Long commute

Currently second at the Laser SB3 Worlds, South African Roger Hudson talks about his Race Ahead campaign
Few would question that the most committed team in the Laser SB3 fleet are South African father and son David and Roger Hudson and their Race Ahead project, who effectively commute up from Cape Town to compete in Europe. Among a largely UK-based fleet, Race Ahead adds considerable cosmopolitan flavour to what is currently the world’s most popular sportsboat class, including in its two boat squad up-and-coming South African sailors from across a wide range of backgrounds, in a similar way to what we saw to some extent during the last America’s Cup with Team Shosholoza. Hudson senior is one of South Africa’s most experience sailors having competed in the Barcelona Olympics in the Flying Dutchman, along with numerous world championships. Race Ahead came about when Hudson senior retired from his position as Head of Marketing from the leading South African financial institution Old Mutual, which, quite by coincidence, is the company which bought Skandia in January 2006. “He is the rock of experience of the whole project,” says Roger of his father. “He had a 35 year business career, which has taken a lot of time up. Now he is retired, he and I are able to put a lot of time and effort into creating this Race Ahead project. Until now I have been sailing with him. I guess a lot of us have the energy to push things forward, but he is the guy who for many decades has been there and done that.” Race Ahead was formed at the being of 2008. While there are several schools in South Africa that aim to get youngsters from all backgrounds sailing, the most high profile being that of former Team Shosholoza skipper and Olympic sailor, Ian Ainslie, the Race Ahead project differs in being more of an elite