Lynn Fitzpatrick caught up with Kim Rew of the South African team at the 2008 Yngling Worlds in Miami to find out more about the RSA campaign for Beijing.
As the Ynglings sailed away from the US Sailing Center and headed over to Key Biscayne Yacht Club, the South African boat caught my eye. The white hull distinguished itself from the others because the decals on its sides were that of a vineyard and golf estate. Apparently, Dominique PROVOYEUR
, the skipper, works at the estate when she is in her home country. Devondale, the estate, released a Provoyeur harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon and a Cabernet/Shiraz blend to help to fund the team. Even without the wine, the team is talkative and friendly.
Sailing Ynglings together for the past four years, Provoyeur and Penny ALISON
, the jib trimmer and tactician, are familiar to the international sailing circuit and have attended many women's keelboat events. Kim REW
, on the other hand, sailed her first regatta in the spring of 2006 and by the summer of 2007 the team had qualified for the Olympic Games. It didn't take long to find out why Provoyeur and Alison had entrusted their fate in the Ynglings to a novice sailor.
Rew is no stranger to the water. She has a string of achievements in surf lifesaving, water polo, canoeing and surf ski paddling. She was the first woman ever to complete the 244km paddle from Port Elizabeth to East London on a single surf ski. Not only that, she was the 2005 World Champion K1 paddler. It's no wonder that she is her Yngling team's fitness coordinator and nutritionist.
Besides being a world-class paddler, surf skier and sailor, Rew is a partner at a law firm. Specializing in commercial litigation, she made partner at the ripe old age of 28. The firm has always been supportive of her athletic endeavours. Rew has taken time off this winter and is training for the Rolex Miami OCR and the Yngling Worlds.
The team, who qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games more than a year in advance of the Games, is not sure that their country will be sending a sailing squad. They are hoping that good results in both regattas will be enough to encourage their country to send them to the Olympic Games in Qingdao.
I'm sure that a fine bottle of the Provoyeur harvest will be uncorked when the team gets the nod that they are going to Qingdao in August.