A young adventurer sets out from Richards Bay

After three months on dry land in Richards Bay, the open sea awaits French-Canadian Claire Valade, who set sail last Tuesday for Cape Town.

The 25-year-old sailor and water sports enthusiast arrived on South African soil in East London last year. From there, she enjoyed the sights and sounds of the country on a road trip to Richards Bay, where she arrived in December.

Honored with a copy of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s book, as well as a bottle of Her Majesty’s Finest Wine and a beautiful shawl, Claire Valade is pictured with Ishwar Ramlutchman who sent her away

“I loved spending time in South Africa and Richards Bay where the sailing community was so welcoming and helpful,” Claire said before setting sail.

“I arrived in South Africa by boat from Australia, but then became separated from the person I had been sailing with.” After traveling to Richards Bay, Claire learned that a boat, Eskimo, was for sale.

“I looked at the boat, I loved it and I knew it would be a good way for me to manage it alone or with one crew. Claire bought Eskimo, a Dreadnought 32, five weeks ago.

After making some minor repairs, she was ready for the next chapter of her journey. “I’m going to Cape Town with my crew, Martin Weidinger, to get used to the boat.

But from there, I plan to go solo. From Cape Town, it will sail to Saint Helena Island before heading to the Azores. “After that, I will sail to France to spend time with my family.

‘ Zululand style, Claire was treated to a special farewell and received a bottle of Bayede wine from His late Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, along with the late king’s book.

She was the first civilian to receive a copy of the book, Mangosuthu Buthelezi being the only other person to receive a copy. Philanthropist Ishwar Ramlutchman did the honors of sending Claire and also gave her a beautiful shawl.

Passionate about videography, Claire shares images from her travels on her Instagram account – @claireamyv. Eskimo is one of 63 international vessels to register with the Zululand Yacht Club this season.

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