Optimist of the Month
Helen first sailing experience was as crew with her Uncle, Andy Wahl in Sept 2013 in the Mirror Nationals at the Vaal dam. That was all it took.
Under the watchful eye of Shellee Nel, Helen started sailing Oppies. At her second Youth Nationals at Wiggleswade 2015, Helen won the first girl. Thereafter she was selected to the African Championship on two occasions, Angola 2016 and Egypt 2017.
In the Mirror class she has also represent SA at two Mirror Worlds, 2015 Theewaters and 2017 at Restronguet Sailing Club near Falmouth in Corwall,UK.
Helen has opted to move onto the Laser class and would like to take this opportunity to thank all her fellow oppie sailors for all the memories and friendships made. Wishing Team RSA all the best for Africans and Worlds.
Rivaldo started his sailing career in optimists being part of 6 sailors selected from Du Noon. Immediately out of the 6 he showed the most potential. Of the 6 he was the only one to persevere with sailing and he genuinely loves to sail.
Rivaldo has competed all over the country competing in all the Grand Slams as well and Regional Championships and Nationals as well as Mirror Worlds.
Rivaldo out grew his Optimist at 13 after sailing it for 4 years and moved onto the Laser. He was quickly spotted by Roger Hudson and Asanathi Jim from Race Ahead and invited to join their program. He competed in the 2017 Sonnet Nationals with Roger where they placed second.
Rivaldo was then selected to compete in the 2017 Youth Worlds in Sanya, China, with Benji Daniels on a 420. With only 2 months to prepare they achieved a middle of the fleet finish in a highly competitive competition on a boat neither had sailed before.
Most recently Rivaldo sailed his Laser 4.7 into first place overall at Hermanus Classic Regatta.
Rivaldo is always smiling and cheerful and is the first person there when you need help. He is a true inspirational sailor.
When I first met Sean about 6months ago he was sailing in the B-fleet at ZVYC. But within 3 months of watching him improve Sean ended up in 3rd position at nationals which is a great achievement. I’ve never seen anyone improve so quickly and understand the sport so well and that is why I feel he should be sailor of the month.