A New Kind Of Race

CARLO BORLENGHI / ACM

UP FOR THE CUP: Team Shosholoza

Marcello Burricks is not your typical America's cup yachtsman. Raised in a rough, mixed-race township on South Africa's Cape of Good Hope peninsula, he had to prove himself as a street fighter long before he ever climbed aboard a sailboat. In his early teens, he fraternized with local gangs and got in knife fights. These days, however, he puts his strength into grinding winches and helping to trim the mainsail of a sleek, 25-m America's Cup–class racing yacht.

Burricks' journey from local tough guy to élite sailor is just one of the remarkable stories to come from Africa's...

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