From Oppie to L26

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1. Taft is sailing in The Lipton Cup, in South Africa. The most prestigious regatta in South Africa. He is the 3rd youngest, to ever sail in The Lipton Cup. The first, his cousin’s friend Daniel, the second, his cousin Ryan Barnardo, and finally Taft. They were all 13, and all from the same yacht club MAC.
2. The team did not make their weigh in, and needed a lighter sailor, to fill a spot, so they asked Taft to join the team.
3. He was weighed and added to the team, the day before opening ceremonies.
4. He was able to join the team, for he is a member of the MAC Club (Milnerton Aquatic Club).
5. The type of boat he is on is an L26. These boats are over 30 years old.
6. The regatta was gifted to The Royal Cape Yacht Club in 1909, by Sir Thomas Lipton (yup of Lipton Tea)
7. We were recently in Sri Lanka, the very place, Sir Thomas Lipton, began buying up tea estates, to support his vision, to bring tea to the masses.
8. Every yacht club, that participates in the regatta, brings water, from their yacht club waters, and they are all poured into a fancy, silver bowl and poured into the ocean.
9. The first day of the regatta, they were in first place, Just one thing in your article of facts…. on the first day they were coming 1st but later dropped to 2nd place, then three quarters of the way through the race the wind died and the race officer was forced to abandon the race.
10. The second day, they were off the line beautifully, when one of their opponents screamed that they were over early, fear of getting an OCS, they went back around the start line. They came from last to 9th.
11. The 3 day, they were doing great. They were sailing in gusts of 39 knots, this is 44.88 MPH.
12. Somehow their spinnaker (balloon type thing- that is a spinnaker) got snapped and got caught under the boat, and was tipping them over, they had to cut the spinnaker, to save themselves and the boat.
13. It is now, at the bottom of the ocean, in front of Table Mountain.
14. It is worth 15,000 Rand, which is a great deal of money. Another spinnaker has replaced the one at the bottom of the sea.
15. They ended up coming in 7th place, after all of that.
16. There are 3 more days of racing.
17. Taft has bruises all over his body, from hiking, running across the boat, knocking his knees on equipment.
18. He is on an opposing team to his cousin, who is sailing for UCT. (University of Cape Town)
19. Most importantly, he is having the time of his life!

Stephanie Buckley