ONE of the highlights on the programme at the Big Bottle of Wine Party (BBWP) fundraiser event at the Royal Cape Yacht Club on December 9 will be music by legendary South African musicians Tony Cox, Steve Newman and Tananas. Organised by Marine Inspirations, the proceeds of this event go to investing in creating marine education, training and employment opportunities for young South Africans.

The BBWP originated on the Spanish island of Mallorca in Spain and part of the tradition is the serving of vintage red wine from a 27 litre bottle (supplied by Clos Malverne) which is mounted on a gun carriage. “The inaugural BBWP Cape Town was held in December last year and was a huge success,” says Phil Wade, co-founder of Marine Inspirations. “Funds raised were used to purchase a L26 sailing boat, renamed ‘Homero’, to provide the Lawhill learners with hands on experience on the water.”

Youth employment remains a top priority in South Africa and one of the growth areas is within the Oceans Economy.  However, education within this field, real life training opportunities and mentorship are required to realise the potential of the maritime sector. Opportunities are real, with many South Africans having gone into the maritime field now holding senior positions on ships, tugs and superyachts worldwide.

For the past 12 years The Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simon’s Town High School, has provided specialised knowledge and skills to learners in Grades 10 through 12 to help them embark on successful careers in the maritime industry. Funded by the maritime community, the Centre relies entirely on fundraising, bursaries and donations to give the learners a maritime education and improve their prospects for post-school employment.

Marine Inspirations, one of the school’s loyal supporters and sponsors, is a charitable mentoring programme established to introduce the prospects of a maritime career to youngsters from disadvantaged or less-advantaged backgrounds.  “A big part of our initiative is to take learners from Lawhill to Spain to introduce them to all aspects of the superyacht industry,’ says Wade. “During their two week trip they visit shipyards, sail makers, yacht designers while also learning the practical side of sailing, navigation and more. The outdoor classroom is an invaluable experience.”

Tickets for the Caribbean-themed dress up party are R750 a person, which includes a welcome cocktail,  tropical dishes of fine food, excellent wines, beer and soft drinks.  There will be an auction and raffle, and music by Tony Cox, Steve Newman and Tananas followed by a retro disco with DJ Tony Adriaens of vintage Piggies fame.

“We are encouraging Capetonians, especially those who are in the maritime or related industries, to support this fundraising initiative,” says Wade. “Buy a ticket and join us for a wonderful evening or you can simply give a donation.”  Both can be done via Quicket  ; RCYC members can book and pay via the club.

For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected] or click here and here.

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