful opportunity to learn valuable and practical skills which will equip us for our career as future sea-farers.” They also intended sharing their gained knowledge and skills with their peers at Lawhill Centre open their return from Spain.
This particular ‘Marine Inspirations’ initiative was supported by a number of highly respected captains, yacht-owners, ship-managers, and associated individuals in the maritime industry, including the organizers of the ‘Ibiza Rendezvous Regatta’. For example, one of the students’ flights for the June trip was sponsored by the shipyard ‘Astilleros de Mallorca’, while the other flight-ticket was paid for from a generous grant donated to ‘Marine Inspirations’ by the ‘TK Spirit Youth Sailing Fund’ in the USA. The TK Foundation is the mentoring arm of the ‘Teekay Shipping Corporation’ – under Chairmanship of South African-born, Sean Day. The foundation operates under the stewardship of the Teekay founder’s daughter, Susan Karlshoej, who has recognized the great value and benefits arising from the ‘Marine Inspirations’ initiatives.
The initiative was also strongly endorsed by the ‘General Botha Old Boys Bursary Fund’, which supplied set-up funding and logistical support in Cape Town before the students embarked upon their adventure in June. (http://www.gbbursaryfund.co.za/)
THE DIARY OF THAMI AND ARCHIE - WEDNESDAY 24TH JUNE.
Thami and Archie departed from Palma Airport at 07:05 – which meant leaving the ‘Aloha-J of Cariba’ at 05:15…! Once again flying through Barcelona and Istanbul to Johannesburg – and then onward to Port Elizabeth and Welkom for the school holidays at their respective homes.
It was the end of a very successful and informative visit that has enhanced Thami’s and Archie’s outlook upon the maritime world, and was an experience which they will certainly never forget. Not only that, this initiative, and other ‘Marine Inspirations’ initiatives, have inspired many other people in our maritime industry to offer help and education-opportunity so that more students can benefit in a similar way in the future.
A lot of credit must go both to these two very impressive young men, as well as the staff at the Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simonstown, South Africa, that mentors and guides them.
Our special thanks goes out to all of our supporters for helping to make this initiative possible; but in particular a huge thanks to Rob and Jenny at ‘Astilleros de Mallorca Shipyard’, Teekay Tanker Group and the TK Foundation, who provided Archie’s airfare, and to Mr Gerhard Andlinger, the owner of yacht “P2”, Captain Jonathan Kline, and all of the “P2″ crew.” (DIARY ENDS)
THE DIARY OF THAMI AND ARCHIE - TUESDAY 23RD JUNE
Today the boys were shown ‘Astilleros de Mallorca’ main shipyard, where they had an extended introduction into how a traditional boat-building shipyard had been turned into a specialized ‘Superyacht Refit and Repair’ centre that provides an experienced management team – all managers and workers having a cross-section of backgrounds – including naval architects and technical experts. With more than 30 years of yard experience, and after having carried out refits and repairs on approximately 120 yachts each year, the Astilleros de Mallorca shipyard is honoured with a long list of loyal clients.
The boys also had a close look into several workshops such as Metal, Mechanical Engineering, Carpentry, and Stainless-steel fabricators.
Project Manager Enrique took them onboard “Coco Veinte”, which is undergoing a complex refit after suffering an electrical fire onboard that gutted and destroyed the wheelhouse.
Thami and Archie asked many questions during an orientation chat with Project Manager Riccardo – a former Chief Engineer with the Navy and coming from a Superyachting background – and with Jenny, who also has 20 years of experience in the Yachting Industry and is herself an ex-captain.
They reported back that they found this very interesting and are keen to learn more.
Lunch at “Monolisto” restaurant was followed by a visit to the offices of South African yacht-designer Shaun Carkeek, head of Carkeek Design Partners, who spent an hour explaining what he does, and describing how the system and design-process works right from the moment an owner decides he wants to build a boat or yacht. We also visited the offices of Richard Masters, another Capetonian who has his own business project-managing refits, and providing complete yacht management services. ‘Master Yachts’ pays over 300 crew-members aboard yachts that Richard controls on behalf of the owners..!
After the boys packed their bags in preparation for an early start on Wednesday morning, we all went for a farewell dinner at ‘Sa Premsa’, a very typical old Mallorquin Restaurant. Thami order the biggest steak he has ever seen (quote: “bigger than my whole head”) which ultimately defeated him, so we had to take more than half of it home in a ‘doggy-box’..! – good snacks to take on the journey home to South Africa the next day..!
THE DIARY OF THAMI AND ARCHIE - MONDAY 22ND JUNE
An early start for an 08:00 arrival at the ‘Astilleros de Mallorca Branch-facilities’ within STP Shipyard for work-orientation presented by Rob van Wierengen and Alex, as well as various other project managers, who took the boys under their wing on their rounds of the numerous projects underway in the shipyard. They were taken on board yacht “Aquarius”, which is having an almost total rebuild, and has already been in the shipyard for almost a year. This was the project that the boys found most interesting of all the boats that they saw – which included “Espiritu de Xarey” and “Golden Eagle”. They also visited the workshops and rigging facility. Palma is the biggest refit and repair destination in the world and STP is filled with many very big yachts in various stages of work. One system that has been pioneered here is the assembly of scaffolding to frame the whole of (or part of) a yacht and then covering the frame with ‘heat-shrink’ plastic, thus making a ‘cocoon’ serving as a temporary-shed protected against the outside environment – usually for painting operations. They also got to see the 700 ton travel-lift lifting mechanism in operation, lifting boats out of the water and ‘chocking’ them up ashore for ongoing shore-side work.
After lunch in the workmens’ café “Pototeo”, Phil took the boys on a walk around the old town of Palma, visiting the Cathedral, various other interesting buildings and tourist attractions, and touring the working Santa Catalina produce Market.
A quiet dinner at the Wade’s house and then back to ‘Aloha-J’ for an early night.
THE DIARY OF THAMI AND ARCHIE - SUNDAY 21ST JUNE
Phil and Anne drove the boys out to the north side of Mallorca in stunning weather conditions to do a bit of tourist adventuring. Out of Palma city and near to Esporles village we visited an ancient farm-compound dating back to the 14th century “Sa Granja”, which is fitted-out much like a working museum. After tasting some local Mallorquin food specialities there, we moved on to the ‘Port of Valdemossa’, which is reached by driving down a very steep winding road on the north-shore with spectacular views, until one arrives at the water’s edge in the tiny port-village with a superb seafood lunch awaiting. We met up there with Anthony, Mike, and our friend Anne-Marie, who joined us for our feast. Archie gave stone-skipping lessons on the beach and then even went for a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear Mediterranean water.
From Valdemossa we drove north along the scenic coast-road and stopped for refreshments at ‘Sa Foradada’, looking down at the ocean way and impressive ‘hole-in-the-rock’ outcrop below us. Winding along the narrow mountain road with twisted old olive trees on both sides, we eventually arrived in the ‘Port of Soller’, filled and bustling with yachts and fishing boats. A pleasant evening sitting near the marina watching the tourists and the antique ‘Soller Tram’ that links the port with the town 5 kilometers higher up the valley, while the boys went shopping for souvenirs.
From Soller back to Palma is a half hour drive on a good road, but with a long, long tunnel linking Soller with Palma through the grand Tramuntana mountain range which we had been exploring.
The boys said that the highlight of the day was the fantastic views available in every direction one looks!