THANK YOU from i’KaziKati

Thank to everyone for the many aspects of support that allowed us to represent our country, sailors & sportsmen of our country at such an awesome event and at such a high level.

Although sad, we are all extremely proud and privileged to have taken part, to have rubbed shoulders with not only the best young sailors in the world and to be labeled the same, but to have been side to side with so many sailing legends who have inspired us since we were very small.

and who knows, maybe one day i’KaziKati will be back!

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SELECTED TEAMS

Sunday was a day of watching & waiting & eventually in the evening, the organisers announced the teams to go through. Team i’KaziKati crew held their breath while this news was announced live to all teams present, those not present but live on Skype & loads of international media.

3 teams from our group went through , namely

Germany, New Zealand & Australia

with 2 teams from the second group going through, namely

Portugal & Switzerland

Visibly disappointed, it took a while for the team to process & absorb the news that we were not one of the selected, along with the many other great young sailors all vying for a spot. But at the same time we also absorbed that we had done it, we raced the AC45, rubbed shoulders with our sailing hero’s and had a huge learning &  memorable experience.

Thanks everyone for the many aspects of support that allowed us to represent our country,

 

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i’KaziKati returns

Team i’KaziKati crew arrived home today after a loooooooong flight via London. We left 2 guys in the Caribbean to race the Heineken regatta, off loaded 1 in London & the rest headed on back with some even venturing straight to Varsity lectures!

Wow what a ride :)

 

 

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Last day is done

Racing is all done for the last day of the RBYAC with all 6 races achieved so session 2 has the same number (18) of races as session one, which was  touch & go at one stage with the weather and gear issues.

Lots of happy, exhausted & anxious faces now hanging around the base. We have about an hour & half to go until the final announcement is made.

Whatever the outcome, right now is already MORE than what we even imagined just a few months ago so no matter what, this is just amazing!

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Last day of RBYAC

Today is the last day of the event of the RED BULL YOUTH AMERICA’S CUP & it is with very mixed feelings that I post this. This evening after racing they are going to announce the teams going through to the final…..so our nerves are on edge, we are all tired, we all look forward to getting home, we are super excited & proud of what we have achieved & we are having an amazing time….but as it comes to an end, we hold our breath.
As soon as Ican, I will post the outcome for all to see.
Today however is the last racing day of the event & there are 6 final races scheduled for session 2. The boats have just headedout once again together with most of our crew as helpers on start & chase boats with a couple left on shore to watch. I havent’ officially seen the reults so far for session 2 so cant post anything as yet but hope to during the day.
What an emotional roller coaster ride …….. :)

 

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Session 2 – sailing the AC45

Yesterday’s postponement of sailing meant that the 6 new teams only got their first ride on the AC45′s today. The wind started off at almost nothing which is great just to get the feel of the boat but then it built to a nice strength while Italy, France, Portugal, New Zealand, Argentina & UK learnt the ropes. Team i’KaziKati acted as crew to REGARDLESS, the America’s Cup bridge boat while watching the sailing & seeing it now from a different angle. The next few days of ‘watching’ will bring a different aspect to the teams knowledge of these boats & we look forward to seeing how this new group handle the boats.

Getting really up close to Alacatraz today, quiet an eiry place, as well as to Oracle 72, who once again was out to play in & amongst the 45′s, were just added extras for our day. As we wait for this week to unfold & the selections to be completed, there is much talk of the various options available to our young South African sailors & the enthusiasm expressed by the guys of i’KaziKati for the future, after experiencing this event, is heart warming.

Alcatraz backdrop golden gate bridge backdrop team swop out UK team flying for the first time

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End of Session 1

Wow I have to apologize as I was sure I had posted again after the end of our session at the RBYAC….it seems with all the action, I didn’t actually do this.
Finishing up on Friday with blow by blow news on twitter & facebook saw the full 18 races completed & the teams pushed to the limit. The question was asked a few times during the week, about the pressure that the teams were placed under in various scenarios & the answer was ‘we want to see how you perform under pressure & that is why we are doing this’!
For example, the crew change between races was allocated 8 minutes before the gun went for the 5 minutes to the next start. If you were not the fortunate team on the day to have sailed the ‘dock out’ from the base to race 1, then you had the princely sum of 8 minutes to get yourself together, ready & on the line for your race! Pressure, most certainly. Then the races themselves lasted an intense 13 to 16 minutes start to finish during which time 3 boats per race, faced off & almost 100% of the time, your position on the start line & the first rounding -which was within the 1st minute of the race, determined your placing. This really put the teams to the test & the slightest handling error or judgement call on a rounding, a hoist or tactical move, could be the end of it.
In almost every one of the 18 races, placings were just seconds apart on the finish with the odd occasion when the leaders managed to break away & create a lead.  Intense to say the least & the organisers certainly achieved their goal of ‘pressure’.
After taking a couple of days break now, reflecting on our achievements, what has been learned & just relaxing a bit, we headed back to the base today to meet the 6 new teams of session 2. Greeted this morning by freezing weather & pouring rain caused the sailing to be called off & the new teams have to wait one more day before they get their first sail on the AC45.
An early start is planned for tomorrow for this as the afternoon forecast is once again not great……..it seems we were very lucky to be part of session one & although it was freezing on most of the days, we were always able to sail.
crew swop out 1 lets get racing adding the flag flying along red bull 5 for the last day red bull 5 red bull party bus

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Results going into final day

Full Metal Jacket Racing, New Zealand: 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1 – 10
Objective Australia, Australia: 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 – 11
STG/NRV Youth Team, Germany: 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 1 – 12
Team Austria, Austria: 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 2 – 12
Team i’KaziKati, South Africa: 3, 2, 1, 3, 3, 1 – 13
Danish Vikings, Denmark: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1 – 14

Really tough day ahead of us today to stay in the running. Wind is super light & first race of the day was abandoned already in order to move right up San Francisco Bay to hunt some wind. Now 5 minutes to restart of Race 13 with the hope that we will get the full 6 races for the day into the timing allocated. RSA not in this race but watching with baited breath from the support RIB.

 

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Day 2 of racing 14th February

A tough day today which started out with no breeze anywhere on the bay but our team docked out so were able to spend valuable time aboard & play with the boat. RSA lined upfor the first 3 races on RED BULL boat, when eventually a light breeze filled in. These boats fly in anything so all was set to go & eventually racing began at about 2.30.
A couple of mistakes & our first 2 raced ended with 2 thirds…not great & left the team feeling despondent. 3rd race for us was a make or break so the boys came back with a bullet & raced this one in style.
Conditions were testing with 2 directional current, lightish switchy windy & aggressive tactics by opposition so the boys had a tough fight & in the end came out well. Getting the last 3 races in for the day saw the fleet staying out till sunset which was really pretty as the wind had died off as the sun dropped.
The normal evening briefing happened only after a surprise barbeque & music by Red Bull & a fun making of a web video by the media girls – the Harlem Shuffle – I will post a copy….what a laugh.
Home, video analysis, light dinner & off to bed to prep for the last day tomorrow. it is all there for the taking but we have to do well. It seems they plan to consider race results as 60% towards selection but we still dont know how many teams or now it seems, when this announcement will be made eve!. Bit frustrating as they move the goal posts continuously but this is America’s Cup & we have been told that this is perfectly normal. So we smile, soak it up & make the most of every moment.
long days racing mark rounding & deploy san francisco becalmed start of race 7 start of race 8 the red bull what it mean to be a rock star flying the Red Bull glass

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Racing Day 1

What a day…daunting start with media from all over & meeting all the stars, putting our helm on the spot with a microphone along with all the others, interviews & photo shoots then just a little bit of racing…..like 6 races one after the other while rotating teams …. phew! Once again I was fortunate to be onboard the big AC power boat with a top row view of the racing. Added benefit was being on line during the racing so was able to tweet & facebook updates…..I will however post a copy of this in a seperate blog.

Well done to our boys who just got steadily better & better through the day. in 3 races they got a 3rd, a 2nd & then a 1st :)
Tomorrow they are up to race the first 3 races back to back, on Red Bull boat with Russell Coutts on board as coach/spectator/assessor……wow!       Big day ahead, we are off to rest, sleep, dream & recharge.IMG_0107 IMG_0115

Media day & race day 1 IMG_0149 1st rounding race6 action in race 2 race 2 our race 1 1 start race 6 taking the lead race 6

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