Meet Janneke Senekal. The South African, born and raised in Stellenbosch, is intricately involved with the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). As Senior Events Manager at WORLDSPORT, Senekal is involved in most of the behind-the-scenes work for the upcoming VOR. The 2014/15 race, which sets sail in Alicante (Spain) on 11 October 2015, will stop over in Cape Town from 1 to 19 November. The race sees seven syndicates take on the grueling journey, which could take anything between 23 and 27 days to complete.
Known as the Everest of sailing and one of the toughest races in the world, the Volvo Ocean Race is the biggest event on the yachting calendar. Senekal really looks forward to the arrival of the first boats and all that is planned for their stay in the Mother City. “I studied Public Relations Management and later went further to become a Project Management graduate. After I completed my studies in 2007, I went travelling for 6 months. In mid-2008 I started working at WORLDSPORT and I’ve not regretted my decision one bit. I absolutely love my job and all it has to offer. The hours of hard work beforehand, little sleep, adrenaline during the event, and finally experiencing the end of a job well done by all the participants and volunteers make it all worthwhile,” says Senekal.
With her job title comes many major responsibilities. Senekal says, “I project manage the Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town stopover from a delivery side. I’m involved in putting together the race village, liaising with all the teams and activations, delivering the Volvo Ocean Race contract and delivering the special and host events for the stopover.” With regards to her goals for this year, Senekal jokingly replies that she wants to be a millionaire, “I can see that I have three long months ahead of me. On a serious note, I’ll be doing my first triathlon on Saturday, 4 October. This will be my biggest achievement for 2014.”