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Bruzo 04-10-2013 11:36 AM

Hello from Botswana
Yes I know - we are a landlocked country and to top it off we are in the Kalahari Desert . So you might be wondering what Sailing is taking place here.
Well we have a average size dam with a yacht club with a few members. But reason I have joined the forum is to get advice and suggestions on a project that my friend and I would like to initiate.
We have started the first and only Sailing school in our country with the goal of one day being able to send a young sailor to the Olympics to represent our Country of Botswana. think Jamaican Bobsled Team. Initially we are self funding this project but would love to get contributors and various entities involved.
Currently we rent 4 Terras (ex RS Sailing in UK) from the Club but would love to expand the fleet and own our own boats - we are even looking to grow and promote Adult training Schools. Our idea is to form a charity that can take underprivileged kids and give them a chance to sail in boat and learn to sail and eventually race.

So that is about it really - I hope members can give advice, and who knows one day we could see a Botswana in the Olympics or even in the Volvo ocean.

CalebD 04-10-2013 01:11 PM

Re: Hello from Botswana
Welcome to sailnet Bruzo.
I recently finished reading the Alexander McCall Smith Mma Ramotswe books (Ladies No. 1 detective agency). Sounds like a great place to be.

Are these the boats that you are currently using: Range - RS Sailing

If so they seem like a fairly advanced model for beginner sailors or children.
I help teach teenagers here to learn to sail on Sunfish (14' lateen rigged single sail).
They may not be raced at the olympic level but they make a good learning platform.
Optimist sailboats are raced in the olympics, I believe; but they are better for kids than adults.
I wish you every success in your sailing eneavours.

marcusc130 04-10-2013 03:04 PM

Hello from Botswana
The Olympic classes for 2016 are the Finn, 470, 49er, and Laser. Also the nacra 17 for multi-hull and the rs:x sailboard.

You might want to check out Sail Newport, which is a very successful public sailing center in my area with great youth programs.

Bruzo 04-10-2013 04:41 PM

Re: Hello from Botswana
Thanks Calebd- yes We love Botswana very much, it is such a great place. I actually have a recipe in the mma ramotswa's cook book. Loved the story and it is a good representation of the country and way of life. Back to sailing- yes the Terra's are the same boat we use however we do a basic course in an Opi before we move them over, to get the kids used to some speed.

CalebD 04-10-2013 08:18 PM

Re: Hello from Botswana
I think I linked to the wrong boat in my last post.
The "Tera" seems more like a slightly smaller version of a Laser which is a good platform for learning, in my opinion.
Yacht club programs over here get very young kids sailing Optimists. Kids as young as 6 - 8 years old. Often it is the parents who want their kids to learn to sail rather than the kids themselves wanting to learn.
I am still a fan of the Sunfish as it is extremely simple to rig and sail and have fun with. A boat like this might be good for your idea of getting underprivileged kids sailing as they can be bought used for fairly little money (maybe in SA?).

I'm still amazed that you have water to sail on in Botswana near the Kalahari desert. I guess there is a hydro/electric dam on the river there?
Rra, I really enjoyed the Mma Ramotswe/Mma Makutsi stories and I am glad to hear that you think McCall Smith portrayed life in Botswana accurately. I have not seen the cook book yet but you have encouraged me to do so.

sailkittiwake 04-18-2013 08:30 PM

Re: Hello from Botswana
Botswana! Cool!

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