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4 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
BOMBARDIER RECREATIONAL PRODUCTS
HOLD ON TIGHT THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE A FAST ONE
THE WORLD IS OUR PLAYGROUND
www.doitnow.co.za • 5
6 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
www.doitnow.co.za â€˘ 7
& CALENDAR Here are some fantastic activities and events to look out for over the next three months:
APRIL 2012 S
MTB // Cape Point and Winelands Tour (CT)
10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
MAY 2012 S 6
MTB // VoriBerg MTB – Pretoria (Northern Gauteng): 7 Apr
10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Theatre // The Jungle Book – Johannesburg Theatre (JHB): 17 Mar - 15 Apr
10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 8 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
Running // Two Oceans Marathon – Newlands (Cape Town): 7 Apr Motorbike // Liquorland Enduro – Humansdorp (Eastern Cape): 14 Apr Adventure Race // Kinetic Adventure – (JHB): 15 Apr Drifting // Drift Championships – Carnival City (JHB): 21 Apr Adventure Race // WCAD Series 2 – (Western Cape): 21 Apr Triathlon // Iron Man – Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape): 22 Apr MTB // JHB2C – Johannesburg to Durban (JHB): 27 Apr - 5 May Motocross // National Motocross Championship – Killarney (CT): 28 Apr Sky Diving // National Champs – Pretoria (Northern Gauteng): 1 May MTB // MTN #4 – Clarens (Free State): 5-6 May Motorbike// Liquorland Enduro – Roberts Racing (North West): 2 Jun Surfing // Mr Price Pro – Ballito (DBN): 4 Jun
JUNE 2012 S
Scuba Diving // Mabibi (KZN) Hot Air Ballooning // Oudtshoorn Ballooning (Klein Karoo) Downhill Skating // Kloof Neck (Cape Town) Fly Fishing // Tillietudlem Trout Farm (Natal Midlands) Wakeboarding // Base 3 Leisure Lakes (Midrand) Quad Biking // Etango Game Lodge (Bela-Bela) Skydiving // Witbank (Mpumalanga) 4x4 Trails // Merrimetsi (Free State) Downhill Mountain Biking // Cascades MTB Park (Pietermaritzburg) Kite Surfing // Roman Rock (False Bay)
Festival // Tonteldoos Country Festival – Dulstroom (Mpumalanga): 6-8 Apr Expo // Rand Easter Show – NASREC (JHB): 6-15 Apr Festival // Cape Winelands Comes Alive Pre-Fest – Nekkies Resort (CT): 7 Apr Expo // Decorex – International Convention Centre (CT): 26-29 Apr Expo // Expo 18 Golf Show – Coca Cola Dome (JHB): 27-29 Apr Performance // Moscow Circus on Ice – Durban: 28-29 Apr Music // Creedence Clearwater Revival – Barnyard Theatre (CT): 1-5 May Concert // Michael Bublé – Sun City Superbowl (North West): 5-6 May Expo // The Home Expo – Emperors Palace (JHB): 1-3 Jun Expo // Extreme Outdoor Show – Meyerton (JHB): 2-3 Jun
The year has truly started off with a BANG and everyone at DO IT NOW is extremely excited about the many opportunities that 2012 has in store for us. The DINFest is one such opportunity that came to fruition as a result of the fantastic partnerships we have with a number of iconic brands and a shared common goal: to associate our brands with high-energy, high-impact and innovative events and activities. The DINFest festival, held for the first time on 31 March 2012, has been carefully nurtured over the last two years and incorporated an impressive range of quality adventure, sport and lifestyle events, shows and exhibitors, along with many of South Africa's sporting heroes in attendance. It was like bringing the magazine to life and turning it into one massive festival that rewrote the rules of what conventional and extreme sports events are about. And it's an event you will most definitely see more of in the future.
selling the magazine in your shop, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget that the magazine is also available in digital format, and to receive a digital copy go to the subscription page on www.doitnow.co.za for more information or turn to page 15. Our team continues to grow and I would like to welcome Tracy Knox, our Text Editor, as a full-time member of our team. Before I end off, I would like to encourage all our readers to send us any suggestions or ideas that will help us to deliver the best possible magazine … we will make sure your voices are heard. Your input is greatly valued because you are the reason why we keep pushing the boundaries of what the product must be; South Africa’s best official multi-discipline magazine. Keep going out there and remember, always DO IT NOW! DIN regards, Francois
The DO IT NOW calendar for the next three months is once again packed with loads of great events coming up. Two exciting series to look out for is the Nissan MTB series and MTN MTB series. DO IT NOW magazine is the event's official Media Partner and we have some great plans to help take this series to another level. For something a bit different, there's the Jonway Scooter 101 Series, which kicked off at the end of February and has loads of racing planned until October. DO IT NOW will be at the races and we look forward to seeing you there too. Congratulations to the winner of the Feb/March I-KNOWTHE-PLACE competition, Beverley Rockman, who correctly identified the place in the picture as Stonehaven on Vaal. This popular competition is now moving from DO IT NOW magazine to the DO IT NOW website, so be sure to have a look and see if you know the place on the competition page. Speaking about competitions, don’t miss out on our regular inFOCUS competition on page 138. Growing the magazine's distribution channels is a big focus for us this year and I’m very excited to announce that asides from CNA, Exclusive Books and Sportsmans Warehouse nationwide, you can now buy DO IT NOW from your SPAR in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Lowveld and South Rand. If you would interested in
www.doitnow.co.za • 9
REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS On the Cover - Darryl Curtis during the Dakar Rally. Photo by www.maindruphoto.com
meet the CREW
Dr. Rikus Scheepers
Adri and Xen Ludick
DO IT NOW TEAM FOUNDER Francois Flamengo
MANAGING EDITOR Elri Flamengo | email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Peet Nieuwenhuizen | firstname.lastname@example.org TEXT EDITOR Tracy Knox | email@example.com ADVERTISING & SALES Morné Labuschagne | firstname.lastname@example.org BRAND AWARENESS & DISTRIBUTION Cheryl Whelan | email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org EVENTS & ACTIVATION Chris Jooste | email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org WEB ADMINISTRATOR Marieke Viljoen | email@example.com ACCOUNTS, SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER DO IT NOW CC SUBSCRIPTION MY SUBS - www.mysubs.co.za DISTRIBUTION (Subscription) The Tree House - 011 315 3559 DISTRIBUTION (Retail) On the Dot - 011 401 5872 PRINTING Paarl Media - 021 870 3627
HEAD OFFICE DO IT NOW CC Hammets Crossing Office Park, Building 805 No 2 Selbourne Ave Cnr Witkoppen Rd & Market Str Fourways, Johannesburg Tel: +27 (11) 462 1261 Fax: 086 612 8674 Website: www.doitnow.co.za DO IT NOW (ISSN 2074-6113) is published bi-monthly. While every effort is made by the DIN Team to ensure that the content of the DO IT NOW Magazine is accurate at the time of going to press, DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of utilising the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd. DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd supports and encourages responsible practices with regards to all Adventure, Sport and Lifestyle activities. We also believe in the conservation and protection of all fauna and flora.
10 • DO IT NOW April June || May July 2012 2011
Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities
For more information on advertising and sectional sponsorship opportunities in the magazine and on the website, please request the DO IT NOW Company Profile, Rate Card, Specs & Schedule Sheet by emailing email@example.com or telephonically from the DO IT NOW office on +27 (11) 462 1261.
Subscribe and win TWO LUCKY SUBSCRIBERS STAND TO WIN A COPY OF THE ADVENTURE GUIDE OF SOUTH AFRICA AND TOP MTB TRAILS FROM JACQUES MARAIS. WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF DO IT NOW MAGAZINE.
see page 70
IBEL MÉROARDIN G SNOWB
SPORT - LIFESTY
ADVENTURE - SPORT
- LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
WIN BERG &
70 see page
RIDERS OF THE SURF
DAYS A FUN MTB RIDE
IS AC E S
2012 VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 2 •
VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2012
C U RT
A E UR TAKJO NAL QUANTU M LEAP! 15
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Vol 4 | Issue 2 | 2012 | www.doitnow.co.za
// DINList and CALENDAR: p. 8 An exciting three-month calendar on AdventureSport-Lifestyle activities. // inTRO: p. 9 Letter from the founder of DO IT NOW magazine. // Team & Contributors: p. 10 DO IT NOW magazine’s team, as well as regular and guest contributors. // Subscription Info: p. 11 DO IT NOW Subscription Form and competition. // inSTORE: p. 14 Exciting products and subscriber discounts. // inFOCUS Reader Competition p. 138 Stand a chance to WIN R500 by entering the reader photo competition. // inCLOSING: p. 146 A sneak preview of upcoming features and articles.
p. 18-25 inTRANSIT: Exciting and entertaining travel p. 122-125 stories from Africa and beyond. p. 26-42 inH2O: Water sports and adventures. p. 43-48 inALTITUDE: Aerial / high altitude adventures. p. 50-53 inCREDIBLE PLACES: Articles about
incredible and magical places.
p. 58-71 inTRODUCING: Featuring informative articles
on a number of sports and why athletes compete in them. p. 72-85 inACTION: Information and feedback on various sporting events. p. 86-98 inPREPARATION: Information, tips and or training programmes for various sporting activities and events. p. 100-105 inSHAPE: Important information covering topics such as health, nutrition and exercise. p. 108-111 in THE HOLE: Golfing articles and interviews. p. 112-115 inGEAR: Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle activities featuring vehicles with gears. p. 116-120 inNATURE: Outdoor experiences and activities such as fishing and hiking. p. 126-127 inDULGE: A wine and dine section with a twist. p. 128-129 inSURE: Valuable information about insurance and related topics. p. 130-131 inTERTAINMENT: Movie, music and gaming reviews. p. 132-139 inFOCUS: Photography section with a competition and event-specific photography tips. p. 140-145 inVOLVED: Incredible stories of involvement inthecommunity,environment,marine,wildlifeandother areas of life. Key: Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle
12 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
Adventure // inTRANSIT 18-20 22-25
26-28 30-33 34-38 40-42
Old Faithful Travels to Botswana and Namibia, Part 4 Cape to Cairo on Two 200cc Motomia Motorcycles Snowboarding in Méribel, France Tanzanian Daredevils, part 2 Hope. Pray. Paddle. part 2 Tripping the Tugela Canyon
// inALTITUDE 43-45 46-48
Tunnel Time! Chasing Records
// inCREDIBLE PLACES 50-53
Railay – Thai Something Different
58-59 60-62 64-67 68-71
72-75 76-81 82-85 86-87
Take a Quantum Leap Ice Hockey – the coolest sport around Langebaan Down Wind Dash Riders of the Surf Record Entries for Drak Challenge Curtis Aces Dakar MTN National MTB SERIES 3 Races, 3 Experiences Supermoto 2012 – The Real Deal
88-91 MTB Race Season Preview 92-94 It’s a leap year so get jumping 96-98 Oorlogskloof Mountain Trail Run - A one-of-a-kind mountain trail race
100-102 Stretch it to get it 104-105 Compression
// in THE HOLE
108-110 In the Land of Rock and Sand
112-114 In Review: Amarok, Nissan & Volvo - Be pleasantly surprised!
116-117 Great Fishing in the Great Fish River 118-120 Olifants River Backpacking Trail – A Hiker’s Journal, part 2
122-125 A love affair with India
126-127 Recipes: English Kedgeree Brunch and Fresh Mango Salsa
128-129 Is your Trust Trustworthy?
130-131 Music, Movie and Game Reviews
132-137 SHOOT! A Book - Telling Photo Stories
140-142 The fish don't stand a chance 144-145 A Survival Guide to Life in South Africa The Tough Guy’s Hierarchy of Needs, part 2
DON’T HESITATE! DON’T PROCRASTINATE! DO IT NOW! www.doitnow.co.za • 13
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14 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
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NOW 16 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
// inTRANSIT: Old Faithful Travels to Botswana and Namibia, Part 4 * Cape to Cairo on Two 200cc Motomia Motorcycles // inH2O: Snowboarding in Méribel, France * Tanzanian Daredevils, part 2 * Hope. Pray. Paddle. part 2 * Tripping the Tugela Canyon // inALTITUDE: Tunnel Time! * Chasing Records // inCREDIBLE PLACES: Railay – Thai Something Different
PHOTOGRAPH: DO IT NOW DESCRIPTION: High altitude adventurers at the Schilthorn, Switzerland.
Words & photos by Xen & Adri Ludick
L U F H T I A F
PART 4 of 4 ia ib m a N d n a a n a w T ravels to Bots
Purros to Kyalami Embarking on the final leg of our journey, my feelings were mixed. Sad that we would soon be leaving this incredible and wild wonderland, but happy to be returning home to share our memories and photos with family and friends. Xen and I had now travelled 3700km in three weeks and our homeward journey would see us leaving Epupa Falls and heading to Purros, then Palmwag via the Orange Drum, through Botswana and all the way home to Kyalami. 18 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
From Epupa Falls we travelled south to Okongwati, then took the scenic route to Entengwa, past Otjitanda and stopped to camp at Marble Campsite, a community campsite run by the Orupembe Conservancy. The road was terrible and we were in total agreement when the GPS indicated 'not recommended route'. The road was so bad that I had to get out of the vehicle on numerous occasions to direct Xen over and past many obstacles. We later heard that some other travellers in a Land Rover had to winch themselves up certain hills – luckily we have a Land Cruiser J! Kaokoland, part of the Kunene region, lies east of the rugged, forbidding Skeleton Coast Park; a region of rocks, fog, shipwrecks and desolation, washed by the waters of the Benguela current that brings Antarctic cold to desert heat. Kaokoland is one of Namibia’s most scenic regions, with its beautiful landscape of tabletop mountains, cone-shaped hills and rock-strewn plains covered in colours of white, yellow, brown, ocher and - luckily for us after the rainy season – brilliant green.
Leaving the campsite early the next day we travelled north, traversing the rocky Hartmann’s Pass to Red Drum, a memorial to Jan Joubert and a major intersection in the middle of nowhere, then past the Blue Drum with its humorous telephone and dish saying, 'Due to load shedding no signal', and Orange Drum. In this incredibly remote area we saw lots of animals. This mystic, picturesque landscape with its many facets and amazing wild life far exceeded my expectations and no canvas or photo could ever capture its true essence. Travelling along the border of the Skeleton Coast National Park we saw the mysterious 'fairy circles' that continue to leave scientists baffled. Some people speculate about visitors from outer space, while others argue it to be termites. We camped at Ngatutanga Camp at Purros, one of the best known semi-permanent Himba settlements, and it's so beautiful that you immediately have the desire to stay for longer. The bathrooms and kitchen wash-up areas are built in the trees at each campsite to protect them from the elephants, which we heard grazing around our roof tent that night. The next morning we crossed the Hoarusib River and came across a very aggressive desert elephant that proceeded to chase us. I couldn’t believe it as this was now the third time we'd been charged on the same trip! We continued on through many riverbeds and past a
continuously changing landscape to Sesfontein, named after the six springs that surface nearby and it marks the northern edge of Damaraland. When the map warns you about dry riverbeds, soft mud and fine dust, take note and be careful. Sesfontein had no fuel so we had to push on another 82km to Palmwag to refuel. We decided to camp at the Palmwag Lodge and later that night as we were dining in the restaurant our waiter told us fascinating stories about 'Sebastiaan', the old desert dwelling elephant, and 'Chris' with one tooth. Damaraland lies adjacent to the National West Coast Recreation Area and is known for its majestic flattopped mountains, spectacular gorges, wide open plains and art treasures. About 30km before Khorixas, we turned south to Aba-Huab to view the famed Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain. The Organ Pipes consist of a series of dolomite pillars that have been exposed by erosion. Burnt Mountain gets its name from the piles of blackened stone at its base; chunks of black dolerite combined with rocks in an amazing variety of colours to create the impression that the mountain has been burnt by a fierce fire. Avoiding a rock monitor on the road between Palmwag and Twyfelfontein, we continued to Otjiwarongo and overnighted at the charming Waterberg Game Reserve.
www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 19
The next day we crossed the border at Mamuno and turned south at Charles Hill to Kule. At Ncjogane we turned right and followed the road to the Ukwi Pan. It was getting dark and ominous black clouds warned us that rain was on its way. We passed a San village and about six kilometres outside the village, on a little hill, is what is supposed to be a campsite. In front of the campsite lies one of the largest pans in Botswana outside of the Makgadikgadi, and etched against the blackened sky was the green woodlands of Botswana. That night the heavens opened and from the shelter of our roof tent we watched the fireworks created by the electric storm. As we were close to the end of our trip, we decided to treat ourselves and sleep in the next morning. However, just after sunrise we heard a voice, “More,” (good morning in Afrikaans). Emerging curiously from the tent I came upon a bushman crouched in front of the car. After bidding him good morning I asked whether he required any help. Not making any eye contact and gazing out over the flats of Botswana, he told me that he'd come to visit. Half sleepy and half amused I went back to the tent and told Xen that we had a visitor. A not-amused Xen said to tell him that if we gave him food, he must go away. More awake now I went back outside and asked him what he wanted, whereupon he told me that he, Saruti, had come to visit me and have tea. Well, that was all the encouragement I needed! I immediately made a fire and started making food for him, just as Xen came to join us. Saruti moved closer to the fire and after I had offered him two bröchens (bread rolls), we started asking him questions. We asked if there were any leopards here and he said no, there were tigers here. We knew it was impossible as he described it as 'die bont-een-wat-laagloop'! He told us that he couldn’t hunt anymore because he didn’t have money to purchase a permit. Enquiring if he could speak the San language, he replied that he could. He asked if I knew a particular farmer in Namibia as I closely resembled his daughter who spoke the San language, to which I replied that I was not the one he was referring to. Smoking a stainless steel pipe filled with cattle dung, he went on to tell us how he tans jackal skins for income. When Xen gave him a real cigarette he became very talkative, enjoying the cigarette and the moment. He only ate one bröchen and as I was about to throw the paper plate into the fire he stopped me and held on to the plate, touching it as if it was Royal Albert china. Only then did I realise how much the paper plate meant to him. As our visit came to an end I put the remaining bröchen into a zip lock bag along with a packet of sweets for his children. As Saruti left to walk the six kilometres back to his village, I was sorry that I hadn’t given him more and asked more questions.
20 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
Driving along the Ukwi Pan and past the Masetleng Pan we saw a Black Mamba for the second time on this trip, and a beautiful Eagle owl. By taking a road that hardly existed it took us four hours to drive the 124km to the KAA entrance gate to the Kagalagadi Transfrontier Park. The KAA campsites in the immediate area were fully booked, but we were allowed to sleep at the gate for a night. That evening we experienced another spectacular electric storm and watched as the lightning played around us. The next morning we woke to a major storm resembling the movie Independence Day. Leaving in the rain, we drove to Hukuntsi where the most incredible blue grass of the area looked even bluer against the backdrop of the storm. All the animals at the pans stood with their backsides pointed in the direction of the rain, and we watched the young Blue wildebeest chasing each other around the pan while the springbuck jumped with excitement. Sitting there quietly, we were humbled by the greatness of the universe and so thankful that we could enjoy such a small part of it. From Hukuntsi we headed towards to Kokong via Tshane and saw a huge Puff Adder lying next to the road. Hitting the Trans Kalahari Highway we proceeded to Jwaneng and crossed the border at Pioneer Gate / Skilpadshek. Now back in South Africa we headed for home.
December seems so far off, so we’ll just have to wait for the next adventure. Until then, safe travels. •
Ty n a R R a W m k 0 0 3 yeaR / 100 0 S T S i l a i c e P S n O i The SuSPenS
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call +27 11 397 6553 or visit www.efsafrica.com for your nearest distributor. www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure â€˘ 21
Words by Tania Steyn Photos by Tania & Francois Steyn
Capeto Cairo otorcyc M ia m o t o M cc 0 0 2 On Two
da n a g U o t a c i r f A South The 'made in China' sticker can be found on more than half of the goods we own these days and let’s be honest, the association is not always a positive one. But, the price is cheap and in today’s tough economy that is exactly what we need. When thinking about motorcycles we immediately think about BMW, KTM, Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki, to name only a few; all are good quality and very expensive. These are the kind of machines that you
and find on the long road, all kitted-out with riders in protective suits if what But, nt. contine African mean-looking boots, as they take on the sticker China' in 'made the if What option? there was a less expensive the on a motorcycle actually didn’t mean that it would breakdown around on Cairo to Cape next corner, and what if you could go all the way from a motorbike that cost the same as a laptop? and My husband Francois and I decided to put this theory to the test two bought jobs, within three months we took the plunge; we quit our Cairo to Cape our planned and brand new 200cc Motomia Pachino’s of a few trip. Planning is definitely not our strong point, but with the help track in race y Killarne the point, starting the to it made finally friends we the around laps y Cape Town on 6 September 2011. After a few honorar e goodby waved we , morning track on our loaded Chinese bikes the next Africa. across journey onth and set off on our three-m as, When we left that morning my mind was invaded with questions such going were we as Funny, this?” “Oh no, why us? Why did we have to do started on an adventure that we'd labelled as 'the trip of a lifetime'. I soon ok and Springb to way the on N7 familiar the up headed we to relax as road. I tar the on got used to the singing sound of my Motomia’s wheels focused only and ahead lay still quickly forgot about the challenges that For on the here and now, what we would eat and where we would sleep. and cle motorcy a riding about magic special a been always has me, there the uncomplicated way of life it offers.
22 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure â€˘ 23
During the first leg of our journey through the Northern Cape and Namibia many people approached us to find out where we were heading to and what bikes we were riding. Most were very surprised and excited to hear that we were planning to go all the way to Cairo. In Namibia we camped at some of the most beautiful places and although we stuck to the main highway, we had quite a few adventures as we battled through sandy roads to get there. Even though I managed to fall over a few times, Namibia’s stunning bushveld and dunes made it all worthwhile. Our night spent in Otjiwarongo also led to a somewhat different kind of adventure. It is not an easy task to decline an offer to become a valued partner in diamond smuggling without sounding like a complete idiot. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep much that night and as the sun’s first rays appeared we left in a hurry to avoid another 'friendly' conversation with our somewhat scary neighbours. Our next adventure, however, proved to be much more exciting. As we arrived at the petrol station in the tiny town of Divindu, to fill up our bikes, we bumped into Charley Boorman, the legend from the TV series 'Long Way Round' and 'Long Way Down'. He was leading an overseas group of bikers from Vic Falls back to Cape Town. We spent some time chatting and both he and his group were impressed with our Motomia bikes. Charley proved to be a very nice guy and he's shorter in real life than on television. To top off our great Namibian experience we came across an elephant roaming freely next to the road just before crossing the border into Zambia.
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Our first border crossing into Zambia did not go so well though. It seemed like we had 'sucker' written on our foreheads, as the fixers quickly picked us out from the rest. We were led from a dilapidated caravan to an old shack where we had to pay for a whole lot of things like carbon tax, road toll, council levies and insurance. It was only later when we learnt that we didn't have to pay for all those things, and from then on we made sure that we did our homework before crossing a border. Nevertheless, the fixers and border officials were very friendly and we got through quickly. I enjoyed the people of Zambia. At a small petrol station on the way to Vic Falls one of the female petrol attendants said to me, “You have such a nice structure!” At first I wasn’t sure if she was referring to my bike or my figure, but Francois was curious and asked her what she meant. It turned out that I was blessed with a nice African body. I liked that! We also met up with a young French couple, who were cycling around Africa, and had lunch together under a large, shady tree next to the road. Swopping stories, they were astonished by what we had experienced. We were just as impressed with them, as they even had balsamic vinegar and a variety of small spice containers on their bikes, as well as two huge accordions from which they played some exquisite French music for us. In Livingstone we spent a few days exploring Vic Falls and enjoyed meeting more travellers at the vibey Jollyboys Backpackers.
Malawi ended up being one of my favourite African countries to visit. With a laid-back attitude and island-style living along the lake, we soon realised why Malawi is called 'Africa for beginners'. Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa, is also reportedly the habitat of more fish species than any other body of freshwater on earth. From there, we travelled northwards along the lake from Senga Bay, past Nkhata Bay to the Sangilo Sanctuary, snorkelling and swimming in the lake as we went along. In the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve we had the opportunity to trek some crocodiles with local guide, Juma. It takes Juma about two hours to walk the five kilometres to work every day and we learnt from him that if you own a bicycle in Malawi, you are considered a rich man. Despite Malawians not having much, we met some of the most active and friendly people there. Tanzania turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of our trip. Initially we were planning to take the tar road up to Dodoma before turning left to Rwanda, but after talking to a few locals along the way we decided to take a short cut through the western side of Tanzania on a gravel road that stretches northwards alongside Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake. On our first day we travelled from Mbeya towards Tunduma and up to Sambuwanga and totally misjudged the distance and time it would take us to travel on difficult gravel. After a seriously hectic ride, of which most was in the dark, we ended up arriving at our hotel at 23h30 that evening. The next few days also turned out to be quite an adventure as we endured rain and battled through slippery, muddy roads. We helped a local fix his bike, then had to get a few locals to help fix Francois’ bike, saw more than 300 hippos basking in a river in Katavi, dodged busses that appeared from nowhere and swam in the beautiful Lake Tanganyika. After eight days we finally reached Rwanda.
Our detour through Rwanda and Uganda was a result of one of my lifelong dreams; to visit the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. It cost USD500 each to buy a ticket in Kigali and three days later we visited the Parc des Volcans, home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains and the base from which American zoologist Dian Fossey conducted her research on these primates. The experience was worth every dollar as we trekked through thick forest vegetation to spend time with these wonderful creatures. We also visited the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali to learn more about the history of Rwanda and the sad events that led to the genocide in 1994. As we were a bit behind schedule, we didn't have much time to spend in Uganda. In four days we drove through the country and only spent some time in Jinja, which is also known as the adventure capital of Uganda and the source of the Nile. We also met up with fellow South African travellers, the Voetspore team, who had left South Africa around about the same time as we did.
Now almost halfway through our journey we looked forward to the second part of the trip through what we knew would be a bit more difficult than what we had just experienced. So far the bikes had passed the first part of the test with flying colours, but we were interested to see what would happen when we took on the dreaded gravel road in the northern part of Kenya into Ethiopia and the desert roads in Sudan. Find out more about our fantastic journey in the next issue of DO IT NOW. • www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 25
Words by Francois Flamengo Photos by DO IT NOW
g n i d r a o b w o Sn l e b i r é M in
Welcome to n in Moutiers read, io at st n ai tr e th pretty The sign at in the world. It was ea ar i sk t es gg bi dI arguably the essive landmark, an pr im a ch su at , re of awesome to be he ahead, the second ek we e th r fo ns io had great expectat pe. iing holiday in Euro sk ek we ere th r ou
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Euro Currency 1400 metres Altitude December to April Winter season July to August Summer season 2 hour transfer Lyon Airport 2 hour transfer Grenoble Airport Moutiers (18km) Nearest train station Méribel
26 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
Lounging with a view
In the previous issue I spoke about snowboarding in Lech and what you can expect from the fantastic après-ski scene related with the sport. In this article, I'll tell you about our magical few days in Méribel, near the town of Moutiers in the French Alps, and why you should seriously consider adding this amazing destination to your DINList. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are located within the Vanoise National Park and are a part of the famed Trois Vallées interlinked ski system, an area that shares 335 marked runs (over 600 kilometres of terrain), 198 lifts and more than 130km of cross country tracks, making it the largest ski area in the world. The Trois Vallées was expanded about 10 years ago to incorporate a fourth valley, but the area has kept the name Trois Vallées. Ski resorts in this area include Méribel, Courchevel, La Tania, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and
One of the many chair
Orelle. Méribel has hosted many world-class events, including the 1992 Winter Olympic Games, ice hockey and women's alpine skiing events. These activities have helped to develop the popularity of this ski destination and it is easy to recognise the sense of adventure that is available here. John, a very friendly fellow from the UK who works in the area, picked us up from the Moutiers train station in a very UK'ish Land Rover 110. This is not the usual mode of transport for transfers, but due to heavy snow fall in Les Allues, the village where we would be staying for the next five days, our taxi was stuck in the snow. As we drove through the falling snow to the village, we were greeted with a picture-perfect view that looked like something you would find on a I-wish-you-were-here postcard; the mountains were covered in a deep layer of pristine snow and the trees reminded me of white, glittering Christmas trees, with little evidence of any green. Everything was covered in a lot of glorious snow!
www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 27
Popular Bubble lifts
As we entered Les Allues John gave us a quick rundown of the place. "Right, so this is the main road, that there is the local shop for anything you need and down this little road is the local pub. Don’t worry about any language barriers, almost everyone speaks English as most of the people working here are from England. And this here is your house." The Landy turned into a steep and narrow road and parked in front of a multi-level chalet made out of wood, with a trickle of smoke escaping from the chimney and the roof covered in … you guessed it, a thick layer of snow. Lee and Christina, our hosts, introduced themselves and quickly made us feel at home with a delicious cup of hot, fragrant coffee. While enjoying our coffee, Lee gave us a quick overview of the house, a Piste map each, explained where we can store our kit for easy access every morning and discussed the menu for the week. Once everyone was happy and acquainted with the rules of the house, Lee offered us a ride to Méribel's main ski area, so we could familiarise ourselves with the village and get a closer look at the slopes. The main village of Méribel is about a 10-minute drive from Les Allues. It's incredibly pretty and totally different to Lech, as it has a more commercial feel because of the many different shops you can buy kit from. All the big labels are available and if you can't find what you're looking for in any of the shops, then it simply doesn’t exist. We decided to study the local Piste map in one of the pubs close to the main gondolas, whilst sampling and thoroughly enjoying some of the local brew available on tap. Demipêche, a lager served with peach syrup, was an instant hit with the ladies. With so many route options available we decided to take Lee’s advice and start with the runs that were interconnected with the starting point labelled Saulire. There were plenty of Blue and Green slopes on offer, which covered a distance of around five kilometres from start to finish. But more about the slopes later. When we arrived 'home', we immediately realised that our hosts took their culinary duties very seriously and proceeded to serve a Moroccan Lamb Shank dish that was truly superb, turning us all into greedy gluttons. Absolutely stuffed, I could barely pick up my glass of wine, next to the fireplace, because I had no fingers left from the meal ;-). This was the start of a sublime gastronomical affair, and the daily, very generous three-course suppers were an occasion not to be missed. The next morning we were up early and extremely eager to put our new-found skills, acquired on the slopes of Lech, to the test on the slopes we'd targeted for the day. A van transported us to the main village, where we quickly sorted out our ski passes and jumped into a gondola destined for Saulire. As we climbed up the mountain we were treated to a magnificent aerial view of the area and many different routes running down the mountain in various directions. The gondola stopped and we made our way down the stairway and strapped on our boards. The plan was simple; start on the Green run marked on the map as Blanchot, aim for the bottom, remember what we learnt in Lech and survive the
28 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
A Burton snowbo
ady to g
first run. The plan was a simple and good one, or so we thought. Giggling like nervous school children we set off, ready to conquer the white powder and mountain, but a silly navigational error soon had the group split up and following some 'unplanned' runs solo. This early lesson helped me to become more accustomed to the less glamorous side of snowboarding, aptly named 'snowfalling' by my wife. But once we had figured out how the run worked it was awesome, with many variations to challenge different skill levels. I ended up doing about 10 runs, and by the end of the day I could feel my body asking me if I was on a suicidal path of complete destruction. We finally called it a day and stopped at the lively Rond Point bar, where we exchanged our stories of the day and nursed our injuries with a few cold antidotes - for the pain of course ;-) The next few days turned out to be some of the finest snowboarding of our entire trip - it was alpine action at its best! I loved combining the Saulire run with the Golf Course run as it included many wide slopes with enough space to commit to bigger turns and feel the edge of the board cutting through the snow, spraying snow into the air like a snowboard professional – a perfect Kodak moment. The Truite run, from Mottaret to the main Méribel Village, was a perfect beginner slope. It was also a great fun run after a cup of coffee in the little village before heading back to the main gondolas leading up into the mountains. But what I liked most about this slope is that with everyone trying to see how fast they could go, it was nice and wide to avoid unexpected collisions. For the more experienced riders, the off-piste options (skiing that takes place on snow that has not been compacted into tracks) were simply insane. Everywhere you looked were freshly-carved tracks from the seasoned snowboarders, as they worked their way down the mountain through a massive amount of powder. I have to admit that I was really envious of the skill demonstrated, especially by the riders standing on the highest points at either Plattiers 3, Roc De Tougneor or Mount Du Vallon. You could see the intensity and excitement burning in their eyes each morning after a fresh layer of powder covered over the mountain. And when they got going it was like watching a painter creating an abstract masterpiece, as they effortlessly engraved their own lines and paths down the steep mountain. This is the stuff that chokes you up with such longing, so that all you are capable of is a tight-throated whisper – wait for me ;-)
After a week in this alpine haven, I found that MEribel is perfect if you are looking for a friendly vibe, different slopes and a bit of English culture in the heart of a lot of unfinished business France. I have , here and can t wait to hit the slopes of the many other routes on offer, with my snowboard, in the very near future. •
On top of the wo
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Words & Photos by Shaun Sutton, Konrad Boshoff, Edwin Jones & Darius Boshoff
Part 2 - 2
n a i n a z Tan s l i v e d e Dar Having made our way from Zanzibar, amidst much adventure and hardships, the big day for the crossing to Tanzania was 21 December. We wanted to set out early to ensure we made the gap while it was still light, however low tide had left all the water craft stranded on the beach, including ours. There was no other option but to wait! At 13h00, after a relaxing nap on the beach, we pushed the boat out and raised sail for the last time in Zanzibar, the locals looking curiously on as we left. 30 â€˘ DO IT NOW April | May 2012
The feeling of heading off into the simmering blue horizon with some great mates (and a good dose of stupidity) was incredible. The ferries that passed us at high speed were the same ferries that we’d initially used to get to the island. Suddenly our roles were reversed and anyone looking over the side of the ferry would probably think that those poor sods on that little piece of driftwood must have a hard life. YES, the harder the better it seems. Tanzania came into sight sooner than expected and as it wasn’t dark yet we decided to push on and try reach the other side before sunset. However, our navigation skills needed some fine tuning and we finally found the shore about 50km north of Dar es Salaam, a popular tourist destination. Attempting to land on the beach of a resort proved impossible due to the currents coming out of a
lagoon and after two hours of paddling in circles, as the sun started to dip, we ended up sailing to a mangrove island not far away. The sunset was amazing and the feeling of being on the greatest adventure of our lives was euphoric. The water in this specific lagoon had a phosphorescent effect and when you moved through it, streaks of light would jump to life all around. It looked like something from a Michael Jackson music video. The only problem with our little mangrove island was that it was submerged in water with the mangrove trees sticking out, so we ended up sleeping on the boat. At 01h00 the heavens opened and we were soon soaked through. It was the coldest night of our journey and we were left with no dry clothes to wear.
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On our fourth day of sailing we stopped in Dar es Salaam to restock our suppliers of crackers and water for the journey. We were living off peanut butter and crackers, and if we were lucky we might get a Super C or biscuit as a treat. By this point we had settled into a routine where we would sail for the entire day and then head to the nearest beach at around 16h00 and sleep where we landed.
The morning brought with it a wonderful surprise. Looking down from the cliff we saw the ngalawa bobbing happily a short distance from where it had sunk. We had slept through the change in tide in our exhaustion, and Jones had single-handedly pulled the boat and its anchor through the waves. It was a risky move, but he had done it. With our spirits revived, we continued on our travels.
On 23 December the waves had swelled and we saw some tuna jumping through them as we headed towards the mouth of the Rufiji River. The coastline started to change from smooth beaches to rugged rocks and cliffs as we moved further north of Dar es Salaam. It was getting dark so we started looking for a place to anchor the boat and go ashore. Turns were made manning the rudder, as it was a constant battle against the sea to direct the boat in the right direction so that the wind did not catch the sail wrong and capsize the boat or break the mast. As we got closer to a little bay we lowered the sail and prepared to anchor, but the sea here was not what we were accustomed to. In Zanzibar the water is shallow and the surf small. Here we got caught in a washing machine, with a strong rip current that pulled the boat sideways and towards some nearby rocks. In the blink of an eye everyone was in the water trying to steady the boat, but it was hopeless. We were taking on too much water and couldnâ€™t fight the powerful waves that tried to flip the boat, which moaned in protest under the heavy load of water. We cut the anchor to stabalise the boat and turned it directly into the waves. After what seemed like hours, but was actually only 20 minutes, the boat was once again filled to the brim with water so we grabbed what we could before swimming for the beach. Our worst fear was realised; the boat sank. We had lost most of our cameras and cell phones, and everything was soaking wet.
It was our fifth day at sea and Christmas, and we were closing in on the Rufiji River. We anchored at an unknown nearby beach for the night and the memory of the high coconut trees, tranquillity and stunning beach, as we celebrated Christmas, will always remain.
During stressful times like these tempers flare and emotions run wild, but everything considered we made the best out of a bad situation. We had landed in the most beautiful little cove with towering cliffs on either side, and some friendly locals showed us the magnificent coral reefs still unspoilt by commercial gain. It was all amazing, but we needed to sort ourselves out. So three of us moved our stuff to an abandoned house on the top of the cliff, while Jones preferred to stay close to where the boat had sank. We devised a plan to recover the boat when the tide receded, but as it was already peeking out of the water we started scooping out the water and sand that had been deposited in the keel. It was a long, hard night, but when sleep finally came it was sweet!
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On the morning of day six, we set out early and finally arrived at the mouth of the Rufiji River, stopping at a place called Simbolanga. After another rough landing, the boat had to be anchored in the choppy waves and we were worried that it would not make it through the night. It was evident that the boat was not in the same shape as when we had acquired it; it was leaking pretty badly and we realised that we were not even going to make the Mozambique/ Tanzania border at this rate. So we re-evaluated our plan and decided to make Mafia Island, one of our waypoints, our final destination. On day seven we arrived at Kitone, a small village on the island. Doldrums had hampered our progress and we were unable to reach the side of the island we really wanted to see. We were dumbstruck by the kindness of these people living in the poorest of conditions, and for the next two days we lived and ate with them, while camped out under a big mango tree. Konrad made friends with an English teacher on the island, who helped him to improve is 300-strong vocabulary of Swahili. It was also here that we sold our little boat to the village elder, Baba. He was amazed at our stories and very impressed with the boat, as many of the fishermen had never travelled that far before. Our voyage had taken seven incredible days and some 400km. I think each of us left some part of our heart in Kitone, and we would like to go back one day. Hopefully the ngalawa, engraved with our names forever more, will still be there. The sights, sounds, smells and people we encountered along the way have made this an unforgettable experience and the ultimate adventure.
The trip back home was a blur. After recovering on the island for two days we hiked the 10km diameter of the island to Kilindoni, a major town. We spent the night there and set out for the mainland the next morning by ferry. These ferries are in such a helter-skelter condition that they are almost as risky as sailing a ngalawa. From here we chugged up the Rufiji River for a bit and then took a local taxi into which we loaded all our stuff, including a trombone, clarinet, speargun, three boat oars and a gaff for catching fish â€“ our mementos from the boat. In the town of Bundu we dined on ugali, a delicious East African dish of maize flour cooked with water to a dough-like consistency, and something that resembled spinach for only R7. As we were travelling on a tight budget, we tried flagging down cars for a lift, but to no avail. Eventually a truck stopped and we jumped into the back, which was laden with carrots, mattresses and some other random goodies. After 13 long hours on roads that resembled a minefield, we arrived at Mtwara in the south of Tanzania. From here we got into what looked like a little refugee bakkie (it mustâ€™ve also run the minefield gauntlet because the axle was bent and from the noises it made, we considered getting off on the up hills to help push the old cart). The border between Tanzania and Mozambique is separated by the Rovuma River and one has to take a ferry across because of the hippos and crocodiles. In Mozambique, we slept little and endured some horrifying conditions during the three days of travel by car and bus. However, it did give everyone ample time to reflect on the journey and appreciate the silence and freedom of the open sea versus the mad masses, funky smells and deathdefying roads in Mozambique. We arrived at the South African border at midnight on 3 January. There was very little traffic and anybody that did come through didn't have space for four travellers and all their kit, or they tried to start an impromptu taxi service. Around 02h00 a maintenance technician, who works on the SCANIA busses in Mozambique, came through in his pickup. He had just fixed a bus that had caught on fire during a trip from Maputo to Nampula. After some quick calculations we determined that it was indeed one of the busses we had used! This kind gentleman gave us a lift and we entered our mother country exhausted, smelly and utterly happy to be back in one piece and in time to start the new year off like the 'normal' people we are. The journey had come to an end, but somehow it felt like it had only started as the seeds of adventure had taken root and would emerge in some crazy ideas sometime and somewhere in the not too distant future. â€˘
The ngalawa is a traditional, double-outrigger canoe of the Swahili people living on the Zanzibar and Tanzanian coasts. It is usually 5-6m long and has two outriggers, a centrally-placed mast (often inclining slightly towards the prow) and a single triangular sail. It is used for short distance transportation of goods or people, as well as coastal fishing. It can be classified as a variation of another common type of Swahili canoe known as mtumbwi.
Words by Regardt Botes Photos by whatsupzanzi.com
In the last issue of DO IT NOW, Flip, Christo and I had set ourselves the challenge of becoming the first people to circumnavigate the island of Zanzibar by Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) unsupported. Leaving a wintery Cape Town, we arrived in Zanzibar and set sail for Kwenda, turned southwards towards Mangapwani and then Fumba, one of Zanzibar’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. 34 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
Day 3: Fumba to Kizimkazi (27.6km) Day three held a particular challenge for us. We had to cross the open water of Menai Bay on the south western corner of the island from Fumba to Kizimkasi. Gaining some valuable insight into the workings of the tides from Mike, the local dive shop operator in Fumba, we set out at the crack of dawn to beat the receding tide. The height difference between high and low tide was about three metres, with the tide pulling back almost five kilometres in some places. If we started too late we would be walking out instead of paddling out. By now our bodies were over the initial shock of continuous paddling, but we were not quite prepared for the level of exertion that would be needed for Menai Bay. Crossing the bay proved to be a big challenge, as we
Paddle. were battered by a brisk wind from the left and the open ocean swell pushing from the south east. It felt a bit like being on a rowing machine; a whole lot of effort, but not a lot of movement. After hours of struggle we finally eased into the safety of the scenic local harbour to cap off another tough day at the office.
Day 4: Kizimkasi to Jambiani (32.1km) The next morning we were up and ready for action, the prospect of swimming with dolphins giving extra purpose to our limbs as we went through the familiar motions of packing. This was also the day we reached the halfway mark and rounded the southern tip of the island. Not long after setting off, we spotted a pod of dolphins heading in our direction. All Christo wanted from this
trip was to swim with the dolphins. His vision narrowed and fixated on the pod like a blood hound. Forgetting everything around him, he closed in on the dolphins ready to embrace flipper. It was at that glorious moment when man was about to meet beast in nature that the local dolphin tour operators arrived. With a lawnmower buzz disrupting the air, they came cruising past with their boat load of tourists. It was sad to see how they herded the dolphins like sheepdogs, intercepting them in every direction to give their guests a better view. Just as we got used to paddling for hours in the sun we had our first encounter with the tides. On the south and east side the tide shift from low to high tide can be up to five kilometres due to a huge reef running across the entire length of the island. At high tide it’s possible to paddle over the reef but at low tide it’s not, as the waves
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Day 5: Jambiani to Michamvi (30.3km) Today we realised that the success of this trip was always on a knife's edge and any small mistake may be costly.
crash onto dagger-sharp rocks. We initially thought it would be possible and safer to paddle inside the reef at low tide but this ‘plan’ quickly came to nothing. We made our first beach-landing attempt in an opening of the reef. I was up first and surfed out into the shallow reef fairly successfully. After about 10 minutes of walking (pulling the board by its leash) in an urchin-landmine field, we decided it would be better to paddle behind the reef than walk, or wait for the tide to come in. So we went back behind the breakers. It’s pretty scary behind the reef, as you know that you are out there on your own with very few possibilities of getting to land if there was an emergency. We paddled for about an hour and reached the turning point to head up the east coast. But just as we got excited, we realised that the tide was now at it’s lowest and there was a shallow reef running for about 1.5km further east into the sea. We couldn’t simply cut across and go up the coast, we had to go round it first. It wasn’t lekker, it was hot and we had to paddle on a very wobbly ocean! We still made good headway though and after a relaxing lunch break out on the deep blue, we saw it; a huge opening in the reef, just as we had seen it on Google Earth the previous night. We paddled into a turquoise water desert and it was surreal. We were now inside the reef, paddling in about a metre of water with a huge current that moved us along at about six kilometres an hour - without even paddling! It was heaven on earth. Ice-cold beer, tonic water, coke and a free lunch awaited us at the Red Monkey Restaurant in Jambiani. Day four was done and dusted. With a cold beer in hand we watched some kids play on a little beach at sunset - this is the life. We are blessed.
36 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
We paddled outside the reef for most of the day in some serious heat and choppy side-swells. As we eased behind the reef for our lunch stop, the tide was at its lowest and we paddled straight into a strong current that mentally and physically sapped us. Then it happened; an error in judgement to drag our boards over the shallow reef not realising how sharp the coral was under a thin layer of sea grass. We continued on and enjoyed a magical lunch at the Rock Restaurant and then eased around the corner to Michamvi Sunset Bay. However, when we beached and took a look at our boards, which had been behaving strangely since lunch, we saw huge holes and ‘bruises’ caused by the razor-sharp coral. Luckily, Michamvi Sunset Bay is run by South Africans who had some Pratley Putty. This stuff is magic and filled the gaping holes effectively.
Day 6: Michamvi to Matemwe (37.3km) Day six presented the last major obstacle; crossing another huge bay covering 37km. We met some fishermen in their dugout canoes and dhows, either fishing with hand lines or nets, and saw the occasional snorkeller hunting for shell fish, eels and octopus along the ocean floor. Our only protection from the potent sun was the clouds, and just like the Israelites in the desert we were often protected by the shadow of a cloud column towering above our heads. Throughout the trip we protected our fair skins from the sun by covering up from head to toe, including scarves over our noses and mouth and wide brim hats. The result was that the locals were not always sure how to react when they saw us. But when we revealed our faces and greeted them with a smile, wave and a friendly ‘Jambo’, they would open up and ask where we were going and coming from. Our answers would always be met with a high pitched ‘ai’ in astonishment.
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The highlight of the day was when Flip was almost swept away by a huge current to the total amusement of Christo and myself, his frantic paddling captured forever on video. Even though the day was tough and ended with a strong headwind and side-swell, our happiness grew as Mnemba Island drew closer and we paddled to Matemwe Beach Village.
Day 7: Matemwe to Kendwa (29km) After a memorable evening spent with our hosts in Matemwe, we set out for Mnemba Island, reputably one of the jewels of Zanzibar. It’s a small private island 2.5km off the north eastern tip of the main island and surrounded by unspoilt coral. By now we felt strong and able, our confidence bolstered by the realisation that we were going to make it around the island in seven days. While looking forward to just chilling on the beach, our hearts were also heavy with the thought that it would soon be over. The days felt so excruciating long standing in the heat and paddling, but the week had flown past. We spent an hour at Mnemba snorkelling with hundreds of small, vivid-coloured fish and saw some dolphins up close again, Christo in his element as he finally managed to get up close to them. The ocean has different moods and countless shades of colour, from azure blue to champagne yellow, sometimes an oily chardonnay and other times clear like looking through a window. On our last day as we left the furry outline of Mnemba behind us, the ocean was a deep dark blue with the sun creating a halo around our shadows, its long golden rays piercing into the depths. A little backwind pushed us around the corner to Kendwa. There was no marching band, banners, friends or family to meet us - in fact there was no one on the beach. But we had done it and felt a great a sense of accomplishment, as well as a sense of humbleness. Just thinking of all the ‘what if’ scenarios made our motto so much more real. HOPE keeps you motivated and PRAYERS keep the winds at bay and sickness away. And in the end? In the end all you can do is square your shoulders, look the challenge in the eye and PADDLE. Just step up, step out and do it. Impossible is nothing. If you put your mind to it, everything is possible. DO IT NOW!
Now three months down the road, Christo has since tied the knot and is still living in Sea Point with his new wife Alet. Regardt popped the question and married Antonette on 18 February and they have relocated to London. While Flip is flying solo in Seattle on secondment for Delloitte and spends his weekends going on snowboarding trips. • 38 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
• Total distance: 235km • Total time on board, including breaks at sea: 65 hours • Average moving speed: 4.7km/h • Number of strokes: 200,000 • Longest day: 41km (day one) • Shortest day: 29km (day three) • Longest training day: 26km • Morning wake-up alarm: 04h50 • Average temperature during the day: 29-31˚C • Average humidity: 90% + • Starting weight of gear: 15.5kg per person, including food and water • Total water and GU electrolyte drinks consumed: 126 litres • Favourite piece of equipment: Vibram FiveFingers, aka coral killers • Most important piece of equipment: Pratley Putty
Important gear list • Cabrinha 11'6 SUP Board • Cabrinha carbon paddle • Vibram FiveFingers • Columbia’s long-sleeve shirt and D-latitude’s cycling top - thanks to Due South • Von Zipper boardies and sunglasses • GU – electrolyte drink, gels and recovery drinks
Zanzibar facts • Zanzibar is popularly known as the 'spice islands'. • The shortest war on record was fought between Zanzibar and England in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes. • Zanzibar is located about 30km off the coast of mainland Tanzania, in the Indian Ocean. • Zanzibar is actually an archipelago, with the two main islands of Zanzibar known as Unguja (the largest) and Pemba (the smaller of the two). • Population size is 100,000. • Zanzibar was incorporated into the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. • Zanzibar has the largest number of carved doors in East Africa. • The earliest visits to Zanzibar was in the 8th century, when the Arab traders arrived. • Freddy Mercury was born in Zanzibar and originally named Farrokh Bulsara. • Zanzibar is the only place where you will find the Kirk's Red Colobus monkey. • The total number of people to have paddled around Zanzibar on an SUP board – three.
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Words & Photos by Kobus Bresler
e h t g n Trippi n o y n a C a l e g Tu
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“It is difficult to find in life any event which so effectually condenses intense nervous sensation into the shortest possible space of time as does the work of shooting or running an immense rapid.” - Sir William Francis Butler, 1872 The best ideas are normally conceived while standing around a braai, with a cold lager in hand, chatting about past adventures and those still in the pipeline. This was no different at a birthday braai in November when my friend Gustav had one of those moments. Obstacles like no time for planning and little time for execution were quickly solved with another lager, as we plotted to explore the Tugela Canyon. I've heard stories about the Tugela Canyon before, but never really had the guts to ask too many questions, being nervous of actually getting an invite. When you are better known for spending time in the hills a large river trip of this kind remains intimidating, despite having ample experience in this discipline too. This time I was simply told to make sure that I show up and we'll take it from there. So straight after Christmas, Gustav and I took on the intimidating yet beautiful Tugela Canyon. After inflating and packing the boats and stocking up on food and refreshments, it was go time. Gustav was bursting with excitement and I often think that he must have come into this world by water birth. Launching from the town of Colenso, we couldn't wait to start our adventure and find out what lurked around every bend. In no time at all we were negotiating a rather large weir, which also marked the last human activity for almost 35 kilometres. From here you are really on your own, with no cell phone reception and the river dropping more and getting faster and steeper as you descend into the canyon. At first we thought our inflatables would be slow, as we expected long, flat water sections. It turned out that the flat water sections were few and far between and we were instead slowed down by waterfall after waterfall and numerous other ominous looking big drops. The features in the Tugela are huge and as a result we had to scout every obstacle and figure out a way either around, through or over. Waterfalls like Hart’s Hill Falls
and Augrabies were big, fast and rocky. However, these were dwarfed by Colenso Falls, an enormous obstacle that extends the full width of the river and drops nearly 30 metres. We soon realised that this trip would remain interesting and challenging to the finish, due to the sections with steep cliffs, fast flowing and strong currents, pristine natural beauty, massive features and no contact with the outside world. Even at the normal flow levels that we experienced, the river was strong and the rapids and waterfalls intimidating. This aspect really stood out for me as I tried to find anything 'small' on this trip. Waterfalls for the first 15 kilometres made the going slow, but certainly added to the overall excitement of the trip and we tried to imagine this stretch at flood levels. At all the falls we had to unpack the boats, find a place to lower them down, get ourselves down and then repack before being able to continue on our way. Tiring to say the least, but absolutely spectacular and a true adventure. Gustav ran his first waterfall in his beloved Jackson kayak and was super amped afterwards. But before one undertakes something like this, the waterfalls and rapids must be scouted thoroughly, as the river is filled with high drops onto shallow rocks and syphon’s hidden within the rapids. Some of the falls also have tricky approaches as you get closer and one can easily get caught out and flushed down, so real care must be taken. And once you are in the main current there is no way out! But the whole stretch can be done safely. Taking your time and scouting is key to your safety and ultimate enjoyment. Further downstream the rapids become larger, faster and more fun, depending on the outcome of course. Rapids on this stretch of river vary from Class 2 to 5, excluding the waterfalls. Most can be run quite easily, but some rapids are only for experienced paddlers.
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With names such as Rocky Horror, Jaws, Liquidizer and Tumble Dryer, to mention a few, you can get an idea of what lies ahead. At the lower levels, the rapids are supposedly easier, but this kind of thinking has gotten many paddlers in a pickle in the past. I had quite an interesting swim in a rapid called Off The Wall, which entailed the boat going over a steep rock, then washing down onto a rock face and getting whipped on the bottom before being flushed out. The swim probably only lasted 30 seconds, but when you are being pressed against the rocks underwater it tends to feel much longer. Another stupid mistake made earlier on led to a swim that almost pulled me into the next rapid, without a paddle. Luckily I made it out just in time, as a nasty, large siphon halfway down the rapid was next in line. All’s well that ends well though, and at least this provided some entertainment for Gustav. Camping next to the river was great, but it is not always safe depending on your location. Some locals, who live quite far away from the river, have been known to cause problems in the past by holding kayakers hostage with their AK47’s and stating their demands. Fortunately the paddlers were always let go and no physical harm was done or property lost. We had no problems and actually only saw one guy, with his dogs, fishing all by himself. It was an amazing experience getting away and realising that you are completely reliant on yourself and your paddling partner.
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We eventually made it to Zingela Safari and River Lodge on day three. When we arrived at 8pm and told the owners, Mark and Linda, where we had come from they immediately gave us a spot to sleep and a fantastic meal, which we thoroughly enjoyed with some drinks, while overlooking the river. After experiencing such warm hospitality it took some convincing to keep going the next day. At 9am we pulled out and continued further downstream on our last stretch to the causeway and where our pickup awaited. As we made our way to the end, Gustav remarked that this trip was more exhausting than the Grand Traverse – hiking the expanse of the Drakensberg – that we had done a few years ago, despite it being much shorter and quicker. I couldn't argue with him. The Tugela Canyon is a spectacular stretch of river and possibly one of the most challenging paddles you will find. Big features everywhere, the natural beauty and solitude are simply amazing. If you are planning to head down the Tugela Canyon you must try to go with someone that has done it before or at least has lots of experience in this type of environment. Whatever your interest, be sure to get out there and DO IT NOW! •
Words by Claire King Photos by various photographers
Head 4-way in Skydive Arena Prague Photo by Linda Steyn
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Words by Josh Degenaar Photos courtesy of Josh Degenaar
n i s a Ch r o c e R
Arriving at our destination after spending 13 hours on the road, it was an early night for us as tomorrow was going to be a big day - weather permitting. We awoke to a blue sky and a day that looked promising, and excitedly went in search of a launch site. We finally decided on a dirt road in Copperton that's about 60km outside of Prieska. The plan was to take off at 10h00 and we would use the winching method to get me airborne. How this works is that the winch is mounted onto the back of a bakkie, with a tensioner and line of approximately 1000m that is attached to the paraglider. The payout tension is then set and the bakkie driven at an appropriate speed to launch the paraglider. Steve was there to make sure that the tension of the line was at the right setting, to maximse lift and ensure that the line didn’t snap from too much tension. I had a general idea of the direction I would be flying in from the winds, but the actual final destination was unknown due to a number of factors involved. I knew I was only going to get one chance and I had to make it count; so my objectives were to fly high and fly far! In the time it had taken me to get ready, the wind had picked up and was gusting so strongly that even Steven couldn’t keep my glider under control. Not ready to give up, I used another launching technique, whereby I bunched up my glider to make its profile smaller so that the wind couldn't grab it. After lessening the tension on the winch, I asked Philip to drive slower than usual, to ensure that the towline didn't snap - an extremely dangerous thing to happen - and then we were off.
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Finally there was a lull in the wind and I hastily threw the glider out in front of me to take advantage of it. One little tug on the A-lines and I was airborne. It was eerily quiet as I shot into the air like a missile on a mission. Then all of a sudden my vario started screaming as I went through some extremely strong thermals, which came from the left and forced the glider right. It was a battle to get back on course again, but once on track I turned straight into a weak lift, caught a thermal and found myself gliding effortlessly over Copperton. The wind higher up was stronger and I knew it wouldn't be easy to get up there. In the lee of town, which is opposite to the windward side and where big thermals, turbulence, rotor and sink are found and best avoided, I started climbing and was soon sitting at 2000m ATO (Above Take-Off). To reach the N10 road to De Aar, I had to stay high as the section I was flying over had no recovery roads, which meant a long walk out if I had to land unexpectedly. The dry water pans and hot tar road were but a few of the many thermal triggers. I climbed to 3000m+ ATO and stuck to a route next to the N10 on higher ground. With no radio signal, I phoned Philip to inform him that I was approaching De Aar. My downwind speed was ok, but thermalling seemed to take up a lot of the time.
ragliding ed on a pa k r a b m e I 011 im ovember 2 with the a In early N ern Cape, h t r o N d. e r h o rec ieska, in t nce world a t trip to Pr is d t h ig ilip a new XC fl ty’, and Ph , aka ‘Faul of setting n e v e t to S d s e fer ying me wa ot, who of il p w Accompan o l l e en f operator. nother ke and winch Gardner, a r e iv r d e v the retrie assist as
ng s d r Now quite far from the main road and on the other side of De Aar, every turn seemed to put me further into no man's land. For the first time I became alarmed at the speed I was drifting backwards. At only 1000m ATO and on an uphill slope, my vario screamed in protest again and the glider started buckling close to the point of stall. I looked down and realised that I was flying above a bright orange field approximately 50m wide and this is what had caused the sudden lift. I stumbled into the core and soon I was pretty high again, affording me the luxury of beautiful views of the mountain range before Steynsburg. As an avid mountain flyer I was in my element! Over a period of time the wind had swung west, taking me off course. Closing in on the mountains in the late afternoon I weighed up my options, while climbing in the smoothest of thermals to achieve my highest climb of the day. So I made for the mountains crossing over some large valleys while trying to stay within sight of a farmhouse, which stopped me from taking the shortest route. My wind speed started to
drop quite quickly and I was thermalling in weak wind, so I turned and headed towards a dirt road. Still fairly high, but moving backward towards the farm, my thoughts now turned to the trees and fences in front of the house and if they would stop me. The cables and power lines would definitely be a problem. So I steered across to the side of the farm, in the direction of deep green pastures speckled with sheep and low bushes at the end of it. I was lined up perfectly and had height to spare when I noticed that the green bushes at the end of the field were, in fact, Cactus plants. Not keen on an ‘acupuncture’ session, I quickly steered to the open grassland on the side of the pasture and started to unclip my harness, as I was now lined up on the best stretch of field; short grass, sand and the odd one-foot high bush. I put my landing gear down and on touch down I could not run backwards fast enough and dropped onto my backside. Just then a gust of wind picked me up and dumped me unceremoniously back on Mother Earth, as I went power kiting down the field. I reeled in the left brake until it could move no more - I’d arrived!
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I had travelled 353km, and although I had not set a new XC flight distance world record, it was the second longest distance flown by a South African in South Africa at that time. The current world record holder is Nevill Hullet, also a South African, who flew approximately 500km in South Africa. I called Philip and Steven and gave them directions to fetch me and suggested we stay in Steynsburg for the night, to celebrate and relive this incredible experience thermal by thermal. â€˘
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flying facts Pilot: Josh Degenaar Date: 3 November 2011 Distance: 353km Best climb: 9.3m/s Sink: 9.1m/s Duration: 7 hours Glider: Gradient SR7 Top Speed: 123km/h
A vario is an instrument that paragliders use to indicate, amongst other things, their height, speed and heading, and if they are climbing or sinking by making beeping sounds. The faster you climb in a thermal, the more it beeps at you. If you are going really fast, it screeches at you and this can be quite unnerving.
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Words by Steven Yates Photos by Steven & Laura Yates
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Climbing Maui Thai
Viewpoint - Railay Peninsula
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e find out mctoior n.net
AviAtion Junction DINfo box
• Railay is also spelt Rai Leh. • Railay is easily accessible by boats departing from Krabi, or by ferry from either Phi Phi or Phuket. • East Railay Beach is the docking point for boats arriving from Krabi. The East Beach is primarily covered in dense mangrove, which is unsuitable for swimming and therefore houses cheaper accommodation than west Railay. • West Railay accommodation is more expensive and the primary destination for beach goers. Ferries depart from Railay for Koh Phi Phi and points west, including Phuket, depart from the West Beach. • Railay has many climbing schools and offers half-, one- and three-day rock climbing courses ranging from 1000 to 6000 Baht (R250 - R1500)
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NOW 54 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 55
// inTRODUCING: Take a Quantum Leap * Ice Hockey – the coolest sport around * Langebaan Down Wind Dash * Riders of the Surf // inACTION: Record Entries for Drak Challenge * Curtis Aces Dakar * MTN National MTB SERIES 3 Races, 3 Experiences * Supermoto 2012 – The Real Deal // inPREPARATION: MTB Race Season Preview * It’s a leap year so get jumping * Oorlogskloof Mountain Trail Run - A one-of-a-kind mountain trail race // inSHAPE: Stretch it to get it * Compression
PHOTOGRAPH: DO IT NOW DESCRIPTION: Female competitor - Euro African Wakeboarding Championships 2012.
56 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
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p a e L
Words & Photos by Ugene Nel
a e k a T
Q ua n t u m
Tricky climbs Stunning views
Racing white water
Sin ce I sta rte d rac ing in 199 8, I’ve bee n pla nn ing thi s rac e – I just did n’t rea lis e it at the tim e … 30 x 200km, Having competed with Team Energy in well over finally came it , races plus 60km six x 500km and many ve2400km ecuti cons and third a leting comp about after Africa South s Freedom Challenge mountain bike race acros over well of y budd g racin in 2011. Partnering with me is my il Abse own to ens happ also who a decade, Trevor Ball, Africa. ed, expeditionQuantum Leap is a 250-300km unsupport August 2012 22-25 from place styled race that will take also during is which g), racin of s night two (three days and area that an in is the Namaqualand flowering season, and colonial Early ry. histo rful has an extremely rich and colou h of searc in Cape the from explorers ventured north them of many than more was found they adventure. What area where the wanted or could cope with; a wilderness for thousands d hunte and early Khoi and San tribes lived the elements st again out it d battle of years. These tribes al. Although surviv for fight erate desp a in and wilderness ged since chan this harsh and mountainous area has not took giant they rers, explo the arrival of those early colonial hundreds for s selve them for life a out strides toward carving mere blip a but , terms n huma in Leap tum Quan of years – a in geological terms! River, on the The race area borders the mighty Doring the border also is which , sides ern south northern and g River Dorin The . between the Western and Northern Cape the bly proba is and n seaso runs BIG in the winter rainy g Dorin The from! drink to gh enou clean cleanest river in SA – s of rapid in leg le padd raft 26km the to host will also play teness and Grade 3+. Teams will experience solitude, remo pristine wilderness. to enter and Only 40 x 4 member teams will be allowed s will have s/leg mixed teams are the official category. All route ive, and ervat cons or brave – check points with route choices : nues) conti ting (scou this like thing the race will look some
the opportunity We want to make sure that all teams have of some of the n versio er short a to finish ‘a course’, albeit will take place time ff cut-o first the , mind in legs. With that This means leg. at the first abseil, shortly after the first MTB before point iling abse the that if any teams don’t reach nue conti to able be still will they a pre-determined time, should This T5. to line t direc more a on but on the hike, time. However, hopefully bring them back in line to finish on T5/MTB leg. the of start the there will be a second cut-off at to complete ce chan er anoth s team r This will give the slowe against eting comp still while race, the of n’ a ‘shorter versio three have will s the other teams on the same route. Team , but nture adve this uer conq days and two nights to try and s! mean any by park the it will not be a walk in
Teams will have to take charge of their destiny by ensuring that: Aid qualified. ❱❱ Two members of each team are First r proficiency wate e whit a s rgoe ❱❱ The entire team unde ator. oper l loca a course, with g the day and at ❱❱ They know how to navigate durin An altimeter will . pass night using a map and com be very useful! ❱❱ They are resilient! ❱❱ Fitness is key! early on, ❱❱ They choose and train with their team ess. succ at ce chan r bette h to give them a muc r! facto key a … ared prep tally’ ❱❱ They are ‘men up to you and We’ll guarantee the adventure, but it’s your team to take that Leap!
more information Entries opened end February 2012. For s.co.za or email nture adve or to enter, visit www.quantum Quantum the visit or a .co.z tures info@quantumadven ing updates ongo for page book Face ts Even Adventures and to view the scouting images.
Includes a water crossing to get to T1.
30 – 38km
60m and 40m
Grade 3+ rapids. Challenging but beautiful.
there are various Depending on the teams’ route choices, uer. conq to try coun wild and technical terrains , high escarpments, Expect deep gorges, massive boulders water crossings. ancient rock art sites, wilderness and Prepare for an adrenaline rush. s and mountain passes. A mix of ancient animal and farm track ys, lush grassland, testing Traverse mountains, gorges, deep gulle the top of a ‘big’ mountain. to trail e hors ent sand dunes and an anci , with less than 1km The two-tiered abseil will be a highlight to the finish!
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 59
Words by Gwen Sparks Photos courtesy of Cape Town ice rink, The Ice Station
y e k c o H Ice t s e l o o c the d n u o r a sport
Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden sticks, or nowadays composite sticks, to shoot a hard rubber puck into the opponent’s net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. The objective is to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. A fast paced, physical sport, it is most popular in areas that are cold enough for natural and reliable seasonal ice cover, such as Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and northern United States. But it’s fast becoming more popular in warmer countries like South Africa. Since 1937, the South African Ice Hockey Association (SAIHA) has been a full member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), and our teams started
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participating in World Championship events in 1996. The game was first played in Johannesburg, while Cape Town only saw its first game played in 1972. Teams play in provincial leagues of which Gauteng has five senior men’s teams in their Premier Division and Cape Town and KZN has two each. Each province also have U14, U16, U18, ladies and men’s teams competing in their respective provincial leagues. South Africa has its own national team that competes annually at the World Championships and young South African hopefuls spend years training and competing for a place in this side. The SAIHA organises a provincial tournament for U14, U16, U18, ladies and men’s provincial teams annually, and the national U18, ladies and men’s squads are chosen from the best players at these tournaments.
Ice hockey is a sport that many South Africa n’s aren’t very familiar wit h because it’s not as we ll recognised as some of our other mainstream sports. However, that doesn’t make it any les s thrilling to watch or support. With more th an 800 players from U10 to seniors across the country playing in tea ms at ice rinks in Gauten g, KZN and the Western Cap e, South African ice ho ckey is growing, especially amongst the youth.
What makes ice hockey so popular is its reputation for being fast and vibrant, which appeals to youngsters for various reasons. Most start playing after coming to public skating sessions and learn that there is more on offer than just recreational skating. Games are competitive, and girls and boys play in the same teams up to U16. Currently the ladies team competes in the U16 leagues, as there are insufficient players to have a separate ladies league. However, more and more girls are joining every day. Thus far, the future of SA ice hockey looks bright. The facilities around the country are top class and Cape Town’s ice rink, The Ice Station, boasts Africa’s only Olympic-sized ice skating rink. SAIHA’s focus from now until 2014 is to develop age-specific coaching
and partner with USA hockey to implement a coaching development model for South Africa. The more qualified coaches we have, the more we can expand the sport. In 2011, Cape Town hosted a very successful Div III International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. The South African men’s team won promotion to Div II and will compete in this event in Sofia, Bulgaria in April. The U18 team will also travel to Bulgaria, whilst the ladies team competed in Seoul, South Korea World Championships in March 2012. South Africa has a number of great players coming through the ranks. Luke Carelse, Uthman Samaai and Cai Nebe are three teenagers in the men’s senior national squad, and Luke Stringer, Jack Nebe, Wesley Krotz and
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Alex Obery are definitely players to watch out for in the future. A player that is a force to be reckoned with is 18-year-old Uthman Samaai, who plays centre for South Africa’s National Ice Hockey team. He has been playing ice hockey since the age of 12, having previously played roller hockey. Ice hockey is the fastest team sport in the world and it was this that motivated him to take part, and he’s never looked back. It’s the type of sport that stimulates you as a player and grips you as a spectator. Fitness is key and ice hockey is definitely the ultimate alternative for guys and girls who love to be active and enjoy an adrenaline rush. “I play many sports, but the fitness we do in ice hockey is really hard as you need short bursts of quick energy,” says Uthman. In addition to doing plenty of on-ice training the players also do lots of off-ice training, which involves sprinting and gym work.
So even though the future of SA ice hockey looks bright it still has a long way to go in terms of support from spectators and sponsors. Due to the lack of awareness
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about the sport, games are not well supported and this in turn affects the interest shown by potential sponsors. Ice hockey equipment is also very expensive and because there are no sponsorships for individual players, teams are at the mercy of their financial position when it comes to competing internationally. Time is also a major factor and requires a player’s full commitment to attend all practises and games. The sport welcomes new recruits all the time, so if you’re up for something different that’s fun and exciting, then why not give the coolest sport around a try? •
• The SA Ice Hockey Association website www.saicehockey.org.za provides news and information about ice hockey clubs in Gauteng and Pretoria. • The Western Province Ice Skating Association is looking for U10 and U12 players, and all interested parties can try out at The Ice Station in Cape Town on Sunday mornings at 08h00. • For more information about Cape Town’s ice rink, game schedules, league games and results, go to www.icerink.co.za. Spectators are welcome at a nominal fee and seats are unreserved. • To join one of South Africa’s ice hockey clubs, go to www.saicehockey.org.za • To join the Western Province ice hockey club, go to www.icehockey.co.za
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Words by Malcolm McGregor Photos by DO IT NOW
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The 27th running of the prestigious Langebaan Down Wind Dash, from Langebaan to Saldanha, was held on 14 January. Reputed to be the biggest kite and windsurf ing event in the world, it lived up to its reputation with 260 entr ies, including a large contingent of inter national participants. that it's The popularity of this event can be attributed to the fact rfers, windsu kites, craft, a competition between all kinds of sailing This enter. to wants that craft of form Hobie Cats and any other first the for part take (SUP) rs paddle up stand the year also saw thrilling y alread an time, adding yet another exciting element to lineup.
of the Although the competition is always stiff, the overall feeling to raged encou are event is also a relaxed one in which families the t agains ge, challen a and enter and pit themselves, for fun the likes of best in the world. Past winners include local sailors under their wins five with both Slate, Peter and Matthew Swart overseas by ated sails. In recent years, the race has been domin n, world Cattela Seb and competitors such as Alex Caizerguers Alberto and s William Ross er, Flessn record kiters, and Bernd rfing windsu tional interna the on te compe all who Menagatti, Swart, w Matthe scene. This year's event saw Alberto Menegatti, a Rosati, Matthew Busse, Collen Heckroodt, Arnion Dragon, Andre shield. the for tion conten hot in all Roux Tyler Ryan and Jac le record speed world the , nkamp Brede e Sjoukj ladies, Amongst the the and years, few holder for women, has dominated for the last boul Routa Sophie urg, Rensb top contenders, Megs Janse van e did not and Candice Daley, breathed a sigh of relief when Sjoukj event. 2012 enter the hum from On the day of the event, Langebaan's beach began to titors compe of r numbe large a such early morning, and with a from and result, a As . hectic was ation registr race, entering the s runner front the safety perspective, there were two starts so that Once gybe. first the took they did not crowd the first mark, as (thanks for the briefing had taken place at the DO IT NOW stand the water. on get to rearing were titors compe the ), the PA system kites, but and rfers The weather conditions were ideal for windsu have they and west swings wind difficult for the SUP because the .ď€´ course whole the for only to paddle on one side
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 65
What's a gybe? A gybe or jibe is a sailing manoeuvre where a sailing vessel, which is sailing in the same direction as the wind, turns its stern through the wind, so that the wind direction changes from one side of the boat to the other. For square-rigged ships, this manoeuvre is called wearing ship. In this manoeuvre, the mainsail will cross the centre of the boat while the gybe is pulled to the other side of the boat. If the spinnaker is up, the pole will have to be manually moved to the other side, to remain opposite the mainsail. The other way to change the side of the boat that faces the wind is turning the bow of the boat into, and then through, the direction of the wind. This operation is known as tacking or coming about.
and All the races started from the beach 'Le Mans' style, first, gates g startin the of out it was the SUPs who were than setting sail on a different course half an hour earlier and the rest of the field. Next were the kiters, windsurfers ski jet local behind Hobies, who all got off to a flying start event the won having kiters the pilot Abbi Lindenberg. With twice and the windsurfers showing a better turn of speed
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Race statistics Windsurfers: 36 Kites: 193 Hobies: 7
SUPs: 32 Ladies: 25 Youngest age: 10 Oldest age: 61
in the last three events, it was anyone's guess who would rfers cross the finish line first. However, it was the top windsu ate domin to ued that led the field from the start and contin at , beach ha's Saldan near as they passed the finish mark and ns, positio three top the in kph, 52 of an average speed was within three minutes of each other. The first kite home a minute behind. â€˘
Overall results Alberto Menegatti
Eugene van Niekerk
Tyler Ryan Peter Lumley
UniqUe AviAtion experiencreeAste! YoU dreAm - We c
Ladies results *Megs Janse van Rensberg
ed * Megs was the first lady to finish, but was not record her record not could judges finish the as winner as the passing the finish line.
Junior results Oswald Smith
Eric van Zyl
Jason van der Spuy
around The original Dash course was a giant slalom The . 17km of ce distan a over and s three mark Cape record for this course was 18 minutes, set by e cours the ago years Town star Peter Slate. Three and s, mark four ing round 20km was extended to ner in the new course record is held by Bernd Fless 22 minutes 25 seconds.
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Words by Gareth Evans Photos by Gareth Evans & Rory Taylor
Surf of the
town on the le tt li t ie u q a is Scottburgh ed aZulu-Natal, nestl w K f o st a Co th r Sou amongst the suga es n du l a st a co e into th curving crescent a is ch a be e Th . ds cane fiel the small river, to in s rc a at th d n of white sa side a rocky point. in st ju s et tl u o h ic wh
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It is at this point where the Indian Ocean dashes itself before curling over into hollow tubes that peel across the shallow sand bar pushed out by the river. And it is also here where the Jeep Apparel South Coast Surf Carnival saw an epic tussle between the competitors and Mother Nature in November 2011. Now in its ninth successful year, competitors poured into Scottburgh from all over the country for the briefing on Friday 25 November. The tranquility of the beach was broken by the buzz of excited longboarders, SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) and waveski surfers, all checking their equipment, checking each other out and lining up for their competitor packs filled with goodies. A complimentary beer for all the surfers, in the seaside bar, helped break the ice before the Nerve Events team outlined the weekend’s programme. The only group missing was the kiteboarders, as they were competing on the Sunday. The swell, wind and weather forecasts dominated the conversation after a week of miserable, wet and windy conditions. With only a small window of good surf showing, the mood was pensive. Gathering early on the beach under a pale grey sky, all pessimism was blown away as smooth, solid swells pulsed through the bay. A light offshore breeze caressed the waves into velvet perfection and as the sun burnt through the light haze, the translucent green peaks beckoned, promising a day of sunshine, golden suntans and great surfing. As newbies to the event, the waveski surfers were relegated to the less predictable, but very hollow beach break, quickly getting started to maximise the tide and good conditions. Their inclusion was all thanks to Duane Schwarz, from the newly formed KZN Waveski Association, who was the key figure in arranging for the first KZN Waveski Open to take place in many years, as part of this bigger event. Backed by the experienced Western and Eastern Cape competitors, the first heat was soon underway and it was not long before the top competitors began to shine; throwing critical aerial moves, slashing the wave crests to shreds and sliding into crystal, hollow tubes over shallow sand banks. Meanwhile at the premier break, out at the point, the SUP surfers were enjoying consistent take-offs that sucked hollow beneath them, while those less capable were dumped unceremoniously and slammed by the heavy waves. However, their misfortunes gave the more experienced and capable the opportunity to tuck in or slam the lip, as it hovered above them before peeling off into deeper water.
Enjoying these same conditions, the longboarders disappeared into heaving barrels or swung their big boards in graceful arcs through the lip, landing with legs tucked to perfect the drop, then boosting down the line to carve an arcing bottom turn before driving for the crest again. All through the morning each group of surfers reveled in the magic conditions as they ground through the heats to separate the men from the boys, while the spectators lazed around, trying to stay cool and dodge getting sunburnt. A lone surf kayaker, Dean Bottcher, came out to play with the waveski surfers and quickly showed his mastery of surf moves, despite his surf kayak being a little slower and heavier than the waveskis. On a day of fierce competition, some very memorable rides occurred. Andre Burger from Border Waveski consistently showed why he is a world champion, leaping clear of the wave or throwing buckets of spray in perfectly controlled whiplash turns. Chris Jones from the Western
Cape surfed solidly all day, then managed a caughton-camera perfect barrel. Young KZN waveski surfers Duran Martin and Liam Kerr Smith both displayed their resilience and enthusiasm to score some excellent rides, with Duran showing dramatic improvement and becoming a serious challenge to the more experienced waveski surfers. The thrills and spills not only belonged to the young guns, it was also a day for fathers and sons to share their love of the waves. Andre’s father, Johann, used his vast experience to great effect; Duran’s father, Henry, showed everyone where his son gets such coordination and ability; and Liam’s father, Craig Smith, carved his name in the waves despite his relatively recent introduction to waveski surfing. It was a long and busy day for the longboarders, waveski and SUP surfers as they battled it out to claim a place in the ultimate showdown on Sunday. As the day drew on, the idyllic conditions gradually deteriorated with a strengthening onshore wind and a layer of cloud rolling in to cool and then chill sunburnt skin. As the exhausted competitors wound down with the sinking sun, it was evident that the finals would be a fight against the elements, as well as their rivals. Howling onshore, the wind whipped the ocean’s surface into choppy peaks and troughs. Sunday could only be loved by the kitesurfers, for whom a messy, growing swell and whistling wind provided perfect conditions for their need for speed and a huge variety of launch ramps to leap skyward from. The waveski surfers, longboarders and SUP surfers faced nightmare conditions as they struggled against the wind, before slipping into wind-torn peaks that heaved onto the shallow bar with crushing force. This unpredictable thumping took its toll, snapping boards and ending the hopes of higher places for some. But it also highlighted those who were truly at one with the ocean and able to elegantly find gaps and workable faces, and drive their boards into spectacular moves, even in such terrible conditions. In the longboard experience department, Hughie Thompson showed that smooth and controlled were key to managing the finals slop and pulling in the points to oust his rivals Colin Whitmore, Bushy Greef and Dave Hanson. Justin Maisch had perfect timing and pinpoint wave sense to pick the right waves and read the right moves into the broken surf. While the top lady competitor, Nix Trickett, struggled out valiantly in the teeth of the storm to show how to grace the wave with fluid riding. It was the Men’s Open that pulled no punches, as arch-rivals Josh Schmeltzer and Dylan Macleod (EP) went head-to-head in a display of power and precision that perfectly showcased the speed and versatility of a light, modern longboard.
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The bigger, heavier SUP boards were most affected by the wind and standing tall against the gusts, while paddling over chop and foam, took phenomenal balance and strength. With the choppy surf suddenly heaving up on the sand, even the usual early drop-in ability of the paddle powered boards wasn’t really providing much advantage. Caught late on the lip or tumbled by the wind, these boards would really deal out a thumping, so it was amazing to watch as the top riders carved the face, throwing their paddles out for balance and leverage, turning on a dime and giving some change. Consistency and poise were crucial to Tammy Robarts staying ahead of the other women, while Brandon Ribbink looked comfortable standing tall in whatever the conditions threw at him, judging the right moves at the right time. There were no easy wins though, as their rivals snapped at their heels throughout.
Waveski finalists Percy Louw, Doug Copeland, Ian Macleod and Andre Burger really showed their determination and fitness by managing to grab a few waves each. Even in the treacherous conditions both Ian and Andre managed to surf with flair. But it was Andre who surfed an extra wave in the dying seconds, powering down the line, carving a tight turn and finishing with a big flick into the air, corkscrewing into a barrel roll and landing lightly on the foam before surfing out over the shallow sand, to snatch first prize. Throughout the day, the weather conditions continued to favour the kitesurfers, who were in their element riding in the powerful NE wind and four-foot waves. Judging was based strictly on wave riding, with all scoring manoeuvres on the wave face. Using the speed and power of the wind, these wind jockeys tore the swells apart with huge power moves and massive aerial flights. All of these were unerringly landed with precision back on the wave face. The ease with which the kiteboarders take to the air is only surpassed by the control with which they manage their kite and position themselves precisely to land. Tearing out to sea to gain speed or wait their turn, they pass each other at warp
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speed and it is amazing that kitelines don’t get tangled and no collisions occur. While all the finals were strongly contested, the Men’s Open final was an exhilarating display of wave riding without the usual 2D restriction to the water’s surface, as the action extended high above the waves as well. Wave riding is often a family passion as was seen with surf kayaker Dean Bottcher’s brother, Lyle, who fought for a place in the Men’s Open kitesurfing event and was runner up in the Elite Waveski Open. Ian Macleod’s brother, Dylan, was runner up in the Open Longboard. Overall it was a fun and professionally organised event that delivered despite the weather. Prize-giving was well attended with competitors paying tribute to the top athletes, and there were great free sponsor products and some sought after spot prizes to be won. The 10th anniversary event in 2012 promises to be the surf competition to attend, and a venue change to Durban’s New Pier should deliver a spectator-friendly surf carnival in the heart of the city, at an exceptional surf spot. We hope to see you there! •
RESULTS Longboard Open 1st - Josch Schmeltzer 2nd - Dylan Macleod 3rd - Brandon Jackson
Over 50 1st - Hugh Thompson 2nd - Colin Whitmore 3rd - Bushy Greef
Over 35 1st - Justin Maisch 2nd - Craig Daniel 3rd - Marcel Hoffman
Ladies 1st - Nix Trickett 2nd - Heather Klug 3rd - Traci Lee Phillips
Juniors 1st - Damien Stander 2nd - Brad Gilmour
Stand Up Paddle Surfing (Wave Event) Ladies 1st - Tammy Robarts 2nd - Penny Stemmet 3rd - Lynne Mackey
World Champion Xterrra Athletes
Dan Hugo, Tyronne White and Conrad Stoltz
Open 1st - Brandon Ribbink 2nd - Donald Brierley 3rd - Grantley Reid
Waveski Men’s Open Competitive 1st - Tony Dubber 2nd - Ken Clements 3rd - Dean Bottcher
Men’s Open Elite 1st - Andre Burger 2nd - Ian Macleod 3rd - Percy Louw
Kitesurfing Open 1st - Luke McGilliwie 2nd - Rob Chrystal 3rd - Lyle Bottcher
Juniors 1st - Josh Emanuel 2nd - Bryce Rawlins 3rd - Lorenzo Valenti
Ladies 1st - Nicole Annels 2nd - Linda Potts 3rd - Carron Engelbrecht
Novice 1st - Dustin Harding 2nd - Austin Steyn
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www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 71
Words by Dave Macleod Photos by DO IT NOW
RECORD entries FOR
AnK DhR alle ge c
g an affair with a Paddling the Drak is like havin tuous lover. When really wild,, stormy and tempes even when it’s bad it’s it’s good, it’s insanely good, and . You learn to take all just as intense and memorable well as get used to the the extremes and love them, as because it goes with cold shoulders and icy stares why you are there … the turf. After all, you know Now into its 19th year, the Global Trader Drakensberg Challenge canoe marathon remains the fastest growing canoeing race of its kind in the country. For the first time the organisers at the GT Canyon Kayak Club in Underberg had to enforce the threatened cap of 1 000 paddlers. Paddlers love the trip to Underberg for the weekend. They love the fact that it is uncomplicated, well organised and presented with a beaming smile. The air is fresh, water clean and the river offers a truly
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unique mix of adrenaline-laced excitement and gobsmacking serenity. The club is also hell bent on offering the paddlers the best value for money, anywhere, and when you look at the modest entry fee against the quality race garment, free set of tie-down straps, entertainment and so much more, there can be no quibbling about this fact. The good farming folk of Underberg (and Himeville, Kokstad and Matatiele) lay on a superb show, and everything they arrange they do with aplomb. But there ain’t a lot they can do about the water …
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The event website is slick and has daily river level updates. After a summer season that has been desperately dry, the local club got out of jail twice when its other big races were rescued at the eleventh hour by sudden rainstorms, because the Big River (Umzimkhulu) was running pitifully low.
The Drak is a highly sought after ' ' title, and the creme de la crEme of South African river marathoning were on the starting line, all eyeing out the new world champion Hank McGregor, who
On the eve of the 2012 race, with a new record field converging on Underberg, it looked like the gods were going to desert the race for the first time since 2007. You see there is no dam in the mountains from where water can be released and so the race is wholly reliant on the rainfall in the 24 hours before each day’s racing. Like Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” The paddlers now understand that and in the great old canoeing tradition, you paddle the river as you find it. The officials will however allow you to change a K2 entry to two K1 entries the night before the race, and many wise old dogs arrive in Underberg with a K2 and a pair of K1s on the roof, just in case.
had won the last two editions of this race. Hank versus Len Jenkins. And Grant van der Walt. And Ant Stott. And. And …
With the race committee mowing the grass at the Trout Hatcheries for a low level start that would have shortened the race by 15km of steep creek paddling, there were reports of a sudden downpour on the golf course at the Drak Gardens Hotel. Just what the doctor ordered. Before dawn on the first day of racing, local farmer Dave Barnett confirmed that the river had risen 30 centimetres to a justpaddleable level at the start at Castleburn bridge.
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At the start, Len Jenkins (Hank’s partner for the Unlimited Dusi) shot off into the lead, gambling by not fitting his splashcover. For the next two hours the elite racers traded places as they slid and slithered between the rocks in the steep Valley of a Thousand Rapids until two boats arrived at the new overnight stop at Sinister Pool together – Hank McGregor and Len Jenkins. The ladies race was even harder to call. Abby Adie had a day one ‘mare and finished fourth after a number of unscheduled swims, while up front Robyn Kime had worked really hard for a huge seven-minute lead over Gautenger Jen Hodson. For the rest of the field, the river was dishing out a lesson in humility and patience. The hotheads that opted to charge each rapid like a bull that has sighted a red rag were cruelly punished, and at the repair station at Ekhutuleni, 14km into the race, battered and shattered craft were queuing up for riverside repairs!
Saturday afternoon and the attractions and distractions of the area were massive and included a radical new MTB ride alongside the river, tubing, cheese tasting, craft shopping, trail runs and the festive annual inter club golf day around the nine-hole Underberg Country Club course. And then the heavens opened. Even the locals were fishing out their Ark plans. Hundreds of paddlers slept fitfully, despite the forays into the Himeville Arms and the festive Hansa beer fest, because everyone knew the river was going to be totally different in the morning. It rose overnight by half a metre. The clean turquoise stream skipping between a collage of rocks was replaced by a writhing brown python of water bullying its way seawards.
At the day two start, the big field watched Jenkins and McGregor set off first towards Early Mists Farm near the Coleford Resort, 38km away. Some followed them through the Underberg gorge, down the Mineshaft weir and the legendary Glenhaven rapid, then raced ahead to see them bounce through the Heaven and Hell rapid together before McGregor produced an extra gear that virtually no other paddler on this planet has, and powered clear of his doubles partner to become the first person to win a hattrick of titles in a K1. In the women’s race, Robyn Kime got a massive monkey off her back by winning, after years and years of setting herself up in a good position to win, only to blow it by capsizing repeatedly on the second stage. Her well wishers lavished praise on her perfect day, but she would later confide that she did actually swim. Once. In the middle of nowhere. But she had done more than enough to win the title she so desperately wanted. The record field whooped and shrieked through the standing waves and churning holes that now dominated the river. Grinning, they all headed off home afterwards vowing to be back next year and make the 1000-paddler cut in the country’s favourite canoeing race. •
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 75
Words by Darryl Curtis Photos by www.maindruphoto.com
C u rtis Ac e s Da k a r “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.”
- Thierry Sabine, founder of the Dakar Rally
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www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 77
Sooner than expected the famed and feared Dakar Rally arrived. The last few months had flown by as I scurried around with some lastminute preparations for this 15 day, 9000km race. What gear to take? What spare parts would I need? How much warm gear do I take for the crossing of the Andes Mountains at sub-zero temperatures? These were just some of the questions I asked myself, after all this was my first Dakar. I’ve been following this event from an early age and it has always been a dream of mine to take part, so when my title sponsor, Broadlink, suggested we go, I didn’t think twice. Making the decision was the easy part, getting selected by the ASO from a stream of entries was much harder. In addition, the bike capacity had been reduced to 450ccs and the general entry criteria was much stricter. I can’t begin to describe my elation when, a few weeks later, I received confirmation that my entry had been accepted. My start number was 144 and it was game on! Alfie Cox, Ingo Waldschmidt and any other competitor will tell you just how big your commitment has to be to enter the Dakar. I can only compare it to the Tour de France, but if there was an Olympics for motorcycles, that would be my litmus test. The event is simply massive, drawing the attention of millions of spectators and fans from around the world.
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Many months of preparation later, I was finally on the plane to Buenos Aires to fulfil my lifelong dream. The container, with four race bikes and 10 supporters’ bikes, was delayed and left us pretty stressed out, and for good reason. To cut a long story short, our bikes only arrived in Mar del Plata at 9pm the night before the race! It was a mad rush to get our back-up truck packed and all the navigational equipment fitted to the bikes in time for the scrutineering, which took place a mere hour before the start of the race at 6am. This inspection is completely nerve wracking because if anything is not right, it could mean the end of the race before it had even begun. Thankfully, the bikes passed the scrutineering and we were allowed to start! It was the latest that anyone had been allowed to start in the history of the Dakar ... thank you ASO. With only two hours of sleep I was already exhausted as I set off that morning on the 860km leg, which included a short 60km special. I started off in 144th place, as I was unseeded in the rally world and thrown into the rookie class. As the race crossed Argentina, I managed to work my way closer to the front, the trick was to only ride as fast as you can navigate. The liaison sections, which are the regularity stages between racing sections, were really long, but the thousands of spectators along the way took my mind off the stress from the night before, and I now had a different kind of pressure to cope with; the road book. This was my biggest challenge adapting to the rally style of off-road racing. The road book is a paper map scroll mounted to the dashboard along with two ICO meters, a cap repeater and a Unik
ARE YOU READY ? Please make no attempt to emulate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe road traffic regulations!
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www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 79
2 GPS. The GPS does not have the route loaded, instead you need to follow the instructions on the road book, which directs you to certain waypoints that only become active 800 metres before you reach them, and then an arrow appears to direct you to the next point, accepts it and switches off again. If you miss any of these waypoints, you are penalised anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours. I missed two waypoints on day three and received a 40-minute penalty; lesson one was expensive, but I guess I had to pay some school fees. The road book became everything! I slowly got to grips with it and started to pick up the pace. From Argentina the race wound its way into Chile, via the San Francisco Pass at 4700m, and into the Atacama Desert, one of the most uninhabitable places on earth because it hasn’t had any rain there for more than 300 years. The dust was so thick in places, especially in the many fesh-fesh (fine dust resembling cement powder) sections that led us into Peru, that it was impossible to make up any time on the rider in front of you. The speeds were insane, topping out at over 160km/h. There were some days that I backed off, simply riding to the finish to try my luck another day. One such day was day two when a French rider hit a cow at full speed, the bike bursting into flames from the impact. The cow died and we thought the rider had followed the same fate. Thankfully, he was only unconscious and my German friend, Daniel Schroder, activated his distress beacon and the medics were soon on site. They say that if you crash at the Dakar or in Paris, you’ll get medical help faster at the Dakar; l was not keen to put that theory to the test! When I reached the bivouac at the end of each day, my routine started. First I would hand my bike to the mechanics, arrange bedding, take a shower and then spend at least an hour preparing the road book by marking danger areas, speed control zones and waypoints with highlighters. Thereafter it was dinner, followed by the riders’ briefing at 8pm to learn about route changes, dangers and fuel points. After that I laid out my gear for the following day, loaded the road book and got to bed at around 10pm. I would wake up at 5am for the 6am start, that’s if you were lucky enough to get any sleep at all with the continuous, loud buzzing of the generators and air tools throughout the night. But this was not a problem for long as eventually you are just so tired that you can sleep through anything. As we crossed into Peru we experienced some deep river crossings and lot of dunes, which were really soft and exactly like the dunes I had practised on in Namibia with Ingo Waldschmidt. The dunes were the most fun, especially on a couple of occasions when Daniel Schroder, Chris Birch and I happened to meet up in the dunes, put foot to metal and motor it across them in playful abandon. However, the second last day nearly ended in tears when Chris jumped off a high dune
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and flat landed at the bottom, smashing his face on the road book and breaking two bones in his ankle. Reality struck home as we realised that it was too close to the end to ride as fast as we were. Chris was lucky that there was only one day left, and although he was in a lot of pain he managed to finish.
I was super excited as I rode the last 100km liaison section into Lima, through thousands upon thousands of cheering spectators. I crossed the finish line 22nd overall, was the second rookie in and winner of the *Elf Trophy. Although this ultimate adventure has come to an end, the sights, sounds and sensations of an exceptional life experience will remain - thanks to Broadlink and KTM. And, I’ll be returning at the end of the year, with my teammate Riaan van Niekerk, to give it another shot. So pack your bags, we’re going back to South America and it’s gonna be another heck of a ride!
Interesting facts about the Dakar Rally • The roots of the Dakar Rally go back to 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan Desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands close to death, he returned to France enthralled with this landscape and promised himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. Since then, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite. • The Dakar is known as the world’s most dangerous off-road endurance race. • The 2012 Dakar Rally is the 33rd running of the event and was held in South America for the fourth successive time. • The Dakar’s bivouac is a temporary travelling town, revolving around the drivers and their teams. *Elf Trophy: Is a trophy and prize reward for the first five competitors who don’t benefit from any individual or personal technical support except the one planned within the framework of the present Elf Moto Trophy, and who appear in the final ranking of the rally.
distanc es travelled during the 2012 Dak ar vehicles
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 81
Words by Kurt Schultz, Anja van Zyl & Janine De Gouveia Photos by various photographers
MTB SERIES 3 Races, 3 Experiences MTN XCM #1 Barberton Marathon Trials and Tribulations
By Kurt Schultz, regular mountain bike enthusiast While celebrating New Year in Lesotho with my girl, all I could think of was the upcoming 2012 MTN National Marathon Series. The first leg was scheduled for 28 January in Barberton, Mpumalanga, and it is considered to be one of the best events in the series. My thoughts were interlaced with excitement and some trepidation, as I'd had two bad experiences at Barberton last year, and it would soon be time to face my fears. After a festive holiday filled with socialising around a braai, biltong, more braaiing and indulging in a few cold ones, this would be the first real race of the season and one in which I would have to take on the challenge of the daunting Barberton mountain. Whoever thought of building that track up there really had a great sense of humour …
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Departing early from Hazyview I headed towards the beautiful town of Barberton, with my heart racing and the burning question of whether I had prepared enough. My uncertainties were somewhat pacified by the anticipation and thrill of what awaited me at the crest of the 15km climb; an amazing ride, beautiful tracks, plenty of river crossings, great water points and a cold Castle Lite at the end. More than 1500 riders, consisting of a blend of enthusiastic recreational mountain bikers and the country’s top professionals, lined up at the start at Barberton High School, the atmosphere friendly yet electric. As the starter's gun went off, the riders sprinted forward, snaking their way through the town and towards the mountain. I pushed hard and found myself doing really well, Max Knox's motto, 'It never gets easier, you just get used to the pain', helping to spur me on, endure the pain, enjoy it. Now past the second water point, I was motoring down a huge downhill when I passed two unfortunate race billys who didn’t look too good. But thanks to the plentiful and ever-efficient medics, they received the attention they needed and were back in the fray in no time. A word of advice for anyone who hasn't done this event before; once you reach the top of the mountain, stop and relax before you attempt the downhill, as it has claimed plenty of victims. Back on more level ground, I thoroughly enjoyed the numerous river crossings that tested rider skills to the max, before finding some relief at the well-stocked and welcome water points. The return route is quite spectacular as it passes through the beautiful Mountainlands Nature Reserve and Greenstone Wildlife Estate. Flying through this incredibly scenic area like Buzz Lightyear seemed almost a shame, and I asked myself the question: Is it about the race or the ride? Tough one ... Crossing the finishing line in 100th position overall, I was really stoked with this result as it was 1 hour 35 minutes faster than my time last year. Special thanks to Nissan and my ex, who left me one week after our best-ever holiday for another guy, leaving with me with more time to train. You can take away my heart, my wallet, my car, my house, my braai stand, my cooler box, my DSTV, but you can't take away my GHOST ... my freedom …
MTN XCM #2 Tulbagh Marathon A Diva’s Take on the 20km Fun Race
By Anja van Zyl, Miss SA 1st princess 2008 and 20km winner
With some sound professional advice and coaching from Phillip Buys and my brand new Giant 29er all set up, I was ready for some interaction with the beautiful Tulbagh Mountains at the MTN Tulbagh XCM #2 mountain bike race. Or so I thought. From fashion diva to aspiring mountain bike cyclist, I swopped my high heels for some cycle shoes and was really excited about the adventure that lay ahead as I set off towards the Tulbagh Valley on Friday 17 February. After registering as a late entry, I walked away with a goody
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bag filled with USN protein bars and energy drinks, a water bottle and more, and felt like a pro in the making, and the weekend held great promise. I now needed to find a place to sleep and struck gold when I was able to get a reservation at one of the most beautiful vintage wine farms in the area, MONTPELLIER. The hosts opened their doors, and hearts, to me and I enjoyed some of the best hospitality I've experienced in a long time, and their award winning 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was a treat too. At the crack of dawn the next morning, footsteps on the wooden floor introduced me to the glory of a new day. A hearty traditional farm breakfast, followed by ‘moer koffie' and an invigorating shower got the morning off to a perfect start.
Upon arrival at the starting line at Saronsberg, the excitement in the air was tangible and everything was organised to a T! Energetic tunes added to an already festive atmosphere and the MC was fantastic, making all the riders feel an important part of the vibe.
And then the count-down began ... and off we went! Initially I struggled to get my cleats into my peddles (only because everything on my bike was brand new), but once I found my groove there was nothing stopping me - the race and chase was on.
Doing the 20km fun race was a lot of fun, but I also pushed myself to ride to the best of my ability. The indication and directions on the course were spot on and easily visible, so that I never wondered or stressed about whether I was on the right track. I had hoped that there would be a few more technical areas or a nice single track, but by the end of the ride I was glad that there had only been one little dip that required concentration, because I didn’t keep my eyes on the track for just a second (the awesome mountains are a bit distracting I must say) and ended up on my bum in the mud. I did have a soft landing though, so I'm not complaining. However, the chain came off my gear and being the 'princess' that I am, and not having a prince charming to come to my rescue, I struggled to get it back on. But I did figure it out eventually. Looking the part of a serious rider, all covered in dust and mud, I picked up the pace and raced towards the finish line, trying to make up for lost time. My herculean attempts were somewhat thwarted by an illegal congregation of 'mad cows'. Completely intimidated by these harmless creatures, I had to do something to get past them, and quickly. So with all the nerves I could muster, I cycled as fast as possible leaving a trail of dust in my wake for them to chew on. With my newfound freedom, I raced forward, laughing at myself.
As I crossed over the finish line in first place, with a bike full of dust, hair a bit sweaty and adrenaline still pumping in my veins, I felt like a courageous warrior that had just fought a tremendous battle. The entire race was a complete joy! A definite 'must do and will do again'. With a small climb here and there, and beautiful scenery everywhere, I had fun and was able to finish in a good time. It's definitely a race I would love to do again! Thank you to the Advendurance team for organising this great event.
Nissan. Equipped with a strong mind, full water bottles and a great group to ride with we started off, the heat already rising. Sabie is known to be a tough route and as we embraced the first climb I realised why. Luckily a magnificent view of the Sabie mountain range inspired me to keep peddling.
A welcoming Mpumalanga sunrise saw the start of my first-ever mountain bike race on 26 February 2012 – a mere five weeks after purchasing my first mountain bike. After being a 'roadie' for many years, I finally plucked up the courage to embrace the mountain biking culture that seems to have gripped the hearts of so many South Africans.
We were a group of five that started and vowed to end together. Through thick and thin, cramps, punctures and a lot of uphill walking by me, we managed to do it. The route is beautiful as you cross over streams and ride through thick forest. The volunteers and water points created a great atmosphere, and as I reached the last station I was assured it was downhill all the way. The route was well marked and made for great riding. Four falls later, many bruises and covered in mud, we smiled all the way to the finish line. Greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, the rest of the day was enjoyed by all. I truly loved every moment.
By 7am I was nervous, yet excited as I waited at the start line. After watching the ultra-marathon and marathon athletes struggle it out the day before, I had no idea what to expect in the Sabie half-marathon, driven by
This popular and fast growing sport has definitely captured my heart and Clarens on 5 May will see me there – tougher, better prepared and ready to bring it on! •
MTN XCM #3 Sabie Marathon Joys of a First Timer
By Janine De Gouveia
Its a big world, get out in it. Coming Soon..
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To paraphrase Henry Ford, any colour as long as its Black. Well Henry, times have changed and thank goodness for that. Thule’s incredibly stylish, functional and superbly-made Crossover range has been a huge hit since its launch in 2010 and now is available in some eye-catching new colours.
Available from dealers nationwide, to learn more visit www.thule.co.za 0861 184 853| Sport • 85 www.doitnow.co.za
Words by Cathy Loder Photos by Anthony Brummer
First and foremost is current S1 Champion Michael Kok (The Kokstar). This exciting rider won his first S1 supermoto title in 2011 and is hoping to repeat the feat this year. However, it won’t be easy as he will have his hands full with a crop of riders all after his number 1 plate. In contention are Kyle Smythe and Jason Munro from Natal, both very talented and with national race wins under their belts. Throw in the super-experienced Brett Bircher and there is a good chance that the title will head down to Shark country. Then there’s the three young riders from Gauteng, Grant Frerichs, Cam Petersen and current S3 Champion Kyle Brummer (unfortunately currently injured, but he will contest the latter part of the season), who are all in with a chance to cause some major upsets in the Premier classes. Finally add the Botha twins, Rudolf and Petrus, to the mix and we have a mouth-watering recipe for some sensational, high-quality racing. The new S2 class will feature up and coming junior riders Marco Ras and Brandon Brydges, who are moving up to the bigger bikes for the first time. The Tar class will once again be hotly contested by many of the riders already mentioned and tar specialists like Doug Lang and Jaco Gous, as well as any number of superbike riders that wish to come and play. With growing support in the Junior, Ladies, Masters and Grand Masters classes, a day at Supermoto is guaranteed to provide a real spectacle for spectators. Being close to the action makes for great viewing and at most circuits spectators can see the whole track, so it’s real easy to follow what’s going on. With such top-class racing venues and the now-famous umbrella girls adding a touch of class and glamour, Supermoto is going to be even bigger in 2012! DO IT NOW magazine will be bringing you all the drama and action for the entire year and all events will also be televised on SuperSport. But Supermoto SA is not just about the thrills and spills of racing, it is also an organisation with a big heart. In partnership with Stop Rhino Poaching, it collect funds at all the venues to help stop the senseless and barbaric killing of these magnificent creatures. Everyone is welcome, so come along and enjoy a great outing while supporting the fight against rhino poaching. •
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Welkom/Bloemfontein (venue tbc)
Oct 20 & 21 National
The Rock Raceway (Final)
Supermoto is an incredibly exciting form of motorcycle racing that encompasses road racing, motocross and flat track on one circuit, on one motorcycle. The motorcycles are generally motocross bikes that have been converted to run on slick tyres, with oversized front brake discs and slipper clutches. While some manufacturers make purposebuilt Supermoto models, the bikes range from 65cc two strokes for the juniors, up to 450cc four strokes for the seniors in the Premier classes. Circuits are a combination of dirt (30%) and tar (70%) and can be converted parking lots or go-kart circuits. Safety is paramount in this sport and riders wear a combination of leathers, full body armour and motocross kit to protect themselves. In South Africa there are classes for junior riders, from seven years old, up to Grand Masters classes with riders in their sixties seriously competing against each other. Lady riders have their own class and they are also allowed to compete against the men in the other classes. Seven classes carry full championship status under the auspices of World of Motorsport ZA (WOMZA), the local governing body to which Supermoto SA is affiliated. There is also an Open Club class that caters for newcomers to the sport. For more information visit www.supermotosa.co.za
Jason Munro - UTC Kawasaki Supermoto Team
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Words by Ben Melt Swanepoel Photos by various photographers
Greg Minnaar photo by Oneill
Mountain Bike Race Season Preview
By the time you read this, the 2012 mountain bike race season will be well under way and the first quarter of our domestic season will have been run. Those athletes that have worked hard since the ever shortening and incongruously named ‘off-season’ should have the results to show for it, while others will be anxious to warrant their sponsor’s investment in them. In short, the dog-eat-dog world of professional cycling will have had its opening act. 88 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
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But exactly how does the mountain bike season work? Which are the most important races and how does it all fit together? Mountain biking in its current guise consists principally of three disciplines:
Cross Country Racing (XCO)
The blue ribbon event of our sport and the only discipline with Olympic representation is cross country racing. This entails racing several laps around a short, technically demanding track with the winning time being in the region of 1 hour 45 minutes for men and 1 hour 30 minutes for the ladies. It is a spectator (and more importantly television) friendly sport and requires immense strength, skill, endurance and concentration from its participants. Burry Stander is currently South Africa’s best proponent of cross country racing, but there are a host of young guns just itching to follow in his footsteps.
Marathon Racing (XCM)
Then there is marathon racing where racers compete against each other over longer distances. Marathon races are predominantly run on an out-and-back course and endurance plays a much more significant role in the outcome of the contest. Any race less than 100km in length is considered a marathon and races longer than that are classed as ultra marathons. In South Africa the marathon format tends to be the most popular, while in Europe and the US there seems to be a better balance between the two.
Downhill Racing (DH)
Finally there is downhill racing, which requires enormous skill, specialised equipment and a complete disregard for personal welfare! Joking aside, these guys and gals tend to function on a whole different level and more often than not they fall into the X-generation of fearless, fun loving youths. South African Greg Minnaar has proven that one can be both downhill racer and consummate professional by being crowned as Downhill World Champion on more than one occasion, while having heaps of fun on the road to sporting success.
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All three disciplines have a World Cup series where racers travel the world to compete at different venues and are awarded points according to their finishing positions. Points are tallied at the end of the season and World Cup champions are duly crowned. In contrast, the World Championships are a once-off affair, with the respective winners on the day earning the right to wear the prestigious World Champion rainbow-banded jersey for the next 12 months. As a sport, cycling has its roots still firmly planted in the northern hemisphere, from where it originated. Despite the UCI’s (cycling’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale) best efforts to globalise the sport, the competitive calendar still revolves around the summer months of the northern hemisphere. The World Cup series of races are run from March to October, with the World Championships falling in September. This arrangement leads to most mountain bike racers structuring their seasons to peak during the corresponding period. More often than not racers will start logging the prerequisite long-base miles in December and January. February and March are reserved for some quality training and smaller races, which are used to fine tune form and equipment before the season really gets underway. From April to October racers tread a fine line between training, racing and recovery, while trying to peak for key events. When their last races are run in October, riders take a break for a few weeks before starting the cycle all over again. Southern hemisphere riders (think South Africa, Australia and New Zealand) often still have sponsor commitments and races during October, November and in January, meaning that there is less time for a proper off-season’s rest. Racers south of the equator also tend to race a lot more as the weather on this side of the thin blue line is much better suited to riding one’s bike. Contrary to popular belief, more isn’t necessarily better ... In colder climes cyclists are forced to do other sports, as riding your bike in the snow is all but impossible. In my experience this time off the bike is mentally refreshing and offers an opportunity to stay fit with different sports such as cross country skiing, while keeping the motivational powder dry for bike racing once the new season rolls around!
So where do Marc Bassingthwaighte and I fit into this extraordinary melange of races, seasons and athletes? Ever since Marc qualified an Olympic berth for Namibia at the upcoming London Games mountain bike race, he is solely focussed on cross country racing until the big date arrives in August 2012. All his preparation is geared towards being in the best possible condition, with the best possible equipment, once he steps onto the world stage at Hadleigh Park. In the meantime I will be focussed on a domestic race season, chasing results at everything from cross country to marathon races. It is a shotgun approach, with the theory being that if you fire enough bullets you will probably hit something. Of course I will be aiming this shotgun and not just wielding it blindly. C
In a way I suppose we will be hedging our bets with Marc taking careful aim and taking very deliberate shots, while I provide the ‘cover fire’ at anything that moves. We’re hoping this strategy works well for us and our sponsors who have come on board this year. And so while we head into the 2012 season with our gaze firmly fixed on garnering top results to warrant our current sponsor’s support of us, we will also be searching for a headline sponsor.
We look forward to the challenges ahead while giving our all to the challenges at hand! •
Given that both our long-time sponsorships fell away at the end of 2011, Marc and I have decided to band together in search of sponsors and race results for 2012 and beyond. At the time of writing this we have procured almost all the product sponsors needed to run our two-man team for the year, but have yet to sign a big name title sponsor for our 2012 race campaign. If this were motor sports, I suppose we would be referred to as privateers at this stage. The support from both within and outside the cycling industry has been incredible. Both Marc and I draw a lot of motivation from this and it fuels our competitive fire and inspires us to merit all the support. It feels like we are not just racing for ourselves, but also for all the industry members, friends and family that have stood by us in these testing times.
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Words by Steven Burnett Photos by Cherie Vale
It’s a lea p y e ar so get ju mping Could 20 12 be the year tha Racing ( t local A AR) fina dventur lly emer to t h e m ges from e ainstrea the mar m? I kno will loo g inal w some o k back a f the old t the ea age of AR rly 2000 salts , but I’m s as the not sur quality g o l de n e if ther events b e were a ack then s many as there are now .
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dition s the board, from sprints to long distance expe The local AR calendar is filling up quickly acros larity, popu in grow to nues conti biking try. Mountain style events, every month and around the coun entity to a non fringe ic lunat a from come has ng far exceeding road biking. Organised trail runni some lengths clogging up the calendar (before I get seriously jacked-up sport with events of all . And nce!) dista h lengt crazy trail events are of the heat on this, almost all the long-established ors outdo ise exerc to want le Peop . ands their thous off-road multi-sport events draw entrants in d poise is . AR meets all these requirements and and have more than just a simple trail to follow more of a challenge.ď€´ for further growth amongst those looking for
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At the sharp end of the sport, our two premier teams did the country proud at the 2011 World Champs in Tasmania. Merrell Adventure Addicts and Team Cyanosis have been in this game in various forms for ages, with one or two international campaigns per year. With both finishing in the top 10 (and in real contention for the top five) there is no doubt that world-class skill and expertise does exist in this country. The sprint market has been healthy for a few years now, but the craving for longer events has seen quite a few additions to the calendar. Being Cape based, I’m particularly excited about the new offerings around our parts. Gauteng has always had lots of races, but there seems to be a dearth of events in the KZN region. However, with an increase in schools events I’m certain this gap will soon be filled. One series to look out for on the calendar is the Western Cape ADventure (WCAD) Series, with five races scheduled in 2012 and all offering 60/120km course options to entice the novice and test the experienced racer. As one of four partners in the newly launched WCAD Series, we see ourselves as part of the movement towards growing the sport of adventure racing to a greatness we know South Africans are capable of. The WCAD Series will also provide a good base for those wanting to tackle the new and exciting Quantum Leap 250km expedition race in August. It is the brain child of Ugene Nel from Quantum Adventures and is no ordinary race; it’s a real adventure in a place that has never had an adventure race of this sort before. Ugene has got Trevor Ball involved too, and as they’ve been together for a long time on both sides of the race course, you can expect a quality event. For safety reasons, this race won’t accept total beginners and finishing a WCAD long race will count as qualifying.
In the middle of all of this is the big one – Expedition Africa. After a very successful launch event in 2011 we can expect this one to go wild. The Kinetic team is behind this event and their extensive racing knowledge over the past 10 years ensures that this will be another top-notch event. The cherry on the top is the inclusion of the AR World Series, which after just one event is a real stamp of approval from the authorities. This will undoubtedly attract a large field of international teams to Port Alfred, where the event starts and finishes. It’s a big one – 500km and it’s in early May. I suggest you start practising asking for directions in isiXhosa. I’ve had to leave out a few as there just isn’t space (yes there are more distance events out there!), but the one common thread running through these events is the affordability of it all. They are all well priced races that will definitely deliver value for your race fees. As the market has been quite a small and niche one, it has always battled to attract the big sponsors that in turn bring in large fields, decent prize purses and media attention. The tide here could be changing; and everything from quality race photos, race course videos (who doesn’t have a GoPro these days?) to professional event TV coverage are becoming the norm rather than the exception. There is only one thing left to say, and it really comes down to one person – you the reader. Are you going to be the person who watches 2012 unfold as the year of adventure racing or are you going to be a part of it? There will be some who hung up their cleats years ago and are yearning to get back into it, and others who always thought that it just seemed too hard(core). If you’ve got a semi-functional mountain bike then you’re halfway there – all that’s left is to find a friend and put a team together. The only way we’ll see the 2013 calendar looking just as full as the current one is if you get out there, put on a race bib and become an adventure racer supporting those who’ve put their time and effort into organising these races. Using past experience for guidance, I can almost guarantee you’ll have fun in the process too. •
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Words by & Photos by Ugene Nel
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Mountain Trail Run A one-of-a-kind mountain trail race The Oorlogskloof Mountain Trail Run (26 MaY) is no ordinary race. Not only are the 42km and 18km races challenging, but the route through the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve is spectacular and steeped in history. Winding its way through deep gorges, across towering cliffs and plateaus covered in the vivid colours of the Cape Sugarbush and large Waboom trees, the route passes massive rock pillars, caverns, rock arches, ancient rock art and even an ancient burial site near Suikerboschfontein. The 42km and 18km Oorlogskloof Mountain Trail Run races are the second running events in the Quantum Country Classic series. Both start and finish at Groot Tuin, situated at the reserve’s entrance and 16km outside Nieuwoudtville. Due to the technical nature of the 42km route, this race is not recommended for novice/beginner off-road runners, who should rather enter the 18km run. The 18km route, also known as the ‘Rietvlei’ day hike, follows the first six kilometres of the longer 42km run. At this point the long run veers off up and onto the plateau, while the shorter run follows the Rietvlei River trail, which is flanked by the familiar sand stone cliffs prevalent in the Oorlogskloof Reserve. It’s very likely that runners will spot the elusive Cape Mountain zebra in this valley. On our first scouting trip, Cape leopard tracks crossed our path on two occasions! After the 12km mark, the route veers sharply north and passes two rock art sites – a worthwhile visit! It then contours through a few south facing, indigenous forest gulleys before reaching the higher plateau. The geology changes and the vegetation is vastly different from the Rietvlei Valley as you make your way back to Groot Tuin. It’s simply magnificent! The 42km route follows a variety of hiking trails as it meanders between rock formations toward the edge of Saaikloof before descending and then almost immediately ascending toward Spelonkop. Four kilometres after the start runners will reach Brakwater and this is where you’ll
find fresh water. The track then crosses the Oorlogskloof River and for the next three kilometres runs on a contour below the cliffs, before dropping down to the river. The normal hiking trail continues on the left bank toward Eland se Kliphuis, but the runners will cross the river at this point. The trail now runs on the opposite bank and in the opposite direction, back towards Groot Tuin, for just short of two kilometres before swinging away and into the Rietvlei Valley. Twisting and turning into valleys and onto plateaus and escarpments, the trail traverses numerous rock arches and passes through narrow cracks in rocks and cliffs. The variety is simply relentless, with pristine beauty and views to match. There are plenty natural rock shelters along the route, as well as five locations where three-man tents are erected in case of an emergency or freak weather. Cell phone reception is sketchy in high lying areas, especially on the south and east sides of the Oorlogskloof from around the halfway mark to the finish. Many decades ago, pioneer farmers in the area used donkeys to transport Rooibos Tea from the mountains to lower ground. When they left, they also left their donkeys behind. They have become wild and runners may spot two or more in the area between Doltuin and Granaatdraai, as well as some Cape Mountain zebra, especially in the Pramkoppie region. A rare sighting is that of the Red Rock rabbit up on the plateau. As the route is in a wilderness area and very remote, participants need to team up in pairs and they must run and finish together. The area is described and listed as ‘pristine’ and runners will, in every sense, experience a unique adventure!
❱❱ About Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve is situated 16km south of Nieuwoudtville, between Vanrhynsdorp and Calvinia. The reserve comprises of 4776 hectares of mountains, which have been dissected by a deep river gorge that is 500m or wider in places, through which the Oorlogskloof River flows. The river carves its way through a thin layer of Table Mountain sandstone and quartzite to expose the softer floor formations such as limestone, shale and frit. It is inhabited by three endangered fish species that are endemic to the river system, namely the Sawfin, Clanwilliam Yellowfish and Clanwilliam Sandfish. More common species such as the Chubbyhead Minnow are also found thriving in the river.
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The San tribe lived in the area until around 1740, depending on food found in the wild and, to a lesser extent, fishing and hunting. Khoi Hottentots also lived in the area and both tribes are indigenous inhabitants of the Cape. Unlike the San, the Khoi did not inhabit the mountainous regions, but instead lived on the plains as can be seen from their many rock paintings found in the reserve. The colonists were obliged to supply the Hottentots, who were primarily livestock farmers, with water and pasture land. These colonists enlarged their herds by various methods ranging from bartering to blatant theft. The taking and retaking of livestock by both sides came to a head in 1739 and led to war in the region of Oorlogskloof. This is how the area achieved its name; ‘oorlog’ is Afrikaans for war and ‘kloof’ is a gorge. The Knersvlakte, also referred to as the Knegsvlakte, is a region of gently rolling, hilly terrain covered with quartz gravel in Namaqualand, just north west of the Bokkeveld Mountains near Nieuwoudtville. The name is thought to be derived from the gnashing of teeth caused by the hard quartz stones as they are travelled over in a wagon. Although some also believe it derived its name from the word ‘Kneg’, which means ‘servant’ in Dutch.
❱❱ The hiking trails Apart from the 42km and 18km mountain runs that take place annually, there are numerous fantastic hiking trails to explore. A map along with all the route options and detailed information is supplied when you obtain your permit from the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve’s office in Nieuwoudtville. The maximum group size is 30 hikers and the minimum is three adults. Special arrangements can be made for larger groups. Hikers must be fit as the terrain is rugged and inhospitable, and be prepared for extreme weather conditions. Each campsite along the trails has five tents that can accommodate three people in each. The starting point of the trails is at Groot Tuin, at the entrance to the reserve, which can accommodate 44 people. Camping is also allowed. Candle lights, stretchers, a long drop toilet and lapa with picnic tables and chairs complete the facilities. At the time of writing this article, they were busy working on a sustainable fresh water supply and building basic hot water shower facilities. When I scouted the different route options for the 42km Oorlogskloof Mountain Trail Run, which takes place in May, the scenery was a sensory overload and I simply gawked at the relentless, untouched beauty. Except for my hiking partner, I did not see another soul for four days!
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There are various routes available: One day circular routes ❱❱ Leopard Trap Day Hike - 15.5km (6-9 hours) ❱❱ Rietvlei Day Hike - 17.9km (7-10 hours) ❱❱ Sailor Day Hike - 5.2km (2-3 hours)
Four to seven day circular routes ❱❱ Rock Pigeon Route - 52.2km (4-5 days) ❱❱ Rameron Pigeon Route - 52.4km (4-7 days) Drinking water can be obtained from the Oorlogskloof River, springs and seasonal water in rock pools found on the mountain, and swimming along the trails is allowed. All the routes are clearly marked by clay tiles or wooden signs, and are demarcated with cairns where necessary. The trails provide breathtaking views over the Oorlogskloof River Canyon and Knersvlakte. Amazing Table Mountain sandstone rock formations, San paintings and a gurgling spring all add to the magical experience. The Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora, like Cape Mountain zebra, springbok, leopard and the newly discovered Afrika Clivia.
Nieuwoudtville is 349km from Cape Town and offers a range of accommodation options. A place worth checking out is a historic Cape Dutch old farmhouse in Sewefontein that sleeps about 10 people and www.papkuilsfontein.co.za. If you prefer to stay at Oorlogskloof, the basic facilities at Groot Tuin are perfect! Did you know? The town of Nieuwoudtville is home of the largest succulent nursery in Africa.
For more information on the 42km and 18km trail run races, entering and directions, visit www.quantumadventures.co.za or Quantum Adventures Events Facebook page. Participants must ensure that they have a permit from the office before the start of the race or hike! •
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 99
to get it
In the past two years my articles have focused mainly on equipment and whatâ€™s available from the shops. In 2012 I will be concentrating on the most important piece of paddling equipment; your body. 100 â€˘ DO IT NOW April | May 2012
Words by Deon Breytenbach
Most paddling injuries can be avoided, or the severity lessened, by stretching, warming up, strengthening key support muscles and using the correct techniques. I won’t bore you with detailed descriptions of the various stretches you should perform because you’ve most likely read about this in other articles. But if you are really unsure you can email me for details, or simply Google it.
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Stretching should start from the bottom and you work your way upwards. So starting at your toes, move up to the feet and ankles, doing roll overs to the front and sides. Then do calf stretches that not only work for your calves, but also the tendons running down to your feet. Next move up to the hamstrings and quads, and from there you need to get your inner thigh tendons and hip flexors loose. Progressing up to your torso, you need to move forwards and backwards to loosen abdominal and spinal muscles, especially in your lower back and side abdominals, then the pectorals and back shoulder muscles. From here take some time to really get your rotator cuff muscles going (the little guys holding your shoulder joints in place) and then progress to your arms for some forearm, hand and finger stretches. Lastly, your neck muscles are crucial and must not be forgotten because if you can’t look over your shoulder, for example, you will only be able to see where you are going and not check back to see how your buddies are doing. Now that you have stretched, it’s time to get onto the water and do some warm up exercises. These will take about 30 minutes, but once you get the hang of them you’ll get them done in 10 to 15 minutes. Start off with 10 sweep rolls on each side. Focus on doing the first five nice and slowly, and then get into the correct forward tuck setup for the remaining five sweeps. Try to do each one a bit faster, with more power/snap to get your muscles pumped and refresh their memory. If you can only roll on one side, do 10 and then get a buddy to spot you so that you can try at least five rolls on your off side. If you can do more than one roll, do the above exercise with the roll you use most often and finish off with three sweep rolls. This helps to ensure that you are physically ready for going upside down and is also a bit of a mental thing, reminding your brain that going upside down is ok. To get some heat going you now need to paddle backwards. Start with four backwards strokes and then on the fifth stroke do a reverse sweep to your right hand side to turn your kayak, while keeping your kayak on edge in the direction of your turn during this warm up. Keep on doing this until you have come around in a full circle. This
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should work out to about five sweep strokes. Continue with this exercise, but this time do the sweep strokes on the left. Focus on doing them slowly and deliberately so that you can feel your core muscles doing the work and not your shoulders and arms. Once you have done a right and left circle, do the same exercise but as fast as possible in both directions. By the end of this exercise you should feel a bit of a burn or tingle in your shoulders, as well as in your hips from edging. Now repeat this exercise, but with forward strokes so that you do four strokes sweep on the right and keep the circle going, and remember to keep your kayak on edge. Then do a left and right circle, nice and deliberately, plus another set as fast as possible. If the river you are warming up on is very narrow and you don’t have enough space for a circle with five sweep strokes, then make smaller circles, but do two or three circles so that it still works out to be at least five slow sweeps and five fast sweeps. Finish your warm up with a 30-stroke sprint, first backwards and then forwards. The first 10 strokes should be at full tilt, the next eight at medium pace and the last 12 progressively slower with you focusing on getting your torso rotating so that your leading hand (the one busy with the stroke) is never behind your shoulders.
In the upcoming issues I will look at specific body parts that most often bother us paddlers. •
Our camp was completely destroyed by the recent floods in the Blyde Canyon/Hoedspruit area, so if you contacted me during January or February and I didn’t respond it’s because our office is now somewhere in the river between us and Maputo. However, we are back up and running, so feel free to get hold of me for any help, advice or just a chat about a river.
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Words by Hannele Steyn
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At first compression was used on an injury like a muscle bruise or as a massage technique. More recently a large number of companies have started manufacturing a range of compression clothing including tights, socks and vests to name a few, which work to enhance an athlete's performance. Research has proven that compression garments not only assist after exercising or racing, but during it too. When these garments first came on the market we saw the pros in these funny looking 'tight' tights after their races, and now everybody is wearing them. From my experiences compression garments definitely work during and after exercise, as well as when you travel. Accordingly to the latest research compression pants can be worn during exercise and for a minimum period of 90 minutes after exercise. Adidas, one of the world’s leading sport garment manufacturers, came up with a type of compression pants that assist the muscles in certain target points, but there are a few other manufacturers that specialises in full compression garments, namely Rocket/MEDAC (one of the leaders on this front), Linebreak and Second Skins, which also make a range of other sportswear.
The benefits of compression wear include: ❱❱ Increased oxygen transported to the muscles ❱❱ Reduced muscle vibration ❱❱ Speeded-up recovery in damaged muscles ❱❱ Increased endurance and efficiency in working muscles ❱❱ Assistance with body temperature control ❱❱ Reduced risk of sports injuries But beware of imitations! For a graded compression garment to be classified as Grade 1, according to the people at Rocket, it needs to generate 11-20mmHg pressure on one’s skin and more importantly, it needs to be gradual; tighter at the bottom than the top. So while there appears to be many benefits associated with using compression garments, caution should be taken when choosing the correct compression garment for your sport to ensure it provides enough pressure to promote venous return. •
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NOW 106 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
// in THE HOLE: In the Land of Rock and Sand // inGEAR: In Review: Amarok, Nissan & Volvo - Be pleasantly surprised! // inNATURE: Great Fishing in the Great Fish River * Olifants River Backpacking Trail – A Hiker’s Journal, part 2 // inTRANSIT: A love affair with India // inDULGE: Recipes: English Kedgeree Brunch and Fresh Mango Salsa // inSURE: Is your Trust Trustworthy? // inTERTAINMENT: Music, Movie and Game Reviews // inFOCUS: SHOOT! A Book - Telling Photo Stories // inVOLVED: The fish don't stand a chance * A Survival Guide to Life in South Africa - The Tough Guy’s Hierarchy of Needs, part 2
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francois van der Elst DESCRIPTION: Majestic elephants of the Tanzanian Northern Circuit.
Words by Michael Scholz Photos by various photographers
in THE HOLE:
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In the Land of Rock and Sand A flight to Dubai and a short 345km connector delivered me to an unlikely, eye-opening golf location … Muscat, Oman. My expectations were nil when I first got the email to perform one of my trick shot shows at an event for many of Oman’s business CEOs and high society, and I was certain that the enquiry wouldn’t materialise into more than a few mails back and forth. So when the booking confirmation arrived, startled and unprepared, I rummaged around for my passport to check that the expiry date hadn’t passed already. Luckily it was still good for a few more exotic trips and the visa stamps from last year’s visits to Zambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia hadn’t taken up all the space between the covers.
So off to Oman it was!
After watching four in-flight movies, due to the fact that I had a seat invader (someone who is intent on sitting on your seat as well as theirs), I arrived in Muscat and was pleasantly surprised to find the architecture beautiful, the streets superbly clean and the per capita number of Ferraris and fancy Italian cars cruising the streets well in excess of that in Monaco! It was the middle of winter so the desert temperature was at an icy cold 38°C, about double the temperature of a London heat wave. The Sultan of Oman runs the land with great pride and precision, ensuring that his population of around three million locals and seven hundred thousand expats maintain a credible living standard. His 166-metre long yacht (more like a ship) shows he is a man of taste and style, and he wishes the same for his nation.
But back to the golf ...…
Arriving at Muscat Hills Country Club, the estate's guardhouse is lavish and set amongst the harsh desert terrain of sand and rock. Not a blade of grass or green anywhere. Passing through the gate however reveals a championship course worthy of a place on any golf resort postcard, anywhere in the world. Lush green rolling fairways sculpted into a desert canvas, with palm trees defining the difference between golfing bliss and certain destruction of your golf equipment if you attempt a swing from the rocks and sand. Wow! I was not the only South Africa here though. The club is managed by a wellrespected South African golf custodian, Ray Stopforth, whose son, Warren, claims the responsibility for keeping the course green and manicured to tournament standards. Now, my job was not to play golf. I had come to entertain and share another side of golf with the Omani golfers … the fun side! After the day’s play, the 250 guests gathered around and my Madiba introduction went down well. An hour later, I had 250 new friends with a common interest. Golf and having fun!
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The evening function was far beyond anything I have ever been involved with. Lights, cameras, action and loads of extravagance! There were illusionists from Czechoslovakia, dancers from Dubai and a golfer MC from the Republic of South Africa! Big screens, laser lighting and an Arabian night fresh out of a story book. All that was missing were the camels. I didn’t even see one lousy desert donkey in all of my three days there. They had probably migrated south to get out of the cold? Muscat itself was incredible! The Grand Mosque’s magnificence must be closely comparable to that of the Taj Mahal. Eight thousand people pray there daily, with tourists only being allowed to visit before and after the Muslim prayer times. Every international hotel group is represented! Eateries included recognised names like McDonalds and Starbucks, although I ate at a 'Roadside Diner' outlet and had one of the 64 different types of burgers they had on offer. The streets were safe to walk as well, not like Jo'burg where a few steps in the city centre at night would probably be your last! Here the only hazard for walking out there is the odd Ferrari throwing 350 horses between the traffic lights! After the event, I got to play at Muscat Hills and was very impressed with the layout and design. My playing partner, international leadership consultant and motivational speaker John Mitchell (not the Lions Rugby coach), shared my verdict, but triumphed over my lacklustre golfing performance on the 17th hole to grab the bragging rights. No gambling is allowed in Oman, so I simply bought him a drink at the 19th to mark his massive victory. As it was after 14h00, a Heineken sealed the deal! Three days down and time to head back home. Short and sweet, but I got to really appreciate Oman’s friendly people, warm hospitality and a golfing environment worth writing about. With any luck, I’ll visit this piece of desert paradise again soon.
Man, Oman! What a place! Golf in the gulf is in great shape! • 110 • DO IT NOW April | May 2012
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www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 111
Words & Photos by Francois Steyn
Be Pleasantly Surprised
Amarok 4x2 2.0 TSi When the VW Amarok was launched in South Africa you initially only had a choice between two diesel engines. Last year VW introduced the 2.0 TSi, delivering a healthy 118 kW and 300 Nm of torque, not bad for a two litre. This is the entry level Amarok and it's only available in 4x2, but it still has ABS, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) and traction control as standard safety features, as well as cruise control, hill start assist and an Electronic Differential Lock (EDL). I know the 4x4 Amarok is super capable in serious off-road situations, but how well would the 4x2 do? I took it on a weekend getaway to Porterville where I put it to the test on the Waterfall 4x4 route. This eight kilometre sandy route includes a series of obstacles, ranging from blind rises to crossaxle ditches and sand pits. The 4x2 Amarok had enough ground clearance for all but the sharpest crests, where the underbelly scraped the soft sand off the tops. The approach and departure angles were also more than adequate for all that I threw at it. There is a sturdy steel bash plate under the front independent suspension and no running boards that need to be removed before playing about. When venturing off the tar you need to switch to off-road mode. This can be done on the fly and it re-programmes the
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ABS to allow the rear wheels to lock up for a brief moment on gravel roads. This ensures a shorter stopping distance than normal ABS systems. When in off-road mode, your current speed is held on a steep descent, and this is not done via engine braking as is the case with low range. The wheels are individually braked, so you don’t need to go near the brake or clutch pedal. Initially I struggled to get over the sandy obstacles, as I forgot to engage the diff-lock and switch off the ESP. If you don’t switch off the ESP it brakes the wheels as soon as wheel-slip is detected. A very strange feeling when driving in thick sand. I only realised this when I got stuck good and proper and couldn't understand why I wasn't able to get it moving again. As soon as the rear wheel started spinning I could easily rock the Amarok free. I was very impressed with the 4x2 Amarok’s capabilities and even more so with the comfort on the open road. The interior looks and feels like a passenger car, and it is so well sound proofed that it feels as if you’re doing 80 at 120 km/h. There is enough legroom in the rear and the load bay is the biggest in its class. The small engine helps with frugality, which means you can do over 800 km on the 80-litre fuel tank. At R307 400 it is very good value compared to a mid-sized family sedan. The price includes a 5 year/90 000 km service plan as well.
Volvo V60 T3 vs. D3 Volvo has long had the reputation of being an old man’s car. Safety first. No excitement please. Nowadays they are driven by sexy young vampires in Twilight movies and the little C30 and XC60 are appealing to the hip and trendy.
next ratio for another push into the back of your seat. It is very addictive and still returned 16 km/l, compared to the T3’s 10 km/l with a much more sensible driving style. I don’t normally prefer diesels over petrol engine, but in this case there’s no contest.
The V60, with the 'V' indicating 'versatility', is what Volvo likes to call a sports wagon. Their reasoning is that it doesn’t behave, perform or look like your typical station wagon. I drove the V60 T3, which is propelled by a 1.6-litre petrol turbo and inspires a very relaxed driving style. Not because it’s slow (it has 110 kW and 240 Nm), but as a result of the stigma of Volvo's estate cars that was still stuck in my mind. Another reason is the super comfy interior with its stylish trim and sleek design. Everything in here is a piece of art, from the floating centre console to the leather-clad steering wheel. I never felt like thrashing it and happily plodded along at a 110 km/h, just enjoying being in the electrically adjustable leather memory seat.
The interior is ergonomically well laid out, with remote audio and cruise control on the steering wheel. The centre console is slightly turned towards the driver and houses the dual zone climate control and heated seat switches. You can pair your phone to the audio system using blue tooth, adding to safety features such as ABS, EBD, EBA, Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC) and City Safety, which executes an emergency stop when detecting an obstacle in front of the car at town driving speeds. I did not test the latter.
Getting into the D3 afterwards, I thought it was going to be even more soothing, but I was very wrong. The 400 Nm that the 1 984 cc turbo diesel generates is available from as low as 1 500 r/min and the 120 kW will get you to a claimed top speed of 220 km/h. The massive surge of torque entices you to pull away much faster than you need to and for the first time I took notice of the slick changing 6-speed gearbox. You reach the drop of the torque curve (around 3 000 r/min) fairly quickly, after which you grab the
The list of standard features is endless and includes autolevelling headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, home safe lighting and front side marker illumination. It looks good from every angle, especially from the inside where you are going to spend most of your time. The interior can be tailored to your taste, with custom colour combinations for the leather upholstery, dashboard top and upper door panels, lower door panels, lower dashboard and tunnel console, as well as the door inserts and floor mats. The 5 year/100 000 km Volvo service plan is standard on all models. Expect to pay R330 100 and R371 900 for the V60 T3 and D3 respectively.
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Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta vs. Suzuki Jimny 1.3 Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta
I don’t know what it is, but the new Micra looks so much better than the previous one. The little 1.2-litre petrol engine is nippy around town and although you can hear the engine at higher revs, it doesn’t sound like you’re killing it. All this makes the small bubble fun to drive, and I still read 18.6 km/l on the digital display, in the centre of the speedometer, despite some spirited driving. The interior is somewhat toy like, especially the centre console which looks like a frog, but the on-board computer showing average fuel consumption, range left and outside temperature is a welcome surprise. And so is all the standard equipment. For a small car like this, it's packed to the hilt with safety and comfort features. It has ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), BAS (Brake Assist System), driver-, passenger- and side airbags, as well as ISOFIX child seat anchors. On the comfort side it has remote central locking, front electric windows, electric power steering, air conditioning and a built-in RDS radio. The Micra might sound (and look) small from the outside, but there is enough space for real people in the rear and the boot is larger than you’d expect. The rear seats can also fold forward to expand the usable luggage room. There is a range of funky colours available and I quite liked the active blue. At R132 200 you get a lot of car for your cash and for R14 000 more you can now get a fume-sniffing 1.5-litre diesel.
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Suzuki Jimny 1.3
The legendary Suzuki SJ410s and SJ413s are still sought after today and the prices keep going up if you can find a standard specimen. One of the reasons they are so popular is its serious off-road ability. It has solid front and rear axles, and is a 4x4 with a low range transfer case. It is also light, short and has very little front and rear overhang. The only drawback was instability at highway speeds. This is why you see so many of them with an A-frame attached to the front because they were normally towed to the holiday destination behind a camper van. The Jimny was a huge success when it was launched in SA almost four years ago and still is today. You can’t help smiling when driving past one. It is still extremely capable in the tough stuff, which it proved on a trip to the West Coast. I never even needed to engage four high. And on my way there it proved to be very comfortable at 120 km/h, still returning around 11 km/l despite the boxy shape. It is still very small and with the rear seat in place there’s not much room left in the luggage area, but I’ve recently seen a couple camping in the Transkei with their Jimny and THREE kids. They had a Thule roof carrier, but no trailer. The character and charm is still very much alive, but now has air conditioning, ABS brakes and two airbags in the front. If it wasn’t for the R192 900 price tag I’d have ordered mine immediately. •
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ww ww ww . j .oj oddyyssttyyrree ss ..ccoo. z. za a www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 115
Words by Alan Hobson Photos courtesy of Angler & Antelope
in the Great Fish River Our senses, sight, sound, smell and touch, develop a framework in which each individual finds their comfort zone, and these boundaries in turn construct our perceptions. From a fly fishing point of view the perception often is, what we cannot see, we think we cannot catch. Rather ironic as often you will hear anglers justify hours at the water fishing by saying, “It is not about catching as much as it is enjoying the outing.” Whilst it is very seldom that fly fishing takes one to nothing but spectacular surroundings, the success of catching something every now and then is definitely tonic that fuels the fetish. We have many kilometres of river systems in South Africa that appear murky, but hold thousands of fish, specifically our indigenous Yellowfish (Labeobarbus aeneus) and moggel (Labeo umbratus), as well as carp and barbel. These fish have managed to champion many river systems throughout South Africa and abound in the Great and Little Fish River systems. Agricultural practices along the river banks have resulted in the water carrying a lot of sediment. Those small particles suspended in the water appear dirty brown, but usually have
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some distance between them, offering some visibility. The fish that have adapted so successfully in these systems use this reduced visibility to their advantage and have developed an extremely fine-tuned sense of smell and movement. Generally we use flies tied with materials that offer little or no scent, and as fly fisherman we base our strategy pretty much on movement, size, shape and colour of the fly. Herein lies a bone of contention. Logically, if the fish are super sensitised to movement, then it would make sense to tie flies that offered as much movement as possible. In other words something very fluffy and fury like a bionic Woolly Bugger that incorporates Hackle (feathers from hens or cockerels), Zonker (rabbit or mink fur), fibrous feathers and rubber legs. The problem is, in reality, the insects that inhabit these waters are seldom fluffy and fury. Insects have to live and survive in the same water as the fish do. Their defence mechanism is camouflage, which is achieved through variegations and translucency by adapting to the colour of the environment. They don’t swim around as noisily as possible with flashing sirens screaming 'eat me'! It took me months of experimentation, designing many different fly patterns and returning from many outings not only having caught nothing, but reaching a designer's dead end.
One of the golden rules of fly fishing is to 'match the hatch'; use flies that look like those you observe moving around at the water's edge. Now take this philosophy a step further next time; enter the flowing water, pick up a medium-sized stone and turn it over. You will be astounded at what you find. Many insects’ life cycles revolve in and around water. On the underside of rocks you will find larvae and nymphs, observe their size, shape and colour. It is these insects that become dislodged by the flowing water and are also vulnerable when hatching in the water from one stage of the life cycle to the next, which provide daily sustenance for fish. The moral of the story, 'go natural as often as you can'. You will catch the occasional fish on attractor patterns, but not consistently. The trick of the trade is to stick to the basics and golden rules; find the food, find the fish and then match the hatch. A typical technique for targeting Yellowfish and moggel in these waters is upstream nymphing. This entails using #5/6 weight rod with a floating line and a nine foot leader. Attach a strike indicator to the top of your leader and, based on the strength of the water flow, attach a weighted fly at the point of the leader. If a single fly at the point
of your leader leaves you feeling a little insecure then fix about two feet of tippet to the base of the hook of your point fly and tie an unweighted nymph on the end, New Zealand dropper style. The heavier fly will bounce along the bottom of the river bed while the unweighted fly will hover just off the bottom as if dislodged from the rocks. If you see no fish moving that does not mean there are no fish there just because the water is dirty brown. One doesn’t usually observe too much surface activity, so scout the whole area. A good place to start would be an area downstream where there are rocks, called riffles, and the water is a little deeper and flowing a little slower. Present your flies upstream towards the fast bubbly water, the riffle. Pull any slack line in until the strike indicator moves every time you strip, this way you remain in contact with the fly. Your indicator should be drifting at the same speed as the water. If the indicator moves in any unusual manner, pauses, or even if you have a sixth sense there might be something there, do a strip strike. If there is nothing there, your flies remain in the water and continue their natural drift. If there is a reaction, lift your rod tip AND let the games begin! •
Tel: 042 243 3440 Fax: 086 671 6146 Cell: 082 375 4720
WILD FLY FISHING IN THE KAROO SOMERSET EAST
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Words by Marie von Bargen Photos by Debbie Upton & Marie and Eddie von Bargen
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Olifants River Backpacking Trail A Hiker’s Journal Part 2 In the last issue of DO IT NOW, I described my first two days of the Olifants Backpacking Trail through the Kruger Park and the incredible encounters experienced. I now pick up on the trail of my last two memorable days.
DAY THREE Just before our guide Jannie woke us at 04h30, our worst fears were realised! It had started to thunder and the sky was streaked with lightning. The heavens opened and it poured so hard that we didn’t dare leave the protection of our tents while trying to pack up our gear inside. With the rain showing no signs of abating, Jannie chased us to get the tents down as the river was rising quickly. The rain had also turned the water murky so there was no way of seeing where the crocodiles were lying in wait. Still raining, we left at 05h40 and marched along quietly towards the nearest point to cross over. We came across a lone hippo leaving the river and we were all on guard, waiting to see which way it was headed because it had seen us and was giving us the beady eye. Hans, one of our guides, quickly moved us to a safe area and issued instructions on what to do if the hippo charged us. This was turning out to be quite a tense situation. Jannie
loaded his rifle and we waited to see what the hippo would do. It then left the water and walked into the bush, leaving us between the water's edge and hippo – this was even worse. We waited in silence and obeyed every instruction from the guides as we slowly walked past the area where the hippo was last seen. Again Jannie took his loaded rifle with as he waded into the river to assess whether it was safe. Thankfully it had stopped raining and he finally found a place that was only ankle deep and safe to cross. Walking across two by two, we made it to the northern bank and had some breakfast while waiting for our pulse rate to return to normal. When we walked through a dense tree area later, there was a small crocodile head lying in the pathway. The guides told us that it had most likely been eaten by a Fish Eagle and I was amazed that a bird of prey could eat such a large, tough croc! A little further along we took off our backpacks and followed Jannie to the top of a rocky outcrop, strewn with quartz crystal and lots of mica. Animals, birds and now the brilliant geology of the Kruger Park first-hand, something else you don’t get to appreciate when driving through the park. We spent quite a bit of time there, enjoying the 360 degree view before heading down for another snack break. After the rain it was lovely to see the sun again – yay! Although the sun came and went, the fierce humidity remained and we were sweating like pigs.
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We continued in the heat, the sun beating mercilessly down on us, and were surprised to arrive at our overnight stop at 11h30 after only having completed another 11 kilometres. Shedding our packs, we took refuge under a huge Sycamore Fig tree where the temperature was 36 degrees - in the shade! A rainy start to the day had turned out to be a blistering heat wave! We all went straight to the river and lay in the cool shallow water for an hour before heading back to the shade for lunch. While some hikers took a nap under the tree, the rest of us returned to the river for another swim. A short while later a small herd of buffalo came to drink, a mere 200 metres from where we were lying in the water. It was such a great feeling to be so relaxed and in tune with the bushveld and animals in it. An enormous herd of elephant, with many babies, also came down to the same spot to drink and actually chased the buffalo away. We got out of the water and walked along the opposite bank to get closer to them, sitting there for an hour or so taking photos – it was truly surreal, a highlight of the hike! Afterwards we had another swim and then Jannie took us for a walk, stopping at a nearby pan that had one lone hippo bull in it. The guides were very nervous, insisting we keep absolutely quiet so that we didn’t disturb this fellow, who was enjoying the pan all to himself. We continued for another two kilometres to the top of a hill and admired the expanse of the Kruger Park from a completely unique angle, as compared to the routine tourist perspective. Returning to our campsite, we had another swim and then started our supper and tent routine for one last time. As it grew darker, it was amazing to lie on the grass and look up at the star-strewn sky and listen to the sounds emanating from the bush. The mood around the fire was sombre, knowing that the hike would end the next day. Another warm night followed and I realised that I hadn’t used my sleeping bag once on this hike, it was way too humid.
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DAY FOUR As it was our last day we were allowed to ‘sleep in’ and only left camp at 07h00. Thankfully it was overcast and we wouldn’t have to endure another scorching day under the hot African sun, as we had the previous day. The rumbling thunder was followed by rain as we made our way to the top of a rocky outcrop, to watch the hippos in the pools below. We stayed there for almost two hours, savouring the last few hours of our hike. It was lovely to see some giraffe peering out from the trees and one of them even came down to the river, but it wasn’t too sure about our presence and left again. All too soon we were packing up and an hour later we met the pick-up vehicle, which was waiting for us with a full crate of cold beers!
There were bitter sweet emotions all around as we came to accept that this magnificent hiking experience was over! It was a 45-minute drive back to Olifants Camp, where we had a farewell drink on the deck that overlooked the Olifants River and reflected on the past four days. I felt a great sense of achievement to have had the privilege of exploring this park on foot and decided right there and then to book another trip for 2012 in a different part of the Kruger, with the same leaders! One life – live it! •
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Words & Photos by Kim Harrisberg
a love affair with India Coming home after a long trip is always a strange sensation, one which leaves you feeling slightly disorientated as you attempt to grapple with what you define as 'home' and what being 'homesick' really means.
I travelled to India for almost two months and after just more than a week of being home I still find myself waking up some mornings thinking I will step outside for what had become my standard breakfast of masala chai (spicy tea), chilli poppers (crunchy, batter-fried chillies), buri (a type of fried rice pita) and fresh fruit. My fellow diners were some of India's finest ... the crazed beggar women with an eye infection that one would not wish to observe whilst eating, the silent brooding salesman who would eye his food with contempt yet eat with much enthusiasm and the young school girls who would tentatively pick at their food before rushing off to class. Even though these weird and wonderful breakfasts were preceded by a cold bucket shower, I still find myself slightly oblivious to our western standards of 'normality'. The rustic and minimalistic nature of India captivated my heart and even now I am still unable to fully shake it. When people heard I was going to India their reactions were often similar, "Why India?" My reaction was often the same clipped response, "Why not?" For me, India was what I thirsted for at this stage of my life. It was difficult for some people to understand why I would want to subject myself to long-drops, ogling men and heart-wrenching poverty, but India was so, so much more than that. A day in India would confirm this fact to even the most cynical of travellers. And so I set off with three friends, Zoe, Naomi and Jade, a map of India with big, excited scrawls around the places we liked the sound of and an excessive amount of hand sanitizer. It did not take me long to understand the distinct line between a tourist and a traveller. Certain parts of India, mainly in the south, are like commercial honey pots to little tourist bears. Markets, westernised food and very loud trance music pave the way for a trail of conventionality, if one allows for it. But search a little deeper and India begins to unfold like an origami lotus flower, exposing people and places that will change the way you see yourself, and them.
This is an excerpt from an email I wrote home to my family after about two weeks of being in India, having sampled the contrasting and complementing Mumbai and Udaipur.
Things I have to say about India so far: 1. The cars have a whole language of their own made up of perpetual hooting, even when there is nothing at which to hoot. Lanes may exist in their physical form, but merely act as a type of road decoration between which to swerve one's tuk-tuk. 2. There is no 'yes' or 'no', merely a head wobble equivalent to the 'bobble heads' one puts on the dashboard of one's car. We realised this when we got on our 17-hour bus ride and asked, "Is this going to Udaipur?" *Head wobble* "Is this going to Afghanistan?" *Head wobble*. 3. The children of India have old faces, and their innocence has been stripped from the moment they put out their hands to you and mumble perfectly taught phrases to tweak at the heart strings of westerners. 4. Cows are considered holy here, and by that I mean they are allowed to freely munch on some fermenting garbage, while being avoided by deranged drivers. Very respected indeed. 5. India is still quite an untouched secret. So far, tourists have been few and far between. When we were surrounded by mesmerized males photographing us, as they were overwhelmed by the sight of Caucasian westerners, we realised this more than ever. 6. There is a madness here, maybe fuelled by the heat, the desperation or both, and it is with amazement that we began to realise the functioning sanity of this country; the placid ability of the cars to veer past one another when not even a needle would fit between them, the contentment with which beautiful women in bright saris take to the pavements, their beds at night, and the poverty, but with the void of violence. My parents, knowing that my nature craves uncertainty, adventure and being challenged so well, often needed reassurance that I would, in fact, be returning. My mother's words when I got off the Gautrain were, "You came back!" much to my amusement. I am an extremely patriotic South African and always knew I would get on my flight home, but this did not stop me from trying to extend my ticket.
Visiting India was on my bucket list, alongside hiking in the Himalayas. So, despite my tendency and desire for haphazard travelling, the hike was well organised before I hopped on the plane. This involved a nonchalant flip through the Lonely Planet pages, finding a reputable hiking company and sending them an email with my dates of travel and deepest hiking desires. Simple! After spending a week in the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh, my Australian friend and I worked our way further north, despite the excessive and panicked warnings from fellow travellers that we would freeze our butts off up there. We assured them that we had come prepared, with thermal underwear, thick socks and gloves suited for the North Pole. When we arrived in magical Manali, we were wearing everything we had in our backpacks, except our bikinis. It was bitterly cold, but when we saw some local men wearing sandals with a meager blanket draped around their shoulders, we realised that the warnings we had received were based largely on travel paranoia. As the sun came out, we slowly peeled off our many layers. Gawking at the Pine trees that were scattered over the snow-capped mountains, we understood why Manali is called 'little Switzerland'. To think that this beautiful place was in the same country as the intensely invasive Mumbai was a mind-bending thought. And so we proceeded to fall deeply in love with Manali. We walked the streets and were the only tourists around because the majority had fled to the swarming beaches of Goa. We spent a day getting to know and appreciate the child-like charm of the town. Tibetan peace flags could be seen flying high, decorating houses, bridges and trees. We speculated about whether it was municipal policy that houses are painted in only the brightest and happiest colors, but soon discovered that this was a distinct characteristic of Manalians and their simple satisfaction with finding beauty in both things trivial and profound. ď€´
We began our hike with a local guide, Puran, who knew the Himalayan mountains as well as young Indian girls know the words to the latest Bollywood songs. We hiked through villages where the local women peered at us between busily-milked cow udders, swift broomstick sweeps and knitting needles as they knitted traditional Manalian socks, essential for the cold and beautiful in their eclectic and complex patterns. As we hiked through the villages, sweating and panting from the upward climb, old ladies walked past us carrying massive bunches of branch cuttings, their wrinkled faces not even showing a sign of fatigue. The contrast between our lives was striking.
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We were blessed at temples and continued hiking with the traditional red blessing mark on our foreheads. We stopped at some of Puran's relatives along the way and were warmly welcomed by them before they quickly shuffled inside their modest homes to bring up cups of outrageously sweet chai, which went down surprisingly well even on a hot and sweaty hike. When we reached the Solang Valley, where we spent the next three nights, we saw man's best attempt to mimic the Himalayan eagles that had accompanied us during the entire hike: paragliders. We decided that there was no way we were hiking through the Himalayas without trying it.
From left to right 1. Young Indian school girl. 2. Glimpsing the sun through the Pine trees of Manali. 3. The untainted view from the halfway mark of our day hike in Manali. 4. Naomi and I take in the sunset. 5. Drinking Masala Chai to defrost in the Himalayan cold. 6. Reaching the summit in Manali. 7. Bogart the snowman. 8. A local boy named Apu.
The hike was moderate, but challenging enough from both a physical and cultural level. Highlights included spending the evening with Puran's friends after a day of hiking and visiting beautiful waterfalls and ice temples. There we learnt the true meaning of the Indian saying, 'guests are god'. They insisted we stay for dinner and try some homemade rice wine and heaped helpings of their creamy gnocchilike desert, which was delicious and a little addictive. After this feast, we joined them and 11 other family members in celebrating their village festival, with blessings and cheerful singing. We stumbled back that night in the pitch dark and as we looked upwards, I saw some of the most lucid and breathtaking stars I have ever witnessed. The air was icy and the Pine trees enclosed us in a scented, comforting silence. I marvelled at where I was in this world. After our final hike, which culminated in ankle-deep powder snow and the building of Bogart the snowman, we headed back to the valley that had become our home for the past few days. Before descending, we took a deep breath and admired the mesmeric view. We listened as Puran pointed out various peaks that he had summited in the past, making our hike seem both trivial and humbling simultaneously. It undoubtedly left me thirsty to take on steeper slopes and higher summits.
The next day we took a 17-hour bus ride to Delhi and then an early morning tuk-tuk drive that left us shivering upon arrival at the airport. Apparently the driverâ€™s idea of air conditioning was not having any doors at all. We boarded our flight to Goa, in the south of India, and it was quite bizarre to find ourselves once again in the humid tourist hub of this country after feeling like a rare entity in Manali. Pangs of Himalayan homesickness struck us like 'Delhibelly' strikes the overconfident traveller.
And so when asked about some of my favorite places in India, the answer is almost too easy. Manali was not a simple place to get to, and had we heeded the advice of other travellers it would not have been a journey we made at all. I now know more than ever that: very rarely let others judge your own experience before you have had the chance to do so, and never ever take the easy way out - it is almost guaranteed to be substantially less exhilarating. â€˘
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Words by Chef Neil Ross Photos from www.shutterstock.com
ENGLISH KEDGEREE BRUNCH It’s not quite breakfast, not quite lunch - make mid mornings glorious with this simple, leisurely brunch recipe. Ingredients: • Half an onion, finely chopped • Clove of garlic, finely chopped • Juice of half a lemon • 2 teaspoons of curry powder • Half a teaspoon of turmeric • 2 fillets of smoked haddock • 3 cups of cooked basmati or normal rice • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped • Fresh parsley leaves, chopped • 4 tablespoons of single cream • 3 boiled eggs • Salt and pepper to season
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Method: 1. Poach the smoked haddock fillets and leave to cool. 2. Sauté the onion, garlic and lemon juice. 3. Add the curry powder and turmeric to create a paste. 4. Fold in the cooked rice and season to taste. 5. Break up the fish with your fingers and fold in lightly, using your fingers, into the rice mixture and add the chopped herbs. 6. Stir in the single cream and check your seasoning again. 7. Turn into a serving bowl and garnish with hard boiled eggs and serve.
FRESH MANGO SALSA This mango salsa recipe is a tasty little addition to all kinds of summer dishes. You can totally wow your taste buds while eating only the healthiest, freshest ingredients. INGREDIENTS: • 2 fresh mangoes, diced • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple • 1/4 red pepper, coarsely chopped • 1/4 green pepper, coarsely chopped • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional) • 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
• • • • • • •
METHOD: 1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. 2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado. 3. Serve with chips or over grilled tuna, salmon, chicken or pork.
1 clove garlic, minced finely 1 spring onion, diced 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice or lemon 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional) Sprig of mint, diced Salt and pepper to season
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inSURE: Words by Peter Fairbanks
DO IT NOW FINANCIAL TIMES APRIL - MAY 2012
Is your Trust Trustworthy?
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It never ceases to amaze me how nonchalant and ill informed people are about planning for the inevitable; death. When planning our everlasting legacy for our partners, children and their children, many of us go for the first and what we think is the best option of setting up a 'Trust' of some sort, and then go to bed that night feeling at peace with the world. We've done what we need to, right? Unfortunately not, as many people don't realise exactly what they've just gotten themselves into. And to compound this problem their Last Will and Testaments are drawn up without the help of qualified advice. In the '70s and '80s Trusts were all the rage, with benefits ranging from tax efficiency to estate and inheritance planning. Personally I appreciate the effort SARS took to make Trusts unattractive, but don’t get me wrong, Trusts, as with any financial planning vehicle, have a purpose. However, my issue with a Trust is that it usually only comes into effect some 20 or 30 years from the day it was drawn up, and what was a pretty picture then has turned into a horror story when needed. Here's a true-life example of a Trust gone wrong (this is an abbreviated note on a SARS case). A businessman placed all his properties in a Trust in the early '80s. In the '90s, six additional Trusts were drawn up for his children and the properties were 'donated' into these new Trusts. The Trustees argued that this would be above board and seen as donations. Also arguing in favour of this point is section 56(1)(l) of the Income Tax Act, which stipulates that 'donations tax shall not be payable in respect of the value of any property which is disposed of under a donation, if such property is disposed of under and in pursuance of any Trust'. Well that takes care of that then ... sadly not. The Commissioner found that the children were not beneficiaries of the first Trust and therefore the donations were not made in 'pursuance of any Trust', and ruled that all taxes and interest be paid; to the value of many millions.
FINANCIAL ADVISOR Email: email@example.com Cell: 082 336 8290
FOR ADVICE ON:
• Employee Benefit Schemes • Personal Risk Cover • Long Term Retirement • Estate Planning and more
Let me give you another example. A Family Trust is set up for the benefit of the happily married husband and wife and their child. The marriage deteriorates and sadly ends in divorce. The husband remarries and wife #2 and her three children enter the picture. Wife #2 quickly realises that her children and herself will end up in the same Trust with wife #1 if she doesn’t act quickly. So the Will gets amended, with the husband drafting a Deed of Amendment to include wife #2 and the three children as capital and income beneficiaries. Now here's the problem: if consent for this draft was not received in writing from the original beneficiaries and the original beneficiaries have already received benefits from the Trust, the Deed of Amendment will not stand up in a court of law - leaving wife #2 and her kids with nothing!
In the next issue I will expand on this topic with tips and suggestions on how to create trustworthy Wills and Trusts that will protect your spouse and children's futures. Till then, take care of your loved ones and enjoy the precious gift of life. •
According to Wikipedia ‘A fiduciary duty (from Latin fiduciarius, meaning "(holding) in trust"; from fides, meaning "faith", and fiducia, meaning "trust") is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust between two or more parties.
Movie reviews by Richard Flamengo Game and band reviews by various contributors
Director: Daniel Espinosa Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and Brendan Gleeson
• CAPE TOWN! • Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Recommended for: All superhero fans.
Matt Weston is a CIA rookie who is manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, when Tobin Frost, one of the CIA's most wanted rogue agents, is captured and taken to the safe house. During Frost's interrogation, the safe house is overtaken by mercenaries who want Frost. Weston and Frost escape and must stay out of the gunmen's sight until they can get to another safe house. Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington star in this action-packed thriller that's set in our very own backyard, Cape Town. Both stars are well known for many smash hit movies, but Ryan more so for the comedic side. However, this time round Ryan's role is more serious and he delivers yet another memorable performance - and even a few lines in Afrikaans. Both actors remind us why they are two of Hollywood's A-listers, as the chemistry between them, in the film, is simply brilliant. This excellent thriller shows off the mother city like no other movie has in the past; the only negative thing has to be the predictability of the plot. That being said, this is a definite must see for any South African.
Man and Machine Production: Throttle Entertainment
• Behind the scene interviews and footage with Chris Birch and Graham Jarvis. Recommended for: All hard enduro fanatics
When it comes to testing human endurance, the combination of a motorbike and very tough terrain ranks right up there with the best to drain all your energy levels. Man and Machine, by Throttle Entertainment, takes you into the heart of exactly what this means and what the riders go through at these extreme enduro events. The documentary answers all the questions about this sport, who are the top names in the sport and what is the fuss about for each one of these prestigious races around the world. Man and Machine is another great title by the production house that brought us the five big titles of Hard Enduro, Roof of Africa, Return to Hells Gate, The Tough One, Tougher than Iron and Romaniacs. They have managed to put together the best blend of each one of these and shed insight into why these riders do what they do … conquer 'unrideable' terrain. The 120-minute documentary kept me entertained the whole time, and the sound track and cinematography is also really good. This is a must have for all motorbike fans, especially for the followers of hard enduro.
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Published by: EA Sports
The plot revolves around team SSX trying to conquer the nine Deadly Descents, the most dangerous mountains in the world. But the problem is that one of their former team members, Griff, claims he's going to do it first. Oh hell no. So it's a race to beat the douchey pretty boy to the mountains. SSX is the video game this generation has been missing. The feeble attempts of other, lesser snowboarding games to capture the adrenaline fuelled excitement of SSX don’t compare at all. This is what happens when you don’t just put the game out every year, but spend your time crafting it, creating the ultimate experience. SSX redefines snowboarding games, raises the bar for the genre and then backflips over it.
IN the Spotlight
Octainium is fast becoming one of the most exciting and energetic metal bands to watch live. Their shows are highly addictive and the music grows on you. The founder and current vocalist, Maritz, formed Octainium in Wales (UK) in 2006 with other members from that area. They recorded a three track demo and played some crazy shows. Maritz returned to SA and reformed Octainium at home in January 2009 with a new metal family. They have since performed live at festivals like Rocktober 1 & 2, Schorcher Fest, Oppidam, Lazy Grass Fest, Winterjam and at venues like Zeplins Rock Shack, The Black Dahlia, Factory and Cafe Barcelona. Their current album titled The Prophecy is now available. For more information on the band visit http://www.facebook.com/octainium.
inCOMING Movies to look out for American Pie: Reunion Genre: Comedy Director: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein and Sean William Scott Date: 6 April
The Hunger Games Genre: Action, SciFi Director: Gary Ross Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson Date: 13 April
The Avengers Genre: Action Adventure Director: Joss Whedon Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson Date: 27 April
Coriolanus Genre: Drama Director: Ralph Fiennes Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Cox Date: 4 May
Men In Black III Genre: Action SciFi Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Alice Eve and Nicole Scherzinger Date: 25 May
Max Payne 3 Genre: Action/Adventure Publisher: Rockstar Games Released: May
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Words & Photos by Jacques Marais
SHOOT! A BOOK
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Telling Photo Stories I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage stating ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Well, here’s how to make sure the photos from your next event end up telling a complete story. Whether you are a top photographer, an athlete, an adventurer, or a weekend happy snapper – it does not really matter. During our lives, each and every one of us get the opportunity to see and experience life in our own and unique way.
Every life is exceptional, and it is just up to you to capture those moments which set it apart from the next person’s existence. How you go about this will create your own personal memory bank and, maybe one day, allow you to share it with the world at large. A key consideration if you want to publish to print is to ensure you shoot images of a sufficient technical quality. Book publishers usually expect you to deliver images captured on full-frame (a DSLR camera with a sensor-size of 24mm x 36mm), but technological advances these days mean that even photos from a ‘mik & druk’ may make the cut! Plus, e-publishing and Social Media offer exceptional ways to tell your life story … now all you have to do is go out and look for an adventure!
Image 1: Rock Star
The Action: Red Bull bouldering legend Justin Hawkins gets to grips with the Elsies Peak cliffs high above False Bay. The Shot: The shot itself was pretty easy, but getting into position to shoot it meant a tight scramble onto an exposed ledge. The Technique: Take a light reading off the sky and stop down by one f-stop to ensure detail; using fill-in flash will bring your subject into perfect exposure. The Specifications: 1/200 sec @ f11; Canon 5D MkI with 117-40mm lens; ISO 100; WB Setting (Sun); on-camera flash from Speedlight 580EX; AE Setting: Under-exposure by 1 stop. More Information: www.jacquesmarais.co.za
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Image 2: Sandes Insane
Image 3: FISH!!!!!
The Shot: I wanted the sand to look like snow so I over-exposed this by one stop, thus creating a huge contrast gap and necessitating remote flash onto the subject.
The Shot: Cradock Weir rates as one of the ‘hot shot spots’ for shooters during the three-day Fish, as paddlers have no choice but to negotiate a 5m drop right into a back-wash cauldron.
The Action: Ryan Sandes, unarguably the top desert stage runner in the world right now, in full flight during a training session for the RACE THE PLANET stage event in Antarctica.
The Technique: Pocket Wizards are tiny transceivers working with radio waves, thus allowing you to control your flash units up to 150m away without sacrificing TTL metering. The Specifications: 1/800th of a sec @ f8; NIKON D700 with 28300mm lens at full zoom; ISO 200; WB Setting (Sun); AE Setting: Over-exposure by 1. More Information: www.ryansandes.com
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The Action: The annual Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon boasts some of the best rapids and obstacles (as well as the biggest party!) on the SA river paddling circuit.
The Technique: As you are too far away from the action to really use flash, you need a high shutter speed to freeze the action. The Specifications: 1/4000th sec @ f4; NIKON D700mm with 24-120mm zoom; ISO 400; WB Setting: (Sun). More Information: www.gameplanmedia.co.za
Image 4: One-Wheel Wonder
The Action: A unicyclist hoicks a jump during a play session on Red Hill, near Simonâ€™s Town. The Shot: I wanted to position the rider against the blue of the sky, so found a position low down to create an interesting angle. The Technique: Lying on the ground allowed me to grab this funky view of the action. Sky, lighting and composition leads the eye to the subject. The Specifications: 125th of sec @ f8; NIKON D700 with 10.5mm fish-eye lens; ISO - 200; WB Setting: Auto; off-camera flash via Pocket Wizards; AE Setting: Under-exposure by 1 stop. More Information: www.counterbalance.co.za
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Image 5: Living Balanced
The Action: Karyn Velleman immerses herself in her yoga as the sun spectacularly sets over the ocean at Witsand Beach, near Misty Cliffs. The Shot: Knowing your subject well (Karyn is my life partner) allows you to get the best out of an image, as you know exactly how far you can push a pose or movement. The Technique: I knew where the sun would set and arranged my composition and subject accordingly, thus maximising the magic hour light. The Specifications: 180th of sec @ f5.6; NIKON D700 with 16-35mm wide-angle zoom; ISO - 200; WB Setting: Auto; offcamera flash via Pocket Wizards; AE Setting: Under-exposure by 1 stop. More Information: www.livebalanced.co.za
Image 6: Shooting the mUNI
The Action: mUNI denotes MTB – or off-road – unicycling, and this must undoubtedly be one of the most balance-dependent sports on the planet. The Shot: In order to get a multi-exposure of a rider riding along the barrel of an old canon, I composed this shot and triggered off a sequence of images on motor-drive. The Technique: As you need to combine a moving subject from several images onto a single stationery background, it is best to shoot from a stable tripod. The Specifications: 1/800th of a sec @ f8; NIKON D700 with a 16-35mm wide-angle zoom; ISO - 200; WB Setting: Auto. More Information: www.nikon.co.za
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Reader Photo Competition
Winner Photographer: Steven Morrow Photograph: Kitesurf Spray Camera Type: D5000 with 55-200mm VR Lens
Camera Settings: 1/4000 @ f/5.6, ISO 200 Place: Blouberg beach, Cape Town Category: Sport
Competition Information This is your opportunity to showcase your photographic skills and stand a chance to WIN R500 for the best image in DO IT NOW’s inFOCUS competition, which features in every issue of the magazine. So get clicking and send us your photographs – you never know, you could just be our next WINNER! When submitting your images, please also include the following information: • Name of photographer • Name of photograph • Camera type
• Camera settings • Place where the photograph was taken
• Which category you are submitting your photo under – Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle
Competition Rules (1) The closing date for the next competition is 5 May 2012 and the winning photo will be featured and credited in the next issue of DO IT NOW. (2) The image entered must include the information requested above and any entry received without the requested information, will not be considered. Digitally manipulated images will not be accepted. (3) Only amateur photographers may enter. (4) Email your 1-3mb compressed .jpg image to firstname.lastname@example.org (5) There is a maximum of one entry per person, per issue. (6) The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. (7) Please note that your images may be published in the DO IT NOW magazine and on the DO IT NOW website. (8) By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules.
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N DE ww OW R w.j & ON ac SA -L qu esm VE IN ara 10% E is. co ! .za
Edgy, up-to-date content and award-winning imagery make this a must-have book for any adventure seeker. •1249 adventures in South Africa •72 excellent adventure destinations in 9 provinces •324 pages packed with useful information •215 amazing photos
083 444 5369
Words by Linda Schonknecht
The fish d n a t s t ' n do a chance fish is exceeding r fo e it et p p a r u O gical limits the oceans' ecolo g impacts on with devastatin s. marine ecosystem Every year some 80-million tons of fish are removed from the worldâ€™s oceans! Of the seven billion humans on this planet, 3.5 billion depend directly on fish for their livelihoods. Our oceans' resources are in a dire state and if we don't find a way to reverse the damage we will be heading for a massive collapse, across the board, of a very important resource. To some degree we acknowledge that this is a challenge that needs to be addressed from a global perspective, but global cooperation has not been what it should be. We donâ€™t realise it, but fish is one commodity that connects every single country around the globe, whether they are land locked or not. This underwater world is also linked to ours in ways that we can only begin to imagine, and not simply as a food resource. We often hear about what is
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going wrong that it becomes very difficult to see how we can make it right. And therein lies the problem. But there is still hope; we can change these statistics if we begin to change the way we think about marine conservation. It involves a simple change in awareness. Once you are aware of the challenge, once you know about it, once you can talk about it to others, change becomes possible. Action, no matter how small, does make a difference. But why aim small? There are inspiring people in this world who show us that with but a glimmer of optimism our marine resources can be saved and sustainably managed. Wherever you go in the world, there are incredible people who are willing to do something in their respective fields to make a change. And this is what the TEDxSeaPoint event is all about.
What do we mean when we talk about 'TED'? TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown into a worldwide audience and network of change makers. The concept that drives TED is that of 'ideas worth sharing', but it goes much deeper than that. It is ideas that are shared and implemented that are changing our world. Thinkers and doers from multiple initiatives and fields of expertise speak for 18 minutes on their 'idea worth sharing', often leaving the audience with profound, lifechanging thoughts. The best talks are available for view or free download online via TEDTALKS.
Some of the speakers over the years have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jamie Oliver, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In the spirit of 'ideas worth spreading', TED created a programme called TEDx. The 'x' stands for an independently organised TED event, which brings people together to share a TED experience. There is also the TEDFellows programme, which helps world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.ď€´
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While TEDx has been in South Africa for a few years, it has only really started to gain momentum and grow now. In 2011 TEDx took Cape Town by storm with TEDxCapeTown: Be Water My Friend. Thanks to a small but incredibly passionate group of youngsters, it made waves as a first-time event and became the third most viewed, first-time TEDx event in the world, right after TEDxDubai and TEDxBoston, receiving some two-million hits on social media. These events are also reinventing how communities interact with each other. In just one year, smaller satellite TEDx events have begun to spring up all over South Africa, and 2012 is going to be a fantastic year of change and inspiration. In Cape Town, the TEDx craze kicked off with 'Who moved my sushi? - The Ocean’s Inspiration', TEDxSeaPoint on 24 March. It is the firstever TEDx event to be based solely on a marine theme anywhere in the world, while staying true to TEDx’s crossdisciplinary focus. TEDxSeaPoint is on a mission to ignite inspiration for our marine world from every area of society. From governments and scientists, to the corporate world and the academic, right through to civil society. From entrepreneurs and conservationists to those who find pleasure and inspiration from the ocean. From the people that depend on the ocean for their survival to the people that are intrinsically linked socially, traditionally and commercially to the amazing variety of species that fill our seas. For one day, TEDxSeaPoint showed that change is happening all around us. The event also served as a channel for innovative and potentially world-changing ideas, from local and international change makers, to be showcased and heard. It is hoped that these ideas will resonate throughout the audience and catalyse action to make a difference.
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We as humans are the problem, but we are also the solution, and we would like you to be a part of this solution with us.
Did you know? Populations of top predators, a key indicator of ecosystem health, are disappearing at a fright ening rate, and 90 percent of the large fish that many of us love to eat, such as tuna, swordfish, marli n, cod, halibut, skate and flounder - have been fished out since large scale industrial fishing bega n in the 1950s. The depletion of these top predator species can cause a shift in entire oceans’ ecosystem s where commercially valuable fish are replaced by smaller, plankton-feeding fish. This centu ry may even see bumper crops of jellyfish repla cing the fish consumed by humans. These chan ges endanger the structure and functioning of marin e ecosystems, and hence threaten the livelihoods of those dependent on the oceans, both now and in the future. Source: Green Peace
For more information about TEDxSeaPoint visit www.tedxseapoint.com or on Twitter@tedxseap
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Words by Morne Swanepoel / www.CombatCoaching.com
I have been involved in Martial Arts for more than 35 years. During this time I have spent more than 15 years in the security field working the doors at the wildest nightclubs in Johannesburg and Durban, working undercover in Hillbrow, the crime Mecca of South Africa, and operating in a specialised anti-hijacking unit for more than two years dealing with the kings of South African scum. My years of experience have convinced me of one thing â€“ conflict is to be avoided wherever possible. Read on to find out how tough guys should handle conflict. 144 â€˘ DO IT NOW April | May 2012
By using one’s awareness, one can escape most situations. For example, you’re standing at your local bar having a drink and you can sense some guys giving you dirty looks and passing comments. The best thing to do is to get into your car and go to another pub. If a certain area is known for hijackings and violent crime, avoid the area. If you are living in an area that is known for home invasions, move to another area. If three guys in a dark alley confront you, don’t try and duke it out with them even if you think you have all the training you need - escape, escape, escape!
ing for a fight, you When dealing with some punk look telling the guy you by ally verb tion situa can defuse the Sometimes, however, aren’t looking for any trouble. conflict is inevitable. l that isn’t enough and physica sible to control a pos e forc of Use the least amount is under the influence situation, especially if the person idea of what they’re of alcohol. They may have no control the attacker. to doing. Use the wall or floor to find a way to have may you In a mugging situation until the police arrive. disarm the attacker or tie him up ys be a better option If you can control him this will alwa . than your last resort – destroy
When all else fails and the confrontation has progressed to such a level where you or your family’s lives are in danger, or they stand a chance of being seriously injured, then it is time to ‘destroy’. This means taking the fight to your attacker and doing whatever is necessary to protect yourself and your family.
Johannesburg has one of the best urban freeway systems in the world, but you will hardly see a soft-top convertible. It has some of the most lavishly appointed malls and shopping centres anywhere, but each is patrolled by heavily-armed paramilitary security guards, with two side arms, body armor and a R5 assault rifle. It has one of the most tried and tested, effective and best-equipped police forces on the planet, from the ranks of which at least one, but often more, are killed in shoot-outs with criminals every month, not to mention the extraordinary number who fall victim to suicide or stress-related conflict killings. YET the majority of the force is corrupt due to them not getting paid adequately to deal with the violence and crime in one of the world’s most violent, crime-ridden countries in the world. Awareness, of course, is the key. Don’t be stupid. Don’t tempt fate. Don’t think that because the South African east coast looks like southern California it is. Don’t think that because Cape Town is so clean and ordered, so cultural and sophisticated that you won’t have your iPhone stolen as you stroll downtown in the sensual twilight. Don’t have a picnic on the side of the freeway or take an unscheduled diversion into the local townships for the sake of authentic local culture. All of these actions will probably get you into trouble! South Africa is a fantastically well organised country and every travel contingency is provided for by one operator or another. From the Bazz Bus to the Blue Train, from wildlife safaris to whale watching and shark caging, there is nothing that can’t be done both safely and professionally, and it is this that needs to be kept in mind at all times.
So lock up your cash, keep your electronics hidden and be aware of your surroundings. However, South Africa is not all bad news and we have so many amazing things to be grateful for; the beaches, mountains, wildlife, wide-open spaces and culture to name just a few. So for those of you who have friends or relatives that have yet to visit our shores, encourage them to get on that plane and come here. It is the best country in the world, and they won’t regret it! •
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inCLOSING: inside the next issue ... Quote: “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.” - Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back') Don't miss these and many other great articles in the June/July 2012 issue of DO IT NOW.
MX Nationals The 2012 MX season got off to an unusually wet and muddy start at the Full Throttle Nationals event at Sun City. Attracting riders from all over Africa, it was an intense day of thrills and spills. The battle of the Masters of Terra Firma continued in Bloemfontein on 24 of March and Zygmund Brodalka tells us more about these exciting events.
Coco Rico Kayaking
Arriving at Rio Chirripo Pacifico's put-in, the water is higher than expected again. Hanging around to try and delay the inevitable, we untied the boats and readied ourselves for what was to come. This angry river did not disappoint and from the moment we put-in our kayaks, they were held in a vice-like grip and were at the river's mercy. We've encountered full rivers everywhere we´ve been and today is just another day, in just another one of Costa Rica's amazing rainforests.
Snowboarding in Grindelwald, Switzerland Francois takes us to the picturesque town of Grindelwald, Switzerland on the final leg of his snowboarding holiday. Spending a white Christmas in this incredibly popular alpine haven was what fairy tales are made of; the festivities, twinkling lights, Swiss chocolate treats and Christmas cheer all adding yet another extraordinary element to thetime spent there. Find out more about the slopes and some 007 action and in the next issue.
On the Lighter Side Two Nerds on a Tandem Two nerds are riding along on a tandem when suddenly the one on the front slams on the brakes, gets off and starts letting air out of the tyres. The one on the back says: "HEY! What are you doing that for?" The first nerd says: "My seat was too high and was hurting my butt. I wanted to lower it a bit." The nerd on the back has had enough. He jumps off, loosens his own seat and spins it round to face the other direction. Now it's the first nerd's turn to wonder what's going on. "What are you doing?" he asks his friend. "Look mate," says the nerd on the back, "if you're going to do stupid stuff like that, I'm going home!" While every effort is made by the DIN Team to ensure that the content of the DO IT NOW Magazine is accurate at the time of going to press, DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of utilising the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd. DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd supports and encourages responsible practices with regards to all Adventure, Sport and Lifestyle activities. We also believe in the conservation and protection of all fauna and flora.
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Cover stories include Darryl Curtis's experience at the famous Dakar Rally; snowboarding in Meribel, France; adventure racers are invited to...
Published on May 1, 2012
Cover stories include Darryl Curtis's experience at the famous Dakar Rally; snowboarding in Meribel, France; adventure racers are invited to...