Archbishop Tutu lends support to Team Alvimedica

Photography: Gilles Martin Raget/Team Alvimedica















CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Nov 14 – Desmond Tutu, the world famous former Archbishop of Cape Town and human rights campaigner, gave Team Alvimedica a timely boost on Friday, the eve of the Volvo Ocean Race’s in-port race in Cape Town.

Charlie Enright’s (USA) team joined early morning worshippers to hear the Most Rev. Tutu’s service in St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town and afterwards had a personal audience with him.

Archbishop Tutu wished Enright and his crew the best of luck in their race around the world.

“God bless you in your adventures around the world,” said the Nobel Peace Prize winner, 83. “May the wind be at your back, or from wherever you’d like the wind to come from,” he added with a smile and twinkle in his eye.

“As you can tell, I don’t know much about these things!”

Enright was very moved to have met the Archbishop. “A very valuable life experience and a great opportunity to meet an amazing man. We’ll take any support we can get, and if it comes from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, then all the better!”

The 30-year-old may not need divine assistance, or any other kind, in Saturday’s (November 15) race. His team, the youngest in the seven-strong fleet, claimed victory in the opening in-port race in the series in Alicante, Spain, and would love to make it a double.

The in-port race series does not count towards the overall Volvo Ocean Race trophy except as a tie-breaker if teams finish level on points by the end of the nine-month event in Gothenburg, Sweden in June next year.

Chris Nicholson (AUS/Team Vestas Wind) told a press conference on Friday: “We’re going for it the whole way. We take it seriously, we’re a proud bunch of people. Points are almost immaterial. We’ll push hard, we’ll try not to damage anything, but it’s competition.”

Team Alvimedica will be missing Italian Alberto Bolzan for Saturday’s race. He flew home last week after Leg 1, in which the American/Turkish team finished fifth, to be with his partner, a professional paraglider who injured her back in an accident.

He will be returning in time for next week’s Leg 2 departure on Wednesday (November 19).

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) are the current leaders of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 after pipping Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) by just eight minutes after 25 days at sea in Leg 1.

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