Thirteen-year-old Matt Ashwell from Claremont, Cape Town finished in second place overall at the Optimist African Championships in Luanda, Angola last week, while fellow teen Chiara Fruet (13) from Table View was the second girl, finishing in 11th place overall.
The group of sailors, aged 11-14, represented South Africa at the Optimist African Championships and were in Luanda for 10 days along with their coach, Claire Walker. They sailed nine races in mostly light wind conditions on the open sea, launching off the beach.
SA Sailing Chairman Peter Hall said: ‘Our congratulations go to Matt, Chiara and the rest of the team for their achievements in Angola and we look forward to seeing them progress in the sport as they build on this excellent performance.
‘Sailing away from home is always a challenge and the team have certainly coped very well with the conditions and done us proud.’
Angola’s Osvaldo da Gama emerged as African champion after an excellent week of sailing while Mozambique’s Denise Parruque finished as the first girl, achieving eighth place overall.
‘Sailing is a phenomenal sport from the point of view of personal growth, discovery and life skills. It’s a family and lifestyle sport where through sharing the same passion, friendships made are incredible,’ said Karen Slater, Western Cape Regional Co-ordinator for SA Sailing, of the team’s experience.
In the picture, Chiara is third from left and Matt fourth from right