Statement by Captain Salvatore Sarno, Managing director Team Shosholoza

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Statement by Captain Salvatore Sarno, Managing director Team Shosholoza:

“I am shocked and outraged at the way Team Shosholoza has been treated this week and condemn in the strongest terms the audacious action taken by the Consortio Valencia 2007 who have used the Spanish Police to seal off the South African America’s Cup base in Port America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, and ordered us to empty the base and vacate it immediately.

“I personally went to Valencia in September last year to meet with the Mr J Gisbert, the Managing Director of the Consortium and we agreed on 28th March as the deadline for vacating the base. In addition I have paid 90 000 euros to cover arrears in rent which became effective when Alinghi declared that there would be no more America’s Cup in Valencia. We have also supplied declarations from the Spanish Receiver of Revenue that Team Shosholoza has no outstanding debts or tax owed in Spain. In addition, because they were threatening to impound our equipment, we also supplied certificates of insurance and our custom bond as we need custom clearance in order to move our equipment.

We started packing up the base some months ago and had made arrangements for all the team’s equipment to be moved to storage facilities elsewhere in Valencia. However we were unable to start affecting our move because BMW Oracle Racing team, who occupy the adjacent base, had moved their containers and other equipment onto the quayside in front of the doors to the Shosholoza base during recent racing for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Yet incredibly, with over two weeks still in hand before our deadline to move expires, the Consortio Valencia decided not to honour their word and instead used the police to assist them in this audacious and outrageous action.

This is not a polite way to be treated. It is an abuse of power and not right what they have done to us. I have expressed my fury and disappointment in no uncertain terms in an open email to Mr J Gisbert of Consortio Valencia. The email is as follows:

Dear Mr Gisbert

I have been astonished to hear that this morning police officers have been at the base with a Court order to lock and seal it. Mr Moctar Fall who was preparing the material for the trasportation to the contracted wharehouse has been forced to leave the premise.

It seems that you had been duly informed of our preparation to leave the base and nevertheless you have preferred that the police sealed the base because you were under an erroneus impression

Your action remember to me the old racist apartheid regime who was governing our Country twenty years ago: same system, same action. Certainly you feel now very proud for having given a lesson to the Africans.

I want just to recall you that Team Shosholoza, the africans, played an important role in Valencia to have the public partecipating effectively to that historic event which was the 32nd Americas Cup.

We were the first team to take delivery of a base and establish the Team in your town. As you know from the certificate of Debt Clearance from the Receiver of Revenue, we have no debt in Valencia and we have duly paid our taxes. When we met in september I simply explained to you our situation; you agreed with me on the proposal I suggested and then…….you failed to respect the agreement.

Due to the above we stress to the public our dissatisfaction on the way you and the Authorities have treated guests in your country. I hardly believe that somebody can utilise such a bad determination against honest people like Team Shosholoza. Remember that your national soccer team will be guest in our Country in three months time: would you like that our Authorities will treat them in the same way??

Mr Gisbert you and Valencia 2007 are guilty of abuse of power and Team Shosholoza request that formal apologies be forwarded to the Team, miss Shirley Mullins and mr Moctar Fall.

It is understood that in case the closure of the base will delay our packing,transfer we will not be responsible anymore for such a delay.

Reacting to an article by editor Pierre Orphanidis posted on his Valencia Sailing Blogspot last night, Captain Sarno said the police seals had been removed this morning and that Team Shosholoza is now in the process of moving: Said Captain Sarno: “We are moving but I would like to stress that it is certainly not a sad end for Team Shosholoza.”

9 Comments For This Post

  1. Anonymous Says:

    yep. not the first time that the consortio and specially mr. gisbert are playing a different game then they have promissed before…as all the teams from the 32nd AC got treated like shit when the consirtio needed the quayside space from the base for the 33rdAC. I can just say
    GRACIAS VALENCIA. lets pack up and move to the States ASAP….

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Good to hear that Shosholoza is not done, the sport needs ambitious and enthusiastic leaders like Mr. Sarno (even if he did try to help Alinghi make unfair rules two years ago by supporting them in court… he was probably just trying to ensure that his team survived)

  3. cabin boy Says:

    Shosholoza, we hope to see you in San Fransico. Good luck.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    This is very unfortunate for South Africa as a country and a brand. As much as Shosholoza was Captain Sarno's team, he is not South African (he is from Naples in Italy) and does not represent the proud, hospitable and honest South African culture. Contrary to Mr Sarno's letter, it is common knowledge that he has still not paid many of his sailors… as the saying goes: "you reap what you sow". There is no place for dishonest owners in this great sport of sailing and unfortunately Captain Sarno's actions are imcorrectly portrayed as Shosholoza.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    If you really believe that you should name the "many" sailors

  6. Anonymous Says:

    … Not to mention various company's and businesses that are still owed large amounts of money by the Shosholoza campaign …

  7. BloggerG Says:

    Just for those who are not aware. Shosholoza doesn't owe companies money as they had to hand in a declaration stating that they are debt free in Valencia. Consortio as from the start are the greedy bastards and once all the big sporting events pull out of Valencia, Valencia will dilapidate back to its original state. I feel sorry for the nice people of Valencia. But that is what happens when all the greedy bastards just see Euro signs in front of them.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe the South Africans must treat the Spanish Football team like shit during the world cup, and if Spanish government wants to know why the they must direct the government to speak to Mr Gisbert of the Americas Cup Consortio.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    What about companies in other parts of the world that are still owed money by Shosholoza? Were debt free declarations signed for those countries.
    It is sad to think that some individuals consider for South Africa to mistreat the Spanish during the football World Cup. Pathetic…

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