Ibiza 2014 Student Feedback

Ibiza 2014 Student Feedback


Bradley Felix’s and Ronaldo Strauss’ thoughts on the trip – highlights and memorable moments


Bradley Felix

Bradley Felix


One of the most valuable aspects of the trip was the opportunity to travel to another country and what struck me about the places we visited was how different they were to South Africa.

In Germany, we only spent time in Frankfurt airport and while many experienced travellers may see little difference in international airports, I noticed so many. I was particularly amazed at seeing a train come right into the airport. I was also impressed by how everything seemed to work effortlessly, how people respected the rules of society etc. I was also struck by the approachability of airport officials and how friendly and accommodating they were. I also realised, from our interactions with Tony the Engineer, that you didn’t need to speak English to be funny and that, even when there are language differences, that one can always find a way to bridge the language gap.

My top 3 highlights were: 1) my first time on an aeroplane. It was amazing and luckily I managed to fly six times; 2) getting hands-on seamanship experience and navigating a vessel from Ibiza to Palma; 3) when we had a braai while racing!

Ronaldo Strauss

Ronaldo Strauss


I was struck by how neat and disciplined the people were in Europe and by the personal interest people showed in us. I was impressed by the level of energy and optimism of those with whom we came into contact – and the energy levels didn’t seem to go down! I also never expected to feel so welcomed and at home in a foreign country and was overwhelmed by how determined people were to not only give Bradley and I an amazing opportunity but how willing they were to share their knowledge.

I also appreciated the positive manner in which the different aspects of sailing were explained to us, and the constructive manner in which we were corrected when we were doing something wrong. It was a real learning experience, because we didn’t only learn ‘how’ but ‘why’. It was also clear how important it is to be multi-skilled and I appreciated how everyone involved in the Marine Inspirations initiative made an effort to ensure that our trip was not only educational, but also a lot of fun.

The trip was far more fun than I expected. We did more sailing than I expected and I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did.

My most memorable moment was having the braai on board while we were racing!

Real learning experiences


One of the stand out learning experiences for me was the role the Captain and how it’s more than being in command of the vessel, but also about thinking for the crew. I also learnt the importance of listening and trusting your instincts and ‘doing it now’ rather than later.

My most memorable moment was when Captain Just was discussing the man overboard procedure and when he was explaining how the lifeboat should be used, he suddenly tosses it overboard. I was left shocked for a moment, but immediately did what we had learnt from Captain Schlemmer. It was fun, thrilling and very exciting.

Another real learning was that ‘hard work pays off’. I saw how hard the owners and crew of the superyachts work and how they got to reap the rewards.

The most challenging part of the trip was feeling seasick while sailing. Also, how physically demanding it was to do the sails manually.


One of the real learning experiences for me was the man overboard drill/exercise. It was the highlight of the trip. It was the first time I had done it practically and although it seems such a long process when you learn about it in class, it was a very different experience doing it at sea.

I also learnt, from my conversations, about change, the importance of different experiences and developing different skills and how one opportunity can lead to another opportunity as well as the importance of showing appreciation and gratitude to those who help you progress in your career. And, of course, to be kind and to always have ‘oomph’.

The most challenging part of the trip was getting used to the ropes and the different sails one had to rig – and finding my balance while we were sailing (and getting used to the pitching and rolling!)


Bradley: Slipping and falling overboard because I am afraid of sharks. I was also afraid of losing my luggage at the airport.

Ronaldo: I was afraid of falling overboard.

Views on yachting


The trip gave me a new perspective on yachting – I saw a completely other side to yachting and that was how much it was about people and a sense of family, and not only boats. Also how important it is to have the right personality in the yachting business as clients want 150% from you and the demands can be high, so you need to be patient and diplomatic, willing to work hard and thrive on adrenaline. I also learnt how important it was to do a job well and what the impact is if you don’t. Everyone has a vital role to play on-board and you need to do your best otherwise you will let the whole team down.

The yachting industry is also one that requires a lot of patience and dedication and you must be prepared to see nothing but water for days, weeks, months. And, “One hand for yourself and one for the ship.”

Views on the future


The trip definitely made me see the maritime industry in a broader light – that it wasn’t only about cargo and big cargo ships but also about people .. when it comes to yachting its very much about the the people, the lifestyle and the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Before the trip I was very set on pursuing my career in the commercial industry – on large ships – but the superyacht industry is definitely of interest. My plan is to get a second mates ticket in engineering on big ships and then work in the superyacht industry because I simply fell in love with the work environment.


This trip has sparked my interest in yachting as a career and it would be a serious contender because there are so many aspects of it which I found appealing .. the luxury, the workmanship, the team work, the trust between crew members, the energy, the attitude etc. I found it to be a very positive environment and one which has reconfirmed my interest in pursuing a maritime career.

What I will tell my children about the trip one day?


There are many beautiful places over the horizon.


That discipline and respect will get you a long way in life.

Closing remarks:


I am so grateful to have been afforded this opportunity and being exposed to the superyacht industry. I saw and experienced so much – new people, places, food – and I fell head over heels with the whole experience. I would not think twice about going back – the Balearic Islands have not seen the last of me.

PS: Bradley and Ronaldo also commented on the interest their peers had shown in the trip, particularly the girls who wanted to hear about the country and the trip and wanted to see photos!

Ibiza 2014 Roundup and Thanks

Ibiza 2014 Roundup and Thanks


Old Port Ibiza

Old Port Ibiza

With our first project event at the Ibiza Rendezvous Regatta concluded last week, and recognised by all as a resounding success, our first two student sailors have now returned home to South Africa.

A big thanks to the Ibiza Rendezvous team and to all of those who supported and sponsored this first great event.

Planning is on-going to identify and plan our next event and select our lucky student candidates. We look forward to receiving your


Our warm and sincere thanks to:

  • Spike Thompson and the organizers -Amanda, Melanie, and Alex – of the Ibiza Rendezvous for sponsoring our entry fee for the regatta.
  • Debbie Owen and the Lawhill Maritime Centre team in South Africa for the ‘home-side’ arrangements.
  • Members of the General Botha Old Boys Bursary Fund for providing important items and travel necessities for the boys prior to their departure.
  • Trev Simpson for driving the boys to their preparatory Passport and Visa appointments in Cape Town, and for ferrying them to and from the airport for their trip.
  • David Just for keeping the Twitter-sphere alive from South Africa with Tweets during the event.
  • Accommodation Palma for assisting with shore-side accommodation during the Regatta.
  • Ticket Travel Agency of Portals Nous in Mallorca for travel assistance and for providing Travel Insurance for the boys.
  • Annette Forsythe for providing Spending Money for Bradley and Ronaldo during the event.
  • Alan Muir from Mallorca Clothing Company for our great event Polo Shirts and embroidery.
  • Colin Squire of Yachting Matters for attending from the UK and covering the event, for great and humorous company, and fantastic photos and a story for the magazine in the pipeline.
  • Antonio Cruz Puerto for his energetic arrangements as fore-deck boss, and for all of his other tireless organizational assistance.
  • Imprenta Nueva Balear for our great Marine Inspirations calling cards.
  • Anne Wade for keeping a hungry crew very well fed and watered.
  • Marina Ibiza and Ibiza Local Government for hosting a great event.
  • Terry Clark for building and managing our website and for his great assistance during the event both aboard and ashore.
  • Bill Symmonds for making the special effort to fly out from South Africa to support our event and for his fine company in Ibiza.
  • and to all of the organizers, yacht-crews and owners, and other supporters, for providing a most wonderful experience for Bradley and Ronaldo – made possible by the warm support and generosity of these friends of Marine Inspirations.

Ibiza 2014 Roundup and Thanks

Ibiza 2014

IBIZA 2014

Bradley and Ronaldo

Bradley and Ronaldo

In October 2014 we flew two 17 year-old students from Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simon’s Town, South Africa to participate in the Ibiza Rendezvous Regatta, in Spain. The two lucky youngsters arrived in Palma de Mallorca on the 4th October and – after having an orientation visit to the super-yacht shipyards and marinas of Mallorca (visiting a total of eight very different and grand super-yachts upon kind invitation of the yachts’ captains and owners) – they sailed over to the island of Ibiza (100 nautical miles) on the 6th of October as crew aboard the schooner Yacht “Aloha-J of Cariba” to participate in the Rendezvous sailing program. They were invited as participating crew-members by the owners of this magnificent old classic yacht, and accompanied by Phil and Anthony as their seamanship mentors and guides. During the crossing both students carried out all of the required tasks at hand, from checking the engine-room and starting the engine, to conducting anchoring procedure, to course-planning, navigation, sail-changes and trimming, helming, galley-work, and wash-down duties.

After a busy first day of sailing, an idyllic full moon and al-fresco dinner of seaman’s stew awaited the tired crew as the boys dropped anchor in the protected waters off Tagomago Island at the north-east corner of Ibiza – a welcome anchorage after an exciting day at sea.

Following an early start down the coast to Ibiza Town in the morning – and a further man-over-board drill prior to the racing event – the boys brought ‘Aloha-J of Cariba’ safely and securely into the Marina Ibiza berth. Race preparation and registration for the event followed, and Bradley and Ronaldo were able to meet and socialize with the crews and owners of the other participating yachts.

An exiting two pursuit-races followed, and the Friday race in particula – with a fine 20 knot breeze and a magnificent course selected by the Race Committee – provided the real climax of the event, with ‘Aloha-J’ showing her true mettle and completing an exciting and nail-biting finish against the De Savary owned schooner ‘Silver Spirit’ just off Ibiza Town.

Due to very little wind on the Saturday, the final race was unfortunately cancelled, but this provided a great opportunity for the race-fleet to anchor en-masse off Salinas Beach and venture ashore to enjoy a fine lunch and some swimming in the pristine waters of Ibiza.

What an event and experience in the lives of these two young men. They were great ambassadors for their native South Africa and Namibia, and were warmly welcomed and embraced by all whom they met during the regatta.

After this fine event the boys sailed the old schooner back to Mallorca by night, experiencing night navigation and watch-keeping for the first time, and bringing the yacht safely into her berth in Palma under our supervision in the early hours of the Monday morning. After an early wake-up call, it was off to the airport, and the boys flew back to South Africa via Frankfurt. Their enthusiasm and wonder at the experience that they had enjoyed was clear to all who welcomed them back at Cape Town airport, and they could not stop talking in the car on the way home..! Their report-back to the Admiral and 200 other guests and students in Simon’s Town that night at the Lawhill Centre Annual Prize-Giving, allowed them to share first-hand the exciting tales of their adventure in Spain.

Their Air-fares were sponsored by two individual yachting supporters, and other kind supporters provided the funds for other costs related to the event, including spending money for the boys, travel-insurance cover, provisioning, yachting uniform, and other shore-side costs. We thank very much Spike Thompson and the organizers of the Ibiza Rendezvous for sponsoring our entry fee for the regatta, and specifically thank Mallorca Accommodation, Ticket Viages of Portals, Annette Forsythe, Mallorca Clothing Company, Antonio Cruz Puerto, Colin Squire of Yachting Matters, Anne Wade, Marina Ibiza, and all of the other organizers for a most wonderful experience for Bradley and Ronaldo – made possible by the warm support and generosity of these friends of Marine Inspirations.

Apart from their sailing experiences, Bradley and Ronaldo also had the chance to explore some of the cultural and historical highlights of Mallorca and Ibiza. An exciting future path to careers at sea, and their first-steps abroad and into the dynamic world of maritime, have been made possible for these two 17 year-olds by the great support that our empowerment initiative has received from many quarters.

Thanks to all…! and good luck to Bradley and Ronaldo in their future careers…!


Download Press Release in Word Format (docx)

The Ibiza Rendezvous is the first ever superyacht regatta to embrace the iconic island of Ibiza, in the Balearic Islands of Spain. The event was held in the closing days of the summer festivities, between the 8th and 11th of October, and coincided with the last big party-week of the summer season, while embracing the ever-perfect sailing conditions offshore from Ibiza Town and Formentera.

Spike Thompson, founder of the Palma Superyacht Cup, the very first and longest running superyacht sailing regatta in the world, is behind this exciting new event in the sailing calendar, with the aim of “bringing back the fun!” to sailing regattas – where super-competitiveness and uber-professionalism have steadily crept into other existing regatta events in recent years.

The event incorporated pursuit racing, and entrants were divided into several classes, including superyachts, yachts from 17m plus, and for the first time, motor-yachts were invited to join in the action. By day the fleet raced in the emerald seas around the dramatic and picturesque south-western coast of Ibiza and Formentera. On land at the regatta village the crews enjoyed a bustling social programme after the races, experiencing local restaurants and culture, and some crew-members – if of age – sampled the vibrant nightlife for which the island is famed.

This was a chance to end the Mediterranean summer cruising-and-racing programme in style on a nautical note, to explore the hidden gems of Ibiza, and to celebrate the end of summer with friends and ship-mates. And it’s true what they say… Ibiza and yachting are always a good idea..! For Bradley and Renaldo, this was a world-changing experience – a sailing opportunity of a life-time.

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