INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Just a week ago Oracle Team USA were celebrating one of the most remarkable comebacks in sport, after clawing their way back from a 1-8 race deficit to take the America's Cup 9-8 against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Joining in those celebrations was South African sailor Jan Dekker, who worked as the team's safety diver.
Having been a part of the America's Cup before, the Capetonian was invited to join Team USA at the beginning of this year.
"I was with Alinghi in the last two America's Cups so I know most of the guys and got the call in January," said Dekker, who grew up sailing in Hermanus.
Having competed in a number of major international campaigns, Dekker explained his role in the remarkable comeback victory.
"I was on the sailing team, reserve crew, AC 45 crew and mostly the rescue diver," Dekker said.
"That involves sailing on the boat when needed and mostly being on standby in the chase boat, ready to jump in the water to rescue people in the event of the catamaran capsizing."
Dekker points to the final race as the highlight of his entire experience and added that a constant change in tactics gave Team USA the edge over their Kiwi counterparts.
"After losing earlier on we kept on analysing the performance of the boats and kept on making changes. We were more pro-active than the other team," he said.
"We went out practising on the days off and progressed non-stop. It has been a great experience, I learnt a lot about foiling boats and the dangers they represent.
"Every race that we won after being 1-8 down was as if we had survived another kill. Each one gave us more confidence and we got stronger each time."
Dekker is currently competing in the Voiles de St Tropez regatta in France and will return to Cape Town next week.
Source : Sapa