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RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

I cannot begin to explain to you how far down the rabbit hole we have gone. Our club, our academy is being discussed in board rooms far removed from the waters of Table Bay. To be honest with you I never imagined we could go as far as we have, I never imagined that I would be on first name basis with high ranking government officials. I never thought that our little academy would become a cog in the big wheel that is maritime education and training. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you that there are people who are seeking to take our little
academy and replicate it nationwide. As I have said on numerous occasions, we are at the point of no return.

We are heading in a direction that will require us to change a lot about ourselves. I have been mandated by the club to grow our academy in ways that will benefit not only the kids that come through our doors but our club as well. As we look at our uncertain future, not knowing what will become of our club and our sport, it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to ensure that our actions today echo our hopes for tomorrow. I know I will not be amiss if I say all of us wish to see this club remain here for another 100 years and beyond. Yet as much as our
predecessors had to face many challenges with the ever-shifting landscape that is our society, we too face challenges of our own. We cannot change, yet remain the same. We cannot transform yet keep our old ways. Change is uncomfortable at a very personal level, for instance I know that cigarettes are bad for me and every day I smoke one, I am literally killing myself, yet the motivation and discipline to quit is an ongoing struggle. Even when death is the consequence, the will to quit and change my bad habit is an ongoing struggle. Why? I reckon it is because I am not fully conscious of what is really going on inside my body every time I smoke. I am not currently suffering the consequences of my habit. If my body could bring the consequence immediately instead of delaying it, maybe it would hit home immediately, but maybe it would also be too late.

If I don’t stop smoking, I will be the one who will bear the brunt of my bad habit. Yet if we do not change collectively many will be affected, many will lose out and the future will be a sour one indeed. There have been occasions where some of my academy kids have made me aware of experiencing raw racism at our club, I have taken it in my stride hence I have never really spoken or written about it. I do not want to be the racism police. It’s boring and tiring to say the least, racism is a ghost. Yet most of all it is painful, because I cannot change the colour of my skin and I wouldn’t, even if I had the opportunity to. The Sun has decided to imprint itself on my skin and I have no issues with that. What bothers me is when someone decides that my skin colour is a reflection of my disposition and constitution, funny thing is, because of my command of the English language and my literary inclination most of these academy kids think that I am what is called a COCONUT. Black on the outside white on the inside, human beings at their best, always wanting to label things as though once you have labelled someone, he/she will remain true the properties you have bestowed upon them. Nothing could be further from the truth, life has proven over and over again, that evil men can be good and good men can be evil. Most things if not all things are ever as simple as black and white. I cannot ask for people to change who are unwilling, all I can say is racism at its core is painful, it makes one question their very essence and kills any dreams and aspirations one might have had for themselves once someone puts you immediately in a box and refuses to meet you and recognise your individuality. Mahatma Ghandi said one should never be anti-anything, one should always strive to be pro something, my hope is that in time this academy and I, will open the eyes of those who refuse to look at us as mere people who are trying to do right by life and contribute positively to our sport and club. I will continue to encourage and promote within our academy the ethos of community and responsibility to the whole. I am pro us division has never engendered peace and harmony. Wind and water folks that all we have in the end, wind and water. Our boat our crew that is all that will see us through the storms ahead.

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The Colour conundrum: To be black or blue

The Colour conundrum: To be black or blue

The Colour conundrum: To be black or blue

RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

Contrary to popular belief I don’t know that I am black when I am dreaming, I am not even sure whether I process my dreams in English or Zulu or a bit of both. In my dreams I am only aware of the fact that I am experiencing myself having a particular experience. Same is true when I was doing my crossings, when I was alone at night during my watch, or even during the day, nothing in my immediate surroundings supported the fact that I am black, in fact I wondered whether am I not a darker shade of blue. When I wake up in the morning I don’t immediately say, “Hello you beautiful black man, look at your wonderful black skin, how do you feel occupying this lovely colour you have. Hey Lindani just go out there today and have a lovely day in your black skin”. I just wake up and get on with the day. In a country where colour means so many things to so many people, I wish one day we can all meet a blue man or woman and have something new to talk about, something that we can all collectively identify with as different from us and wonder about, maybe this would make us realise how silly we all are about this colour obsession.

I have recently joined our club’s transformation committee, I have new questions to answer to myself. Being an academy manager and using all my energy to help kids is easy, it is my passion, and I see the direct results of our interventions. Just the other day we had an organisation present to some of our academy students an incredible opportunity to work for three months in the United States of America during their summer camp period. Basically, our kids will go and teach young American kids how to sail. That is real intervention. Taking someone, of any colour out of their comfort zone and exposing them to a new world, with new challenges and different cultures makes them grow whether they like it or not. Faced with the mammoth task of working towards securing our lease and transforming our club, how do you motivate yourself for such a task? One motivation would be no club no academy, but is that really true, maybe the academy could survive the club closing down. The other motivating factor would be my love for sailing, could I sail as much as I am without a club, probably not but I could always go and sail at another club. I am not good at doing a job I am not passionate about and I cannot motivate myself to go above and beyond the call of duty on any given task if I have no passion. I am well aware that an organisation like TNPA looks at us through the lens of commerce, do we make economic sense? Why should they keep us here if we don’t bring in any real tangible economic benefits to them? One could point at Robertson and Caine and say well that is a serious operation happening right here almost every day of the week. Yet is Robertson and Caine part of our DNA? The academy is a great initiative and, in my tenure, we have managed to get the government to have direct involvement through funding most if not all of our activities. John Levine once said to me, “Lindani this is virgin territory in terms of transformation, it’s a Greenfield ready to be cultivated, if you focus and roll up your sleeves you can achieve something quite special here”. I agree wholeheartedly.

Nelson Mandela also went against his comrades when the issue of the Springboks arose, whether the name should be changed and rugby taken away from the control of the Afrikaners. Instead he chose to embrace it and understand why the Afrikaner so loved this sport and in this manner he could learn more about the Afrikaans culture and way of life. Although it has been a long road for SA rugby we can all unanimously agree diversity in the sport has had its pitfalls and it has had its benefits. Here we are as a club, trying our best to give new meaning to an institution of 114 years old, teaching an old dog new tricks as it were. So where will my passion come from? I believe it will come from people, I cannot look at the institution and gain any inspiration, I can only look at the people who uphold its ethos and how they make me feel. I have met good people here, from the hard, I meet the old veterans like Eric who tells me stories of the past from time to time, I talk to Zulu who looks after his workshop as if it was a shed in his own house and chastises my academy kids for not returning tools on time. I speak with Zolani at the bar, who always looks at me with bewilderment, when I speak English and says, “Lindani are you sure you’re not white”? the various committee members who have taken time to support me in my work and at times in my personal life, a commodore who has looked at me as a son at times a GM who nurtures my talents and builds my shortcomings, the various members who have given a word of encouragement and took time to give input and advise. CP van der Merwe who always wants me to come sail with him on Freedom, I really Love CP for some odd reason he reminds me of my mother father sailing on his boat with his crew is quite fascinating for me. which brings me back to that question of colour and what it means to me, to be honest it means absolutely nothing to me, the only time I recognise that I am black is when someone reminds me of the fact or when I am discriminated because of the fact. People to me are, their actions or lack thereof, their words or silence and most importantly their passions. My passion that will enable me to embark on this new task ahead will be fuelled by my recognition of the people who are the very DNA of this club, people who have left their homes every day, got on a train or a taxi and said I am going to work and walked through the doors, the sailors who give up time from their families for the thrill of Wednesday night racing. In my mind our biggest hurdle is getting the people who possibly control our destiny to meet us. I have sat in enough government boardrooms to know we are as alien to them as they are as alien to us. I think more than anything else it is time we start telling our stories…

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Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

Richard Thomson, place of residence Durbanville, Keisha Thompson, Durbanville. Ewonke Nyakanani, Observatory, Sufyaan Solomon, Mitchells’ Plain. Micah Lurie, Melkbosstrand, Matthew Cloete, Melkbosstrand. Taariq Botha Mitchells’ Plain, Ncaweni Coma, Khayelitsha, Ovayo Myiva, Khayelitsha, Natasha Jack, Khayelitsha. Johan Swanepoel Malmesbury, Damita Olsson Milnerton, Athenkosi Vena Phumelela Fishhoek. On any given Sunday this is our make-up, these are but a few of the young aspiring sailors that walk through our doors.

We are different in every way, from our skin colour, social class, background, gender and age. All these differences challenge us on most days, make us break barriers we never knew existed, question prejudices we never knew we had, challenge stereotypes we adopt subconsciously.
Yet somehow on a boat big or small all these differences come together to forge a whole. We went to Milnerton Aquatic Club last week the 17th
of February and as always we were welcomed with open arms and warms hearts, in my hubris I thought it must be me who makes all the people at Mac treat us so well, my charm and debonair manner, dare I say my exceptional looks. Nothing could be further from the truth, the reason we get such a warm welcome everywhere we go is because, people see the diversity we represent, they see all the differences come together and operate as one. My kids we sailing Picos at Mac and diversity in all its forms was represented on the water. I now realise that everyone
looks at our academy and they feel a sense of hope in the future of our country, I realise we all love this country and are heavily invested in making it work, everyone is looking for a way to make all our differences come together and unite us rather than divide us.

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Renaissance

Renaissance

Renaissance

RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

I would be tone deaf if I did not acknowledge the current affairs that have been taking shape in our country. By now we are all aware Zuma has resigned, change remains constant once more. Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party in Zimbabwe has died, change remains consistent. Time and Tide waits for no man that is what they say. Change suffers no fools. That is what I say. Woe unto you, who cannot see it coming before it has arrived, shame on you, who attempts to delay it or hold it back in any form. Napoleons words still ring true today. “The one thing I have learned from history is that we never learn from history”.

How bizarre, that Zuma should suffer the same fate as his predecessor. I am no politician, only an observer of his environment with a vested interest in the future of his country, hence my work with the youth. I believe none of us as ordinary South Africans, know enough to have a meaningful discussion about the politics of our country or the world for that matter. Yet we should be intelligent enough to recognise that life is a mirror on all fronts, nothing that occurs in and around your life, your time, is not directly somehow linked to your existence, your community and sphere of influence. When such occurrences take place we should all look within and ask ourselves are we on the right side of change? Zuma has suffered the fate of smarter men than himself. Power it would seem is a very compelling drug. Life is an intricate labyrinth with constantly shifting paradigms, what worked and mattered not so long ago could completely be irrelevant today. Technology is hot on our heels, constantly shifting the goal posts. No one and no organisation can afford to live in Silos and echo chambers, follow your morals like the Sunflower follows the Sun, keep your principles like the Dessert keeps the sand. The only certainty is change, make sure you hear its call before it sweeps you off your feet, like well seasoned  helms men, anticipate the wave and ride it, using it to your advantage, instead of letting it derail you. Life always comes with its duplicities, I learned that a long time ago growing up in the townships. Due to a lack of land and space, townships are and have always been densely populated urban dwellings. People live on top of one another. Everything is in close proximity, life and death live side by side. On any given Saturday or Sunday in the Township, there is a wedding and a funeral taking place across from each other. This always made an impression on me as a young boy. People celebrating and mourning so close to one another. It was clear to me then as it is today. The show must go on. If there ever was a time, for us as a sailing community to conduct some serious soul searching, it is now, while our nation is in transition once more, the only question we should ask ourselves is “are we moving in unison with the coming change”? Zuma said he could not understand the urgency, why was his organisation in such a hurry to relieve him of his duties, he said why has he not been furnished with reasons for his removal, he said, “something untoward is at play”. He was probably right, yet he forgot some old age wisdom. You live by the sword you die by the sword. You reap what you sow. In a band of thieves morals are cheap. It was rather startling to hear a man who has blurred the lines of moral conduct, request his party to follow protocol and policy. Life is an intricate labyrinth with constantly shifting paradigms. We will never know what the future holds, yet we can be sure it will bring change. That is where our academy is, in a state of flux, I am looking for change I am searching it out before it finds me ill prepared. I can only hope you are doing the same. The show must go on. Arch Angel is out the water and sitting on the hard, the mast is finally out and the work is about to begin. One of our senior academy members is going to do his Senior instructors course in Mossel bay this coming weekend, other members are writing their day skipper theory exams.

This coming Saturday the 17 we are going to MAC open sailing day. We have ambitions of embarking on a dinghy program, yet we would like to do it on our terms, until such a time that we can have our own boats we will be active bystanders. I look forward to a time when the youth of our academy takes their place in our club and lead us all on a path that will be congruent with the coming change…

 

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Big Bottle of Wine Party Palma 2018

Big Bottle of Wine Party Palma 2018

 Big Bottle of Wine Party – Palma 2018

 

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Are you ready for the Best Charity Marine Party?
Come and help less advantaged youngsters go to sea by raising funds for this inspiring marine programme! All proceeds to charity.

Phil Wade, ex Captain of s.y. Timoneer & co-Founder of the Super Yacht Captains website would like to invite you to Palma’s 4th Big Bottle of Wine Party

Date: Saturday 24th March 2018 at 19:00 hrs
Time: 19:00
Venue: Club de Mar, Palma
Entertainment: Live music by Anthony Just and friends. Auction and raffle plus any other fun things that we can think of!
Price: €40 per person
FOOD AND DRINK INCLUDED: An 18 litre bottle of ‘Can Feliu’ red wine served from a hand-built Gun Carriage. Cash bar for other beverages. Finger food from Restaurant Taronja Negre Mar.

Reservations necessary due to numbers-planning, with payment to our bank account kindly requested. Regret, no tickets at the door this year.

RSVP: Replies & payments ASAP please phil@marineinspirations.org ** Booking Essential **

BANK DETAILS:
BBVA Bank, Son Ferrer Branch in Calvia
Account Name – Anne Wade
IBAN: ES 3901822375740291502367

The Marine Inspirations programme provides young people from around the world – who would otherwise not have the opportunity – with an insight into careers in the super-yachting and maritime industry, developing a range of seamanship skills and industry connections to improve their prospects.

For the past 21 years the Lawhill Maritime Centre www.lawhill.org has helped students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds embark on successful careers in the maritime industry  by providing them with an industry-focused education while still at school. Lawhill receives no state funding and is reliant on industry and individual support to fund its operations and provide student bursaries.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

RCYC ACADEMY REPORT – by Lindani Mchunu

I report to you that Archangel is moored at the RCYC.

On the 4th of February 2018, myself and 4 academy students plus their day skipper instructor, Alex Mamacos, sailed the old lady from harbour Island. I had no doubt in my mind she would take us home, from the day we moved her from the marina in a spring tide with no hassle, I knew she wanted to go with me, I knew she had chosen me to embark on a new adventure, I knew she was crying out saying I have  more to give if only someone can give me purpose again. On the water she showed us that this is what she was built for, to be in the open ocean crashing into waves and carving her path. The history of Archangel is a contentious one, many sailors have different accounts of her achievements, yet one thing is for sure, she brings back a bygone era, for many, for the designer, boat builder and the first owner who commissioned her. There is still a lot to do on the boat, in the coming week we will be refitting the rig and probably getting a new diesel engine, seeing as she still has an old petrol engine. Yes the boat definitely needs a lot of work and acquiring a new boat would probably be the best option. Yet for me, it is exactly the kind of project our youngsters need. They will learn that in life, nothing is handed to you on a silver platter; they will learn that opportunity is just the beginning of success, they will learn that to be given something means you have acquired responsibility. In the age of instant gratification, young people more than ever need to learn that success comes at a cost. What you haven’t worked and bled for will never be appreciated, life more often than not brings things into your path that are not ready made, but rather require your effort and dedication to make them work. Right now Archangel sits in a bit of a state, but that is a temporary state, if we want it bad enough, she can be up and running and maybe giving some newer boats a run for their money.

What brings me joy is that my kids will learn what it means to take full ownership of their destiny, to make something work, through challenges and strife. One day when they take podium with this boat, they will look back and say we did it, we worked hard to get her here and she rewarded us. Our first sacrifice will be missing out on the Mykonos regatta, because our old girl is still not ready. She got us here from Gordon’s Bay and
that is good enough for now. Three of our students are writing their day skipper theory exams next week, they passed their practical with flying colours. One of those students will go on to do his senior instructor course in Mossel Bay on the 16. We are preparing for greatness, it takes time if it’s going to last forever. We have an Archangel watching over us now, we cannot fail.

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