Sailing in Spain

archie and thami-lr

Two young South African maritime students from the Lawhill Maritime Centre have been selected to participate in an international ‘Marine Inspirations’ programme ( taking place in Mallorca, Spain, in June.

This is a follow-on initiative from the very successful programme of October last year, when the first two South African students were invited by ‘Marine Inspirations’ to attend the dynamic ‘Ibiza Rendezvous Regatta’ event in Ibiza, Spain.

The mentoring programme aims to give young South African students from less-advantaged backgrounds hands-on seamanship experience and to expose them to possible career opportunities in the world of yachting and the maritime field.

In June 2015, Archie Leeu (18) and Thamsanqa (Thami) Hoza (17), both secondary school students at Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre, will fly to Spain to participate in the ‘Palma Superyacht Cup’, which takes place from 17 to 20 June.

The ‘Palma Superyacht Cup’ is the longest running superyacht sailing regatta in Europe, and consistently attracts the most prestigious sailing yachts from all over the world.

The students will join Captain Jonathan Kline and crew aboard the luxurious Perini Navi 38m superyacht,“P2” for the duration of the SYC regatta.

This will be followed by three days spent at the highly-regarded ‘Astilleros de Mallorca’ shipyard where the students will gain hands-on work-experience and an understanding of the daily tasks performed in this dynamic environment.

The trip to Spain will be one of many ‘firsts’ for the students, including their first time travelling abroad and first time sailing aboard a superyacht.

Leeu, who hails from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Hoza from Welkom, South Africa, say the trip is “a wonderful opportunity to learn valuable and practical skills which will equip us for our career as future seafarers.” They also intend sharing their gained knowledge and skills with their peers at Lawhill  when they return from Spain.

The ‘Marine Inspirations’ mentoring programme is the brainchild of two South African superyacht captains, Phil Wade and Anthony Just who, following a long and engaged lunch in Mallorca, Spain, in 2014, reflected upon how the quality maritime training they’d received in South Africa had contributed so significantly to their career success.

This led to an agreed desire to share their knowledge and experience with less-advantaged and disadvantaged youngsters from South Africa and other countries around the world – and to do so by providing students and other potential young sea-men and women with opportunities that supplement the maritime experience and skills provided and taught by maritime schools such as Lawhill, and other institutions or sailing clubs around the world.

The ‘Marine Inspirations’ initiative is 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 is sponsored by the shipyard ‘Astilleros de Mallorca’, while the other flight-ticket is paid for from a generous grant donated to ‘Marine Inspirations’ by the ‘TK Spirit Youth Sailing Fund’ in the USA.  The TK Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation supporting non-profit maritime, youth development and South Africa programmes.  Our thanks to Susan Karlshoej,  the Chief Executive of the Foundation and Sean Day, Chairman of the ‘Teekay Shipping Corporation’ for their support of the Marine Inspirations initiative.

The initiative is also strongly endorsed by the ‘General Botha Old Boys Bursary Fund’, which is supplying set-up funding and logistical support in Cape Town before the students embark upon their adventure in June (

Anyone interested in supporting this worthwhile mentoring programme should visit  for more information.