Uniquetall ship in Durban for final South African stopover in ground breaking global voyage with disabled and able-bodied crew
The Lord Nelson, a unique tall ship, sailed by disabled and able-bodied crew on a ground breaking voyage around the world, is currently on a six-day stopover in Durban ahead of the next leg of her circumnavigation. The 55-metre square rigger is taking part in the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge, a 50,000-mile journey designed to promote equality and inclusion in every port of call.
The voyage is organised by UK charity,the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and is supported by international legal practice Norton Rose, which has five of its 42 offices in Africa, including Durban. The ship has been designed and built to allow disabled and able bodied crew to sail alongside each other as equals.
Arriving in Durban, Captain Chris Phillips explained that they had had some lively conditions to contend with during the latest stage of their voyage from Cape Town, around the Cape of Good Hope, to Durban.
“We had some excellent sailing in fairly atypical conditions, which was both satisfying and exhilarating,” he said. “The winds were fair for a large proportion of the time, which in itself was unexpected. We had a couple of days of flatcalm, as well as a couple of days of gale conditions. The fair winds were aboon as we had to fight adverse currents the entire way.”
As they made their final approach to Durban, captain and crew decided to take advantage of the conditions offered by the lively north-easterly breeze.
“We motored to the north so we could have a final sail before arrival in Durban. We sailed offshore and then back towards Durban, but experienced conditions beyond what the forecast had led me to expect, with winds gusting over 45 knots, which made for an exhilarating night’s sailing,” describes Captain Phillips.
The Lord Nelson sustained some sail damage in the strong winds and her planned 1100 local time arrival was further delayed by commercial traffic in the busy container port, and she finally berthed at Durban’s O Shed at 1530.
One of the South Africans on board for the voyage from Cape Town to Durban was 52-year-old Mandy Latimore from Johannesburg, who is a wheelchair user following a climbing accident, which resulted in paraplegia.
As a self-confessed adrenaline junkie Mandy is no stranger to adventure and she said she was “exhausted but exhilarated” after the challenging voyage to Kwa-Zulu Natal.
“I had the best four hours of my life on a 0400-0800 watch during the voyage. We were in a Force 9 gale with five-metre swells, doing 11.5 knots and we even had a great white shark sighting. What more could a gal ask for? We had fantastic crew and great new friendships were forged over 12 action-packed days sailing along my beloved country’s coastline, but it was great to see it from the other side for a change,” said Mandy, who works as an independent consultant within the disability sector.
One Durbanite joining the Lord Nelson crew on Thursday is Thokozani Mthoko Deajay Latha, a graduate of the Durban-based Sail Africa youth development programme. Deajay will be a member of the voyage crew for the next leg of her journey to Kochi, India, along with Wandisile “Wadi” Xayimpi, who will represent Cape Towncharity, Izivunguvungu. Along with the rest of the crew, Deejay and Wadi will be undertaking pre-voyage training on Friday.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust has invited the two young South African sailors to take part in a leg of the circumnavigation in order to support the development work of the two charities,which use sailing to help youngsters to develop their confidence and self-esteem to broaden their horizons.
Wadi said, “I think sailing the boat will be a challenge in itself as I have never sailed on a tall ship before and there is a lot more rigging to what I am used to. Being away from my family and friends will be one of my own personal challenges.”
The 24-year-old, whose ambition is to become a professional sailor or soccer player, continued, “Both a bowman[crew member who works at the front of the boat, often an exhilarating and exciting role] and a soccer player rely on their teams to win their race or game. This trip will help me work with a new unfamiliar team, helping and learning from each other.”
The Lord Nelson will remain berthed at O Shed, next to the N Shedpassenger terminal for the duration of the stopover in KwaZulu-Natal, until she sets sail for Kochi at 2pm on Sunday 3 March.
The ship embarked on her 23-month voyage from Southampton in the UK on Sunday 21 October, riding the wave of success enjoyed by the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 9 December, before setting sail again for a second transatlantic crossing, this time to Cape Town, and a first-ever visit to South Africa, arriving on 2 February.
During the almost two-year voyage, the Lord Nelson will make four Equator crossings, log 50,000 nautical miles and visit 30 countries on seven continents. The journey is unique due to the people who make up the voyage crew: all of them have stepped out of their everyday lives to participate, all of them refusing to be limited by disability or self-imposed comfort zones to become part of a round the world crew.
Norton Rose, which has an office in Durban, is supporting this unique global voyage under their banner of “All abilities. All aboard.” The international legal practice supports the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s values of diversity, inclusion and integration.
Johnny Caldow, Norton Rose’s Durban office head, said: “We have followed with interest the activities that took place in Cape Town and have been looking forward to welcoming the Lord Nelson to Durban. As well as hosting some traditional South African activities for the crew, we have invited clients and staff to attend an event on Friday, to hear a first-hand account of sailing on board Lord Nelson. David Kapelus, a director from our Johannesburg office, is a quadriplegic and participated in the seven-day sail in Cape Town. David will talk about his experience and challenge perceptions towards disability, an ethos at the very heart of both the Jubilee Sailing Trust and the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge. On Sunday, we will bid Lord Nelson and her crew a fitting SouthAfrican farewell from our shores.”
Lord Nelson was built by the Jubilee Sailing Trust in the UK and first set sail in 1986. The bespoke features on board allow a disabled sailor to contribute to the voyage just as much as an able-bodied crew member and their interdependence creates a community aboard the ship for the duration of the voyage – a bond which remains long after those who sail on her are back on dry land.
Berths are still available to sail on board Lord Nelson during the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge. No experience is required and a wide range of physical disabilities can be accommodated. Among the bespoke features of the ship are hearing loops, wheelchair lifts, integrated Braille instructions and speaking compasses. For more information visit www.jst.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
Pre-departure media conference scheduled for 1500 HRS on Fri 1 March at the Point Yacht Club,3 Maritime Place, Victoria Embankment. Parking available.
For media information contact:
Anna Wardley, media & public relations, Jubilee Sailing Trust
UK cell phone (until 27February): +44 (0)7793 417754
SA mobile number (in Durban from 28 Feb – 3 March): +27 (0)74 6866045
Candice Collins, communications specialist, Norton RoseSouth Africa
(incorporatedas Deneys Reitz Inc)
Tel:+27 (0)11 685 8630
The Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge
During her inaugural 23-month circumnavigation of the world, the 55-metre square rigger, Lord Nelson, will log four Equator crossings and visit 30 countries on seven continents. More than 1,000 people will have the opportunity to sail on the vessel during this 50,000-mile voyage. It is the first time that an accessible square-rigged sailing ship has undertaken such a journey crewed by disabled sailors alongside their able-bodied peers.
The Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge route: Southampton (UK), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Cape Town(South Africa), Durban (South Africa), Kochi (India), Singapore, Fremantle(Australia), Melbourne (Australia), Hobart (Australia), Sydney (Australia),Auckland (New Zealand), Wellington (New Zealand), Nelson (New Zealand),Auckland (New Zealand), Ushuaia (Argentina), Antarctica, Buenos Aires(Argentina), Recife (Brazil), Halifax (Canada), Southampton (UK).
The Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ship,Lord Nelson, was designed to enable physically disabled people, including wheelchair users, to sail alongside their non-disabled peers as equals. Lord Nelson was built in the UK and first set sail in 1986. Since then she has been changing the lives of everybody who sails on her.
Jubilee Sailing Trust
The Jubilee Sailing Trust was founded in 1978 and was the brainchild of Christopher Rudd, a teacher and sailor who wanted to give his disabled pupils the same opportunities as able-bodied children. Starting with two non-adapted vessels, the charity grew and Lord Nelson, a custom built ship which can be sailed by a crew of 40, was commissioned. Since her maiden voyage in 1986, more than 10,000 people with a physical disability, including almost 4,000 wheelchair users, have sailed aboard Lord Nelson.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust also own sand operates a second tall ship, Tenacious. She is currently operating voyages in Europe.
Norton Rose is a leading international legal practice offering a full business law service to many of the world’s pre-eminent financial institutions and corporations from offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Central Asia. Knowing how their clients’businesses work and understanding what drives their industries is fundamental to Norton Rose.
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NortonRose is the business name for the international legal practice that comprisesNorton Rose LLP, Norton Rose Australia, Norton Rose Canada LLP and Norton RoseSouth Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and their respectiveaffiliates. www.nortonrose.com