Personal Account: Dominique Provoyeur

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Isigungu means ‘a team working
together towards a common goal’. A translation which we received from a
previous employee of one of my previous crew…. so it may not be exact or
true, but we like it and believe in it!

Team Isigungu is an all-female
sailing team of Dominique Provoyeur (Skipper), Penny Alison (tactician/trimmer)
and Kim Rew (foredeck/trimmer). The team aims to represent South Africa at the
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the Yngling class, and in doing so become the
first ever South African women to compete in sailing in the Olympics.

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All of the crew, when in South
Africa, are living in Cape Town, which makes training and organisational issues
that much easier.  In the early days of our training, we spent many an
hour after work on the water in the Harbour doing skills and boat-handling
training all on our own until dark.  

Kim
was new to sailing in 2006, but previous SA champ in K1 and surfski, she was no
novice when it came down to hard work and concentration.   After
sailing we would go back to the club with pen and paper and do classroom
lessons in sailing, we had many years to catch up on.

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Being as dedicated as she was and
an eager student, she was a teachers dream!  For Penny and I, Sailing is
in our blood.  Our parents have be racing each other for many years and it
was only a matter of time before we settled into this sport with full
commitment.

Our dream of competing in the
Olympic Games is a tall order, but we have the believe and commitment to make
it happen.

The team has been campaigning in
Europe since January 2007 as we are the only Yngling sailing team in Africa, we
had to pack up and move to where our competition is.

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We have been lucky enough to have
an Australian coach and Canadian training partners, which has helped us to fast
track many aspects of sail boat racing.  Our results have proven that our
hard work has paid off and our learning curve is steep.

Sailing competition usually takes
place over a number of days, with many races to make up a regatta. So
maintaining your head, knowing when to relax and when to switch on becomes part
of the game.

So far our dream is on track and
we did qualify South Africa for the Games in July, but now we are in the hands
of NOCSA (the South African Olympic Committee) to decide where or not we can
represent our Country in Beijing.

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Sailing in South Africa has taken
a huge leap as a result of the America’s Cup and Shoshaloza.  Sailing was
brought to the Nation in a professional and competitive manner, albeit not a
discipline for women the awareness has grown tremendously.

There are many sailing schools
around the country for those wishing to learn the sport, as well as yacht clubs
specialising in dingy (Zeekoei Vlei Yacht Club) and keelboats (like the Royal
Cape Yacht Club).

http://www.zvyc.org.za

http://www.rcyc.co.za

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We have one more scheduled event
in Germany in September (European Championships), before we head home to SA in
October.  We are all looking forward to going home and seeing friends and
family again.

For more information on team
Isigungu, please check out the Team Isigungu website.

http://www.isigungu.com

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Kass Naidoo

Kass Naidoo

Passionate sports broadcaster and founder of gsport4girls

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