On the 17th of October we had our first team and partner and parents dinner, hosted at the beautiful Truffles On the Park restaurant in Sandton. The dinner was primarily to get all of our parents to meet Mr Busha and his team as well as for the parents to meet each other. We all gathered around a beautifully set table after meeting and greeting. However, besides just meeting each other the real intention of the dinner was to show our gratitude to Mr Busha and the JM BUSHA 54 team for giving us the opportunity to do the adventure of a lifetime with everything we could possibly wish for.
After the starter platters came out and after some dispersed conversations between the parents the team and Mr Busha, Ryan raised his glass and alerted everyone that he was about to make his speech.
"So its 79 Days until we begin the adventure of our lifetime. We wanted to have this dinner in place, just as a thank you to all those people who gave us this opportunity. Our family, our support structures. For the love and belief, we all needed to take on this task. To those at JM BUSHA 54, for their hard work on the campaign. And finally, to the man of the moment. Mr Busha himself. An honourable leader and a living testament to what a man can achieve when humanity believes in humanity............"
Ryan eloquently delivered his speech with a touch of humour, as he always does. A great thanks giving speech to our partners and a great display of leadership and appreciation from our team leader on behalf of the team. Now, as if one speech wasn't enough, Ryan again grabbed a glass and tapped the side with a spoon to alert the table of another speech, and this time it was by Michael Robinson, on behalf of the parents:
"As the oldest parent here, it behoves me to acknowledge, on behalf of the other parents, the enormous contribution that you have made towards these young people being able to achieve their dream. It is said, that when crossing the South Atlantic Ocean, the first thing that you need to be sure of, is that you don’t miss South America. The next thing you need to be sure of is that you don’t hit South America. I have known all of these young people for years. I have sailed with them, and I have watched them work on the boat. I know their levels of skill, and I have witnessed their determination. I have no doubt that they won’t miss South America, and I have no doubt that they won’t hit South America. In fact, if their skill and dedication is anything to go by, I am sure that they are capable of achieving a credible result. Possibly more importantly, your contribution has made it possible for them to undertake this adventure in the safest way possible. There are never any guarantees of fair conditions when you are on the ocean. The challenges facing them are innumerable. In the history of this race, boats have had to retire from damage caused in storms when leaving the Cape, damage suffered because torn sails from sudden squalls in the trade wind areas, from being forced to accept assistance from other competitors or from passing ships and once a boat was sunk after hitting a whale. Thanks to you, Sir, our entry is equipped with the best safety and communication equipment available..........."
As far as speeches go this speech was amazing and well delivered, with the messages we all needed to hear, messages that reflected the confidence our parents have in us and that reflected the gratitude they have to Mr Busha and JM BUSHA 54. If you want to read the full of the speeches they are available on request via email. After the touching words from the Robinson's, father and son, we proceeded to our main course meals in which three quarters of the table ordered Lamb cutlets. The mains were accompanied by wine and everyone proceeded to mingle and talk over the meal. After the mains we took on to getting our parents to sign the JM BUSHA 54 Peace Pledge. As ambassadors we all wanted our parents to show support beyond just the race, but for what we are racing for and for what we have taken on to represent for the rest of our lives. After the peace pledge signings we took a moment to use the beautiful setting as a backdrop for some great pictures of the team, the parents, Mr Busha nd the JM Busha 54 team. An amazing night, away from the sailing and admin. We all enjoyed ourselves and had a great evening, thanks to all the parents, Mr Busha and the JM BUSHA 54 team for making it what it was. - Tawanda