How it all Began – Part 1

by | Dec 24, 2019 | Stories

1993 Antony and Esti Teale, then living in Switzerland and both working for the Windsurfing Industry, made a life changing decision. Their plan was to immigrate from the safe and organised little Swiss paradise to start afresh in the forever sunny and windy town of Langebaan, opening a windsurfing rental and tuition center aimed at the European market. Antony, South African by birth, was keen to come back to his homeland and Esti was ready for a change in scenery and follow the sun.

During holidays in South Africa they noted that the consistency of the wind in Langebaan and calm lagoon waters created ideal conditions for their sport. This was confirmed by wind readings from the nearby air force base at Langebaanweg. The local municipality agreed to provide land on the beach, opening doors for potential tourism development.

On arrival in South Africa, Antony and Esti were shocked to learn, that land owners, who they were going to build in front of, objected to the proposed windsurf center for fear of losing their sea view. The municipality withdrew their permission to build. Despondently they made enquiries at estate agents and took a drive down the beach. They found a vacant plot right on the beach front.It belonged to the department of public works and was situated in the “buffer zone”. This zone was situated between the white section of town and Colored Township with the purpose of keeping the apartheid distance between the two race groups.

At that stage no property expert in his right mind would have invested money in that area, but Antony and Esti were excited. With support from the town clerk, at that stage Mr. Floors Brand, the Teales approached the department with an offer to lease.

Nobody else was interested in using the land and the deal was clinched “within ten minutes” at R300 a month! After each season the couple went back to Europe “to earn money to sustain and build up the Sports Center in South Africa”. They also used the opportunity to market their destination in Europe. Little by little they made progress, teaching windsurfing and renting out equipment, when another serious blow threatened their business in 1997.

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