Nkhatabay, July 5, 2015: Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture has called for more local sailors to participate in international yachting marathon which takes place annually on Lake Malawi.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister on Friday at the 2015 Lake Malawi Yachting Marathon closing ceremony at Chintheche in Nkhatabay disrtrict, Tourism Director of Finance and Administration Charles Banda said locals know the lake better therefore they have an upper hand to outperform international sailors.
“The ministry fully supports local sailors. In fact, this year we managed to support some local teams in contributing to their participation fee. We are appealing to the private sector to come in and follow suit,” he said.
He further pointed out that lack of sailing boats is hindering local sailors to participate in the marathon.
“We are aware of the challenges that local sailors are facing. We are therefore asking the organizing committee to write us a proposal on how best we can address some of these challenges,” Banda appealed.
Member of Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon Organizing Committee Bouke Bijl described the just ended marathon as a success for registering a highest number of local sailors since 1984.
“We hope next year the number will go up again because we plan to buy more boats for local sailors,” he disclosed.
Bijl further revealed that a South African boat manufacturing company has already pledged to offer a boat to the local sailors.
He added that one of this year’s objectives was the formation of partnerships with new companies and organizations to assist the charity works.
“We appreciate the great work that the media has done in publicizing this event. I am sure that more international companies will come in to support us,” he said.
However, Bijl could not be able to disclose the amount of money that has been generated this year.
“We can’t disclose how much we have generated so far because more pledges are still coming in from the corporate world. We will soon release a statement to disclose the amount and which organizations we will be supporting,” he explained.
Lake Malawi Yachting Marathon started in 1984, it happens every year and sailors compete on voluntary basis.
This year’s overall winners are:
- Mike Goodyear
- Charles Girard
- Kobus Fourie
- Bouke Bijl
- Riaan Botha
Non Spinnaker Class:
- Duncan Macpherson
- Gilson Jahn
- McFord Issah
- Johannes Ladebe
- Harrison Ibrahim