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20 May 2005, 12:31 pm
Shosholoza First To Present New Boat
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America's Cup 2007
Valencia, Spain

The South African team for the 32nd America's Cup, Team Shosholoza, is the first to present a newly built boat based on the race's new competition rules.
The South African Shosholoza crew yesterday celebrated the christening of its new boat, the RSA 83. Team Shosholoza has therefore become the first of a total of twelve teams competing for the America's Cup 2007 to present a newly built yacht based on the new competition rules (ACC Rule V5). The Shosholoza boat has a deeper keel, larger sail surface area and less weight, making all the difference to boats that competed in the last America's Cup, in 2003. The boat's construction team, headed by chief designer Jason KER, worked non-stop to complete the yacht so that the crew can put in as much sailing practice as possible before the Louis Vuitton Acts 4&5 on 16 June in Valencia, Spain.

'Jason KER and his crew did a first-class job,' announced Managing Director Salvatore SARNO. 'The result of an intensive five-month period of design and boat-building work.' All the Shosholoza crew members, who have already arrived in Valencia, are keen and all geared up to take the yacht into the sea for sea trials.

The new yacht RSA 83 is 26 metres long, 4.5 metres wide and weighs 24 tonnes, while the mast's height is 35 metres. Some two weeks before the christening, the boat's hull arrived in Valencia from South Africa, so the construction team had to work feverishly day and night to finish the boat. Finally, the mast of the new Shosholoza yacht was placed into position a few days before the christening.

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Shosholoza's christening
© Team Shosholoza
'When Shosholoza registered to participate in the America's Cup 2007, the team was dubbed a 'nice outsider' and 'exotic colour print',' said Dieter SCHWEER from T-Systems, Official Chief Sponsor of Shosholoza. 'But after today, everybody is aware of the fact that we have to be taken seriously, and this feeling is growing daily.'

Rita BARBERÁ, mayor of Valencia, officially christened the Yacht Shosholoza RSA 83 yesterday evening. The African passion and spirit of the South African team in Spain generated enthusiasm not only in representatives of other America's Cup teams, such as Alinghi (SUI) and Luna Rossa (ITA), but also in the various South African personalities who were invited to the event. South African Ambassador Gert GROBLER, for example, talked about a rich cultural exchange taking place, 'A new era has begun in which South African enjoyment of life joins together with the traditions of the America's Cup.'

Sigrid Uhlemayr (As Amended By ISAF). Image,:© Peter Golding/Shosholoza
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