If your career in the Superyacht industry has been a combination of hard work and lucky breaks, and you’ve been fortunate to have mentors and ‘’champions’ who’ve opened doors for you, why not consider doing the same for others? If your company has been successful, why not give something back to the industry?
‘Paying it forward’ has become a way of life for well-known Mallorca-based retired yacht Captain, Phil Wade. He has dedicated a significant amount of time to making the Superyacht industry more accessible for high-potential, less fortunate youth.
Ten years ago, Wade co-founded the maritime mentoring initiative, Marine Inspirations, along with fellow captain, Anthony Just. They just wanted to show the world of Superyachts to youngsters from underserved communities and give them hands-on experience. They knew that, in order to be successful, they had to find the best young talent possible and that they could find this at Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simon’s Town near Cape Town (www.lawhill.org).
Lawhill runs an award-winning maritime studies programme that has, for more than 28 years, served as a feeder of high-potential youth into the maritime industry. The majority of these youngsters have grown up in challenging circumstances; in townships (ghettos) across South Africa. After three years at Lawhill, they emerge as highly disciplined, polite youngsters with a broad knowledge base which has made them highly sought after by many big names in the global maritime industry.
More than 30 Lawhill students have travelled to Mallorca since 2014, all thanks to the generosity of inspired Captains and Mallorca-based businesses, who have generously supported the efforts of Marine Inspirations. You may be familiar with these youngsters, as many media and newspaper articles have been published about these unusually smart and polite students, who have impressed the yachting community and are M.I.’s best ambassadors.
Many students who travelled to Spain have gone on to achieve successful careers in the maritime industry. One of many success stories is Lutho Thomas, who was Head Boy at Lawhill in 2019, and with Marine Inspirations’ assistance, he came to Palma where Phil introduced him to Captain Colin Richardson on ‘Mirage’, a 54m Feadship, where he is now thriving. He initially did three weeks of day work and was then offered a permanent job. After his first charter season on board, Lutho decided to use his tip money to sponsor another Lawhill student, Janoel Meyer, to fly to Spain where he joined Mirage after day working. Now Jonoel, in turn, is using his “thank you” money to say thank you to another Lawhill student. In doing so, they are living the Lawhill ethos of ‘’lifting others as you rise’’.
Another person to benefit from Marine Inspirations’ support is Theo Jack. In 2015, M.I. organised for Theo to join a delivery voyage from the USVI to Palma on a large motor yacht – again, thanks to Colin Richardson. Once in Palma, M.I. secured a deckhand position for him on another yacht. One boat led to another, and he later sailed many miles on SY Anne.
After six very successful years on Superyachts, he decided to ‘pay it forward’ and started his own charity, https://www.amanziwethu.org/ and has already funded two full 3-year scholarships at Lawhill. In his words, he is “sending the elevator back to the ground floor”.
Marine Inspirations are planning another trip for four students in September 2023, and have made it easy for any interested parties to support these deserving youngsters. The plan is to make a list of expenses and hopefully then find people willing to sponsor specific items on this list. Each sponsor will then have their name put alongside that item and the list will then be published on Marine Inspirations’ website, social media, and the SuperyachtCaptains.com forum. This very private forum has 2000+ captains registered – a great place to have your name displayed. You can show the world that you care and support those who are less fortunate, but who have big maritime dreams.
Anyone interested in helping M.I. to bring these students over can select an expense and cover the costs directly. Sponsorships range from as little as €100 for group lunch outings to an airfare at about €1,000. Other expenses include things like victuals for the yacht, transport, travel insurance and perhaps spending money.
M.I. is actively looking for a sailboat (about 40ft) for the group to live aboard for the 10 days and to give them hands-on experience under qualified guidance, as they have done in the past. They would like a yacht to be donated or one that can be chartered for their stay.
We all know the world would be a far better place if everybody ‘paid it forward’. If you have the means and the willingness to help, please consider supporting at any level of expense. It would be greatly appreciated.
Contact Phil: Pandawade@gmail.com