I grew up in Cape Town and having lived along the Atlantic Seaboard for most of my life, the ocean has always been a massive part of me.

My love for  sailing began on the Langebaan lagoon. Ocean crossings took me to the Americas, and I had such fun discovering the east coast of that incredible state. Europe was next on the cards for me, which was home for a few years. Italy captured my heart, and I spent a few years exploring the coastlines of southern Europe.

Home beckoned, and I returned to find myself drawn into the clothing industry. I loved every aspect of this exciting world, from fabrics to design –  my passion for creativity was released!

But the sea was not finished with me yet. And so, for the next eight years I headed back to the beautiful Mediterranean, working aboard super yachts and experiencing the beauties of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Central America.

I met my South African-born Italian sailor man in Spain, and we travelled and worked together for three years.  We cruised extensively around the Italian Coast lapping up the flavours, history and all things Italian.  We had our first-born on the yacht with us, after which we decided to “swallow the anchor” and head back to South Africa.

That was eleven years ago, and today we can proudly say that we are the owners of Atlantic Yachting Sailing School, specialising in training youngsters to become elite crew members in the Super Yachting industry.

I love all things associated with sailing – the ocean, the wind, the sails, the boats, the smell of the sea – this is the inspiration that I draw from. It therefore seemed like a match made in heaven to merge my two passions and voila! Vela Sacchi was born! Translated from Italian, it literally means ‘sail bags’.

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Hayley Ceruti