The four matric students off to Mallorca in Spain to gain superyacht experience courtesy of Marine Inspirations are (from left to right) Liyabona Njingolo, from the Royal Cape Yacht Club, Simamkele Ntingiso, Nhlakanipho Lebengu and Liqhawe Mdoda from the Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simon’s Town School.

Liyabona Njingolo, Simamkele Ntingiso, Nhlakanipho Lebengu and Liqhawe Mdoda are setting off on an adventure of a lifetime to the Spanish Island of Mallorca.


South Africa (25 August 2023) – Four Grade 12 students, Liyabona Njingolo, from the Royal Cape Yacht Club, alongside, Simamkele Ntingiso, Nhlakanipho Lebengu and Liqhawe Mdoda from the Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simon’s Town School, have been given the opportunity of a lifetime – an all-expenses-paid visit to the Spanish island of Mallorca to experience, first hand, the skills needed to navigate the international superyacht industry.

The two-week trip comes courtesy of Marine Inspirations, a maritime mentoring initiative based in the island’s capital city, Palma. Founded in 2014, the initiative has successfully empowered over 50 students from across South Africa, through its partnership with Lawhill and others.

The superyacht industry, often viewed as high-profile and exclusive, has historically been out of reach for the majority of South African youth, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For nearly 10 years, Marine Inspirations’ Palma trips have helped connect hard-working youth from these backgrounds to the fast-growing, multi-billion dollar superyacht industry, through the education and experience offered.

While in Palma, the students will have the opportunity to meet various industry professionals, such as those operating in yacht construction, design and technological development, as well as hone their practical sailing skills on the Mediterranean Sea.

Marine Inspirations co-founder Phil Wade, a retired superyacht captain, commented,

“I believe in ‘paying it forward’. It is crucial to the continued success of the industry. Marine Inspirations does exactly that.”

All of the students are involved in sailing programmes in Cape Town, with the trip offering an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a new, unfamiliar environment.

“This type of exposure is crucial to their future success in the international maritime industry. However, we wouldn’t be able to offer this opportunity if it weren’t for the fantastic work being done by Lawhill and the Royal Cape Yacht Club who work hard to educate and equip our young sailors to make the most of this opportunity”, commented Wade.

Lawhill Maritime Centre’s Programme Administrator, Ms Faye Kula, said,

“This trip is an opportunity for these students to apply the maritime knowledge they have gained at school and to benefit from the mentoring and expertise of highly skilled professionals such as Phil Wade. The value of this cannot be understated and holds incredible significance in the students’ lives.”

The students will have the opportunity to meet four of the initiative’s alumni – Lutho Thomas from Motherwell outside Gqeberha, Sylvino October from Oudtshoorn and Janoel Meyer and Abdul Shukri Kaffoor from Mitchell’s Plain in the Western Cape – who used the expertise, connections and experience they learned to pursue various international careers at sea.

Marine Inspirations celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, marking a milestone in its vision for international collaboration and youth empowerment through job creation.

For more information, and queries regarding funding support for either programme, visit or

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

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