Locally made trophies for RS Tera World Sailing Championships

The recent RS Tera World Sailing held at Pine Lake Marina in Sedgefield was a great success and will have a very positive influence on the hosting of future international events in Knysna, says Knysna Tourism marketing manager Johan van Schalkwyk.

The Hellstrom family. James (centre) is the new RS Tera Pro World Champion. Here he and his sister Robyn are with their unique trophies, crafted in Knysna
The Hellstrom family. James (centre) is the new RS Tera Pro World Champion. Here he and his sister Robyn are with their unique trophies, crafted in Knysna.  Photo:  Angela Caroline Gray

“The championships brought a number of visitors to the area from various parts of the world, including  Belgium, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark and Zimbabwe, as well as South Africa. Many of these visitors had never been to Knysna before, and were impressed with the beauty of the area and the wonderful weather we enjoyed for the event, so they are certain to be back.

“In addition, the organisers and the venue, Pine Lake Marina, obtained valuable experience of hosting an international event and excellent exposure overseas. We are expecting more international enquiries particularly for water sports events.”

Gret Vogt, Knysna Tourism CEO said that one of the highlights of the event for Knysna Tourism was the fact that the twelve unique trophies handed out at the prize giving ceremony were handcrafted in Knysna.

The trophies were the result of a cooperative effort to promote local businesses and crafts people by creating opportunities for them and finding markets for their goods.

Said Vogt: “One of our mandates is to grow the Knysna economy by stimulating initiatives outside of tourism and creating new markets for locally produced goods.

“These goods are marketed at platforms such as Markex, an annual exhibition which showcases products to the marketing and promotions industry. Interestingly, the spin-off has been an interest in Knysna as a destination for conferencing and incentive travel.”

Vogt said that Knysna Tourism and Knysna Municipality’s Local Economic Development Department has identified an opportunity for registered local crafters to produce and supply the thousands of ‘goodie bags’ handed out at events and festivals throughout the year.

“Having trophies made locally is an extension of this project and we will also be able to market them at various cooperative initiatives.

“The RS Terra trophy project gave three different local businesses with different skills the opportunity to earn an income. The trophies were sponsored by Knysna Tourism but in future will be paid for with grants designed to stimulate local craft development, sponsorships and CSI funds sourced by Knysna Tourism on an ongoing basis.”

The production of the trophies was managed by local resident and director of the Eden Community College, John Noble, and involved three members of the enterprise development network who collaborated on the design – a stainless steel company (Botany), a cabinet maker (K&S) and a beading company (Novel).

Noble describes the trophies as “original and fun.  Our design philosophy is to be 100% real, original and local,” he explained.

The trophies have wooden bases, and a bead swivel for the stainless steel sail.

“I think the end result is pleasing considering the budget. Every project, no matter how small, is important to us because it demonstrates how we can work together to make a difference in the community.”

Said Vogt: “Our challenge now is to generate a substantial order of trophies for all the events which take place in Knysna throughout the year.”

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Knysna Tourism is the City of Knysna’s official regional tourism organisation, responsible for destination marketing, visitor and industry services for Knysna, Sedgefield and surrounds. For information, contact our Visitor Information Centre on 044 382 5510.

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