to an Epic Race The Mind of a MMA Fighter • Diving the South Coast • Everest North Ridge: Part II • Suzuki SX4 Review
• Blocarting? • 2011 Blyde Xfest • DUSI Unlimited
• Interviewing Brandon Stone • Discovering Croatia • Sharks, Worms & Pills!
9 772074 61100 0
Vol. 3 Issue 1 Feb/Mar 2011
www.doitnow.co.za FREE SUBSCRIPTION - p.13
Reader Competitions Pages 14, 27, 37 & 122
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This is a great season to try out the following adventures: Bungy Jumping - Bloukrans (Eastern Cape)
& Calendar ...
Shark Cage Diving - Western Cape 4x4 Off Road Driving - Kwa Nokeng Aerial Flips & Balloon Flights - Magaliesburg (Gauteng) Jet Flights - Cape Town (Western Cape)
February 2011 Sun
Hang Gliding - Durban (KZN)
10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
March 2011 Sun
10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
April 2011 Sun
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 *22 *23
*24 *25 *26 *27 *28 *29 *30 Public Holidays
4 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ February/March 2011
Abseiling & Caving - Buffalo Gorge (Mapumalanga)
Rand Easter Show | DO IT NOW Adventure Arena: 22 April-2 May
inTRO Dear DO IT NOW Reader, Welcome to 2011 and I trust you enjoyed the festive season and December holidays. I truly hope the new year is a fantastic one for you all and one in which you just DO IT NOW. Last year you may have noticed that our magazine just kept on expanding, as we were blessed with many terrific articles that came streaming in from all over and growing advertising support. As a result of the increased weight of the magazine, service issues were beginning to arise due to packaging sizes and weight constraints. So to retain the current paper quality and ensure the speedy delivery of your magazine directly to your post box, we have had to reduce the number of pages. However, if we find that you, our valued readers, enjoy the additional content, we will then look at alternatives that will give you more reading pleasure. Even though we are cutting back in the magazine, our website will continue to feature loads of information on all the latest ADVENTURE-SPORT-LIFESTYLE happenings, so don’t forget to check out our website on www.doitnow.co.za So what’s lined up for this year? The calendar is packed with many fantastic events and activities, and we are particularly looking forward to the paddling events, namely the Dusi and Blyde XFest that are happening in February. The Dusi needs no introductions and we wish DIN contributor Danie van Aswegen much success at this year’s race. The XFest will, without a doubt, be bigger and better and we are proud of our involvement for the second year running at this epic white water event. February is also the time for the annual Big Dune Driving EFI Land Cruiser trip at Lauberville. The crews from URI have planned another action-packed trip, and whilst in Namibia we will also visit Henties for some exciting sports fishing and just maybe we’ll be able to hook ourselves a Bronzy. February also sees us opening a shop at our new offices in Fourways where we will stock all kinds of really cool clothing, gadgets and toys that you can take with you on your ADVENTURE-SPORT-LIFESTYLE adventures. So if you are in the area, we’d love you to pop in and have a look around. We are extremely excited about our sponsorship of the Ghost Mountain Bike team for the 2011 season. We’ll be following their progress and look forward to sharing many great articles from the pro’s themselves with you. The first is Jock’s ‘Eight Weeks to an Epic Race’ article on page 80. It features lots of very cool advice on how to do your final preparation for the 2011 Cape Epic, which is taking place at the end of March. GOOD LUCK to everyone who is participating at the event. Last but not least (lest you want to spend time in the dog box), February is the month of love. Happy Valentine's Day to you all and may the love you share with that special person in your life continue to grow with each passing year. Until we meet again, remember DON’T
Francois Flamengo Founder
HESITATE, DON’T PROCRASTINATE, DO IT NOW!
the TEAM etc.
On the Cover - Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/SPORTZPICS. Hannele Steyn-Kotze makes her way up a n almost 90 degree climb during stage three of the 2010 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Ceres to Ceres in the Western Cape, South Africa on the 23 March 2010.
The DO IT NOW Team comprises of the following individuals: FOUNDER Francois Flamengo MANAGING EDITOR Elri Flamengo | firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING, SALES & MARKETING Keane Ludick | email@example.com SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES Terence Mdluli | firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tessa Dreyer GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Ilzé Eva, Adele Cloete TEXT EDITOR Tracy Knox PUBLISHER DO IT NOW CC DISTRIBUTION (Subscription only) The Tree House DESIGN & LAYOUT LilyHouse Design Studio WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT DO IT NOW Web Team | email@example.com PRINTING Law Print
HEAD OFFICE DO IT NOW CC No 2 Hammets Crossing Office Park Building 805 Cnr Witkoppen Rd & Selbourne Ave Fourways, Johannesburg Tel: +27 (71) 593 3221 | +27 (83) 415 3899 Fax: 086 517 0934 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 contents of the DO IT NOW magazine are accurate at the time of going to press, the Founder cannot except responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of using the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of the Founder’s opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of the Founder. DO IT NOW 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.
6 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities For more information on Advertising and Sectional Sponsorship opportunities in the magazine and website, you can request the DO IT NOW Company Profile, Rate Card, Specs & Schedule Sheet via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically from the DO IT NOW office on +27 (71) 593 3221.
Thank you to all our contributors who help make this magazine such an exciting adventure! 1. Claire Barnes // inALTITUDE Claire is a young thrill seeker who was bitten by the skydiving bug and has recently started competing at a novice level. When she’s not jumping out of planes, she enjoys soccer, cricket and indoor climbing.
2. Claire King // inALTITUDE Reaching New Heights - 2011 South African National Skydiving Championship for Novice Skydivers Claire loves to try new stuff; if it’s outdoors and active, she’s game. Her main passion is skydiving and she is a PASA Coach, FAI Judge and has medalled at various SA National Championships. Most weekends Claire can be found team training, coaching or judging skydives. 3. Dawie du Plessis // inGEAR Africa’s Most Upstanding Citizen Dawie is a self-taught photographer and writer with a passion for travelling and adventure. Many of his images can be found on the Getty Images and Gallo Images sites, and his work showcases many of SA’s major and international companies. He’s also a skydiving instructor and film-maker with numerous credits in the movie industry.
4. Deon Breytenbach // inH2O Hot Days and High Waters; inACTION Rapid-fire Action at Freestyle Nationals; inPREPARATION Blyde Xfest Deon has been paddling white water for the last 13 years and competed in both local and international freestyle competitions. Currently based near the Blyde River Canyon, he spends as much time as possible introducing new faces to the world of white water paddling. “Have kayak, will smile.” Deon is supported by Fluid Kayaks. 5. Francois Steyn // inGEAR Suzuki SX4 2.0i AWD in Review Adventure rider, Chartered Accountant and Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. He’s happiest on two wheels and favours the dryer, barren regions of southern Africa.
6. Garth Oliver // inSHAPE Muscle Activation Garth is a sport freak and enjoys canoeing, surfing, touch rugby, triathlons and running. Physiotherapist during the day, he also currently runs a multi-disciplinary clinic in Pietermaritzburg.
7. Jacques Marais // inFOCUS SHOOT! How to Shoot … An Expedition A professional photographer, author and columnist, Jacques photographs and articles grace the pages of too-many-to-count local and international newspapers, websites and premium magazines. You name it and he’ll capture the moment perfectly one way or another, be it extreme events or diverse action and adventure disciplines, receiving numerous prestigious awards for his efforts.
8. Michael Scholz // in THE HOLE 20 Questions with Brandon Stone, When the rough gets tough, the tough get rough, The 40 Year-Old Rookie Graduates .. JUST! A journeyman professional golfer and adrenalin junkie, Mike enjoys scuba diving and fly fishing, but mountain biking tops his list of activities. A passionate but relative new-comer to mountain biking, Mike enjoys the fitness, the ‘burn’ of serious hills and the competitive nature of the sport.
9. Neil Ross // inDULGE Grilled Chicken, Plum and Avocado Salad Neil has worked his way around the world enjoying every ‘foodie’ minute of it. Gentlemen’s clubs such as Brookes in London opened up many wonderful learning experiences, including cooking suppers for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Neil currently cooks up a storm of culinary delights at the Inanda Club.
10. Perino Hanack // inH2O Your never-ending inland wave Liquid Force Boarding Company’s right hand man, who has a simple philosophy in life - Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
11. Peter Fairbanks // inSURE Insight + Preparation = Carefree Living Peter is very passionate about his work and risk management in general. He feels that even the smallest contribution to the wealth creation and protection of his clients is what makes his job so rewarding. Peter loves sport in general, as long as it is on ‘terra firma’.
12. Richard Flamengo // inTERTAINMENT Music, Movie and Game Reviews Richard is a movie, music and games (MMG) enthusiast, who loves relaxing at home playing games or going to watch movies with some salt and vinegar popcorn. Richard enjoys all sorts of music ranging from lekker sakkie sakkie Afrikaans stuff through to hard-hitting rock. 13. Rikus Scheepers // inSHAPE Hamstring Injuries - The Chiropractic Approach Chiropractor by day in a private multi-disciplinary practice in Middelburg and Witbank. He enjoys being active and spending time outdoors, scuba diving, mountain biking, trail running and any kind of activity that gets the adrenalin flowing. Rikus likes to challenge himself on all levels to achieve his goals, and then celebrate them with a cold one!
14. Rocco le Roux // inTRODUCING Flex Your Muscle – Johan Boshoff Too much energy to sit still. Can’t be bothered to watch TV as I can’t do it while I am running, cycling, swimming, kayaking, paragliding, diving or driving … a classic Porsche and Harley are part of my family. Comfort is for other people; I would rather rough it. Challenging myself physically keeps me alive.
15. Steve Adams // inDULGE The Scottish Isles Steve, the co-owner of Wild about Whisky, is passionate about whisky, photography and travel, and believes that life is too short to accept mediocrity. He believes in dreaming big.
16. Steven Yates // inCREDIBLE PLACES Croatia – A Jewel of the East (ern bloc) Steven works as a Business Consultant to pay for his extravagant lifestyle of travelling and adventure sports. He loves cycling, scuba diving, rock climbing and just about any other sport.
17. Wynand and Pietré Smit // inALTITUDE Wynand and Pietré Smit, a Lawyer and Geologist respectively, are based in Pretoria and have an insatiable appetite for mountaineering, their Land Cruiser pick up and Nesquik’s pink milk. They have travelled extensively, climbed on three continents and love sharing gouda with good friends!
ADVENTURE ADVENTURE Header Page Photograph by: Chris Hitchcock inTRAIL: Fiona McIntosh; inH2O: Johann Kriek, Fiona McIntosh and Emlyn Brown; inALTITUDE: Ben Swart SPORT SPORT Header Page Photograph by: www.actionimage.com inTRODUCING: Mac Magill, Chris Bright, Tatum Prins and Adrian Saffy; inACTION: Yvette Victor-Van den Berg and Lizelle van der Merwe; inPREPARATION: Amy Witherden and Jock Green; inSHAPE: Claudia Scheepers LIFESTYLE LIFESTYLE Header Page Photograph by: Chris Hitchcock in THE HOLE: Darren Witter; inNATURE: Alan Hobson and Matthew Crane; inDULGE: Jacoline Haasbroek; inTERTAINMENT: Gerrit Viljoen; inVOLVED: Bernelle Verster
www.doitnow.co.za >> 7
Kayaking • Scuba Diving • Climbing
DO IT NOW ADVENTURE | SPORT | LIFESTYLE Arena @ the 2011 Rand Show
from 22 April to 2 May for
mountain bike track • swimming pool • climbing wall, where you can try out the latest and greatest gear around. Stock up on various fantastic gadgets and products from well known brands at Rand Show bargain prices. Why not try out that new activity that you’ve been wanting to get into, but kept putting off? More details on www.doitnow.co.za and the April/May 2011 issue of the DO IT NOW Magazine.
For all you touch rugby fans, we’ll be hosting a DO IT NOW Rand Show Touch Rugby Tournament on 27 April 2011 from 10h00 - 18h00.
Lucky Draw: 50 double complimentary entry tickets worth R140 each. Available to subscribers.
SUBSCRIBER TICKET GIVE-AWAY
To Enter: Simply subscribe a new reader on the subscription form on page 11, putting your name, number and email address as a reference. Send To: email@example.com | Fax: 086 517 0934 Subject: Rand Show Lucky Draw. Competition closes on 10 April 2011.
So don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, DO IT NOW and diarise this event now. We look forward to seeing you at the DO IT NOW ADVENTURE-SPORT-LIFESTYLE Arena @ the 2011 Rand Show!
4X4ing • Dirt Biking • Mountain Biking
22 April - 2 May 2011
DO IT NOW ADVENTURE | SPORT | LIFESTYLE ARENA
More details available on www.doitnow.co.za and the April/May 2011 issue of the DO IT NOW magazine.
inDEX Vol 3 | Issue 1 | 2011 | www.doitnow.co.za
Lesotho Local Dealershiip ...
Base // DINList and CALENDAR: p. 4
// inVOLVED: p. 124-125
An exciting three-month calendar on Adventure – Sport – Lifestyle.
Incredible stories of involvement in community, environment, marine, wildlife and other areas of life.
// inFO: p. 14-15
// inCLOSING: p. 126
Information page, check out our competitions, feedback and updates.
A sneak preview of upcoming features and articles.
Regulars p. 18-23 p. 24-27 p. 28-39 p. 40-43 p. 46-49 p. 50-61 p. 62-74 p. 75-85 p. 86-89 p. 92-97 p. 98-101 p. 102-105 p. 106-112 p. 113 p. 114-115 p. 116-123
inGEAR: "Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle" activities featuring vehicles with gears. inTRAIL: Trail running and hiking adventures. inH2O: Water sport and adventure activities. inALTITUDE: Aerial and high altitude adventures. inTERVIEW: Interviews with a variety of sportsmen and women. inTRODUCING: Featuring informative articles on a number of sports and why athletes compete in them. inACTION: Information and feedback on various exciting sporting events. inPREPARATION: Tips and or Training programmes for various sporting activities and events. inSHAPE: Important information about health, nutrition and exercise. in THE HOLE: Golfing articles. inNATURE: Outdoor experiences and activities such as hiking and fishing. inCREDIBLE PLACES: Stories about incredible and magical places. inDULGE: A wine and dine section with a twist. inSURE: Valuable information about insurance and related topics. inTERTAINMENT: Book, music, movie and game reviews. inFOCUS: Photography section with discussions, competitions and event-specific photography tips. Key: Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle
10 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
inGEAR 18-20 Africa’s Most Upstanding Citizen 21-23 Suzuki SX4 2.0i AWD in Review inTRAIL 24-27 The Donkey Trail
inH2O 28-29 Why We Surf 30-31 Your never-ending inland wave 32-33 Hot Days and High Waters 35-37 Diving the South Coast - Aliwal Shoal, Landers and Protea Banks 38-39 My Search for the SS Waratah, Part 3 inALTITUDE 40-43 Everest North Ridge Expedition 2010 Part II
inTERVIEW 46-49 An Interview with Deidre van Niekerk,Wakeboarding Pro inTRODUCING 50-51 Blokarting – Land Sailing at its best! 52-54 The Thrill of Speedway Bike Racing 55-57 The Mind of an MMA Fighter 58-59 Flex Your Muscle – Johan Boshoff 60-61 The Garmin Wartrail 2011
inACTION 62-64 The Roof of Africa 2010 66-67 SA Track Champs - Track Cycling at its Best! 68 2010 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge Race Report 70-71 Rapid-fire Action at Freestyle Nationals 72-74 Swiss Alpine Ultra Marathon - More than a Race
inPREPARATION 75-77 The Unlimited Dusi Marathon Promises Unlimited Action 78-79 Preparing for the 2011 Blyde Xfest 80-83 Eight Weeks to an Epic Race 84-85 Reaching New Heights - 2011 SA National Skydiving Championship for Novice Skydivers inSHAPE 86-87 Muscle Activation 88-89 Hamstring Injuries - The Chiropractic Approach
in THE HOLE 92-94 20 Questions with Brandon Stone, the ‘blue-eyed boy’ of South African amateur golf 95 When the rough gets tough, the tough get rough 96-97 The 40 Year-Old Rookie Graduates .. JUST! inNATURE 98-99 Fly Fishing – Quality or Quantity? 100-101 Sharks, Worms and Pills
inCREDIBLE PLACES 102-105 Croatia – A Jewel of the East (ern bloc) inDULGE 106-109 The Scottish Isles 110-111 La Motte, a Balm for Body and Soul 112 Grilled Chicken, Plum and Avocado Salad
inSURE 113 Insight + Preparation = Carefree Living inTERTAINMENT 114-115 Music, Movie and Game Reviews inFOCUS 116-123 SHOOT! … an Expedition inVOLVED 124-125 FLOW: For Love of Water
Be where the action is - Excel to the finish line - Live the lifestyle - Be the one to DO IT NOW! www.doitnow.co.za >> 11
We want to Light up YOUR life! One LUCKY new subscriber to DO IT NOW will stand a chance to win a Rigid Industries Halo Flashlight worth R1,500 from Onca Offroad Accessories. The deadline to subscribe, and be a contender, is 10 March. The draw will take place on 11 March 2011 and the winner’s name will be announced in the April/May issue of the magazine and on the website.
The Halo 800 Lumen Flashlight is Rigid Industries’ best all-around flash light. Utilising a 10W LED combined with an all-aluminum reflector, it throws an excellent wide-ranging light pattern. The length is comparable to a Mini Maglite, but has almost ten times the light output. It comes with a (18650) rechargeable battery and wall charger. With this flashlight by your side, you will never be in the dark again!
The flashlight boasts five modes: • • • • •
Medium – initial start up setting at approximatley 500 lumens Low - 200 Lumens High - 800 Lumens Strobe SOS strobe in morse code
Full charge run time (medium) - 1:35. Dimensions: • Head Diameter - 4.64cm • Length - 12.78cm • Weight - 127.57g without batteries
“Rigid Industries, located in Mesa Arizona, is the industry leader in the most efficient LED lighting solutions. Our patented Hybrid Reflector System and state of the art technology along with affordability is a top requirement in the success of our company. Rigid Industries is the pioneer of the forward projecting high intensity LED light bars. Our patented technology allows our lights to project 40% more light while drawing 30% less power than our competitors’."
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By Elri Flamengo
| 14°22’36.20” E
Congratulations to Team Ghost DO IT NOW on their excellent performance at the MTN Attakwas Extreme 2011 in Oudtshoorn on 15 January! Let’s make this year one to remember.
Does the place featured on the photo look familiar to you? If so, submit your answer
to email@example.com and stand a chance to win a R250 gift voucher. Competition ends on 10 March 2011. The winner will be announced in the next issue of DO IT NOW and on our website www.doitnow.co.za
inVOLVED is the heart of DO IT NOW and it is our aim to give back to those less fortunate than us, and protect our animals and planet! The concept behind inVOLVED is to do just that - get involved! As the DO IT NOW brand continues to expand in a variety of directions, the magazine, although it is our main focus, is just one of these avenues. Making sure that we stay on the right track is important to us, and who better to tell us than our valued readers! If you have any ideas or content suggestions that fall into the DO IT NOW pillars: ADVENTURE, SPORT or LIFESTYLE, we’d love to hear from you. Your feedback will assist us in meeting all your reading expectations and help us grow. Information can be sent through to us via any one of the following mediums: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Attention: DO IT NOW Mag Suggestions Website: www.doitnow.co.za
14 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
The DO IT NOW team is passionate about becoming actively involved with and raising awareness of the various charities, church, animal, wildlife and environmental conservation causes that are brought to our attention. So much so that DO IT NOW donates a percentage of its monthly earnings to a specially set up inVOLVED bank account, and the funds are used to help these causes. Our ultimate goal is to encourage our readers, co-workers and service providers to do the same and get involved. It is also our mission to laud the many unsung heroes who are making a real difference in our country by offering their services, time or money to improve our communities, help and protect the animals and care for our environment.
Read about a great initiative on pages 124-125. If you know of an institution or group in desperate need of help, please contact us at email@example.com and we will see how we can help bring their plight to the attention of our readers.
Photo Competition p.122
Reader Feedback! Thanks to all our readers who have given us feedback, and here’s what some of them had to say.
“Have received two issues already and they are absolutely fantastic enjoying them so much trying to spread the word for you. Thanks again.” Russell “Thx for a great mag!!!!” Johann
Blyde Xfest-Kayaking SA’s biggest and most popular white water kayaking event is taking place in February and DO IT NOW will be a part of this legendary and extreme event once again. Taking place from 25-27 February in the Blyde River canyon, the event is divided into three main categories, namely: Beginners, Intermediates and Pros. To enter contact Deon or Ronel at +27 (79) 388 2196.
Wartrail over the Witteberge DO IT NOW is looking forward to heading to the quaint town of Aliwal North to check out the Garmin Wartrial Challenge that is taking place over the weekend of 19-21 March. This three day event starts off with a 56km trail run in the Witteberge on Day 1, followed by a gruelling 135km mountain bike ride on Day 2 and finishes with a 65 km canoe paddle down the Orange River on the third and final day. See you there!
Yoga Seminar DO IT NOW is planning to attend the Bikram Yoga seminar at Monte Casino on 19 March 2011. It will be the first time that this honourable yoga master will be visiting South African, and is a definite highlight for any yoga fan and enthusiast!
“…There are great pictures, fantastic articles, fresh & fun look, some stuff are a bit too technical for me but there’s something for all types of outdoor lovers. I wish your magazine a long & successful life!” Anyas “I am thoroughly enjoying reading it. Thanks for a great publication.” Sue
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http://www.doitnow.co.za/subscriptions.html So don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, just DO IT NOW!
DO IT NOW Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle Arena Don’t miss this year’s Rand Show at Nasrec from 22 April to 2 May as it’s going to be bigger, better and DO IT NOW will be there too!
DO IT NOW was approached by the organisers of this iconic event to become a partner and put together an exciting new concept - an Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle Arena. This was just up our alley and an opportunity not to be missed. Hosting the first DO IT NOW Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle Arena at the Rand Show is a real feather in our cap and we are really looking forward to being a part of this famous Johannesburg event. Picture the scene: A mountain bike track, swimming pool, climbing wall and a selection of the country’s top adventure sport and lifestyle brands all in one space. Not only will you get to view the products, you will be able to put many of them to the test right then and there – wakeboarding, stand-up paddle and scuba diving are but a few of what you can look forward to trying out. To top it all, we will also be hosting a Touch Rugby event in the arena.
22 April - 2 May 2011 Flip to pages 8 and 9 to see how you can
WIN TWO ENTRY TICKETS compliments of the DO IT NOW team!
www.doitnow.co.za >> 15
// [inGEAR] Africa’s Most Upstanding Citizen • Suzuki SX4 2.0i AWD in Review // [inTRAIL] The Donkey Trail (Adapted from Top 12 Hiking Trails in the Western Cape) // [inH2O] Why We Surf • Your never-ending inland wave • Hot Days and High Waters • Diving the South Coast - Aliwal Shoal, Landers and Protea Banks • My Search for the SS Waratah, Part II // [inALTITUDE] Everest North Ridge Expedition 2010 - Part II
Photo: Chris Hitchcock Description: Street Luge
Words & photos by Dawie du Plessis
DO IT NOW | inGEAR: www.pictureafrica.org
Africa’s Most Upstanding Citizen During our adventure through the countries of southern and east Africa my wife, Catt, and I had to make a very important decision. We had two possible options to get from Kenya into Ethiopia. The first option was on a road that is renowned as the worst road in Africa, from Marsibit in Kenya to Moyale in Ethiopia; a hellish 250km two-day drive. It is rumoured to exist only to test patience and vehicle strength, and we did not meet a single person travelling south who managed it without some degree of damage to themselves or their vehicle.
3.527°N 39.056 °E 18 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
From left to right: Arrival in Ethiopia; A Mursi tribe member, Ethiopia; and Bale Mountains, Ethiopia
Our only other option was to travel up the western side of Lake Turkana, the Jade Sea, and that would take about a week and some 850km of off-road driving. Although it was speculated to be much friendlier to vehicles, but a little harder on people, we opted for this route. It came with interesting logistical challenges including the fact that you had to clear both customs and immigration in Nairobi a week before actually exciting the country. In Ethiopia you could clear immigration at the border town of Omorate, but as there is no customs office there we decided not to bother with that little formality. We went on to spend 39 days travelling the regions of Ethiopia without question from anyone official, and eventually it was time for us to trade the land of mountains for the deserts of northern Sudan. By the time we reached the Ethiopian border town of Metemo we had descended 2,000 metres and were only about 500 metres higher than the oceans of the world. The shadows were getting longer and I was in the worst possible frame of mind for border crossings. I was in a hurry. I declined the help of a fixer, as every border in the world is the same after all. You visit immigration, which we found by following a sign. Our passports were inspected and stamped within a few minutes and then we proceeded to customs. Nothing out of the ordinary so far. The fixer was waiting for us, asking about our Carnet and the more I tried to get rid of him, the louder he became. Of course, our Carnet was a little problem. In the first place, and most importantly to me, Ethiopia was NOT part of the Carnet Agreement and therefore had no right to stamp it and waste a page in the process. In the second place, and a potential issue here, was that we had entered the country in a place where
there was no customs, so we never cleared customs into Ethiopia. Instead of walking to the window I spotted some travellers camping at the border and headed their way. I knew why they were camping there. This specific border had decided to start demanding a letter from your embassy to guarantee your Carnet amount. It made sense that they had to, as the issuing authority of the Carnet would never pay any money over to a country that was not part of the agreement. However, this was the only border in the whole country that wanted this letter and most travellers only found about it when they arrived here. They then had to find a man with a phone and another man with an internet connection to organise the letter, which the embassies knew about and issued without any problem. Only once they could produce a print out of the PDF file, would they get their Carnet stamped by the customs guy and be allowed to drive their vehicle into Ethiopia.
Carnet de passage or ‘Carnet’ is a document issued by the Automobile Association of your country guaranteeing the payment of import duty of your vehicle to any country listed in the agreement, should you not re-export the vehicle for any reason. So by having a Carnet you avoid the hassle and cost of Temporary Import Permits. It basically acts as a passport for your vehicle.
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 19
... And so it began: “Where is your Carnet?” “Well, I don’t have a Carnet for Ethiopia.” “How did you manage to enter the country without one?” “So what is the solution,” I asked, feeling the wallet in my pocket scratch deep furrows into my thigh. “Only one solution,” said the man in charge (It had taken 10 minutes to find out who he actually was), “you need a Carnet and letter, and if you don’t have that I can’t let you go.” I made him repeat that twice in front of everyone there. “Ok,” I said, “here’s my letter (which I had) and here’s my Carnet, which was not stamped into the country, but is what you need, yes?” Check mate! Or so I thought. He still made us sit on a bench in front of his office for an hour. In that hour I explained to his college that they were ambassadors for the country and their actions that day would be what I would remember about Ethiopia and its people. I said this loud enough for the man to hear. So after an hour, with us feeling like naughty school children, he called us into the office, accepted our letter and stamped our Carnet into and out of Ethiopia. He called me a joker and said he liked my negotiation skills, and I actually started liking him as well. At the end of the day he had a picture-recognition need to fulfil and I provided him with the papers to fulfil it. Although I highlighted the fact that he had wasted a piece of paper that was worth nothing to him, yet cost about the same as two month’s salary for the average
Gelada Baboons, Simien Mountains
person in Ethiopia, meant nothing to him. He had also enforced his authority long enough so that we could not go any further that day and was very pleased indeed when I asked him if we could camp with our fellow travellers in the customs yard. The only part about this scenario I couldn’t understand was that no money had changed hands. He was not after a bribe and I think offering him one would have delayed us even longer. He seemed to be a serious, professional and honest border official in Africa … something that should be on the extreme endangered species list. Once we had made camp and started cooking he came by for a chat. Nothing more, just a chat about how we found his country and what advice we had for it. I was honest with him as I believed he deserved and wanted honesty. He took everything in and pondered it before saying “I know … we are working on it,” and then wished us a pleasant evening in time for the black market money changer to do his deal. Even he did not try to cheat us, another first on our travels. So there at the customs house, on the border to Sudan, we sat around a camp fire with four South African bikers and a father and son team from Belgium in a Land Cruiser. We swopped stories and cellphone sim cards as we had done in other places, and grilled some Kenyan beef fillet over Ethiopian coals. The toilet was grim and shower cold, but not that far off what we had seen in other campsites. We were not asked to pay for our stay and no bribes were solicited from us. We had no less than nine men with big guns protecting us and the ladies in the kitchen even invited us to evening coffee. It was all a little too bizarre, but quite a fantastic end to travelling the country of Ethiopia. The man from customs ended up being the best ambassador a country could hope for and I suspect he knew it too. Lalibela St George Church, Ethiopia
Anyway, I decided to have a quick chat to them and try and sneak back to the car, start her up and drive straight though. The security guard had a rope, not a boom, and as he was half a sleep I thought he may just accept that I had done what I had to and let me go. But when I got to the entrance my friendly fixer was there to point me in the right direction and would not allow me to ignore him. In the end a customs official saw me and called me over. And so it began: “Where is your Carnet?” “Well, I don’t have a Carnet for Ethiopia.” “How did you manage to enter the country without one?” he asked. “Well it’s like this: I entered through the Omo Valley and visited Omorate Immigration but there is no customs office there.” This went back and forth for 20 minutes until I got Catt involved. The customs official then said he could only let us go if we had a letter from our embassy guaranteeing the value of the vehicle. That made no sense as we clearly had the vehicle and were leaving the country. Perhaps he thought we could sell it or total it in the three metres between the parking area and end of Ethiopia? My pointing this out did not really help the situation.
DO IT NOW | inGEAR: Words and photos by Francois Steyn
Suzuki SX4 2.0i AWD in Review "It’s best described as a hatchback for city driving or weekend getaways for two, with the option to venture off the tarmac when your curiosity gets the better of you."
For decades the only Suzukis, other than bikes and boat engines, you found in South Africa were the SJ-series ‘Jeeps’. That all changed with the introduction of the latest range of Suzuki passenger vehicles into the local market in 2008. www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 21
The first to hit our shores were the Swift and SX4, then later in 2008, the Jimny and range-topping Grand Vitara SUV arrived. In 2009, the smaller entry level 1,000cc Alto also joined the ranks. All fit perfectly in their respective market segments, except for the SX4. My wife has always liked the shape of the SX4, but I didn’t quite know what to think of it. It does not really qualify as a SUV as it’s too small, but then it’s not really a hatchback either. I was looking forward to finding out more. I had the privilege of driving the 2.0i AWD SX4 for a week. The only problem being that my wife and I had a weekend-long wedding in Matjiesfontein and I had already offered two of our best friends a lift. Would two couples’ weekend tog bags, two cooler bags for the pre-wedding braai and suits for a formal wedding fit into the small luggage hole?
The SX4 range consists of three derivatives being the base model in manual guise, a CVT geared auto and the range topper, the manual AWD or 4x4. All feature of the same 2-litre, 112 kW engine delivering 190 Nm torque at 4,000 rpm. In the manual models power is transferred to the front wheels via a slick, short shifting six-speed gearbox, and in the AWD there’s a button between the front seats for switching over to automatic or permanent four-wheel drive. In auto mode the power is still delivered to the front wheels only until grip is lost. Drive is then spread to the rear wheels for more traction. The AWD model also comes standard with ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), or traction control. This is a handy safety feature, especially on slippery wet roads. Next to the AWD button there’s a switch to turn off the ESP. This is useful should you get stuck in sand and need it to allow wheelspin to get free. The brakes are very sharp, yet easy to modulate and all the models feature ABS, EBD and six airbags. The controls are simple to operate with two large dials for climate control on the centre console. The radio and cruise control switches are located on the leather-clad, multi-function steering wheel. The display is bright and easily readable, with large twin analogue dials for the speedo and
rev counter. The onboard computer shows outside temperature, two trip computers, range left and average fuel consumption. It also has a digital bar graph showing the current consumption in km/h. The power steering is speed sensitive making it very easy to park, but firms up when at speed. The ride is solid, but not uncomfortable and ergonomically the whole cabin is well laid out. There is more than enough headroom in the rear, and legroom at the back is sufficient when sitting ‘behind myself’. One of the first things I noticed getting in was the great visibility due to the triangular side windows at the front and the SUV-like rear-view mirrors. Even though the boot space is rather small because of its hatchback shape, we had enough room for all our luggage. This was due to the fake floor panel in the boot and the parcel shelve being removable, which almost doubles the usable space if you’re willing to stack up. The rear seats also fold flat, creating a rather useful loading bay if you’re only two. During the weekend trip I didn’t hold back as we wanted to reach Matjiesfontein before dark, while passing more trucks than I’ve ever had to on this stretch of the N1. Dropping a cog or two, the 2-litre, inline four makes passing 18-wheelers effortless. At the national speed limit, the car feels very stable and not nearly out of breath, even heavily laden with wedding guests. I am sure with a lighter foot you’ll easily achieve the claimed 13.2 km/l and more. The onboard computer showed we averaged 11.4 km/l. Not bad considering the load and constant play through the gear ratios. It’s very hard to define the SX4 and even harder to compare it to the ‘opposition’. It’s best described as a hatchback for city driving or weekend getaways for two, with the option to venture off the tarmac when your curiosity gets the better of you. At R233 900 for the flagship AWD variant, it’s very well priced considering the specification levels, special features and service plan included. You also get something you rarely find in this price range: something different. During my week with the SX4 I had more than a couple of comments, the likes of, “nice car” and “what’s that you’re driving?” That’s pretty hard to find in an affordable car these days!
Below are some possible contenders as opposition in the same price range, with reasons why it’s not comparable: Price
R226 900 R227 500 R234 995 R239 900 R269 000 R294 995
Dodge Caliber 2.0 SXT Nissan Qashqai 1.6 Visia Daihatsu Terios 1.5 4x4 Hyundai iX35 2.0 GL 4x2 Subaru Impreza 2.0 RS 4-dr Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD
No 4WD, but bigger No 4WD, 1.6-litre, 81 kW engine 1.5-litre, 77 kW engine, higher price No 4WD, but bigger, higher price Less efficient, higher price Bigger, higher price
For more information visit www.suzukiauto.co.za
Suzuki Acceleration Series 2010 Following a successful debut at venues around the country during 2008, Suzuki Auto South Africa decided to run a second, extended season of the Acceleration Series in 2010, with significant prizes at stake. The series consisted of 20 events around the country where members of the public had to compete in two challenges. The first being a timed precision driving exercise in a Suzuki Swift and an Alto around a predetermined gymkhana track laid out with traffic cones, while the second task involved loading the boot of a SX4 with cardboard boxes. The fastest combined time of the two runs, plus time penalties for each box left after the allowed 50 seconds were over (or time deducted for each second left after fitting all the boxes), determined your time. The winners in each town then went on to the final, where the overall winner won a Suzuki Swift Sport. I had a go at the Tygervalley shopping centre parking lot. Driving
instructor, Willie Oosthuysen, gave me tips while I manoeuvred the cars through the cones. The track was much tighter than it looked from outside the car and I managed to clip a cone in the Swift, adding five seconds to my run. It was amazing how tiring a 42 second stint can be, my arms were still shaking driving home afterwards. Both cars were great fun around the tight turns, but the smaller Alto made it much easier with its shorter wheelbase and nippy 1 000cc engine. The aim of the show was to promote Suzuki as a fun and adventurous brand, and chatting to some of the dealership representatives you really got the feeling they enjoy the products they promote and the company they work for. I think they’re on to something special, because when I drove around in the SX4 for a week, each time I passed another Suzuki, I almost felt obliged to wave. Well done Suzuki SA! •
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 23
by Fiona McIntosh DO IT NOW | inTRAIL: Words Photos by Shaen Adey
Donkey Trail Adapted from Top 12 Hiking Trails in the Western Cape
One of the problems with many of the classic trails in South Africa is that you need to set aside several days to hike them. So its always a bonus to come across trails that really get you out into the wilderness and can be completed in a weekend. 24 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ February/March 2011
"... a scenic and historically fascinating journey ..."
The Donkey Trail, in the Swartberg Mountains, is one such trail - a scenic and historically fascinating journey that any moderately fit hiker will thoroughly enjoy. Although the spectacular scenery and ever-present spoils are reason enough to sign up, what gives this trail its special character is the donkeys. Following in the footsteps of one of these amiable beasts of burden provides a natural rhythm and a bond between hiker and animal. There’s also a sense of history, of déjà vu, taking you back to the days when there was no road to the isolated valley of Gamkaskloof, and goods were carried over the mountain passes by great trains of donkeys and their drivers.
The trail starts at Living Waters Mountain Estate in the valley of Groenfontein, about 15km from Calitzdorp, where you overnight in one of the quaint, renovated historic cottages on the farm and enjoy a home-cooked feast. After breakfast the next morning, the donkeys are brought to the lawn in front of the main guest area and loaded up. The friendly beasts, all previously abused animals from the Donkey Rescue Programme in De Rust, thoroughly enjoy being the centre of attention and the petting they receive as panniers are strapped to their backs. Each hiker can send up to five kilogrammes of personal gear – clean clothing, toiletries, books and whatever – up to the overnight camp.
The trail begins gently, but soon you’re on the steep series of zigzags that leads out of the valley. It’s strenuous stuff to encounter so early in the day, but if you follow the guides’ advice to take it easy, it’s not so bad – and you can always stop to smell the flowers or cast your eyes to the sky looking for the resident Verreaux’s Eagle, also known as the African Black Eagle or Black Eagle, soaring overhead should you need a break. The path then contours round for a while through rhenosterveld before you arrive at the first of two steep river valleys. The women on the trail are invited to enjoy swimming in the pools of the first river, while the men modestly retire to the second stream to bathe. This second river crossing, one of the few places on the trail where there’s shade, is the lunch spot where the guides unpack a tasty picnic. Once you’ve climbed out of this valley the scenery changes and delicate flowers line the path. Ahead of you are great folded mountains and as you round the spur, the wide saddle of Wyenek looks a long way off. Although you’re at almost 1,200m, it’s now the heat of the day and the final pull to the nek, past gnarly rockoutcrops that is pretty strenuous. Once on the crest, a magnificent scene unfolds and your eyes wander across a protea-covered plateau and over the secluded valley of Gamkaskloof. The path follows a tumbling river past waterfalls and rock pools until suddenly you sight the big canvas tents of the camp on a bluff above the river. A big pool lies at the bottom of the waterfall just below camp and is the perfect place to shower and bath. If you don’t feel like venturing that far, there’s a basin, flask of hot water, soap, shampoo, body lotion and towels in your spacious tented suite. Sleeping sheets, warm sleeping bags, pillows and comfortable mattresses on stretcher beds, lights and flowers complete the accommodation package – it’s a bit like being on a luxury safari.
up for their return journey to the farm while you head up the hill towards Gamkaskloof. After admiring the vista from the top you start the steep descent, and the views of the hidden valley just get better and better as you lose height. The vegetation changes again as you leave the fynbos and occasional colourful lilies behind, and drop into bushy rhenosterveld. The trail levels out as you round a final bend, this time offering stunning views of the aloe-covered slopes and vegetated valley below. Keep your eyes peeled for Klipspringer as you hike, as these agile little buck are so well camouflaged that they’re difficult to spot unless they move. But there are a good number around. You’ll often see Kudu spoor on the trail too, as these animals have wisely decided that using the trail is easier than bashing through the bush! Then, almost suddenly, you’re at the dirt road that cuts down steeply to the campsite. This section of road, Elandspad, which drops some 800m into the kloof, was a monumental engineering effort. You can hitch a ride in one of the support vehicles down Elandspad, but I’d recommend hiking this section both for the scenery and the fact that travelling down in a car is quite harrowing. The narrow road is not somewhere you’d want to meet oncoming vehicles! Lunch is served in the shade of the trees at the campsite before you continue to the overnight cottages. If you don’t fancy the walk, then once again there’s the option to hop in a vehicle and drive down the bumpy road to your ‘home’ for the night; one of the 10 beautifully restored old clay houses in the valley, where the guides prepare a celebratory braai.
The mist usually stays until about 09:00, so there’s no rush to get going in the morning. But after breakfast, the donkeys are loaded
"... all previously abused animals from the Donkey Rescue Programme in De Rust, thoroughly enjoy being the centre of attention ..."
For more information about the trail, visit www.donkeytrail.com
The drive out in the morning, along the winding, sometimes precipitous dirt road is spectacular and the fynbos, game sightings and views keep you enthralled. Descending the Swartberg Pass is another treat as you follow a gravel road back to Groenfontein. After all that you’ve experienced, it’s hard to believe that you only left the farm a couple of days ago. •
One of Four copies of the 'Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape'!
Name the Hiking Trail article in DO IT NOW issue Vol 1 issue 1 2009. To Enter: Email your answer along with your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org Closing Date: 10 March 2011 The winner will be drawn on 11 March 2011 from all CORRECT entries and announced in the April/May 2011 issue of DO IT NOW Magazine, as well as DO IT NOW Facebook page. Winners will be notified via telephone and email. Terms and conditions apply.
DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words by Johann Kriek Photos by Danie Pretorius
I suppose we all have our own reasons for getting wet. Some of us grow up surfing, while others, like me, didn’t start until the age of 11 or 12, but have surfed almost every day since that very first wave. My love of surfing started on a family holiday with a friend. We fooled around on boogie boards for a few days, but quickly got bored and decided to have a go on his older brother’s surfboard. As soon as I got home, I went straight to my dad and begged him to buy me a surfboard. We looked in the local newspaper and found two boards that had been gathering dust in a lady’s garage for a few years. And that was it, I was hooked! So what is it about surfing that keeps us spell bound and coming back for more? I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands due to a broken jaw (an unrelated surfing injury), and have given this question a lot of thought. The more I think about it, the more reasons I come up with. The simplest reason would be to say that we do it for the love, but for the love of what? We surf because we love to be outside, with the sun on our backs, wind in our hair and the sound of waves crashing around us. The surfing lifestyle is also extremely healthy as you’re always outdoors, having good clean fun and getting a full body workout while doing something you really enjoy. This laid-back way of life of slip-slops,
28 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
board shorts and spending great times with your buddies is impossible to resist! Surfing is freedom. We surf because when it all goes just right you are completely free from all the ties of the world. Some people surf for the love of competing and thrive on the feeling of winning. Today’s top surfers get paid huge amounts of money to travel the world and compete. A few of my favourite surfers, who are currently competing on the World Tour, include Joel Parkinson, the current world number two, Jordy Smith and 10-times world champ, Kelly Slater. Then there’s the professional free surfers, who also get paid hefty amounts of money, but don’t compete in contests. Instead they compete for coverage in magazines, adverts and video sections in surf movies. In addition to these reasons, having the right equipment to enhance your experience is equally important, especially if you want to perform. An essential part of this formula is having a good
relationship with your surfboard shaper. Sticking with one shaper creates trust and loyalty between both the surfer and shaper, and by doing this you’ll get quality boards designed exactly to suit your specifications. Rodd Davey is a top shaper who loves and understands surfing and surfboards. I’ve been riding his boards for a couple of years and we’ve built a great relationship. He knows exactly what I want and we work on ideas and designs together, so I know I always get the best possible product and ride.
of why we surf … maybe it’ll be the bikinis-clad beach goddesses, the smell of sun block, a delicious braai after a long hot summer day, warm water or even the thousands of Vaalies who make their annual pilgrimage to our beaches that will put a smile on your face and have you nodding in agreement as to why we surfers surf.
So whether we surf for fun, professionally, long board or short board, it’s in our blood and no matter where we go or what we do, it will always be part of us!
See you in the water! •
The wind has just turned off shore, the tide is busy pushing and a wave’s got my name on it …
At the moment I’m in a really happy place. I’ve got awesome sponsors, great friends and I live in Mossel Bay, one of the most wave and weather consistent towns in the world. What more can one ask for? By the time you read this, the festive season would have come and gone, and you may have had the opportunity to add to my reasons
A shaper is someone who builds and designs surfboards by hand.
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 29
DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words by Perino Hanack Photos courtesy of Liquid Force and Malibu Boats
Wakesurfing: Your never
ending inland wave
Wakesurfing is a mixture between wakeboarding and surfing in which a surfer trails behind an inboard boat (wakeboarding boat), surfing the boat's wake without being attached to the boat. The wake from a boat mimics the look and feel of an actual ocean wave. After getting up on the wave by use of a tow rope, wakesurfers drop the rope and ride the steep face below the wave's peak in a fashion similar to ocean surfing. Wakesurfers generally use special boards, usually five feet or shorter.
Never wakesurf behind an outboard, stern drive or inboard/outboard boat! If you can see the boat's propeller, don’t surf behind it. If you break this golden rule, you could lose a limb or two, or worst case scenario, die. And if you ever see someone throwing caution to the wind, tell them to stop and rather invite them out on your boat before they get chewed up and spat out by the propeller.
Weighting the boat To achieve a large enough wave to wakesurf on, the wakeboard boat needs to be weighted on one side with ballast, extra weights, large bags of water called ‘fat sacks’ and even friends will do. The boat speed that you surf at is between 9-12 miles per hour as this also helps to increase the size of the wake. When weighting a boat, the general rule of thumb is there needs to be a 60/40 weight split. Therefore, 60% of the weight should be placed towards the rear and 40% towards the front. The reason for this is that the wake of the boat starts at the bow and the deeper the boat is in the water, the bigger the wake. Certain boats like Malibu have hydrofoils, which when deployed pull the boat into the water causing a larger wake. One advantage of this type of system is that you are able to scalp the shape of your wake more precisely. So the more weight you have in the back of the boat, the larger and steeper the wake. By putting weight in the front of the boat, you can make the wake longer. Wakesurfers put anywhere from 500-3,000 pounds of ballast or weight in their boats to create a good surf wake.
Driving the boat When pulling up a wakesurfer, you should accelerate quite a bit slower than you would when pulling a wakeboarder or skier. Boat speed will vary depending on the make, model and amount of weight, but the range is usually 9-12 miles per hour. Drive the boat in a straight line, not in a circle, to produce a clean, crisp wake.
How to stand up on a wakesurf board Start in the water by lying on your back, with your heels resting on the wakesurf board. Hold onto the wakesurf rope and when the boat starts to move, push your heels down so the board flips up onto your feet. The pressure of the water against the board will keep it on your feet, then let the boat’s power pull you up and over the board. When you are up, turn the board and pull yourself into the wake. Use the rope to pull yourself into the pocket of the wake, the area where the wake will generate momentum and power for you. Once in the pocket, you will need to use your balance to stay there. You can do this by applying pressure to your front foot, which will help you accelerate. If you are getting ahead of the pocket, apply pressure to your back foot to slow you down. As soon as you are steady in the pocket, throw the rope into the boat and surf to your heart’s content. Not only is wakesurfing a great way to wind down from a long day of wakeboarding and wakeskating, it can also make an awesome afternoon on the water entirely on its own.
So load those boats and your wakesurf board, and hit that never ending inland wave. •
For more information contact Liquid Force HQ on email@example.com Straight Line manufactures sacks specifically for wakesurfing.
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 31
by Deon Breytenbach DO IT NOW | inH2O: Words Photos by various contributors
AND HIGH WATERS
t to do if you came into contact In the last issue I focused on river critters and wha what happens to the water during with them whilst paddling. Now I'd like to look at the summer months and the dos and don'ts.
who goes onto the water, anyone But before we even get first aid nt, sic rescue equipme a kayaking should have ba m. rescue training behind the kit and some swift water v Rheede. Paddler Oudts a Boshofa Photo by Lind
There are a number of training centres in the Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo that provide excellent training. Do yourself a favour and also invest in a good white water safety manual and here I highly recommend Franco Ferrero’s ‘White Water Safety and Rescue’ guide. Having gear and not knowing how to use it is almost as bad as not having anything. Furthermore, improper use of equipment could possibly endanger yourself and the victim even further. Now to the water. There are a multitude of summer paddling destinations in southern Africa, all with different volumes, grading (ranging from Grade 1, which is super easy with little or no chance of capsizing, to Grade 6, super difficult, extremely dangerous and only for the pros) and hidden dangers. If you are not a competent Grade 4 paddler with equally competent paddling partners, stay away from the flood waters! To quote the legendary author William Neally, “There are three reasons for running a river in flood: by accident (flash flood), misadventure (ignorance of river level) or choice (defective genetic programming).” If you arrive at a put in that’s in flood and you need to ask another paddler if they think you are capable, then you aren’t! Swimming in flooded rivers is a bad idea. Rescuing a swimmer is near impossible and you’ll more than likely lose some, if not all, of your equipment, and it’s sure to ruin the day for you and your mates.
Warm W ate
Paddling very high or flooding rivers is exceptionally dangerous and not recommended for inexperienced paddlers. In fact, it is generally not recommended for anyone. Remember that a section you paddle often on normal flows will be very different in high conditions. Some rapids change, some disappear completely and new ones form in strange unexpected places. It can happen that you’re paddling on your favourite section on a normal flow and then halfway down the water rises suddenly and you are now paddling in flood conditions. Therefore in summer, it’s really important to keep an eye on the expected rainfall for the catchment area of the river you plan to paddle. You also need to make sure you have the correct information about current levels, as well as where and how to check if the river is not too high. Local paddlers will generally have some form of marker they use to judge the levels, so make the effort to find out where
"If you have to punch through a big feature, do so with speed, momentum and commitment."
these markers are and what they mean. Trust the local paddlers and if they say it’s too high, then it probably is. On normal flows, the water follows the course of the river bed with the usual high and low pressure areas where the current flows into and around obstacles such as boulders or the river bank. The main current will be rather stable, with the slower moving areas along the banks relatively calm. As the volume increases, so too does the power and speed of the current. Instead of following the general flow pattern, the current starts to collide violently with the outside corners or bends in the river, as well as any other object in its way. The normal safe areas such as pools and eddies get filled with ‘funny’ water, making them unstable and rather violent. Any area where currents of different speeds and directions are moving past each other is also where you will most likely encounter whirlpools. Whirlpools, like most things during flood conditions, are not friendly so stay away.
h water gest issues with very hig big the of e on bly ba Pro end up river disappear and you is that the banks of the outing, sc to get off the water for with little or no space you are This is a big problem if g. pin ca es or g gin rta po ep-sided of a canyon or very ste paddling in some form rivers On ly. t of dry ground quick valley as you will run ou ance of re is a slightly better ch with wide flood plains the unawares. escape if you get caught Another issue is that eddies and calm sections fill up with flood debris, forming mobile strainers and obstacles. Logs recirculating in eddies also do excellent crocodile impressions. In flood conditions, the majority of wildlife in the river will also be hanging out in eddies and slow-moving sections. So it’s best to stay in the main flow or faster moving currents, especially if there are crocs and hippos around. One of the major dangers of flood-stage paddling is strainers, whether fixed or mobile. Strainers are objects that allow water to flow through them, but do not allow solid objects like humans or kayaks to get through. During flood stage, the river overflows its banks and the water gathers up the debris that has accumulated over winter and transports it downstream. You therefore need to keep your eyes open for trees and other strange objects floating down the river with you and avoid them at all cost. This is also why
you don’t want to get sucked into holes or pour-overs as these floating obstacles will end up there too, recirculating with you and just like swimming in these conditions, it’s not a good situation to be in. If you are really keen on getting out there in very high conditions, then paddle a day or two after the peak flow has either started dropping or stabilised, as there will generally be fewer floating dangers a day or so after the first high water. If you have to head to the side, do so in a spot with slow current and as little vegetation as possible. And remember to keep your eyes open for any critters also seeking refuge there. The general flow will also be moving at a much higher speed so you won’t need to paddle as much because the water is already moving very fast. Your visibility will be limited to when you are on the top of a wave, as opposed to the bottom where all you will see is water. A good tactic is to float along at a slight angle to the main current with an active blade in the water. When you go over the crest of a wave, look as far downstream as possible to identify features that you need to avoid like big pour-overs. As soon as you have seen where you need to be, start paddling and as you go over the next wave, check downstream once again to gauge your progress. The strength and speed of the current in these conditions is deceptive, especially if you are inexperienced with paddling in flood conditions. It’s also very easy to misjudge the distance and end up in the wrong place. If you have to punch through a big feature, do so with speed, momentum and commitment. Just before you make contact with the foam pile, remember to tuck down low and keep a paddle blade active in the water. Tucking before impact is very important because if you don’t it will leave your deck exposed to the oncoming water, causing it to implode and then you’ll be swimming. Yes, that’s a bad thing. Unfortunately there is not enough space here for me to cover everything that you need to know about paddling in high water conditions. So if you want to paddle rivers during high water conditions, the best thing to do is spend as much time paddling as possible, as the more comfortable you are with yourself, your equipment and the river, the better. Avoid strainers and retentive features like the plague. Never be afraid to walk away from high conditions if you are unsure of the section or your skills. Paddling on a different day is better than never paddling again.
Until the next issue, keep it dry and happy summer tripping. • www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 33
Words & Photos by Desire Gird
I grasped the validity of these precautions when I heard that the fastest growing formation develops at a meager rate of one millimetre per century! This marked the first of many enlightening remarks by our guides in their fight against the ignorance at the root of cave damage. Within two hours we navigated to a depth of 78m, passing through narrow, slippery tunnels containing fascinating features before returning to the surface. Wild Caves Adventures operates in the Cradle of Human Kind World Heritage area and offers opportunities to safely explore and learn about this unusual environment. The excursion is fun and informative as the guides share their passion for and knowledge of the caves. I was delighted to discover over 400 activities in the Cradle area
and have consequently added some to my own bucket list. These options are under an hour’s drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria and I’m embarrassed at how I, like many Gauteng residents, complain about a ‘lack’ of outdoor activities. On the way back to the office, the distinctive towers of Johannesburg reminded me of the mining activity in the caves during the 1800s. The guide explained that lime from the caves was used to ‘lay the foundations of Johannesburg’ and how each load took at least three months to transport. I met traffic with a renewed appreciation of our motorways and considered the 30 minutes added to my journey as reasonable in comparison. Then again, I was not sure my boss would share the sentiment and did not recall adding ‘get fired’ to that bucket list. •
Words by Fiona McIntosh (Abridged from the Dive Sites of South Africa & Mozambique)
DO IT NOW | inH2O: Photos by Fiona McIntosh and Barry Coleman (Meridian Dive)
the South Coast
Aliwal Shoal Landers Protea Banks The coast south of Durban offers some of the most varied and exciting diving in the world, and the premier sites of Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks are regularly showered with accolades by international dive magazines.
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 35
Most dive operators are centred in the town of Umkomaas, a 40-minute drive south of Durban, the most northerly launch site and closest to the fossilised sand dune of Aliwal Shoal. Rated as one of the top ten dives sites of the world by Diver Magazine, the Shoal, which is around five kilometres long and some three to five kilometres offshore, offers an incredible variety of marine life as well as dramatic topography. There are two wrecks – the Produce and Nebo – vast Brindle Bass, magnificent rays including Manta Rays, turtles, great shoals of pelagic fish and some rare sightings such as Harlequin Goldies and Tiger Angelfish. But these are often overlooked by divers who come in the hope of seeing the stars of the show, Aliwal’s famous seasonal visitors, the Ragged-tooth Sharks, which congregate on the Shoal to mate between June and November, and Tiger and Hammerhead Sharks, which are often sighted in the summer months. And if getting up close and personal with apex predators is your dream, then this is the place. Several operators including Aliwal Dive Centre and African Watersports on Aliwal Shoal and African Dive Adventures at Protea Banks offer baited shark diving on which you’ll generally see Tiger Sharks and Blacktips, and at Protea, Zambezis (Bull Sharks) as you drift next to a chum-filled bucket in the deep blue. The relatively un-dived Landers reefs, around two to four kilometres offshore and just south of Aliwal Shoal, are one of the best-kept secrets of South African diving. The sites are accessible, if a fairly long boat ride, from Umkomaas and several operators launch out of Rocky Bay, some 20km south. The topography and marine life on these reefs, also fossilised sand dunes, is fairly similar to that of Aliwal Shoal, but the reefs are deeper so there are exciting opportunities for experienced divers on the walls and deeper sites, while novices can explore the top of the reefs.
Protea Banks is acknowledged as one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks and is an absolute must for adrenalin junkies. Some seven-and-a-half kilometres offshore and swept by currents, its main draw card is the variety of shark and other big pelagic species, which includes Zambezi, Hammerhead, Raggedtooth, Dusky, Thresher, Tiger and Blacktip Sharks, the occasional Great White, Mako or Bronze Whaler, large numbers of rays and game fish and of course all the usual reef dwellers. Whether you dive the southern or northern pinnacles depends on the season (the former is best in summer, the latter in winter/spring) and both are truly unbelievable dives. However, the depth of the sites, current and distance from shore means that they are the preserve of advanced divers only. And that’s not all. Every year, usually in late June and August, the South Coast experiences the Sardine Run, the annual migration of sardines and their predators. The coastal towns become a hive of activity as local and visiting dive charters take out recreational divers, National Geographic film-makers and landlubbers who all want to be part of the action.
For dive courses or charters contact: • African Watersports: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.africanwatersports.com • Aliwal Dive Centre: email@example.com / www.aliwalshoal.co.za • Meridian Dive: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.meridiandive.com • African Dive Adventures (Protea Banks): email@example.com / www.africandiveadventures.co.za
To check out likely sightings at anytime of the year and learn more about the various marine species found on the South Coast, visit wwww.divestart.com
36 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
Baited Shark Dives
on Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks I did my first Tiger Shark dive off Aliwal Shoal in 2004. My logbook sums up the exhilaration!
A four-metre long, striped torpedo makes a beeline for my legs. I try to keep calm, keep eye contact and be dominant. But my mind is racing. What am I doing here? This is crazy! So far the shark has veered off before contact. But this time its approach looks for real, it’s coming in with intent. I let out an involuntary scream, fin frantically upward and as the shark passes underneath me I look up to find my guide aggressively wagging his finger. ‘No, no, no’; the digit says. He thumps his fist into his open palm and I remember the briefing, ‘Be aggressive, if the shark comes too close push it away gently with your camera. But NEVER back off, use rapid movements or in anyway act like prey.' I know the rules; I know exactly what he’s telling me. But man, when a massive Tiger Shark looks like it’s about to take your legs off, it’s easy to lose your cool. I was scared. If you thought shark cage diving with Great Whites was extreme, try this one for size. The adventure follows the same principles, baiting in, then diving with sharks – but without the cage! And off Aliwal Shoal it’s one of the most dangerous sharks in the world that tends to take the bait, the indiscriminate, scavenging Tiger Shark. Since then I’ve enjoyed numerous baited shark dives here and, more recently, on Protea Banks. And far from being scared, I’ve come to appreciate the privilege of such close encounters with apex predators. There are still detractors, but let’s be honest, divers come to Protea Banks (and to a lesser extent the Shoal) to see sharks, but in the big blue encounters are uncertain and distant, and more often than not the shark swims off within seconds! So a dive on which you’re almost guaranteed close encounters with four-metre Tiger Sharks or, on Protea Banks, three-metre Zambezis, is a winner. This is the principle of the baited dives – at shallow depths, between 6-12m depending on location, you’ve almost unlimited dive time with the guys with the big teeth – plenty of time to study the awesome creatures and photograph them. Getting up close and personal with sharks sounds terrifying, and of course they are wild creatures, and like any wild animal interaction, nothing is ever certain. But the dives are well controlled and there have never been any incidents. And by the end of the dive you have a different approach to these magnificent, graceful predators – it is an incredible privilege to have been in their company. •
One of Four copies of the 'Atlas of Dive Sites of South Africa & Mozambique'!
Name the DO IT NOW Magazine issue that featured a diver on the main cover photo. To Enter: Email your answer along with your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org Closing Date: 10 March 2011 The winner will be drawn on 11 March 2011 from all CORRECT entries and announced in the April/May 2011 issue of DO IT NOW Magazine, as well as DO IT NOW Facebook page. Winners will be notified via telephone and email. Terms and conditions apply.
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DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words by Emlyn Brown Photos courtesy of Emlyn Brown / www.shipwrecksafari.com
My Search for the
SS Waratah 1909, Part 3 The SS Waratah myster complex anatomy of uncony is a sightings, both on land and firmed sea. Theories and arguments foout at against any unconfirmed si r and depend on many factors, such ghtings speed and course of the ship as the the effects of atrocious sea con s and on their individual speeds. S ditions the most experienced mariner ome of pondered, mostly unsuccessfu ll s have these missing steamships for y y, over ears on end. In the case of the SS Waratah, the sightings of bodies floating in the water and other flotsam pointed to the likelihood that if the SS Waratah was going to be found, it would be in the vicinity of the Bashee River. This was, to all accounts, the most favourable location as recorded in historical research documents. For many years, no one other than myself has had first-hand experience in closely examining these records. As my research was based primarily on the sightings of Cape Mounted Rifleman Joe Conquer, on 28 July 1909, and Lt. Roos, in 1925, it was logical and not an improbable pattern of events at the time, with sufficient circumstantial evidence upon which to base a search. But none of this made sense when the submarine drew closer to the wreck, as the military tanks seen on the seabed were not part of the cargo carried by the SS Waratah. The wreck turned out to be the Nailsea Meadow, a 4,926-ton ship
38 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ February/March 2011
transporting a cargo of tanks and military hardware for General Montgomery's Eighth Army on a voyage north towards Egypt via the Suez Canal. This final editorial on the SS Waratah mystery is an attempt to share some of the complex issues surrounding unconfirmed sightings, on land and sea, a researcher is faced with. In a snapshot, my own theory was that the SS Waratah passed south of the Bashee River. Something went wrong onboard the ship and she headed north back to Durban and into the full force of a storm. Joe Conquer witnessed this and saw the ship roll over. Now that may well have been, but thatâ€™s not where the SS Waratah actually sunk. This, even if it is my own theory, bears some credence because I should have never been diving on the Nailsea Meadow off the Xora River mouth. The Nailsea Meadow was in fact torpedoed
by the U-196 off Port St Johns, way north of the Xora River. But that too is not where the Nailsea Meadow sunk. She drifted south with the current to the Xora River and finally sunk in 117 metres of water. This now raises the question of what Lt. Roos witnessed from the air in 1925, as the Nailsea Meadow only sunk in 1945, 20 years later! If the Nailsea Meadow could drift down south with the current and sink at the Xora, then the SS Waratah could have rolled over at the Xora, as witnessed by Conquer, and also drifted down south to a point unknown. We know that the SS Waratah left Durban at 20h00 on Monday, 26 July 1909 with 211 passengers and crew onboard. The tugboat Richard King was in attendance as the doomed SS Waratah was gently nudged from her berth at ‘C’ shed on the Point. A stiff breeze was already blowing and caution was needed when manoeuvring a 10,000 ton ship from her berth. There is documentary evidence to the fact that comments were passed regarding the ships ‘tenderness’, and even more alarming were comments that the ship was going to roll over. Captain Ilbery’s comments about the ship’s tenderness did not however go that far, while one passenger in particular walked off the ship as he knew it was going to sink. Even prior to the SS Waratah berthing at Durban, the voyage from Australia was not without comment as to the ship’s stability. On the previous day, 25 July, the Clan ship, Clan MacIntyre, left Durban bound for the United Kingdom via Cape Town. She was a slower ship and the SS Waratah soon caught up with the Clan ship off Cape Hermes, Port St. Johns around 06h00 on the morning of 27 July. The position is known as 31.36 S 29.58 E and places the Clan ship fifteen-and-a-half miles offshore, with the SS Waratah being between the Clan ship and land. The two ships exchanged signals and after a pleasant final exchange, the SS Waratah, with her superior speed, steamed ahead. The Clan MacIntyre crew noticed that at around 09h30, the SS Waratah was apparently opposite the Bashee River mouth. After that the SS Waratah disappeared into the twilight world of legend, and from that point on has been the subject of much speculation and conjecture. There can be no doubt that the signal exchange actually did take place, as this was logged by the Clan ship. The question of why the SS Waratah still remained within sight of the Clan ship arises when one considers how the SS Waratah managed to catch up with the Clan ship, which had departed a day earlier. As the SS Waratah had a far superior speed to that of the Clan ship, it should have been well out of sight of the Clan ship at that point. So did the SS Waratah reduce speed, and for what reason? Could it have been reduced visibility due to the onset of the fast approaching inclement weather conditions? Or were there mechanical problems that required a reduction in speed? Towards 18h00 on that same day, Captain Bruce of the SS Harlow was heading up the coast towards Durban steering north east. Off Cape Hermes (Port St John’s) he caught sight of what he believed at the time to be the SS Waratah. According to records, the SS Harlow was no more than two-and-a-half miles offshore. All of a sudden the masthead lights and outline of a steamer appeared about a mile off Cape Hermes, approximately 10 to 12 miles from the SS Harlow. The SS Harlow records that the two bright flashes astern could have been an explosion. Then the lights of the steamer were no longer visible. This whole incident took place 51 miles from where the Clan MacIntyre last saw the SS Waratah. If the SS Harlow did see the SS Waratah, that means the SS Waratah must have come about and was steaming back to Durban. And if that was so, why then did the Clan ship, with her slower speed, not see the SS Waratah going in the opposite direction on her way down the coast? Adding further to the confusion, at 09h51on the night of 27 July, the Guelph, a Union Castle steamer commanded by Captain Culverwell, noticed the lights of a ship. Signals were exchanged and the Guelph could only make out the three last letters ending in t a h. Now only complex theory exists and draws no further conclusions as to where the SS Waratah may be found.
Although no one took Joe Conquer seriously at the time, Conquer joined the airforce and met with Lt. Roos. They spoke of the SS Waratah and both came to the conclusion that what he (Conquer) had witnessed was confirmation of the same wreck Lt. Roos had witnessed from the air, 16 years later. Historians, however, believe that Lt. Roos saw the SS Khedive, which had sunk in 1913, on the ocean floor. From my own side scan sonar surveys over the years, no other wreck showed up in a survey area extending north of the Xora and south of the Bashee. Having considered all of these sightings it would have been standard practice to survey an area of probability and the SS Khedive would have revealed itself. There was only one target within that boxed area. That of the Nailsea Meadow. More than two weeks later, around 13 and 14 August, the steamer SS Tottenham saw bodies floating in the sea, and of note was a little girl in a red cape with a hood and black stockings. The captain of the SS Insizwa also noticed four fully-clothed bodies in the vicinity of the Bashee River. No attempt was made to recover the bodies by either the SS Tottenham or SS Insizwa, and for what reason we will never know. The search in 1909 for the overdue passenger ship was extensive and exhaustive. The loss of the SS Waratah had assumed epic proportions and had a devastating effect on the Lund’s Blue Anchor Line, with the entire loss of the Turner family onboard at the time of this poseidon adventure. One theory at the time was based on that of the Waikato, which suffered a mechanical breakdown in June 1899 and drifted 150 miles south of Cape Agulhas for three months. The New Zealand ship was only found on 15 September 1899. It was thought that the SS Waratah may have suffered a similar set of circumstances as that of the Waikato. The frantic search for the SS Waratah by the Sabine covered an area of 14,000 miles, with no sign of the ship. A further search in 1910 by the Wakefield was also unsuccessful, returning to Melbourne where the inquiry at Caxton Hall concluded that the SS Waratah was lost in a gale of exceptional violence, the first storm she had encountered and probably capsized. However, one passenger, Claude Sawyer, had a lucky escape. He’d had a recurring dream onboard the ship in which he saw a knight before him with a sword and blood-soaked cloth. The apparition seemed to be telling Sawyer not to sail on the ship. Sawyer left the ship in Durban, saying that she was top heavy and going to roll over and sink. From Joe Conquer’s observation, the ship did just that. The mystery of the SS Waratah is a complex issue that was hopefully going to be solved by design rather than chance. But now the reverse appears more likely. And even if the SS Waratah is found, would anyone be any closer to unravelling this complex anatomy of unconfirmed sightings? •
Lunds Button Captain Ilbery
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 39
by Ben Swart DO IT NOW | inALTITUDE: Words Photos compliments of Ben Swart
North Ridge Expedition 2010 - Part II
In the last issue of DO IT NOW I dealt with my attempt to summit Everest, the highest peak in the world, as part of my quest to complete the seven summit circuit. I was accompanied by Sean Dysney (leader), Vaughn De La Harpe, Arthur Marsden, Donald O' Connor, Barend Engelbrecht, Lance Metz and Jason Grove. We flew into Kathmandu, the gateway to Everest, on 2 April to complete our preparations and obtain the teamâ€™s vital Chinese climbing permit. On 8 April we flew to Lhasa (3,600m), the capital of Tibet, and spent three days acclimatising before heading to base camp (bc) via Shegatse and Shegar. More than a month later, and after several attempts to reach North Col camp that were thwarted by bad weather and various medical conditions, the team, now down to seven, descended to Zanmu, a town on the Tibet/Nepal border. Here we rested our exhausted, weak and battered bodies before our final summit push. 40 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ February/March 2011
On 15 May we returned to bc. We had continuously been monitoring the weather and there was no doubt that a proper window would be available from 22 May. It was time for our summit push and we identified 24 May as our summit day. A foray into the death zone (7,500m plus) requires the same planning as a Special Forces’ operation. One needs to get in there, do the job and get out as quickly as possible. Our assault would be launched from advance base camp (abc) as follows: ascend to North Col camp and spend one night there on oxygen, using oxygen from thereon; ascend the next day to camp two (7,700m) and spend a night there; ascend the following day to camp three (high camp at 8,300m), rest there and start the final summit push at approximately 22:00. When returning from the summit, do not attempt to sleep at high camp and descend at least to camp two, preferably to North Col camp; and then descend the next day back to abc. After years of dreaming, months of preparation and approximately six weeks on the mountain, we started our summit push on 21 May. When I left for the North Col that morning, I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life. I silently begged my body and mind to stay with me for just four more days. The climb to the North Col was uneventful and all seven of us, including Donald, reached camp before dark. The use of supplemental oxygen made breathing more bearable, but sleep was still out of the question. On the morning of 22 May we climbed to camp two. A steep ice slope led to huge rock formations that made for difficult climbing. We reached camp two after about seven hours. The sun was setting and we were higher than the clouds and all the surrounding peaks. The view was breathtaking. Tents were scattered all over at altitudes varying from 7,500m to 7,800m; some pitched on the most incredible camping sites. I spent the night with Arthur and a sherpa in a tent bordering a sheer drop of hundreds of metres - not suitable accommodation for a sleep walker. I had already given up all hopes of sleeping at the North Col and I spent the night listening to music on my iPod, thinking of the task lying ahead. The morning of 23 May started with the sad news that Donald had decided to quit. He had given it his all but could go no further. We left camp two for high camp and slowly and carefully made our way up to our last place of rest before our summit attempt. On our way we passed other teams that had summited earlier that morning, making their way down. How badly I wished it were me! We reached high camp at 14:00 and were at 8,300m in the heart of the death zone. Oxygen cylinders were scattered all over and team leaders
Descending the Second Step. Photo: Lance Metz Ben Swart on the summit. Photo: Barend Engelbrecht
and sherpas could be seen making last minute preparations for the summit attempt on the 24th. Pemba Rinjin and I crawled into our tent and waited for a radio message from Sean announcing our departure time. Word finally came that we would start at 23:00. At 20:00 it started snowing heavily. My mind continuously wandered to my 11-year-old son, Dreyer, back home. I was scared, excited and emotional. I forced myself to eat some of the food prepared by Pemba Rinjin. At 22:00 we started gearing up and at 22:45 we exited our tents. Notwithstanding my silent prayers, the snow had not subsided and had in fact increased to blizzard-like conditions. Countless Everest dreams have been shattered because of bottlenecks on summit day, and avoiding these is an essential element of summit planning. We made two decisions that we thought would avoid bottlenecks. We opted to summit on 24 May instead of 23 May and, in addition, we assumed that most of the other teams would start their summit attempts later than 23:00. When I looked up the mountain, it seemed as if every other team on the North side had also made the same decision. A steady stream of headlight beams could be seen all the way to the summit ridge. This, coupled with the heavy snowfall, immediately caused delays. We slowly plodded along and occasionally came to a complete standstill. We had sufficient oxygen to travel all the way to the summit on the maximum flow level four, on the assumption that we would reach the exit cracks leading to the summit ridge within two hours. The snow and traffic resulted in a three-hour trip to the ridge, which forced us to reduce our oxygen supply by 25% to level three. As I plodded along, I had the feeling that things were going horribly wrong. When we finally reached the summit ridge through the exit cracks and, not long thereafter, the first technical section, the First Step, it was still snowing heavily. I negotiated the First Step without incident. Soon afterwards I started feeling faint and dizzy. Upon inspection it appeared that the pipe leading from my oxygen cylinder to my mask had frozen and cracked. I did not know how long I had been walking without oxygen. Sonem had a spare mask available. However, it was a Russian Poisk mask and not the more-modern British Topout mask that we had all been using. The implications of this would only become apparent to me after the arrival of daylight.
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 41
Ben Swart on oxygen. Photo: Barend Engelbrecht Arthur Marsden and Ben Swart on the summit. Photo: Barend Engelbrecht Camp site with a view at camp two. Photo: Lance Metz
As I came round a corner on a thin ledge I saw, in the headlight beams, an obstacle that had the appearance of a skyscraper - the dreaded and feared Second Step. This is a technical section that has claimed the lives of many North side summiteers. We planned our first cylinder change after the Second Step, but the delay before the exit cracks forced us to perform this exercise before the obstacle. While resting I wanted to drink water but discovered that the condensation caused by my breathing had caused the zip of my down suit to freeze solid. I could not reach my bottles, which I was carrying inside my down suit to prevent them from freezing. I realised that I would have to proceed without fluid. History has shown that it is the small and seemingly insignificant incidents on a mountain that give rise to accidents and death. I would soon learn the truth of this. The Second Step is a massive vertical rock face and negotiated with the aid of two ladders. In the darkness and snow, I discovered that the top ladder was about a metre and a half too short. This necessitated an unconventional scramble, using the fixed line and my jumar to get to the top. It was a frightening and harrowing experience. Daylight arrived before we reached the Third Step. We had climbed through the night and were not yet close to the summit. Our agreed turnaround time was 10:00. We were progressing slowly and I started thinking that we might run out of time. Daylight meant that frozen bodies on the route became visible. Although we were warned about this, nothing can really prepare one adequately. I saw the first body lying face up with leather-like features from exposure to the sun. Another body lay face down just before the Third Step. Just like me, these climbers had also hoped to return alive from the summit. Their dreams were shattered in the most horrific manner. Seeing them evoked a great sadness in me. It transpired that my borrowed Poisk mask and ski goggles were not compatible and so my goggles kept fogging up and impairing my vision. This meant choosing between oxygen or not getting snow blind. I opted for the oxygen. At sea level the difficulty of the Third Step can be compared to that of a child's jungle gym. After seven hours of high altitude travelling, it felt like facing the North face of the Eiger. In front of me, Arthur
42 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
attempted to negotiate a rock, but had to retreat. He sat down with his head in his hands and I thought that it was the end of the road for him. I passed him and carried on upwards. The Third Step leads to a steep slope and thereafter leftwards into a gulley. The summit still seemed hours away, but Sonem said it was not far to go. I did not believe him. We proceeded up the gulley and then turned right. I struggled over a small hill and suddenly, in the distance, I could see the route ending. I saw climbers huddled together and I could see that it was not possible to go any higher. I was heading for the summit and knew that I was going to make it. On 24 May at 08:25, I stood on top of the world. Sean and Lance were already there. Vaughn summited just ahead of me and Arthur and Barend followed 10-minutes later. I had no desire to shake my fists in triumph or shout at the top of my lungs. What I experienced was a deep sense of gratitude at having been afforded the opportunity to be there. It was quiet all around me. We spent our planned 40 minutes on the summit, taking photo after photo - one tends to overdo these summit photo sessions! Within half an hour I realised that something had gone drastically wrong with me. In the span of 30 minutes, I had changed from a beaming summiteer to a dithering idiot. Unbeknown to me, weeks of sleepless nights and a period on the ridge without oxygen and dehydration had combined to create the perfect storm - a cerebral edema, the most feared high altitude condition. HACE is the result of the swelling of brain tissue from fluid leakage. Its symptoms include confusion, blindness and paralysis, and it often ends in death. Not in my wildest dreams could I have thought that my real Everest - getting down alive - would commence on the summit of Everest. I slowly started descending between Pemba and Sonem. I was confused and disorientated, but still sufficiently sound of mind to realise that I was in a bad way and the Second Step was waiting ahead. I can’t remember all the details, but I do recall reaching the Second Step and knowing that no one could assist me descending it, and that a broken leg would be tantamount to a death sentence. I could see Dreyer's face in front of me, willing me down. I made it down with life and limbs intact. With father-like patience, Sonem and Pemba herded me further down. All I wanted to do was sleep. At 14:00 we reached high camp. We were warned repeatedly not to attempt to overnight there. I simply dismissed the warning, dismissed the sherpas and told them that I would be staying there for the night. I started looking for a sleeping bag and tent. No doubt, had I followed through on my plans, it would have been my last night on earth. The intervention of two people prevented that - Duncan
... I have no regrets. It was certainly worth it. I’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro with my son Dreyer in June 2011, thus completing my quest to climb all seven summits ...
Chessell and Barend Engelbrecht. To them, I owe my life. Duncan was on the way up with his Australian group and told that I was loitering at high camp. He started looking for me and did not stop until he found me. He did not advise me to go down, he ordered me. Like an angel, Barend appeared and took me under his wing. I don't know why he was still at high camp that late. With great patience, he started descending with me to camp two. At every carabiner changeover point I wanted to sleep. He would allow me a couple of minutes of rest and then urge me to continue downwards. I cursed him time and again, but he never waivered in his resolve to get me to camp two alive. It was getting late and dark. As we started seeing the scattered tents at camp two, a ferocious windstorm came up. Up to that point the snowy and windless conditions made for a relatively warm day, and only fleece under gloves were necessary. The wind caused a severe and instantaneous drop in temperature; probably from approximately -10° C to -30° C, which necessitated putting on our down mitts. When the human body starts getting cold, the brain sends out warning signals in the form of shivering, cold fingers and so on. However, when the human brain suffers from cerebral edema, this early warning system ceases to work. My brain did not warn my body that my hands were getting cold and I continued wearing only my under gloves without realising that my hands had started to freeze. An hour later we reached our tent at camp two. I tried to open the zip to enter, but couldn't. Barend pulled me in and I peeled off my gloves. Apart from my thumbs and index fingers, my fingers were frozen stiff. The small fingers were already dark blue, turning black; a classical symptom of serious frostbite, and should be defrosted in warm water as soon as possible. By then I had been awake for more than 40 hours. Outside the windstorm was still raging. I simply did not care. I gave my mutilated fingers one last look, switched off my headlight and slept. The next morning I awoke with excruciating pain in my eyes from snow blindness and the realisation that my frostbitten fingers were not just a bad dream. With blurred vision, I descended to North Col camp where the other members of the team were waiting for us, and from there to abc, where Torrey Goodman, our doctor, was awaiting me. We arrived there late on the afternoon of 25 May. Torrey treated my snow blindness and did everything possible to save what could be saved of my fingers. She told me that it was not possible to predict the outcome of frostbite at such an early stage. I have no specialised medical knowledge, but I knew instinctively that there would be permanent repercussions. What was uncertain was the extent thereof.
Descending the Second Step. Photo: Lance Metz Trying to save the fingers. Photo: Lance Metz Frostbitten fingers. Photo: Ben Swart Ben Swart - frostbitten and snow blind. Photo: Barend Engelbrecht
With my hands bandaged like the under gloves of a boxer, I descended to bc, and from there, once again over the Tibetan plateau back to Kathmandu. On Tuesday 2 June, I entered the arrivals hall at OR Tambo International. Many friends were there to welcome me, as well as my parents and Dreyer. When he saw me, he just put his arms around me and started crying. In the book, ‘No Shortcuts To The Top’, the great Ed Viesturs, the first American to summit all 14 eight-thousanders without oxygen, remarked that the best part of a long climbing trip is coming home. This is true. I consulted a specialist the following day and on 7 June, five of my fingers were amputated at various lengths. Was it worth it? I've been asked this question over and over again by people upon seeing my hands. It might have been a difficult question to answer immediately after my return. I lost eight kilogrammes on the mountain, was physically and mentally exhausted beyond comprehension and knew that the mourning process caused by the loss of limbs was lying ahead. But as time went by, my life started returning to normal. I realised that I can still manage a mountain bike on a single track; I can still pull the clutch of my BMW GS; I started swimming again and discovered that (with an increased stroke rate) I can swim as fast as before and I’m back canoeing at the Rietvlei Dam. Where my lost fingers initially caused me embarrassment, I now wear them with pride. Every day they remind me of a great adventure that I was part of; a beautiful journey that changed my life. I have no regrets. It was certainly worth it. I’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro with my son Dreyer in June 2011, thus completing my quest to climb all seven summits. •
The eight-thousanders are the 14 independent mountains on Earth that are more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) high above sea level. They are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia. Source Wikipedia
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 43
// [inTERVIEW] An Interview with Deidre van Niekerk, Wakeboarding Pro // [inTRODUCING] Blokarting – Land Sailing at its best! • The Thrill of Speedway Bike Racing • The Mind of an MMA Fighter • Flex Your Muscle – Johan Boshoff • The Garmin Wartrail 2011: Calling all Brave-hearted, Extreme Eco-athletes // [inACTION] The Roof of Africa 2010 • SA Track Champs - Track Cycling at its Best! • 2010 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge Race Report • Rapid-fire Action at Freestyle Nationals • Swiss Alpine Ultra Marathon - More than a Race // [inPREPARATION] The Unlimited Dusi Marathon Promises Unlimited Action • Preparing for the 2011 Blyde Xfest • Eight Weeks to an Epic Race • Reaching New Heights - 2011 South African National Skydiving Championship for Novice Skydivers // [inSHAPE] Muscle Activation • Hamstring injuries - The Chiropractic Approach
Photo: www.actionimage.com Description: Team Groupama preparing for tthe Volco Ocean Race
DO IT NOW | inTERVIEW:
Compiled by Keane Ludick Photos courtesy of Deidre Van Niekerk
an interview with
Deidre van Niekerk
Keane Ludick from DO IT NOW chatted to Deidre van Niekerk, Wakeboarding Pro to find out what makes her tick.
n Niekerk Profile: Deidre va 22 Age: Place of Birth: Primary School: High School: n: Tertiary Educatio
eng Randfontein, Gaut r ye tr Rappor Riebeeckrand e Design Center in Graduated from th 2010 aphic Designer in Greenside as a Gr
ghlights: Wakeboardinge, hi tock* Open Women Boards
2005 - 1st plac dstock* e, Open Women Boar 2006 - 1st plac Year End Series n me Wo en Op , er winn - Overall End Series ar Ye n me all, Open Wo 2007 - 2nd over oc st k â€“ Wales e, Open Women Wake - 5th plac onals - Portugal ti Na n e, Open Wome Doha, Qatar - 1st plac d Championship e, World Wakeboar ac pl h ip 5t sh ME Champion e, Junior Women EA 2008 - 2nd plac ar End Series Ye n me Wo en all, Op onship 2009 - 2nd over Rail Rodeo Champi OX e, Open Women XB ac pl t 1s 10 20 /demo invitational comp ver X Games compete in the Fe to r de ri dy la ly On /demo invitational comp ries Women Year End Se en Op all, - 2nd over al comp/demo a row - invitation in s ar ye o tw up er Wet and wild runn at and cable that include bo oss-over events cr e ns. ar wi s ck ne to li ds * Boar both discip the best rider in riding, in which d osen for every Worl e 2005 and been ch nc si s, s ip ur sh lo on co pi SA am r an Ch Deidre has had he h are the Europe and EAME's, whic Champs (SA Team) since turning pro. thanks to my little beach bum, a en be ys t most wa al e art and style. Bu Says Deidre, "I'v ter, any water, wa l the e al th r fo ve lo 't I sn dad (ha ha). am today if it wa I e er wh n and be Jo t d no d ng boyfrien importantly I woul nts, friends, lovi re pa my om fr t or fantastic supp the world to me!" u guys, it means sponsors. Thank yo
46 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ February/March 2011
Deidre van Niekerk
Q: When did you start wakeboarding?
I basically started when I was 14 and gradually grew into it. It wasn’t anything serious - I just did it for the fun of it. By 15, I had to get rid of some bad habits and with professional training and help, I started to become more serious.
Q: What is it about the sport that drives you?
There is always something new to do and try, it’s never the same. It’s a sport that drives you to think creatively of innovative tricks and moves to perform. And then, of course, the lifestyle it offers is way different.
Q: So you’ve been on the board for a few years now, when did you turn pro?
I turned pro when I was 18. That was when I really started getting better and more competitive. After matric, I took a gap year and only focused on boarding. This obviously helped me to fine tune my style and technique. I then went travelling abroad and took part in my second World Champs in 2007 in Doha, Qatar and came fifth.
Q: It’s expensive doing all these events - who are the sponsors you rely on?
Daddy, ha ha. Unfortunately in South Africa there isn’t really big amounts of money available for the sport to send us to the world champs. So I have a few of my own sponsors that help me out with gear. I’ve been with Rusty Clothing for two years and they have been really good to me. I recently signed up with O'brien, who sponsors my board and bindings to keep me going on the water. Gear is expensive and that’s why their support is so important to me. Although I’m a small person and wouldn’t really snap a board, it’s an expensive risk to take. Most riders snap boards and many of the guys go through about six boards per season, where I normally go through one, maybe two boards.
Q: How do the local competitions work?
Unlike cycling or most other sports that compete all year, we work in seasons and have to squish everything into a small period. Our competitions are a little different to those held internationally, and not as strict. We have international judges who come out and they also teach our judges. There are three judges on the boat that judge you on your ride and at the end of your run they will determine the score.
eidre van Nieker
Q: How does the scoring work?
Between the three judges, one is the chief judge. You are scored on the composition and flow of your run, such as tricks from heel-totoe-side, inverts where you go upside down and spins. You are also judged on the execution and intensity of your tricks. Obstacles count for 25% of your score, so even if one rider had a better run without running all the obstacles, the rider that runs all the obstacles will be bumped ahead. You get two runs up and down with two falls, and on the second fall you need to swim out.
Q: How do the South African girls compete internationally?
Sadly we don’t really compete internationally due to a lack of proper training and coaching in South Africa. It get’s quite expensibe to to ride everyday like most international riders who get paid to do this for a living. There are also some riders that are almost at an international level, but unfortunately can’t always afford to compete in the bigger competitions, and so they tend to fall behind a season. However, there are a few girls that represent South Africa that are able to travel and keep up with latest trends.
Q: Do you train on cable or boat?
I’m a boat rider by heart; cable riders often get bummed with us - we call them flat-water boarders. I’ve been doing a lot of cable riding in the past few years, mainly for obstacles. I prefer staying behind the boat as that’s the way I grew up. I am a ‘boatie’ as the cable riders would say.
Q: How do you stay fit?
The best thing is to get as much time on the water as possible. Our season is short and winter means training and getting ready for the summer season. The temperature drops to about five or six degrees, which really sucks. But we need to use this time as effectively as possible. It’s also good to get onto a trampoline close to a tree, which you can attach your line and handle to, and jump with the handle like you would on the water. Trampoline training is very effective.
Q: What advice would you give to newbies interested in the sport?
Don’t be scared. Get together with someone that knows what they’re doing. That’s the best way. South Africa offers many cableski facilities for training and you can contact Base3 in Midrand if you’re based in Gauteng. At most of these facilities you will pay a set fee to have one of the pro riders watch you riding and give advice. There’s also a cable-ski facility in Warmbaths and Cape Town, and a wakeboarding school in Port Edward at Umtamvuna River Lodge.
Q: How important is good equipment when starting off?
It’s very important to start off with the best. Good gear and technique go together. I started off with a board that was too big for me, was constantly uncomfortable and I didn’t know where to move my feet. This left me with a lot of bad habits that I had to sort out later. After getting proper equipment, I had to start all over again. Most people progress quickly, so there’s no point in starting off with entry-level equipment. An intermediate board is definitely recommended. Decent bindings also provide good support around your feet.
Q: What does 2011 hold for you?
I recently finished my studies, so that’s where most of my focus has been. I’m looking to move to Cape Town to board and work. I’ll be boarding with some of our best local riders down there and that will definitely take me to a higher level. DO IT NOW would like to thank Deidre for her time and wish her all the best for 2011! •
DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING:
Words by Francois Steyn Photos by Francois Steyn & Mark Tedder
Blokarting! Land Sailing at its best
Most of us are familiar with the concept of sailing. Even if you haven’t been on a small dingy or yacht before, you know it takes some skill and knowledge of the winds to get and keep it moving. You also know you have to duck each time the sail comes about and if you do not concentrate on the horizon, you can lose your breakfast.
But have you heard about land sailing? It has been around for thousands of years and the earliest known use of land yachts was in Ancient Egypt and the Chinese developed winddriven carriages more than 1,400 years ago. Land sailing as a sport started in 1909 and since 1960, the modern, three-wheeled fibreglass and metal carts have been in use. Then in 1967, a dramatic 2,700km desert race across the Sahara Desert was held and made the cover of National Geographic, boosting the popularity of this ecoearth friendly sport around the world. In White River, near Nelspruit, there is a guy named Harry Tucker, who imports a light weight land sailer called the Blokart. I’ve always wanted to learn how to sail, so I met up with Mark Tedder, the Blokart agent in Muizenberg, to show me the ropes. On my way to Sunset Beach, the wind was pounding against my car and I started getting nervous as I didn’t know how quickly I’d master the art of Blokarting. As I stopped in the parking lot, the wind suddenly dropped and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit relieved. While Mark was busy assembling a Blokart Pro for me to test sail, I used the opportunity to ask him some questions:
Land sailing, also known as sand yachting or land yachting, is the act of moving across land in a wheeled vehicle powered by wind through the use of a sail.
50 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
Photo by Mark Tedder
Q: Tell me a bit about the history of the Blokart?
Q: How fast can the Blokart go?
A: The Blokart was developed in New Zealand in 2000, and in 2010 the inventor/designer, Paul Beckett, won the World Champs in the Super Heavy Weight division.
A: The Blokart speed record stands at 108 km/h.
Q: Can anybody Blokart? A: Anybody from eight years old, plus there’s the option for parents to sail with a kid in a Shadow two-seater. It’s very easy to sail and super quick to learn.
Q: What are the dangers? A: Getting addicted to Blokart sailing!
Q: What are the best conditions and terrain for the Blokart? A: 15-25 knots on a nice beach with an onshore/offshore wind blowing. But any hard, flat surface like hard beach sand, saltpans, flood plains, tarmac or grass will do.
Q: What does it cost to get started, can they be rented and from where? A: The start up cost is around R15 000 for the classic Blokart with a three metre sail. We have a track available for sailing at the Sunrise Beach car park in Muizenberg and they are rented out at R100 for 30 minutes. It’s great for corporate functions, celebrations and team building.
Q: What else do you need to take into consideration when gearing up? A: Safety equipment is essential for a safe sailing experience. Good closed shoes, gloves, helmet and windproof clothing are recommended.
Q: Any upcoming events in 2011 to keep a look out for? A: The SA Champs 2011 at Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg, from 3-6 March 2011. Following in the dust of the Gobi Blokart Crossing, a similar event is planned that will cross the Atacama Desert in northern Chile! It is the driest desert in the world with various salt pans, geysers and small oases spread across its surface. The idea is to have it in March so that it doesn’t clash with other international Blokart events. March is also the end of summer and the autumn temperatures should be fine. After our fascinating chat, and as we waited for the wind to pick up, Mark explained to me how to keep the wind in the sail and turn into the wind each time I made a U-turn. It took me less than 10 minutes to get the hang of things, and before I knew it I was sailing across the sand. It really is very easy to learn! It is amazing how fast you can go even though it feels like there’s no wind blowing. With a strong gust of wind you pick up speed rather quickly, and you can turn 180 degrees at silly speeds. I would love to have experienced it when the wind was perfect. Mark offered to set up another kart so that we could race each other up and down the beach, but sadly I had to move on. Just as well because the next day my shoulders and back were aching from the previous day’s sailing. So not only is this sport great fun, you get a good work out too. I must admit that I prefer fuel-burning modes of getting around, but there is something almost sacred about wind-driven transport as you burn less fuel per kilometre of travel than you would riding a bicycle. Overall it’s fast, fun, affordable and easy to learn, and most definitely worth a try. But just take care not to get addicted. •
Q: How quick is assembly? A: The Blokart only weighs 30kg so it’s easy to pack away into its own bag. It takes 10 minutes either way to set up and de-rig, and once the unit is packed up it will fit into most car boots or on your roof rack for easy transportation.
For more information visit www.blokart.co.za or contact Mark Tedder at email@example.com.
Sport >> 51
by Mac Magill DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING: Words Photos by Tarryne Rautenbach
Speedway bike racing - fast, skillful and thrilling
... no brakes, just one gear, a clutch ... 52 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ February/March 2011
The Thrill of
Speedway Bike Racing With no brakes, just one gear, a clutch and 500cc engine that runs on methanol fuel, speedway bikes can accelerate faster than a Formula One car (up to 120km/h in 2.7sec) and reach speeds of 60 mph. Like most spectator sports to have stood the test of time, speedway bike racing is fast, skillful and a thrill a minute. Speedway bike racing is an affordable motorsport compared to others and most bikes are imported. Racing takes place on an oval circuit of around 300 metres in length, in an anti-clockwise direction and tight corners are actually accelerated into at high speeds to bring the rear wheel out and initiate a ‘slide’! Speedway meetings can be run as individual events, but what you will usually see at most tracks around the country is two teams racing against each other. Teams consist of seven riders each, racing in more than 15 heats with two riders from each team racing against each other for points in every heat. If a rider wins a race, the team gets three points, second place earns the team two points and third place one point. Coming in last position means zero points! Although there are three leagues in Europe, South Africa only has two, the Premiere and National Leagues. These leagues are rated as follows: 1. The Elite League - the top league. 2. The Premier League - the middle league.
... Teams consist of seven riders each ...
3. The National League - the league to train aspiring youngsters. In South Africa Speedway is still rather small so other bikes such as Ausi Side Cars, Pit Bikes and Quads are also raced. Speedway racing is also a marketer’s dream vehicle and thus a great sport for sponsors to get involved in. It’s well supported by electronic and print media, and the public. And the track’s oval shape ensures that sponsors get maximum exposure for their branding, no matter where one is seated. Opportunities for merchandising and promotions are also bountiful.
Sport >> 53
...With regular league racing in 12 European nations and speedway events ...
For more information visit our local website www.speedwaysouthafrica.co.za
History of Speedway Racing Legend has it that speedway racing evolved in Australia, at West Maitland in New South Wales, around 1923. Even in those far-off days, racing was rough and ready, with the big winner from each meet taking home a handsome amount of prize money, provided he could catch the promoter before he left for foreign parts, as was too often the case. The South African speedway scene, like many others, has experienced its ups and downs. During the ’50s it enjoyed wide-ranging success, practically mirroring the UK scene with its league competition, match race championships, international test matches and national championships. Riders from the UK leagues, including Anzacs Briggs, Moore, Mardon, Redmond, and world champs Williams, Craven, Fundin and others simply transferred hemispheres to ride in SA. The ‘60s were a quiet time as a consequence of controlling body disputes and the Republic’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth. However, it picked up again in the ‘70s as world class international riders again wintered in SA. With regular league racing in 12 European nations and speedway events staged in the USA, South Africa and Australasia throughout the British winter months, the sport continues to thrive and celebrated its eighty-eight birthday this year. Source: www.dickbarrie.co.uk and www.speedwaychampions.com
Fast facts: •
The SA Championship was first held in 1935.
The SA Open Championship commenced in 1955.
The last SA Open Championship was held in 1995.
SA track trailblazers: •
Buddy Fuller and Henry Long were the local kingpins in the ‘40s and ‘50s respectively.
English-born and naturalised South African Dennis Newton dominated the ‘60s and holds the SA record for having most championship wins (five) plus an SA Open win.
Denzil Kent, a SA Junior champ during the ‘80s, went on to claim three SA Championship wins, three SA Opens, one SA Open Handicap Championship and was the three-times, end-of-season Match Race Championship holder, uniquely collecting all four senior titles in 1985.
... Even in those far-off days, racing was rough and ready ... 54 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING:
Words by Chris Bright Photos by Ruby Wolff - Fighters Only South Africa
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of martial arts and non-martial arts traditions, to be used in competitions. I was born in North Yorkshire in 1973, a small rural place, and was a small, very uncool kid. I wasn’t interested in sport and played music and sang in our local choir. My home background was ideal. Richard, my Mom’s Dad, was the eighth army-boxing champion in World War 2 and I greatly admired him. He had a strong personality with hundreds of anecdotes and war stories. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a fighter and command the kind of respect he did amongst his peers and in his neighborhood. We emigrated to Welkom in the Free State when I was very young. The school I attended was a very alpha-male dominated type environment, and I remember during one lunch break there were 11 fights. It was crazy! I discovered a love for competition early on in life and played goalkeeper for our hockey side. Regardless of team performance, my performance could impact the result of the match.
"... I now have a 26-3 professional record and won four international fights with no losses."
I moved to PE in my early twenties and tried out Aikido, an art that looked great on TV. On the mats next to us was a provincial Judo team that also worked out. While we didn’t even break a sweat at Aikido, these guys sweated blood. My interest was piqued. The physicality of Judo was amazing; it’s like a type of physical chess where balance, foot placement and being able to mislead your opponent were literally everything. I threw myself into it and within two short years came fourth in South Africa. After watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 1, in which Royce Gracie destroyed much larger and stronger opponents through his use of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, I immediately shifted my approach to the ground game and started participating in Submission Grappling competitions.
Submission Grappling is a new sport with a long history. The object is to submit your opponent using a variety of joint locks and chokes, or to win the match on points. Competitions in this sport resemble Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competitions. Source: www.grapplearts.com In 1999 I had the opportunity to fight against a guy I narrowly lost to in a Grappling competition, at a MMA match (then called the ‘noholds-barred’ competition). I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, and only did Judo and basic submissions training. I clearly remember the coldness and musty smell of the venue. The fight was a blur, but I recall the intensity being 100% higher than in training, and it was hard not to panic. After some give and take, I threw him quite hard, basically picking him up and slamming him, landed a few weak punches and was too exhausted to do much more. I survived the first period by holding him on his back and staying busy enough to not get stood up. I didn’t really have any concept of how to fight or conserve energy during a fight. Later in overtime, I passed his guard into side control and immediately he pushed me back down past his knees and put me in a triangle choke (a choke where you lock your legs around someone’s neck). I was bushed and still clueless as to how to defend this stranglehold move. I was tapped (hit on the head) with about a minute to go, and this new and unpleasant experience lead to me having to take two days off work to recover. It was this loss that strengthened my resolve to focus entirely on MMA. Ten years later, I now have a 26-3 professional record and won four international fights with no losses. I’m also regarded as a contender for the top ten pound for pound fighters on the continent. No longer is MMA a sport of style vs. style, it has become entirely necessary to be proficient in all aspects of fighting. Any weaknesses in skill or strategy are exposed in a fight. With the web, everybody knows everything and many learning resources are available. The sport has been termed as the fastest growing sport in the world and I have seen this rapid development not only within the technical aspect of the game and level of competitors, but within its infrastructure and the way it’s been adopted by society. It’s no longer deemed a human cockfight, as many
of the spectators are well educated about the sport and appreciate the highly technical aspects, as well as the more primal aspects of MMA where fighters show real heart and a desire to win that transcends technique. The platform may have changed, but the camaraderie and mutual respect between most competitors remains unchanged. I’ve played various sports at a fairly high level and never before have I felt the honour and respect for and from an opponent that I do in MMA. The life of a fighter isn’t an easy one. Typically we will train two to three times a day, and many local fighters also have day jobs to
56 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
pay the bills. They sacrifice valuable time and energy to prepare for these events and don’t see their families for eight to 12 week cycles before fights. Many overseas guys relocate to prepare for matches and won’t see their families or sleep in their own beds until after their fights. This is not only tough on the fighters, but on their families too. The pre-fight process is emotionally exhausting and hard to describe unless you’ve experienced it. I’ve seen the most hardened street fighter crumble under the pressure and stress of fighting on a pre-determined date, in front of up to 7,000 spectators. It’s like having a hot coal in your stomach for six weeks that becomes all consuming and doesn’t allow you to focus on anything else. The burn becomes more intense the closer you get to fight night. Your mind starts to play tricks on you, “What if my techniques don’t work on the night,” and it’s these ‘what ifs’ that need to be quickly countered before they take hold. I can only imagine how hard it must be to live with someone who fights during this time, as I’m unable to visualise life beyond the day of a fight! Then in the blink of an eye the cage door is shut, the fight experience is surreal. There is no physical feeling and you’re completely present, running through strategies in your mind like a never-ending mathematical equation. Then the fight is over and all the emotions and excitement take over. You come crashing back down to reality with a bang; back to work, deadlines and paying bills. The buzz of an event might last two days, but then it’s all over and forgotten by everyone except those who shared the experience. I am indebted to my amazing girlfriend Nicole, my parents and my little angel Madison Marie, who is five and gives me pre-fight instructions, for their support, sacrifices and sharing in my highs and lows. Thanks also go to the pioneers of this sport who came before us, the patrons who assist us to live, my sponsors, my boys and girls at the PE Submission Fighting Academy, Dave and the Carlson Gracie Africa Team and to all the supporters of MMA, regardless of whether you support me or the next guy, keep watching those fights. And a big thumb’s up to DO IT NOW Magazine for giving this sport exposure. •
by Rocco Le Roux DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING: Words Photos courtesy of LiveMoments.co.za
Flex Your Muscle Meet Johan Boshoff, affectionately known as ‘Bossie’.
A regular guy, with a regular job and a regular family.
There are, however, a couple of things about Bossie that are not so regular, like the fact that he is the 2010 South African Body Building Champion! So how does a regular guy become a SA champ? It all began a long time ago ... Back at school, Johan was not the biggest guy around. In fact, he was the smallest of six children in his family. In his matric year, Johan and some friends decided it was time to build a bit of muscle. They scraped together some equipment and turned a garage into a home gym. At this stage Johan had no desire to actually compete as a body builder, this was just for recreation and to keep in shape. During compulsory military service an officer noticed Johan’s build and asked him if he wanted to represent the military in this sport. Of course Johan jumped at the opportunity to spend Wednesday afternoons in the gym. This brought a whole new dimension to Johan’s sporting career. For the first time Johan wanted to compete, and it also allowed him to qualify for a coveted military ‘sport pass’. He was rewarded with a third place overall in the lightweight division. Not bad for a first try!
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In 2001, Johan won the novice category without following a proper diet. He did, however, notice that he got better results when eating correctly. So he started using Muscle Science and has been taking their products ever since. “Being on a strict diet and using Muscle Science products has made all the difference for me,” said Johan. Judging from his results since 2004, it is clearly the way to go! Johan’s school friend, Nella, achieved his lifelong dream of starting his own gym, Nella’s Gym, and now acts as Johan’s personal trainer. With the help of Nella and his sponsor, Muscle Science, Johan has fine-tuned his training schedule and diet, realising that this is key to having an edge. Then in 2007, Johan won the prestigious Mr. Universe title, the first of many more victories to follow in 2010. “Taking the overall title at both leading body building federations in 2010 proved to me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to,” said Johan.
Not wanting to waste too much of Johan’s training time, I ended the interview with a couple of questions: Q: So what does it take to be a champ? A: Dedication and a lot of hard work. You socialise in the gym and eating for pleasure is a thing of the past. Out of season things are a bit more relaxed, but one can never stop training or watching your diet. Q: What lies ahead for Johan Boshoff? A: I will compete for as long as I can, and in most competitive classes the rules allow me to. When my competitive days are over, I will stay in shape and gym for recreation. I will probably go into personal training as I enjoy helping others achieve their goals. This is also why I am involved in community development. Nella and I have acted as judges at various shows held in under privileged areas, and I find this very rewarding as I get the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of young, upcoming athletes. Q: Do you have any advice to offer? A: Nothing worthwhile comes without genuine effort and commitment. If you put your heart into it, nothing can stop you from reaching your dreams. So the next time you have a goal, flex your muscles, buckle down and get it done. It’s the only reliable way of realising your dreams. Don’t wait for someday, DO IT NOW! •
Career Titles 2004 Titles • Seven shows, six class titles and four overall titles. 2005 Titles • Thirteen shows and nine class titles. 2007 Titles • Seven shows, six class titles and three overall titles. • WPF Light-Middleweight South African Champion. • WPF Mr. Universe Overall Champion. • IFBB Light-Middleweight South African Champion. • Dis-Chem Exercise Champion.
2010 Titles • Seven shows, seven class titles and five overall titles. • WFF-WBBF Rainbow Classic Middleweight and Overall Champion. • WFF-WBBF Boksburg Classic Middleweight and Overall Champion. • IFBB Middleweight and overall South African Champion. • WFF-WBBF Middleweight and overall South African Champion.
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DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION:
Words by Tatum Prins and Adrian Saffy Photos by Kelvin Trautman
The Garmin Wartrail 2011:
Calling all Brave-hearted, Extreme Eco-athletes
The Garmin Wartrail is so aptly named. Like warriors of ancient time, competitors go to war against their own personal limitations and nature’s remote mountain ridges, steep mountain passes, narrow winding back roads and remote river gorges where civilisation has yet to make its mark. They do this to conquer the 65km mountain wilderness run, 135km mountain bike leg and 65km paddle, starting 19 March 2011. Imagine starting a 65km trail run at 04h00; it’s still dark and the air is filled with excited and nervous banter between the competitors. The next nine to 12 hours will probably be one of the most memorable trail running experiences you will ever have, so make sure you have someone there to capture all those special moments. The route takes you from the city-centre start in Lady Grey and across the Witteberge / Drakensberg mountain ridge line to Balloch. Wherever you look along the way you will be greeted with a 360° view of the surrounding mountains, which are truly breathtaking. The run itself is technical and mostly runnable, but when the going gets tough, just stop and let the awesome surroundings give you enough energy to last you a lifetime. After a gruelling day, the route finishes in Balloch where you will be welcomed by amazing people, wholesome food and a night in the Balloch caves. It is an experience like no other! Stage 2 starts with a bang! A 135km mountain bike stage and after a day’s running, you will feel it in your legs. The first part of the ride up Lundeans Nek is difficult, but it’s worth the
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effort because the descent is incredible. The route winds its way down for what feels like forever and then follows the Telle River on the Lesotho Border. Turning at the Telle Junction turn off, you ride through Sterkspruit to Herschel and follow a dirt road passing the Witteberge Mission Station. From here you head towards Mdlokovana and the Orange River; a longed-for sight at this stage. Don’t be surprised by the support and enthusiastic cheers of the local children along the way, as their spirit is sure to motivate you to keep going. Stage 3 and you are finally on the homestretch to Aliwal North, a 65km paddle down the Orange River. After two energy-sapping days on your legs, you’ll be looking forward to a well-deserved respite as you float down the river. Sorry, no such luck! You are in for another demanding day. There are some initial Grade 1 rapids, depending on the strength of the river, for the first 10km and thereafter it’s a long, hard paddle to Riverside Lodge and the finish at Hertzog Bridge in Aliwal North. Here you can at long last relax under the trees and get to grips with the 265km you have just run, biked and paddled. Now if that doesn’t put a smile on your face … nothing will.
The Garmin Wartrail is justifiably one of the most amazing events that South Africa has to offer! It’s not about the winner, but more about the journey of making it to the finish line. It’s about the camaraderie along the way, of having a drink with new-found friends and sharing the day’s stories around the campfire. It’s about the passion and love for the great outdoors. The organisation is professional and safety is a priority. The route is spectacular and Human Right’s Day provides for a long weekend away where you can hang out with mates and do what you love doing. It is called living and we can’t wait to be a part of it. See you there! •
The GARMIN Wartrail Challenge is classified as an ultra extreme event and may be entered as a relay event of three members, with one member for each stage, or as pairs. However, the solo event is the ultimate challenge of one discipline per day, as allowed in a totally selfsustainable event where each athlete or team has to provide their own back up, vehicle, logistics and support crew. To qualify, athletes must be 100% fit and healthy, with a keen respect and knowledge of the outdoors, mountain and river and good navigational skills. The cost is R350.00 per stage or R900.00 if participating in all three. Athletes can also compete in just one or two of the disciplines, including K2 doubles. The closing date for entries is 1 March 2011, and for any enquiries or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org Source: www.pureadventures.co.za
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by Francois Flamengo DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by DO IT NOW Magazine
Each year the Roof gets tougher and tougher and although many riders enter, only a few have the privilege of reaching the finish after three days of intense enduro racing. The 2010 installment of this race was expected to be a great showdown between New Zealand rider Chris Birch, two-time winner in 2008 and 2009, and local rider Jade Gutzeit, the 2003 winner. Other big names contending from South Africa were Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk, as well as international talents such as Andreas Lettenbichler (Letti), Paul Bolton and Lionel Seydoux. The scene was set and spectators could rightly expect a battle royale over the course of the race.
Kicking off early on 25 November, more than 250 riders anxiously gathered in Maseru for the start of this epic annual event. As is custom, the event got underway with the traditional Round-The-Houses race. This is a high-speed chase through the streets of Maseru, where spectators get the opportunity to witness the skill of these incredible riders first-hand as they fight it out for prime positions at the time trail that followed later in the day. Darryl Curtis, the 2004 winner of the Roof, was in excellent form and dominated this part of the race. If you haven’t seen Darryl blitz his way around the main corner that leads to the finish, I recommend you add this extraordinary spectacle to your bucket list – it’s unbelievable! With the Round-The-Houses warm-up done, it was time for more serious racing as the rider’s set off to compete in the time trial. This was the fastest part of the race and riders sprinted over a ±100km course. All the top riders raced hard and at the end of the Day 1, Jade won the stage in a time of 02:19: 36, a one-second lead over Birch, followed by Mark Torlage and Riaan van Niekerk.
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It was a wet start at Roma thanks to a cracking thunderstorm from the previous night. As a result, race organisers decided to cut out a few kilometers from the route to ensure the safety of the riders. After the stage briefing, it was time to race. Jade took off like a bullet, closely followed by Chris just a second behind. Chewing on Jade’s dust, or rather mud, Chris could only keep his head down to save his goggles. These two dominant riders shot past the crowds, showering them in muddy water before disappearing into the Lesotho hills. Next through was Mark, followed by the rest of the riders. With a start as exciting as this one, everyone was eager to see how the day would pan out. During the first half of the race Jade, Chris, Mark and Riaan raced together and kept each other in check. However, the fierce pace set saw Riaan drop out of the leading bunch, and when the leaders reached the notorious Mad Cow Pass, it was Jade, Chris, Mark and Linal Seydoux who came up first. The foursome attacked this arduous climb like a pack of hungry wolves, effortlessly devouring their way to the top along perfectly selected lines in 10 short minutes. The second bunch followed a few minutes later and once Darryl, Riaan and Letti completed the Mad Cow challenge it was evident that this pass was not as easy as the earlier riders had made it look, as the rest of the riders struggled to conquer the hardest pass of Day 2. Only 54 riders managed to complete stage 2 in the 12 hour cut-off and the remaining field of riders were penalised with two hours going into Day 3, but could enjoy a much easier trip back home. Day 2 ended with Jade leading the way in a time of 07:58:29. Chris was still a second behind Jade, followed by Mark and Lionel.
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There was an expectant buzz in the air on Day 3. The remaining riders all knew that it was now or never, and more fervent attacks were expected from the leading bunch. Could Jade repeat his faultless performance of the previous two days and keep Chris from joining the elite group of riders, namely Alfie Cox and Lourence Mahonie, who have accomplished hat-trick wins at this race? Only time would tell. Disaster struck in the early stages for Chris when he misjudged a river crossing and drowned his bike, gifting Jade a five-minute lead. Down but not out, Chris fought back like a mad man, giving it his all to make up the gap. Unfortunately for Jade, by the time the riders had completed the treacherous Boilers Pass, Chris had not only made up the gap, he was now leading. The roles had been reversed with Jade now trailing by a second going into the toughest parts of Day 3. As riders fought their way up Bushman’s Pass for the first time, the crowd delighted in Jade’s incredible effort to take back the lead as he went into the Golden Loop. At this stage, riders were clearly fatigued and taking serious strain. With the promise from course director Chiamus that the Golden Loop would kick it up a notch, riders had to dig even deeper into the tank to find the energy and strength needed for the final section of racing before climbing Bushman’s again to reach the Red Bull arch. All eyes were on this last hill in anticipation of an epic end to the race. But the race organisers had a surprise in store that no one expected. A gruelling step-up climb up Push Me Up Pass thrust most riders over their limits. Chris showed his class during this part of the race as he managed to get his KTM to the top of this near-impossible climb first. Resting for a few moments to catch his breath and with a 15-minute lead over Jade, Chris knew victory was in sight. The crowed erupted as Chris crossed the finish line, 19 minutes ahead of Jade after almost eighteen-and-a-half hours of battling with one of the toughest Roof of Africa routes yet. The relief on his face was clearly visible. He had managed to overcome all the obstacles thrown at him by the organisers to claim his hat-trick. Chris’s overall time in the saddle was 18:24: 25.
Jade had fought valiantly to take a well deserved second place, and was the first South African rider home. This was another outstanding performance by Jade, proving once again that he is an extremely tough competitor who excels in hard enduro. Jade’s final time was 18:43:34 and Letti broke the silence of the anxious crowed to round up the final podium position in a time of 19:05:47. Overall, only 22 riders managed to take Gold when they completed the full race distance within the prescribed time (over the three days). James Hodson was the final Gold rider home in 24:35:00. Twenty-four riders claimed Silver and only six riders managed to finish with a Bronze medal. This result reinforced just how difficult this race actually is for the competitors, and why so few riders cross the finish line at these hard-core enduros. As the day drew to a close and regardless of position, every rider can be incredibly proud of having accomplished the Mother of Hardenduro. I salute all these courageous and incredible athletes for pushing their mental and physical limits to the very end … you are all legends! If you haven’t experienced the Roof and are up for the challenge of your life, then I would encourage you to do so next year. It will also soon become part of the World Xtreme Enduro Championship. •
For more information: www.roof-of-africa.com
by Yvette Victor-van-den-Berg DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by Daniel Botha Photography & Anthony Skorochod
(Right) Yvette Victor-Van den Berg & Annerine Wenhold (MTN) New S.A. record Event: Elite Ladies Team Sprint
(Far Right) Ilze Bole Photo by: Anthony Skorochod
(Above) Elite 1500m Photo by: Daniel Botha Photography (Right) Jean Smith (in black) and Jeanne Nell Event: Elite Men Match Sprint Final Photo by: Daniel Botha Photography
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SA Track Champs - Track Cycling at its Best! The Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town was the setting for the 2010 South African National Track Championships, held at the beginning of October. The racing was fast and exciting, and had some of these riders been given the chance to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, South Africa would surely have brought home a few extra medals, especially in the Ladies Team Sprint event.
This year’s championships had a record number of entries, a testimony to track cycling’s growing popularity in South Africa. With more support and sponsorship there is a very real possibility that this discipline could become one of our main medal-winning sports at international events. Exceptional performances like Bernard Esterhuizen’s win at the 2010 Junior World Championships is proof that we have the talent, and with the right support structure and exposure, athletes such as Bernard will continue to excel internationally, along with a number of other rising stars that are sure to follow in his footsteps if given the opportunity. There were a quite a few performances that stood out at the championships. On the Ladies side, Annerine Wenhold dominated the Elite Sprint and shorter bunch events by winning an incredible five gold medals and setting a new South African record with teammate Yvette Victor-Van den Berg in the Ladies Team Sprint. Ilze Bole, who has just returned from a two-month training and racing stint in the USA, had a great run in the Elite Endurance and Pursuit events, to claim three gold medals, thus proving what a difference international experience can make. The Elite Men’s competition had Reniell Matthysen and Evan Carstens dominating the Endurance events and winning three gold medals each. The two also teamed up in the Madison event for a well-deserved win. Their dynamic performance earned them an invitation to the UIV Talent Cup (under 25) at the 6-Daagse van Amsterdam later in the month, where they finished sixth out of a very strong international field.
Michael Thompson was not going to be left out of the limelight and delivered great performances in the 1,000m Time Trial and Keirin, and claimed gold in both events. Jean Smith delivered a very exciting gold medal winning performance in the Match Sprint and Team Sprint, and showed that he is definitely a talented sprinter and someone to watch out for in the future. The Junior Men’s racing was dominated by Heinrich Stroebel who won four golds, and Hannes Basson and Wayne Botha claimed three golds each. Up and coming star Jac-Johann Steyn won five gold medals in the U16 competition. The Masters Men and Women were just as thrilling to watch, with a number of the racers also having participated in the Masters World Championships, held at the end of October 2010 in Portugal. More about this event and the results will be featured in the next edition of DO IT NOW magazine. A highlight to look out for on the 2011 calendar is the S.A. National Track Championships in April. One can definitely look forward to loads of devastatingly fast racing and electrifying performances. Track cycling is an amazing spectator sport, so do yourself a favour and join us at the Bellville Velodrome and be entertained by South Africa’s fastest cyclists!
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by Lizelle van der Merwe DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos courtesy of Team AR.co.za
Fifty teams, 20 countries, six days, 426km and only one goal: to finish the 2010 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge (ADAC), the ultimate test of endurance and not for the faint-hearted! With three ladies and one guy making up our team, a team that would normally consist of three guys and one lady in an event such as this, we had different challenges to face. Extremely heavy backpacks, large bikes and less manpower were just some of them. For Lizelle Smith, Steven Erasmus and I, this was our first international race and the third Abu Dhabi event for our leader, Lisa de Speville. The ADAC borders on the extreme. Now into its fourth year the 2010 event, held from 10 to 15 December, was bigger and bolder than ever before with extreme physical pursuits including mountain biking, sea kayaking, swimming, adventure running, desert trekking, mountaineering and orienteering. Three South African teams participated in the six-day stage race, a record number of entries for South Africa. The first day started off with an extremely quick 22km triathlon prologue in Corniche Bay, consisting of canoeing, swimming and running. Canoeing in an inflatable felt like trying to paddle a jumping castle in sea waves; it was very tiring and tough. After the prologue, we were transferred by bus to the start of stage two of Day 1 at Al Ain; a fast 30km mountain biking leg that finished with an adventure run over the incredibly technical mountain terrain of Jebel Hafeet, abseiling and some rope work. This stage ended at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, where we overnighted.
This section was one of the toughest things I have ever done! It was a combination of extreme, scary, awesome, challenging and never ending.
Happy that Day 1, the ‘quick day’, was over, we thought Day 2 would be better; big mistake! Day 2 started with another fast, highly technical run up and down the rocky, sharp mountain to where we left our bikes the previous day. Back on our bikes, this 17km route turned out to be a granny-gear leg ascending 800m to the top of Jebel Hafeet, with no flats or downhills it was just straight up. Next was the mountaineering section and already this race was proving to be an incredible life experience. This section was one of the toughest things I have ever done! It was a combination of extreme, scary, awesome, challenging and never ending. A rope section, the likes I’ve never seen in my life, was next. There were ropes everywhere, draping the face of the mountain for kilometres down to the bottom. We looked like Spiderman coming down a building, and after accomplishing this hair-raising feat we are definitely prepared for any rope section that we may ever face again! Supper that evening was at 22:00 and finally some much needed shut eye. It felt like I had just fallen asleep when the alarm went off at 02:30 for a 04:00 start and another punishing day.
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Day 3 got underway with a 94km bike leg over a treacherous and unforgiving track. The high-speed start made it feel like this leg would be over quickly. However, we soon found ourselves in the middle of a harsh desert, roads laden with thick sand and hills that forced you to carry your bike in daytime temperatures way above the seasonal norm. What an awesome picture our surroundings would make, framed by an endless expanse of soaring dunes. The big 116km gruelling desert trek immediately followed after a transition at the beautiful Qasrr al Sarab Resort. Due to medical conditions I was unable to participate in this leg, rejoining my team the next day. My teammates and other teams described this section as the one that pushed your limits mentally and physically. For 38 hours, with an eight hour compulsory sleep/rest period, all you see is sand, sand and more sand.
After Day 4, everyone was pleased to be off their feet as we set off on the final leg, a sea-kayaking stage of approximately 120km that would take us through Day 5 to the finish on Day 6. However, in the early hours of Day 5 high winds sprung up and the subsequent heavy seas forced the race directors to cancel the first day of this section. For most teams, this day of rest and recreation was most welcome. It was decided the race would finish on Day 6 with a 33km sea-kayaking leg in Corniche Bay as conditions were too rough out at sea. Although shorter, paddling around the three 11km loops in a howling wind was no easy task. Ecstatic to finish, this race is an experience that will remain in my mind forever. What a privilege it was to gain international experience and what an eye opener it’s been seeing the world’s best in action. Thanks to my team for being part of this memorable experience.
You all did extremely well! Team Photo - Left to Right: Lizelle Smit, Lizelle van der Merwe, Steven Erasmus, Lisa De Speville.
Words by Deon Breytenbach Photos by Moya Breytenbach and Kate Walton
le N a ti o na
DO IT NOW | inACTION:
The home of South African freestyle kayaking has always been the Vaal River just outside of Parys, and on the weekend of 6 and 7 November 2010, the Vaal’s Gatsien Rapid proved once again why it’s a freestyler’s dream run.
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The weekend started off with the popular monthly Fluid Freestyle Saturday, where the emphasis was on fun and learning. Thereafter, it was time to go and hit the ‘slot’ and show what you got. It was great to see so many new faces at the event, enthusiastically cheering each other on to make their first spin or cartwheel. It was also a good opportunity to see what your competitors were up to so that you could prepare for Sunday’s nationals event. With the sun setting it was time to head to the hills for the party and prize giving. This turned into a very late night affair, with most of the blame falling on the *Element Funnel, a funnel for drinking beer, as the pumping music echoed off the hills. Sunday morning was a nervous time as we had been promised a water release so that the real Gatsien wave would work. I think everyone’s hangovers lifted slightly as they crossed over the bridge and saw the raging water. First up were the prelims for the Beginner Men where 14-year-old Jonatan Pienaar took top honours, much to the surprise of the stubble-faced students. This, some people decided, was due to his lack of a hangover, but after the finals everyone agreed that it was his young-gun energy and superior skills that just couldn’t be beat. Jolene Fisher cleaned up in the Beginner Ladies section on both days, even after battling with some early morning nerves and a swim or two. The Intermediate Men’s category boasted the largest field of competitors, proving that freestyle kayaking is still very much alive and growing. Slowveld Mojo kept his cool throughout and clinched first place in both the Fluid Freestyle Saturday (FFS) and nationals. The Open Men and Women events were the big ones of the day with paddlers competing not only for bragging rights, but also a spot on the squad to take part in the Freestyle World Champs in
Germany at the end of July. The ladies went first and gave it their all, but in the end Capie Kate Walton’s consistency rewarded her with a well deserved win and her first national title. The Open Men’s finals field consisted of three Vaal locals, Capetonian Andrew Kellet and me. It was a knock-out session so we all had a ride and the lowest score was dropped. On my run I made a huge entry move and when I pulled into the eddy, the chief judge called me over. To my surprise the score sheet used couldn’t handle my amazing skills. Knowing I’d made the squad for worlds, I left it at that and helped judge the rest of the finals. In the end it was Vaal local Luke Longridge and Capie AK who styled their way through to the last round. AK had a secret weapon, he was paddling with Fluid Kayaks’ new Dope composite freestyle kayak (I had some sessions in it and man I can’t wait for mine to arrive). Some said that this is why he came out on top, but I think that although the kayak helped a wee bit it was his years of experience that was the more likely reason for his victory. Sunday afternoon arrived and it was time to say our farewells and hit the road. The 2010 National Freestyle Kayak Competition weekend was probably the biggest freestyle event in South African history with so many new faces, and it was awesome to see everyone smiling and styling, making new friends, catching up with old ones and learning new skills. Well done to Jan from Fluid Kayaks who put the whole event together, and special thanks to the sponsors Fluid Kayaks, Whitewater Training, Real Adventures and Peak UK Equipment for their fantastic support.
Keep the date open for next year and come join us at the Vaal in November. •
A Tribute to
Hendri Coetzee I met Hendri for the first time at the end of the ‘90s. He had just finished a season on the Zambezi and was going to freelance on the Blyde River for a couple of months before heading north again. It is impossible for me to put into words the influence Hendri had on my life, not only with regards to paddling but life in general. One of my fondest memories of Hendri is from a two-day trip we guided down the Olifants River gorge. The river was nice and high and we camped out on some sand banks just before you entered the small box canyon, where the fun really picks up. We sat talking until well after midnight, huddled in our sleeping bags around the small fire, staring at the amazing scenery in full moonlight and getting rather philosophical on the remainder of the clients’ ‘refreshments’. As the years went by it was not always easy to stay in contact, however via the kayaking grapevine we were able to keep tabs on each other, and in the last two years Facebook made it much easier. Hendri had invited me on a trip to the Blue Nile, which I was unable to make and we loosely discussed making it happen towards the end of 2011. Now it never will and in retrospect, I would have quit my job to make it! In the kayaking world Hendri had built a reputation as one of the biggest African expedition paddlers, if not the best. He would always push himself to ensure that he stayed in line with his motto of ‘have the best day ever’ - he never did anything half heartedly. On the water he went as big as a human can go; running the major part of the Congo River solo was but one such feat. He did more than just kayak. He wanted to further explore the world of yoga and meditation and instead of doing a week’s session in Jozi, he undertook a three-month journey to Thailand. There isn’t enough space for me to tell you everything about this truly exceptional man. To get a glimpse of who he was, go to http://greatwhiteexplorer.blogspot.com. He was a good friend, an unrivalled expedition paddler and one of the few true legends even in his own lifetime. On 7 December 2010 he was tragically taken by a croc on the Lukugu River in the DRC whilst leading an expedition. He was only 35 years old. He is dearly missed and will be remembered by many forever, especially those whose lives he touched. •
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DO IT NOW | inACTION:
Words by Rikus & Claudi Scheepers Photos courtesy of www.swiss-image.ch
Swiss Alpine Ultra Marathon - More than a Race
The Swiss Alpine 78km ultra marathon is notorious for placing high demands on an endurance runner’s stamina. With an altitude of up to 2,632m above sea level, only an absolutely healthy and highly-trained athlete can withstand the conditions of this challenging race now into its twenty-fifth year. Only 10km of the total Alpine race is run on a tar surface and the rest is on extreme veld and mountain footpaths. The trail boasts lots of up and downs and extremely short and sharp turns. On the top of the mountains, the running surface is rocky and sharp, and you have to find your own way over it. Just 5,000 elite athletes receive this sought-after invitation to take the trail through the world famous, and dangerous, Panorama Trail at 2,600m above sea level. This trail has also been proclaimed a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Johan Oosthuizen, a highly-achieved elite athlete and one of the chosen few to compete in this murderous 78km ultra marathon in July 2010, describes the race. “The race starts and ends in Davos, the highest town in Europe. It always begins with a gunshot and to the tune of ‘Eye of the Tiger’. The race is mentally broken into two parts. The first 39km is constant up and down running and more or less on narrow forest trails. When reaching Bergün, halfway to the finish line, there is a clothes aid station with different types of clothing,
such as waterproof, windproof, short sleeve and long sleeve kit that is available to runners to wear, depending on the weather conditions. The last 39km is the alpine section of the route, which offers the most elevated metres and two highlights; the Keschhütte and Scarlettapass, connected by a narrow, high mountain trail at 2,600m above sea level. The climb up the Keschhütte is very steep. The descent from the Scarlettapass is a steep, rocky path and here the main concern was not to hit the ground with anything other than your feet. It was there, 16km before the finish line, that I found myself embracing Mother Earth after getting too comfortable and falling over a rather large rock. Picking myself up, I eventually ended in fourth place in a time of 6 hours and 15 minutes.” This is a remarkable achievement for a first-time entrant! Johan says he had a very positive experience during this ultra marathon. “We had fantastic weather this year, the best in the last 25 years, and an average temperature of 14°C. Start and finish temperatures were about 24°C, with a 16-degree drop towards the top of the snow white alps; a lovely 8°C. Running through
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towns like Bergün and Durrboden, enthusiastic and festive-spirited spectators supported the athletes with words of encouragement such as ‘hop-hop’, and bells and whistles. The cows and goats with jingling bells around their necks also provided for some good distraction from my heavy breathing.” Water points were set up the previous day because the volunteers, who manned the points, had to walk up to the remote points as the route
was inaccessible by vehicle. Helicopters were used to deliver traditional Swiss vegetarian bouillon and mountain bread (buns with raisins) to these remote watering points. They also patrolled the area during the race to evacuate any victims if necessary. The water provided is taken from the crystal-clear mountain streams and given to the athletes in glasses. The Swiss don’t make use of any plastic water bags, which forces you to stop at the water points and finish your water before continuing the race. This is a very technical trail and participants have to train on this route or have experience in trail running technique to be able to compete. Most of the top-10 finishers trained extensively on the trail. Johan, however, had to train here in sunny South Africa. His main goal, to run a maximum of 150km to 170km per week. Long, slow running sessions of 50km, hill training and time trials were all essential to his preparation for the Swiss Alpine. Johan says that if he ever gets an invitation to compete again in the future, he will definitely train on more technical terrain, such as the Drakensberg and Lesotho Highlands.
The Swiss Alpine is not just a race through incredibly scenic landscape, it is an inner challenge. For the can-do trail runner, this is unquestionably one to add to the ‘bucket list’! •
by Amy Witherden DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION: Words Photos courtesy of Ray de Vries (Unlimited) & other photographers
Photo by Jacques Marais
The Unlimited Dusi 2011 canoe marathon promises three days of heat, adrenalin and physical fortitude as you cover a distance of 120km in a canoe and on foot from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to the Blue Lagoon in Durban. It is the ultimate kayaking adventure race for paddlers to tick off their bucket list, and a major draw card for novices wanting to prove their worth. Dusi communications officer, Ray de Vries, says that between 1,800 and 2,000 paddlers are expected for the 2011 installment of this iconic race. The reason why the race draws so many competitors is
because it is a celebration of sunshine, Africa and boiling rapids; it stands for everything that our great country is about. “Having a new title sponsor on board, The Unlimited, an emerging force in the financial services industry and based in KwaZulu-Natal, has helped lift the Dusi to the next level, with innovation and new ideas,” says De Vries.
Sport >> 75
Photo by Jacq
Photo by Gam
By moving the race back a month to February 17, 18 and 19 to ensure a fuller river towards the end of the rainy season, paddlers and spectators can look forward to a hugely exciting event. De Vries adds that this 60th Anniversary of the Dusi should be one of the most competitive. It will also be raced in memory of 15-time champion Graeme Pope-Ellis, and all finishers of the 2011 race will receive a specially minted Pope-Ellis medal. Big names to look out for are: • Andrew Birkett - After his win in the 2010 K2 year with Jason Graham, twenty-year-old Birkett will be out to prove a point. • Ant Stott - A fierce competitor with numerous Dusi wins under his belt, Stott is a force to be reckoned with. • Michael Mbanjwa – A superb athlete with equally superb past results. • Len Jenkins – Always a formidable and determined competitor. • Eric Zondi – A talented Change a Life athlete, strong in both paddling and running. • Thomas Ngidi – Another Change a Life paddler, extremely talented and determined.
The Dusi is not an easy race! It takes a lot of preparation and training to complete 120km of physically demanding paddling and portaging in the notoriously hot Valley of 1,000 Hills. Beginners cannot take on the Dusi without the requisite A river grading, as it’s a tricky river at the best of times. Tripping beforehand and doing as many warm up races as possible before the big event is highly advisable. Although conditions and lines are likely to change according to the water level on the race days, it is good to know what to expect.
Photo by Unlim
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Photo by Unlim
Photo by Unlim
A good, strong boat is essential on the Dusi. It must be stable – unnecessary swimming only adds to exhaustion – but light enough so that it’s easy to run with on your already-aching shoulders. A comfortable seat that won’t chafe is also important. Three days is a long time to be sitting on that seat! A handy extra for any Dusi boat is a drag rope attached to the nose of the boat. This makes a huge difference on the portages as you can drag the boat and give your shoulders a rest. This obviously depends on how expensive your boat is and how many scratches you are prepared to have on it by the end of the race.
• • • •
Strong paddle - Also have a spare paddle, like a split-paddle, stashed in the back of your boat or safely deposited with your trusty second. Splash cover - You don’t want to sink within the first kilometre of the race. Lifejacket - Compulsory. Don’t skimp on this all important accessory. Hat - The Valley of 1,000 Hills gets very hot. Seriously. Shoes - Although the Dusi marathon is a canoe race, portaging makes up a large part of it, so a good pair of running shoes is recommended. Normal running shoes are often too bulky to fit into a canoe and hamper your ability to steer if they do. It’s advisable to go for a lighter racing flat that is narrower than road running shoes and has thinner soles. Emergency repair kit - Always be prepared! Carry duct tape and contact adhesive with you. It’s also advisable to carry a Leatherman in case you have to cut down a tree to make a splint for your boat that is in two pieces. Delta Cast for emergency repairs is worthwhile.
Photo by Unlim
Photo by Unlim
Photo by Unlim
Photo by Unlim
Training tips •
Shoulder pads - With 15% of the race running with your boat bouncing on your shoulder, need we say more? Shoulder pads are generally homemade. Cut out pieces of foam large enough to cover the vulnerable area, but not so large that they get in the way. This can be sewn into your racing shirt or attached to your lifejacket.
Apart from spending long hours in a boat, you need to get in a few long sessions to get used to being in the boat for more than three hours at a time. Running training is equally as important, as it is an integral part of the Dusi. Coaches recommend hill training as the valley through which the Dusi River runs is called the Valley of 1,000 Hills for a reason!
Front water bottle - Most paddlers race with a camelback or bottle tied into the back of their boat (this is not ideal as it adds extra weight to the boat and flops around when portaging). It is also a good idea to have an extra bottle secured to the front of your lifejacket, at least for the first two days. This bottle makes for easy drinking when running or paddling as you don’t have to stop to reach for your drinking pipe (rig it so that you just need to lower your chin for the pipe to reach your mouth), as well as additional hydration when you need to carry more than two litres of liquid on you.
However, what is even more important than running fitness is portaging fitness. Running with a boat is a very different experience and you will need to get used to the changed gait required, as well as the weight on your shoulders and holding the boat comfortably. Practice switching shoulders while maintaining your stride.
Devoted seconds - Driving around madly after one’s paddlers in the stinking hot, labyrinthine Valley of 1,000 Hills is no easy task, especially when a driver is faced with curious locals, stray cattle and tired, grumpy paddlers. A good second must understand what is required of them – it is not just about driving the car from start to finish. On a race like the Dusi, seconds are active and will often – depending on the level of competitiveness of the paddler – be expected to run alongside the paddlers on a long portage, pouring cool water over the paddler’s head, maybe changing the bladder in a paddler’s lifejacket while on the move, offering refreshment in the form of a cold sports drink or an energy bar and, of course, screaming encouragement from the bank when paddlers pass through a rapid. It is not an easy job! Your chosen second for the Dusi will have to care for you very much if they are to run around after you and do your every bidding.
Photo by Unlim
Photo by Unlim
It is just as imperative to practice the transition from paddling to running and vice versa. It will save you precious minutes if you can master the process of storing your paddle securely as you leave the water, and quickly securing your splash cover when launching again. There is also the added strain to your muscles as you switch between running and paddling. Cramping after a long portage is to be expected.
Appreciate the valley’s surroundings; it is incredibly beautiful. Say hi to the locals who come out to support you. Relish the race vibe that is second to none. The Dusi is an extremely tough race and you will curse the heat, pain and distance during your three days of racing. But finishing such an epic race is a truly amazing and memorable achievement. •
Go to www.dusi.co.za for more information on this iconic race.
Photo by Unlim
Sport >> 77
DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION:
Words by Deon Breytenbach Photos by various photographers
Preparing for the
The fifth annual Blyde Xfest is fast approaching and looking at the current weather patterns, it could just be the wettest yet. Not necessarily a bad thing as the Xfest is all about the rivers and having fun. So now the most important thing to do is enter timeously, get directions and follow these tips to help make your overall Blyde Xfest experience a thoroughly enjoyable, easy and memorable one.
Croc Race. Photo by Lurina Fourie
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If you are camping bring a tent, and if you’re in a dorm don’t. You’ll need the usual overnight paraphernalia like a sleeping bag, pillow and torch. You might feel the need to shower occasionally so pack your toiletries and a towel, as well as sunscreen, bug spray and any medication you need. Africa Safe-T will look after you if you’re feeling under the weather, so there’s no need for the ECG machine or spine board. Come hungry otherwise you might upset the ‘boere tannies’ if you don’t indulge in their tasty munchies. A good supply of hot and cold thirst quenchers for over and under 18s will also be available. This is not a nudist festival so clothes are necessary too. But if you trade them along the way for curios or fresh fruit, it’s mango season, the gents from First Ascent will be there with awesome gear at bargain Xfest prices. In summary, bring some overnight gear, memory capturing devices, toiletries and clothes. If you’re hungry, thirsty, broken or naked, we’ve got you covered. If you are kayaking you need to bring all your toys plus your float bags, as we are expecting record-high water levels. For the fun events, bring any river gear that you own and we’ll provide the pfd’s, helmets and inflatables, which are included in your entry fee. When physically preparing for the inflatable events, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. The race distance is roughly 400m on fast-flowing, low Grade 1-3 rapids that you’ll most likely have to paddle at least twice. Sprint and stamina training prior to the race is recommended, but even if you haven’t paddled before you will be ok, maybe just a little bit stiff on Sunday. Beginner kayakers will race a 400m section that consists of a start on flat water for about 50m and the balance on fast-flowing white water. Before the race you are allowed to scout the section by either walking along the banks or running it to ensure you know where you want to be in the rapid. But get permission from the safety crew first. The key to a podium finish is to have an explosive start, where you give it your all to get out in front. As you head into the rapids, drop your pace to 70-80% of your max and shift your focus from paddling forward to paddling across the race line. Equally important to having a good race is spending time in your kayak. Practice going full tilt in flat water for a 100m, slow down for 100m and repeat until you can comfortably do a 600m set. Now stretch before you seize up. The Intermediate kayakers sprint race preparation will be the same as the beginners. The Long Race is somewhat different, as the total distance is around five kilometres with fast-flowing flat sections, tight corners and a couple of big holes and tight lines at the end. Ideally you
want to start the race with an initial sprint for 200m at full tilt, then settle into a good pace at 70% of your max until you hit the last flat section where you pick it up to 90% of your max all the way to the start of the final rapid, then slack down a bit to ensure you stick the racing line through ‘Big Deal’ to the finish. I suggest following the same sprint and rest exercises as mentioned above. If you can get on a river, sprint 100m, then drop to 70% of your max for a 100m and repeat. Pro Race competitors have a tad more to contend with as the total section paddled is approximately nine kilometres of Grade 3 and 4 rapids, with very little flat water. The first three race rapids are in the canyon and the main objective for all race rapids is to stick to the racing line. The start of all race rapids is comparatively flat, 15m is probably the longest flat section, so you’ll need some explosive short-distance power, then paddle as fast as possible while sticking the line in Grade 4 water. Then another short sprint on flattish water to a ‘clock rock’ that needs to be touched to stop your time. The distance of each race rapid varies, but the longest is ‘Camel’s Humps’ at the end of the day and is roughly 300m. Bear in mind that this rapid has lost and won podium places before. Pace yourself and focus on technique rather than power, so you don’t waste energy on the non-race rapids. And remember, the non-race rapids are just as big and pushy as the race rapids, some are even tougher! The best preparation for any event is time on the water in your kayak. If you have the power but can’t control your kayak and the line you want to run, you’re heading for trouble. Often the fastest times are by paddlers who focus on paddling the fastest line, rather than paddlers paddling fast down the line. For the Big Air Kayak Ramp and Friday Freestyle events, just bring your ability to have fun. You’ll need sunscreen, bottled water and a good sense of humor for the Sunday social paddle down the Olifants gorge, as most paddle this with a severe babalas after Saturday night’s party and prize giving.
Everyone’s welcome, so bring your family, mates, gear and kit, and enjoy the slowveld way of life! •
Pro racers checking out Alley's Staircase. Photo: Luke Longridge Hannes Pienaar halfway down log Waterfall. Photo: Luke Longridge Beginner Men - Junior Division. Photo: Dylan Kid
Sport >> 79
by Jock Green, Professional Cyclist DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION: Words Photos by various photographers
Eight Weeks to an Epic Race
With the winners of the 2010 ABSA Cape Epic completing the eight-stage, 722km course in almost 30 hours, and the team in 100th position finishing in 43 hours, you better believe that the correct amount and intensity of training is of paramount importance! About the author: Jock is a two-times SA Road Champion, Captain of South African Road Team, All African Games and Commonwealth Games Team Captain, former Barloworld rider and a professional cyclist for 15 years.
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Training Taking work constraints and family time into consideration, I believe an average of 15-hours training per week should be sufficient to complete the race in a respectable time and still be productive when you return to your normal regime after the event. After completing my first Epic in 2009, it took four days before my brain could cope with anything work related and my body more than two weeks before it could do anything remotely strenuous. The key to any training programme is a balance of long endurance rides, shorter, more intense rides and very importantly, but all too often neglected, rest or active rest days. Remember, we break our body down in training and build it up by following hard work-out days with rest days. Not the other way round! Below is an example of a typical training ‘load’ week that I would personally follow four to eight weeks before the Epic, followed by a decrease in hours but an increase in the intensity of the work outs.
Weeks 8 to 4 prior to the event
Endurance rides on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday are very important days in terms of time spent on the bike. These rides will prepare you for the long stages common to the Epic, so do these training rides on your mountain bike and preferably off-road.
Working backwards, follow this programme for weeks 8, 7 and 6 leading up to the Epic, training for approximately 17 hours per week. For week 5, follow the same training format, but cut an hour off each training day as this is a rest week, totalling 11 hours.
Go hard on the hard days and easy on the easy/endurance days. Typically we end up going too hard on the easy/endurance days and haven’t fully recovered to go hard enough on the high-intensity days. This will result in sub-par performance on race day and eventual training fatigue or burnout.
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The four weeks leading up to Epic are crucial! This is a time where we all too often over train or fall ill so listen to your body during this phase. The golden rule – when in doubt, leave it out!
Weeks 4 and 3 prior to the event
Cut your training time back to 14 hours per week for weeks 4 and 3 and make your intensity efforts shorter. Here’s what I recommend:
Some swear by more carbohydrates and others believe in more protein. I believe in a combination of the two and everything in moderation. Eat what works for you; a tried and tested diet in training and previous races will suffice. Don’t suddenly start experimenting with a different diet or energy products during the race as this WILL lead to poor performances and even stomach trouble and cramping; something nobody can afford during an event as demanding as the Epic. Typically, my diet would consist of the following:
To be eaten at least two hours before the start of the stage.
Muesli and yoghurt or a bowl of oats, two slices of low GI bread with peanut butter and jam and coffee. Drink a litre of water between breakfast and the start of the stage.
Race food •
Something salty, something sweet like a cheese and ham sandwich that is cut into quarters and wrapped in tin foil and a chelsea bun, cut into smaller pieces, works for me. Carry four energy gels like FIT Gels.
I always race with two bottles, one with an energy mix and one with plain water.
Drink as much water as possible en route and stop at the water tables. The minutes lost when you dehydrate later will far outweigh the minute gained by not stopping – trust me on this one! Go easy on the coke at the water points and save that for the last stop of the day. Too many sweet drinks, for me anyway, leads to cramping and sugar highs. Rather have two water to one energy mix.
Post race lunch •
Usually the last thing we want to do after a strenuous effort is eat something. The first half an hour after the day’s stage is, however, the most important period to replenish the body’s energy stores. I would typically eat a wholesome sandwich and fruit. A protein shake and water would be on my drink’s menu.
Weeks 2 and 1 before the event Two weeks before the race I recommend a very easy week of eight hours, riding one to one-and-a-half hours per day. The week leading up to the race should be a replica of weeks 4 and 3, Tuesday through Friday, to wake the body up after the rest week and prepare it for what lies ahead! Gary Perkin
Usually two hours after the stage, once I’ve showered and settled down a bit. It’s a personal choice, but I recommend something high in carbohydrates.
A good combination of carbohydrates and protein will do the trick. I shy away from ‘light’ foods like salad when doing stage races. They are of little value as an energy source and leave you thinking you have eaten sufficiently. The Epic is not the time to cut down on calories!
Overall, maintain a similar diet for each day and don’t get too fancy with rich, oily foods from the buffet. Boring as it may seem, it leaves little room for an upset stomach or your breakfast repeating on you during the first two hours of a stage.
Bike prep and other equipment essentials •
Ensure your bike is properly serviced at least two weeks before the Epic. A new chain, cassette and chain blades are imperative. Service your shocks, put on new brake pads and don’t skimp on your tyre choice. A good combination of ‘bullet proof’ tubeless tyres is definitely the way to go. Epic terrain is tough on the best of days and you don’t want to be repairing countless punctures en route.
NEVER EVER experiment with a new saddle (this includes saddle height and position), pedals or shoes in the month leading up to the Epic. The results are almost always disastrous.
Wash your bike after each stage, and ensure that all nuts and bolts are tight and your drive chain is in a good, smooth working condition daily. Inspect tyres for damage, especially side wall cuts. Check shoe cleats are not damaged and securely fastened.
Lube the chain and check tyre pressure before the start of each stage.
Carry two water bottle cages if you don’t use a camelback.
Pacing oneself to a respectable finish
A spare tyre fastened to each bike.
Two spare tubes fastened to each bike.
Coming from a road racing background I’ve learnt (am still learning) the hard way to pace myself in mountain bike races, never mind stage races like the Epic. If you are more than a certain amount of time behind the stage winner on any particular day, that’s it, you’re eliminated. Pack your suitcase and go home.
A good tyre ‘plug’ to seal those extra-large tyre cuts.
Herein lies the beauty and secret to success in mountain biking.
A set of tyre levers.
Two CO 2 ‘bombs’ each.
A small multi tool with a chain breaker.
Chain lube to prevent drive chain damage, chain ‘suck’ and even a broken chain.
No matter how good you’re feeling at the start of the event or a particular stage, there is a long way to go. A lot happens in the six hours it takes to complete a stage, never mind the whole week. I’ve seen the world’s best go from hero to zero in the space of 10 kilometres! Pace yourself from day one, ride within yourself at all times and ALWAYS check on your partner. If they are battling, take it easy until they feel better. This is not the time to show them how strong you are, believe me, your day will come when the roles are reversed! Rather have a mediocre start on the first three days and finish off strong. Minutes gained in the first half of the week, when everyone is still fresh, often leads to hours lost in the latter half of the week when fatigue sets in. Once you’re spent, you’re spent – you go to that dark place of no return. And a week playing survivor is no fun!
Between you and your partner, it’s important to carry the following:
A well maintained bike is key to success. Think of all the hours of training and sacrifice you have made leading up to this event, only to have it count for nothing because of mechanical failure.
Pacing tips •
Start within yourself - the week and each stage.
Look after your partner.
Take one day at a time. Don’t worry about the mountains in three days time or how sore your legs are feeling today – each day will take care of itself.
Eat well as the old adage of eating today for tomorrow holds true.
Drink lots of water.
Stop at the water points.
Try to have a daily massage or follow a light stretching routine.
Take an afternoon nap.
Get to sleep early.
Race in the best cycling shorts you can afford.
Use chamois cream, such as Chamois Butter, from day one.
Most importantly, have fun. Participating in and finishing the Cape Epic is something that will live with you for the rest of your life. It truly is a challenge – whether you are competing for overall victory or just to finish. Karen Schermbrucker
This is not just another bike race, it’s a life experience! •
Sport >> 83
by Claire King DO IT NOW | inALTITUDE: Words Photos by Erik Vliegenthart
Reaching New Heights Skydiving’s premier event, the SA Nationals, is fast approaching, coaches are scarce and the loads are full with teams in training. But did you know that almost any level of skydiver can enter the SA Skydiving Nationals?
Whether you’re into serious competition, fun with friends or just a healthy dose of learning from SA’s best, the SA Nationals has something for every skydiver. This year the Nationals will be spread across three venues: •
Formation Skydiving (FS), Artistic Events (Freefly and Freestyle) and Atmonauti will be held at Robertson Skydiving Club in the beautiful Cape winelands from 22-29 April.
Style, Accuracy and Paraski (SAP) and Canopy Formation (CF) at Skydive Xtreme in Modimolle from 25-26 June.
Canopy Piloting (CP) will take place at the Pretoria Skydiving Club, Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria, from 13-15 May, and is where you can get to watch our swoopers, but it’s not for the novice skydiver!
Atmonauti is a move in Freefly, characterised by a specific body position intended to create a certain amount of lift, like a wing. More recently a small group of skydivers, particularly in South Africa and Italy, have been working towards developing it into a discipline in its own right, and has received mixed support. Although it hasn’t been accepted by the FAI as a discipline, it is included as an informal discipline in the Nationals.
Who can enter? According to the PASA’s Manual of Procedures, as long as you legally do the jumps at your drop zone on a normal weekend, you can enter the Nationals. Both members in the 2-way FS team should have at least a Cat II in FS, but accuracy competition jumps are all solos, so an A licence is enough. All disciplines except for Canopy Piloting have development events specially designed to introduce low-experience jumpers
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to competition. Here you will find experienced competitors who are always eager to help novice jumpers prepare for their events leading up to and throughout the competition. These events are also an excellent avenue for learning as novices get the opportunity to receive quality local coaching and meet other jumpers from around the country. If you’re performing well, this is where you can strut your stuff and perhaps get recruited onto a new team for the following season. Airspeed was not formed around a beer in the lounge! Skydiving is a great sport for women as they get to compete against men on equal grounds.
What to enter? Formation Skydiving is the most popular discipline in South Africa and boasts the most competitors at all levels. There are numerous events aimed at all skill levels and because most skydivers begin with Formation Skydiving, it’s a natural starting point for many. But don’t overlook the other disciplines. Canopy Formation, for example, has a fantastic training programme and a 2-way rotations event that’s ideal for the less experienced ‘CReW Dog’. Classic Landing Accuracy and Freefall Style are also really fun options for newcomers to the sport as the jumps are solos and you can enter with very little technical training.
Where to begin? Select a discipline and then send an email to the relevant committee at the Sport Skydivers Association (SSA). They will give you the details of events available to you, suggestions on what you should enter and furnish you with rules, tips and guidance on getting started.
The SSA committee members and their contact details can be found on the PASA website: www.para.co.za.
How to prepare • Start jumping You can prepare as much or as little as it suits your goals and pocket. The most important thing is to make the jumps you do count. Start doing the types of jumps the competition format will require of you. Get someone to video you whenever possible and although this will cost you more per jump, your progress will be much faster and you can achieve a lot more in the same number of jumps. If you can’t afford the video option, then look at alternatives like a novice videographer who is willing to pay for their own slot while they skill up. Ultimately, it’s of great benefit to both of you.
just how good you are that counts, but how well you do in relation to your experience (jump numbers). There is no cost to enter and there are some really exciting prizes up for grabs, and you can jump at your home drop zone. To learn more, go to www.skyleague.co.za If you want to enter club competitions, then how about the Robertson Rumble in March 2011? As this is one of the venues that will be hosting the Nationals, it will be a terrific warm up for Formation Skydiving 2-way.
• Read the rules
Take the footage of your jump to an experienced jumper, in that discipline, on your drop zone and ask for feedback – preferably before the next jump so you can keep improving and don’t develop bad habits.
It‘s amazing how many competitors lose points unnecessarily because they simply haven’t read the competition rules. If you are unsure where to find them, then contact your SSA discipline committee and they’ll be able to help you out.
• Compete in the casuals
This gets you into the competition mindset while you practice all the moves or formations in the dive pool. The South African Skydiving League (SASL) is a wonderful introduction to competition and can double up as your monthly training plan. Currently SASL only offer Formation Skydiving and Freefly, but you can train for the Nationals and have a chance to win great prizes in the process. SASL is judged by the National’s judging panel, who provide monthly feedback on your submitted jumps. Use this to better understand how you will be rated in future competitions and improve on the ‘peripheral’ aspects that will increase your score, such as gloves, jump suits, camera tips and so on. The weighting system pits jumpers of all experience levels against each other on an equal basis, so the field is bigger and competition hotter. It’s not
SA Nationals 2011 events, venues and categories
Experienced jumpers and coaches are busy with their own jumping, training and work on the drop zones, and won’t know that you need their help unless you ask. So hunt them down and tell them you’d like their advice and assistance. Most are thrilled to see new interest and love to help out. They may not have the budget to jump with you, but there is a wealth of learning that can be had around the drop zone, on the creeper pad, debriefing footage and even in the bar (well at least during the early evening).
• Go Compete! Now that you are armed with the knowledge of what to do, don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, just get out there and DO IT NOW! At the very least, your skydiving will improve and you’ll be capable of doing more exciting things every weekend. The sky is not the
limit; it’s the starting point! •
* Official FAI Event
Sport >> 85
by Garth Olivier - Physiotherapist DO IT NOW | inSHAPE: Words Photos by DO IT NOW
Muscle Activation As a runner, do you suffer from niggly injuries that just don’t go away? Have super tight hamstrings, yet stretch them till you blue in the face? Douglas Heel is a physiotherapist in Cape Town who came up with the concept of muscle activation. To put it simply, muscle activation is a system used to activate certain muscles in the body that have shut down. Due to our lifestyle, we seem to be spending more time sitting, and sitting poorly, and when combined with the added stress that we live with, our body tends to go into a defensive pattern. In this state, the brain shuts down certain muscles in the body. Once in the inhibitory mode where certain muscles are not working, the body tends to fight against itself. This in turn increases the risk of injury as other muscles have to compensate for those not working, and will ultimately have a negative affect on our running. When defending you can't be performing! Muscle activation is therefore a process that overrides these inhibitory pathways and enables your body to become more coordinated and free flowing. It's like a team of rugby players. If no one knows what the other person is doing there is no way you can succeed (Springboks playing Scotland!). Likewise, if all the muscles in the body work together and do their own job in a synchronised manner, your running will be a lot more enjoyable and pain free. The amazing thing with muscle activation is that there is an immediate shift in performance, strength, flexibility, power and endurance. I'm sure there are some of you with very tight hamstrings and no matter how often you stretch them, they never seem to get any looser. This is especially common in male runners. According to Douglas poor posture leads to certain muscles in the body shutting down. In this example it is our hip flexors, the muscles in the front above our thigh, which shut down first. This causes the glute (bum) muscle, which works with the hip flexor, to also shut down. This muscle is very important for holding our upper body upright, so when it stops working our hamstrings compensate by tightening up to keep us upright. So unless we activate our bum and hip flexor muscles, our hamstrings won’t release even if we stretch until we are blue in the face!
How does muscle activation help in injury prevention? If the hip flexors shut down, the quadriceps (thigh) muscles take over to control the hip and the hamstrings take over for the glutes. But both these muscles control the knee. So if
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they are controlling the hip, then what’s controlling the knee? We are now opening ourselves up to risk of ITB, patellafemoral syndrome and a whole bunch of knee problems. Furthermore, our calves now have to tighten to control the knee. But the calf is meant to control the ankle. The result? We lose the spring in our stride and risk achilles injuries, plantar fasciitis and ankle problems. With our calf tightened up, the muscle in front of our shin has to work harder to flex the foot up. The result? Shin splints. So you can clearly see that when one muscle shuts down, how it affects the whole body.
To determine your state, try the following tests:
Figure 1: Touch your toes: Bend forward and touch your toes. Think about how it feels, where it is tight and how far down you can go. Return to a standing position.
Figure 2: How wide can you open your mouth: Open your mouth as wide as possible and see if you can fit four fingers vertically into your mouth. Four is ideal.
Activating your muscles What happens at the top happens at the bottom and therefore, by releasing the tension at the top the bottom responds too. To do this, massage your jaw muscles (masseter and pterygoids). Expect some quite sensitive points and donâ€™t be put off if it is uncomfortable. Once you are happy you have covered the jaw area move up to the temples (temporalis muscle) and continue rubbing. These areas should move freely, but if you have extreme tension you will find tension in the skin around the temples too. Now move your jaw from side to side for 30 seconds. Redo the finger test and see how wide you can open your mouth now.
These simple exercises have helped many athletes to relieve tension in the calves, hamstrings or lower back thus improving their overall performance. â€˘
For more information on this topic, visit: www.muscleactivation.co.za / email@example.com
by Dr Rikus Scheepers DO IT NOW | inSHAPE: Words Photos courtesy of Dr. Scheepers
Many of us will have seen an athlete in full sprint suddenly stop with an expression of extreme pain on their face as they clutch their leg. This is usually followed by the sympathetic comment, “He has pulled a hammy!” A pulled hamstring is one of the most common injuries that occurs in recreational and professional athletes, and can be very debilitating and become chronic if not diagnosed and treated correctly. The pain experienced may be anywhere in the muscle from the origin in the buttocks to the attachment below the knee. There are several reasons that could cause pain to the leg, but a common one is a nerve injury. Although a trapped nerve is believed to increase the chances of an actual physical strain in the hamstrings, remarkably a trapped nerve can sometimes mimic a hamstring problem without any physical signs of a muscle strain! Therefore, careful assessment is essential to determine the correct treatment to address the underlying cause. The hamstring group is made up of three muscles: the semimembranosus, semitendinous and the two heads of the biceps femoris. The muscle group has its origin from the ischuim (bum bone) and attaches to the tibia/fibula below and on both sides of the knee. Thus the hamstring plays a vital role in stabilising the knee. Most hamstring injuries are caused by biomechanical imbalances, and can be the difference between the strength of the strong anterior leg muscles, quadriceps and weaker posterior hamstrings. Therefore, the function and movement of the spine, pelvis and hip joints in relation to the function of the knee and foot can cause these imbalances. The strong anterior quadriceps muscles straighten the knee and pull the leg forward during a stride. The hamstring stabilises the knee and pulls it into flexion to propel the body forward. So any weakness of the muscle or mechanical imbalance of the surrounding joints will cause the muscle to be stressed beyond its capacity and result in injury. It is agreed that weakness of the muscle is the main cause of injury, and these weaknesses are more exposed in sudden acceleration.
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Most literature suggests that the target ratio for strength of the hamstring should be 75% of that of the quadriceps. The quadriceps should be able to lift 100% of the athlete’s weight in a seated leg extension and the hamstring 75% of that. A larger difference means that the ability of the hamstring to propel the body forward in sudden or repeated acceleration is compromised and can lead to injury. As a chiropractor, I have rarely encountered patients with chronic hamstring problems that meet the above criteria. It appears that the combination of spinal imbalances, weak hamstrings and increased foot pronation are the major causes of hamstring sprains. If the underlying cause is not addressed, the injury will reoccur as soon as the muscles are stressed in a similar way. At my practice an acute hamstring injury is assessed to determine the degree of injury and managed within the first 48 hours using the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) technique. Thereafter, assessment of the patient’s spine, sacroiliac joints, knees and feet is done to determine the cause. Treatment in the next phase will consist of manipulations to the spine and pelvis to restore movement, deep tissue massage to the hamstring and quadriceps, interferential current, ultra sound and acupuncture. Stretching is not encouraged in this phase, as it is weakness that caused the problem in most cases. Overpronation should be addressed if present and corrected by orthotic inserts if necessary.
As soon as ambulation is possible without pain, a light stretching and strengthening programme is initiated. My patients are trained to strengthen both the hamstring’s upper and lower portions, and abdominal muscles. The lower portion is trained by bending the knee against resistance as far as possible, a ‘hamstring curl’. The upper portion, where most injuries occur, are usually not strengthened! This portion is trained by having the patient get into a kneeling position with his back upright and the ankles stabilised by another person. An alternate way of doing this is for the patient to kneel and place his ankles under a couch or bed for stabilisation. Then the patient slowly leans forward without bending at the waist. The proper procedure is to slowly lean forward for three to five seconds and then return to the upright position. This should be repeated eight to 10 times for one set. Three sets should be done in each session. Caution should be advised to all patients that even a 20% forward lean can cause a cramping of the upper hamstring. The optimum lean to be achieved is between 45-75 degrees. Most hamstring injuries can be prevented by strengthening both upper and lower parts of the hamstring muscles in relation to other muscle groups. Regular neurological and biomechanical assessments by a chiropractor/physical therapist to identify problems and guide you on your training programme can help athletes achieve their goals injury free! •
// [in THE HOLE] 20 Questions with Brandon Stone, the ‘blue-eyed boy’ of South African amateur golf • When the rough gets tough, the tough get rough • The 40 Year-Old Rookie Graduates .. JUST! // [inNATURE] Fly Fishing – Quality or Quantity? • Sharks, Worms and Pills // [inCREDIBLE PLACES] Croatia – A Jewel of the East (ern bloc) // [inDULGE] The Scottish Isles • La Motte, a Balm for Body and Soul • Grilled Chicken, Plum and Avocado Salad // [inSURE] Insight + Preparation = Carefree Living // [inTERTAINMENT] Music, Movie and Game Reviews // [inFOCUS] SHOOT! How to Shoot … An Expedition // [inVOLVED] FLOW: For Love of Water
Photo: Chris Hitchcock Description: Fishermans' boats
by Michael Scholz DO IT NOW | in THE HOLE: Interview Photos by Pamela Beaty
. . . h t i w s n o i t s e u 20 Q
e n o t S n o Brand
ateur g m a n a ic r f A h t u o D boy' of S
This month DO IT NOW interviewed the ‘blue-eyed boy’ of South African amateur golf, who is destined to follow in the footsteps of Ernie Els. In fact, even Ernie said so himself! Seventeen-year-old superstar Brandon Stone has set the golfing circles abuzz with his golfing prowess this past year.
We interviewed him whilst playing in the Prince’s Grant Invitational tournament, which he won. 1)
What is your most memorable moment in your superb rise to the top of the amateur ranks? Being awarded my Senior National Colours and I will be representing South Africa when we play against France in early February 2011. You are the son of successful playing and club professional Kevin Stone, who has played the Sunshine Tour for many years and won the South African Club Professional’s Championship seven times. Do you beat him senseless on the golf course when you play? NO! He still kicks my butt and I have only beaten him once! I think he is getting scared though, as I can’t get a game with him anymore! You recently three putted the last hole at the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament in Oubaai, to shoot a remarkable 61 because you went for the 59 (a feat only a handful of golfers around the world have accomplished). What was it like standing over that putt to break 60? I was so caught up in the moment that I actually forgot to get nervous!
4) You are in matric this year and it is rumoured that you went to school for about 30 days last year. How were your grades and how did you manage to study? My grades were above average, and I got the ‘green tick’ for a pass at the end of the year (thank you mom and the teachers at Cornwall Hill College). Their support has been amazing! 5)
How many days of school will you attend this coming year? I don’t think too many as I will be participating in several high profile events in the UK during May and June. However, I am focused and will do my best to complete matric this year.
With all of your accomplishments, you must have been approached countless number of times to join the professional ranks, and it must have been tempting. What are your plans for your golf career? I guess it is tempting, but I have been offered a scholarship at the University of Texas in Austin and will join them in August 2012.
7) You spend a considerable amount of time on the practice tee at your home course, Gardener Ross. What do you do to keep your practice interesting? I mixed it up a bit by changing routines, setting targets and practicing with other professionals like Michael Scholz, Ryan Thompson and Louis de Jager. 8) We believe that you have your own chauffeur, who drives you to all your golf tournaments both locally and out of town. What is the name of this company and how much do you pay to be driven around in 5-star luxury? It’s called ‘Mom and Dad’s Wheels for Me’ and their fee is priceless! 9)
Have you ever been hit by a golf ball (properly), and what was the damage sustained? Yes, my school friend Andrew van der Knaap hit me on the knee and it was really painful, but no damage was done! My revenge was sweet.
10) Have you ever hit anyone with a golf ball and was it intentional? Yes I did, but I can’t remember who and it definitely was not intentional.
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11) Darren Scott is a close family friend. How much money have you taken off him and has he paid you? I think Darren can spot talent and he never plays against me, but rather has me as his partner! He ALWAYS pays his debts, as well as mine after a couple of ‘suitcases’ (passion fruit and Jack Daniels!). 12) There was a golf day hosted last year to raise funds for your expensive hobby and travels abroad. The Hooters girls were there and apparently you have been a Hooters fan ever since. Explain? Hooters is like the Spur isn’t it? The girls are good at their job and the food is good – what more can you ask for? 13) Describe the worst shot or most embarrassing golfing moment ever? I try to forget those and being a teenager makes it easier to forget! 14) You’ve been described as being a long hitter even though you are still filling out. What is your key to ‘bliksemming the kak’ out of the ball? When I’m really angry, it is so much easier to do this! 15) You’re one of the world’s most avid Justin Bieber fans and also have a sizeable fan following on your Facebook profile. Any tips for youngsters on how to attract the ladies? Firstly, I am DEFINITELY NOT a Justin Bieber fan! Secondly, a good businessman never empowers his opposition – so no tips!
16) Speaking of girls, who is your dream babe? My girlfriend, Anette Schuller (I have to say that!). 17) Your dream four ball (including yourself). Who and why? Ernie Els, my dad and grandfather Sam Stone. Why? My dad and Ernie have been friends for many years. My grandfather and Ernie also go back a long way. I have huge respect for all of them! 18) Where do you see yourself in 40 years time? I’m looking at retiring after a good few years on the Senior Tour! 19) Whilst your peers are out jolling and making out with girls, what are you doing? Studying ... boring but true! (sort of) 20) Describe your best shot ever! My hole in one at the Senior Inter Provincial on the 17th at Pretoria Country Club. It was their first hole in one in 100 years! It was also my fourth hole in one for the year! •
"Forget your opponents; always play against par." ~Sam Snead
DO IT NOW | in THE HOLE: Words & Photos by Darren Witter
When the rough gets tough, the tough get rough This month, our intrepid golf coach, Darren Witter, gives you the solution to playing out of the thick stuff, which is quite common with most golfers. When you face an iron shot from the rough, the key is making solid contact. Play the ball back in your stance and closer to your right foot. This will encourage a sharp descending approach needed to prevent the grass from getting caught between the club head and ball. Take less club than you would from the fairway. Since you are playing the ball back in your stance, your hands will be slightly ahead of the golf ball at address. As a result, your hands will be leading the club head at impact, effectively de-lofting the true loft of the club in your hands. A 7 iron, for example, will have the effective loft of a 5- or 6-iron. Allow for some run on the ball. The shot won’t carry as far as normal, but it will roll for you. Open your stance slightly, aligning your feet to the left of the target for right hander’s. Because the ball is back in your stance, you’ll tend to hit to the right. By opening your stance, you’ll make it easier to turn your hips and work your body through the shot into a committed and balanced follow through. Remember to hit down and through at the same time. I find that many golfers hit down at the ball in thick rough and stop. Keep moving the club head and the body through the shot into a balanced follow through.
If you require personalised instruction or have any instruction-related queries, you can contact Darren Witter at the Martin Whitcher Golf Pro Shop or on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or cell: 082 925 0956
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DO IT NOW | in THE HOLE:
Words by Michael Scholz Photos courtesy of Michael Scholz
l O r a e Y The 40
s e t a u d a r G e i k Roo d
Anyone who thought that the lifestyle of the travelling professional golfer is a glamorous one, is sorely mistaken. Here is a brief summary of the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s year: •
• • •
• • •
Finished exactly 100th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. The top 100 qualified me as a category 13b … that doesn’t mean a whole lot! Amassed a total prize money of R56,121-75. Considering my expenses for my 40 Year-Old Rookie golfing agenda were R195,000-00, this was a very lean year! Entered 22 Sunshine Tour events, but after unsuccessfully pre-qualifying, I actually only played in 13 of those. Made 10 cuts of the 13 events. Semi-positive. Played in 11 pre-qualifying events for tournaments. Successful in only two. That was tough. There’s usually around 100 guys playing for just 10 spots! Hit three balls out of bounds, eight balls into water hazards and six balls NTBSA (never to be seen again)! Thanks to Titleist for their ongoing support in this department. Had two top 10 finishes (Lombard Insurance and Suncoast Classic), so there were glimpses of hope. Drove approximately 45,000 kilometres to tournament venues. More often than not, just for the pre-qualifying round and then straight back home! Total value of speeding fines accumulated … R0-00! Well, none that I know of and that incident where the traffic officer had to jump back into the bush … ooh! That wasn’t me! Listened to my caddie all of three times. Probably should have listened a little more often! Tried more than 4,312 different ‘instant gratification’ swing gadgets, which all failed dismally! No alcohol for the entire 2010 season! With a dismal performance like mine, I should rather have tried being drunk for the whole year! Swung my 40 year-old body into a spasm once over a weekend when trying to hit ‘1000 Drivers’. Thanks to three physio sessions, I was able to play a couple of months later. Accumulated 382 Facebook fans. Only lost around a thousand! Had a huge amount of fun!
Summary of 2010
The golf hole also shrinks to the size of a peppermint when you ‘have to perform’. The game of professional golf is clearly best played with no financial pressures!
The Positives Being on the celebrity A list with the likes of Paris Hilton, Michael Buble, John Travolta and Jennifer Anniston are great, although I would know nothing about that! The 40 Year-Old Rookie did however get the odd “Oh, so you’re the 40 Year-Old Rookie!” followed closely by a SLAP! SuperGolf also capitalised on the fame! With cameo appearances and many more to come in 2011, golf as you remember it on TV will never be the same again. Sponsors came running too! Like Jacques Kallis, the 40 Year-Old Rookie was approached by a leading ‘hair regeneration’ studio to sport their latest Justin Bieber look. Alas though, the operation didn’t take and the result is that only the hair implants over the ears worked. Furthermore, the sponsorship amount was concluded in Zimbabwe Dollars, thus I still owe money on the botched op!
Farewell With my ‘rookie’ year now behind me, it is with great sorrow that I bid farewell to a character that I have thoroughly enjoyed performing. Goodbye 40 Year-Old Rookie! You’ve graduated, even if only just. Thanks for the laughs! Sniff, choke, waaah! With death, there is birth and as of the next issue, I take on a new persona … a superhero destined to save golf from the clutches of the ‘boredom’ stigma and stale tradition. Enter ‘Ground Under Repair’! Quite fitting considering the psychological damage done from the exploits of too many golf training aids, odd-ball theories and quick fixes, as well as playing the game sober. Be sure to watch SuperGolf to see what’s in stall for the year. Till next month,
Like it was for the South African economy and Julius Malema’s PR Manager, it was a tough year! Thank goodness for my other vocations as a Trick Shot Artist and Master of Ceremonies, otherwise a storm drain somewhere in Hillbrow would probably be home to this professional golfer, which leads me to the question: Where do all these youngsters get their funding from? Many would have been well satisfied to finish 100th, but the bare cost of playing what I now describe as a ‘very expensive hobby’ … To top it all off, the 40 Year-Old Rookie managed to curb accommodation costs by entering into a sponsorship arrangement with Southern Sun (and stayed in ultimate luxury), so this chopped a huge expense from my budget.
Reality Check With the arrival of my beautiful daughter last February, there was a new commitment thrown into the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s list of responsibilities. Not a good time to enter into a career that is about as stable as Amy Winehouse at a Robbie Williams’ ‘Go Deep Party’!
Ground Under Repair
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by Alan Hobson DO IT NOW | inNATURE: Words Photos courtesy of Angler & Antelope Guesthouse
The reason we fly fish is to catch fish ... or is it? When you hook a fish it is undeniably an adrenalin rush, and that’s the sport or fun of it. The exhilaration of several emotions takes you on a rollercoaster ride during the time it takes you to land the fish. A huge dollop of success soon melts into panic as pisces and angler grapple for dominance, physically and mentally. The scale is tipped in our favour physically as we have the benefit of science in the construction of our equipment, but the fish has home-ground advantage. We expose the nerve ends of our character as we question our abilities, whilst the fish is hell-bent on survival. Once we’ve sized each other up, there is the calm before the storm; the angler composes himself whilst figuring out how to land the fish, and the fish offers its last resistance. Your sense of being and achievement are immeasurably gratifying when you see the fish, tail frantically waving, before it disappears into the safety of the deep. You often hear fly fisherman say that a catch is a bonus as it’s actually the day’s outing that soothes the soul. Undoubtedly it’s a combination of both, for one needs fuel to keep the passion burning. In the modern day and age where bigger, better and faster appear to be the criteria for judging success, this is not the case with fly fishing. The therapy of participation is to expose patience and tenacity, and engage one mentally by becoming one with Mother Nature. Only by feeling the pulse of all her elements does one ultimately connect. The anomaly of man is that connection for each of us is unique, both in experience and meaning. It is this allure that saw Rob, Geoff and I heading for the mountainous pools at the source of the Little Fish River, which holds monster trout in the Karoo. The excited chatter as we passed through the Swaershoek Pass was stimulated by the contrasting terrain, variety of game and habitat of the kudu. As we pulled off the gravel road and parked next to a concrete causeway, Geoff sceptically asked if this was the river we are going to fish. He was looking
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at a maze of thorn trees that revealed only the smallest trickle of water from the Little Fish River. After tugging on waders over our breathable clothing, lacing our boots and lining up the eyes of our rods, we gathered our rucksacks and marched single file in silence to the edge of the thorn trees. Getting through this barbed barrier unscathed required a fair amount of skill as we weaved torso and fly rods under, between and through the thorns. Finally free and on the move again I suddenly froze, eyes focused intently on a bold paw print in the path in front of me. “What’s that?” asked Rob huskily. “It looks like the spoor of a huge lynx,” I whispered. “Nonsense,” barked Geoff, “it looks like a leopard spoor.” After much debate about the possibility of leopard in the area, we eventually shrugged off the idea as unlikely. On edge, we continued walking downstream, stopping every time we heard a noise or scuffle in the bush; needless to say our conversation dried up, much like the river bed. Soon after we heard the gurgling of water as a bank of rocks burst out between the thorn trees. I dismounted my rucksack, which holds some 1,500 fly patterns, and explained that the trout were stocked annually in the pool to sustain a succession of fish. The pool was no more than twenty-five square metres in size. After planning our assault, we set up our leaders. Geoff and I took cover next to a Willow tree that languidly lay at the edge of the pool and as there was only place for one person to fish, Geoff had the first session. Rob then leopard crawled his way, gear and all, to the opposite side of the pool. Geoff false cast over the rocks until he had sufficient line out to present his fly into the throat of bubbling white water, coming from a small waterfall that cascaded over a rocky ledge. By casting over the
rocks and not the water, he wouldn’t spook the fish quite as easily. The trick was to have enough slack in the line to allow the current to churn the fly, letting it sink to the bottom before being washed to the edge, just as a natural insect would be. Where there’s bubbles and foam, there’s usually trapped insects, and where the current and slack water meet is the prime lie that holds fish. With Rob in position at the tail of the pool, he cast up into the waterfall’s throat, whilst staying in touch with his fly as it washed back towards him. Both Geoff and Rob used a strike indicator to gauge the depth and flow of the water, which helped them to manage the slack in the line and see the take.
At the end of the day, the session belonged to Geoff who landed two absolute beauties, both over 55cm and weighing in excess of 2,5kg. When you consider the pool’s location and that it’s stocked annually with 30 fish ranging from 10-gramme growers to yearling trout, of which maybe five grow to trophy size in their lifespan, it was indeed an exhilarating afternoon that produced quality fly fishing. Although Rob and I didn’t catch anything, we enjoyed the outing as much as Geoff. We are fortunate to experience many things in our lifetime, but the chronicles of certain experiences, such as this one, remain etched in our minds as clearly as the day it happened. •
DO IT NOW | inNATURE:
Words by Matthew Crane Photos courtesy of Matthew Crane
Sharks, Worms and Pills
It’s been about a year since I left southern Africa’s sunny shores to return home and to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand. During this time I’ve been busy taking care of our many fishy friends, and the centre has re-opened a couple of our exhibits that boast a new and exciting look. Working with sharks remains my passion and before coming to Africa, I was part of the team that started studying the Carpet or Draughtboard Shark. I have since rejoined them and we are now into the final stages of our research. Historically, our facility has not been able to keep Carpet Sharks alive for more than a year at a time. Whilst there have been many theories over the last 50+ years as to why this might be, no studies have investigated these theories - until now. One concern was the high abundance of tapeworm parasites found in these animals. All animals have a certain amount of parasites, but local parasitologist Haseeb Randhawa says that he has never seen such a high parasite biomass per animal in any other shark species he has worked with. However, we have come to realise that our captive sharks’ tapeworm infections were no different to those of wild ones. As these parasites are internal, dips, like for sheep, don’t work and a pill would therefore need to be swallowed.
Now if you thought getting a kid to swallow a pill was difficult, try a shark! But the problem here is that you can’t be sure if they’ve eaten it or spat it out before it reached their stomach. So to get around this we used a feeding tube, a piece of soft tubing that was long enough to deliver the pill to the shark’s stomach, by placing it in the shark’s gullet. The pills we were using are the same as what you would give your cat or dog, so we weren’t sure how they would work on a shark. Sharks in this study were also tagged so that we could track if and when they had been treated. Not knowing if the tag site would get infected was also cause for concern. In an effort to assess this, an antibiotic was tested too.
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How do you do all of this you ask? We simply set up a number of tanks to check for effects. The first tank had a shark with nothing done to it, except for the physical stuff done to the others such as being fed, tank cleaned, poked with a needle (simulating tagging) and given a bit of food via a tube instead of a pill. A second tank housed a shark that received a pill, a third housed one that only had the antibiotic and a fourth housed one that was given a pill and antibiotic. This, of course, was all repeated to make sure there were no once-off results. Now when you actually perform an experiment there are always issues that you don’t foresee. One such issue was that these sharks, also known as Swell Sharks, swallow water or air to make themselves look bigger to scare off potential predators. And this is exactly what they did in the shallower test tanks, swelled and floated. This was not ideal so we had to somehow release the swallowed air from their stomach. Have you ever burped or seen someone burp a baby? Try burping a shark, or in some cases ‘farting’ a shark! Let me tell you it is not the easiest task, especially when they constantly splash you or scrape their sandpaper-like skin against you. All in the name of science! Stress on these sharks being caught and held in captivity for a while is another theory, so we tested for this too. We started by taking blood samples just before the animal received its first treatment and finished with a series of blood tests after the treatment, which coincided with a stress test. This was done to see if the animals without the parasites (treated for worms) fared better than those that had parasites (not treated for worms).
Samples were also taken to run biochemical tests in an attempt to compare the diet of wild-caught sharks from those that had been living in captivity, as this is another theory for their inability to survive more than a year at the Aquarium. I am happy to report that the de-worming pill did in fact work and at a lower dose than recommended. We also found that tagging did not cause any secondary infection, nor did the antibiotic appear to provide any extra benefit. Unfortunately the stress tests did not offer much in the way of results, and the diet tests are still in progress.
... We are very excited about the possible significance of these studies and look forward to being able to implement regular quarantine procedures for sharks brought into the Aquarium in the future ...
We are now in the final stage of the project, which is to tag and release several sharks into one of our larger environments, some treated and some not. This will eventually indicate if the treated sharks tend to live longer than the non-treated sharks. We are very excited about the possible significance of these studies and look forward to being able to implement regular quarantine procedures for sharks brought into the Aquarium in the future. In an ideal world, the results of this study will allow us to keep our sharks alive for most of their natural lives. Furthermore, it also means that they would lay eggs in their environment and if fertile, we have had good success in hatching them. Knowing more about their needs will help us maintain our own population of sharks, without having to take more from the wild. â€˘
1) Matthew Crane with a syringe and glass slides whilst preparing blood for microscope. 2) These two sharks, in side-by-side tanks, are undergoing a stress test where the sharks are turned upside down and timed to see how long it takes to right themselves. 3) The worms in the jar are a sample from one animal - By Stu Morrison. 4) The wooden board is used to measure the length of this Carpet Shark.
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DO IT NOW | inCREDIBLE PLACES: Words and Photos by Steven Yates
Climbing the dolomite cliffs of Croatia. Dubrovnik nestled on the Croatio's dramatic coastline. Crystal water's of Croatia's boggest National Park.
European holidays have always held glamorous expectations among Africans, Australians and Americans (or at least those who know there is an exciting world outside of Louisiana). The traditional haunts of France, Italy, Greece, Amsterdam (which is far more alluring than Holland itself in the eyes of most Aussies) and Spain (if you are British) are no less appealing now than they were two decades ago. However, the focus of the more adventurous traveller has moved east, to the highlights of an unexplored land known only for communism, war, cheap labour and lots of bad guys as portrayed in many of the movies from the ‘80s. Eastern Europe has opened up to tourism in a big way and names like Poland, Latvia, Czech Republic and Romania are attracting visitors from across the world, but none more so than Croatia.
– A Jewel of the East (ern bloc)
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Croatia – A Jewel of the East (ern bloc) ... Croatia is one of six countries that came into being with the break up of Yugoslavia and despite the catastrophic war, which only ended 10 years ago, Croatia must surely be the best positioned of the former Yugo states. The magnificent coastline and plethora of islands means that sailing the Croatian coast is one of the best ways to experience all that is on offer. Laura and I arrived in Split, Croatia, early Saturday morning after a crazy 02h00 start to catch the morning flight from London. We were two of twenty-two friends to board the Mihovel, our yacht for six glorious days of fun. It is at this point that I must suggest that if you do go sailing in Croatia, and I highly recommend it, that you go with a big group of friends so you don’t get stuck on a boat with strangers. The yachts have the potential to be a little bit like Contiki on water, which is superb if you are twenty-one years old and more interested in drinking yourself into oblivion than experiencing a wonderful new country, and can be populated with masses of Aussie youths who have been released from the sheep farms for the summer. Mihovel set sail in the early afternoon and we found ourselves enjoying a cocktail on deck while looking out at the beautiful Croatian mountains dipping into an azure sea. The week was a wonderful mixture of relaxation in the form of sunbathing, floating on lilos and indulging in wonderful seafood feasts at the island konoba’s (eateries), as well as other activities such as scuba diving, cycling and (for the ladies) shopping. Some of the ‘must do and see’ Adriatic highlights start with the Monaco of the Adriatic – Hvar. The night life is fantastic and there are lots of little konoba’s tucked away that serve authentic Croatian cuisine, especially their cheese and aged smoked ham. I wouldn’t suggest going to the multitude of restaurants on the harbour, as they are a bit commercial, although still very good, but rather find something special tucked away in the back streets. The islands of Brac, Vis, Korcula and Mijet are spectacular and best explored on a hired bicycle with a Sladoled (Croatian Gelato – a delicious frozen dessert similar to ice cream) in hand. While sampling the islands make sure you don’t miss the amazing seafood risottos and in particular the coastal specialty – the Squid Ink Black Risotto, which is simply sumptuous. Finally back on the main land and at Croatia’s southernmost city, no Adriatic adventure is complete without a day or two in the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik. Although very busy, the squares are extremely festive in the evenings with live music and a large number of cultures all enjoying the wonderful atmosphere. I would definitely recommend waking up early to get some photographs of this beautiful city without the throngs of people. Unfortunately for most, that is where their Croatian holiday comes to an end. In reality they are missing the best that this eastern
bloc jewel has to offer. Laura and I decided to spend another week exploring Croatia’s mountainous interior and were rewarded with a rare natural beauty. We hired a little Fiat 500 (what a cute car) and drove from Dubrovnik up to the Plitvice Lakes, with a small transit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was a bit stressful due to our single entry Croatian visa. The drive was spectacular with the motorway, which is still under construction and can result in some pretty crazy detours, crossing through mountains in kilometre-long tunnels and over bridges spanning great gorges. We stopped at the local wine farms for a tasting of their proud DINgac wine and bought wheels of cheese from farmers selling their produce under colourful umbrellas on the side of the roads. We also took in some of Croatia’s many UNESCO World Heritage site national parks to wonder between the dolomite cliffs and jealously watch the local climbers scaling the multi-pitch rock faces. There are very few places to hire climbing gear so I would suggest taking your own even though it might be heavy. But the climbs will be just reward for schlepping ropes and quick-draws halfway across the world! Finally we reached our destination. The Plitvice Lakes. The Plitvice Lakes are Croatia’s biggest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Plitvice Lakes are heavily forested with a network of 16 lakes flowing through the park that are divided up into 12 upper lakes and four lower lakes, separated by natural dams of travertine. The Lakes are surrounded by the most beautiful walking paths and a series of wooden walkways allow visitors to get close to the crystal clear waters. The views provided by walking the majestic trails of the Plitvice Lakes are second to none, and many vantage points allow hikers to experience the ever-changing colours of the lakes, from blue to azure, to green and grey. Again, an early start is the way to go to avoid other tourists and give you that feeling of isolated freedom and the best, however unlikely, opportunity to see one of the many residents of the forest such as bears, wolves, eagles, owls and wild cats. Laura and I spent three days at Plitvice and loved the morning walks, which sometimes turned out to be six-hour hikes, and wonderful afternoon naps. The food in the mountains was again superb and had more of a Hungarian influence than Italian, and quite different to the coastal fare. Their specialities are lamb on the spit and veal cooked under the bell, which is sort of like roasting the meat in a wood fire under a cast iron pot (the bell) ... absolutely delicious.
With our two weeks in Croatia at an end Laura and I headed back to Split, a charming walled city with gorgeous shops and restaurants down sneaky stone alleys, to catch our flight back home via London with only one thought in mind ... what a wonderful world! • 104 >> DO IT NOW February/March 2011
Plitvice's multi-coloured lakes open up to the natural forest. Korcula's cobbled streets hide quaint local kolobas. The Plitvice lakes flow through a series of 16 seperate bodies.
Travelling to Croatia
Staying in Croatia
Sailing with sail-croatia.com
July/August is peak season and extremely hot and crowded. Prices of flights and accommodation are significantly lower outside of these months.
Guesthouses and B&B’s are available throughout Croatia and are usually quite charming. Many towns offer holiday apartments for rent on a weekly basis.
Croatia’s southern tip is split from the rest of the country by a small tract of land that is part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This land was given to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the settlement at the end of the war, to provide the country with access to the sea.
Travelling from Dubrovnik in the south to northern Croatia requires crossing into Bosnia and Herzegovina, so make sure you have the correct passport paperwork.
The crossing of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be done ‘in transit’, which doesn’t require a visa, and sometimes does not require a multiple entry visa for Croatia. But investigate this thoroughly before going so that you are not surprised.
There are no direct flights to Croatia. The best options are via London or Germany, however there are lots of options so do your research.
South Africans require a separate Croatian visa, which can be obtained from the Croatian Embassy in Pretoria (http://za.mfa.hr/?mh=331&mv=2046). Be aware that a second visa might be required for your transfer destination (British visa for England or a Schengen visa for Europe).
Exploring Croatia •
Croatia has close on 1,000 square kilometres of protected national parks (approximately 10% of the country), the biggest of which is the Plitvice Lakes at approximately 300 square kilometres.
Natural dams of travertine spate the Lakes of Plitvice. Travertine is a form of limestone, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae and bacteria.
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DO IT NOW | inDULGE:
Words by Steve Adams Photos courtesy of Wild About Whisky
Arran Still Room
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The Scottish Isles Part Four There is much debate around classifying Scotch whiskies by region, and the Scotch Whisky Association has recently amended its definitions of region, much to the chagrin of many whisky producers, not to mention whisky lovers.
Up to this point island whiskies were given a classification of their own – ‘The Isles (non-Islay)’; the ‘non-Islay’ very importantly stating that Islay is a region all on its own. The island whiskies shall henceforth be lumped under the ‘Highland’ region, which leads to more debate – should these malts be classified by region at all? Take for example two Highland (ex-island) malts, Talisker and Arran. Talisker’s distillery style is smoke and pepper, famously giving the light smokiness to Johnnie Walker’s Black Label blend. While Arran’s house style is light and fruity; in fact the 10 Year Old expression is on the other end of the flavour spectrum to Talisker’s 10 Year Old. My point being that Scotland’s islands produce whiskies as diverse as the landscapes that define them.
Our visit to the Orkney Isles off the far northern coast commenced with a ferry hop in a rust bucket that took us past windswept, deserted islands where sheep and grass appear to be the only surviving life forms after the human inhabitants abandoned all hope of a harmonious relationship with the relentless elements. The ruins of forsaken crofts stand as monuments to man’s sheer fortitude. On one lonely islet the houses look relatively intact, their last inhabitants having abandoned home in the 1980s. Rumour has it that any hardened adventurer willing to risk the kayak trip to its rocky shores can see a picture of 1980s’ island life through the windows of these cottages. The inhabitants apparently left in a hurry.
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"... Scotland’s islands produce whiskies as diverse as the landscapes that define them ... " Orkney’s mainland, as the Orcadians refer to it, has very few trees with its main features being rocky monoliths, ancient forts and burial chambers. More ancient still, the peat bogs that lend Highland Park its good balance of soft peatiness and sweet fruit are scattered around the grassy, windswept landscape. The peat here is different, more earthy and softer, without the seaweed iodine-tinge that so defines the big Islay malts. The stonework buildings of Highland Park Distillery have stood since 1798 atop a hill just outside of Kirkwall, the island’s capital. We toured the distillery and were charmed by the quaintness of the place and being a fan of the spirit, delighted by the tasting. Highland Park uses no colouring in their whisky and presently only European oak casks are used to mature the spirit, as is apparent in the richness of their malts. The ruggedness of the landscape, ancient ruins, multitude of small islands and the chance of catching a snap of a puffin would all be reasons to visit the Orkneys. But take a good windproof jacket. Talisker is now accessible by road, thanks to a bridge connecting the Isle of Skye to the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh. The surrounding scenery is both rugged and beautiful, and the distillery is located on the coastline outside the village of Carbost, with the Cuillin Mountains forming a spectacular backdrop. The setting belies the fact that Talisker was built for purely economic reasons; the crofters being told to either work at the distillery or make for the colonies. The malt is created to a distinct flavour through deliberate processes, uniquely shaped stills and worm-tubs to produce a complex, smoky and peppery spirit. The Isle of Arran is a short ferry hop from the Kintyre peninsula, and on most weekends is frequented by mainlanders as a sort of Scottish island getaway. Walkers and cyclists abound and are treated to some of the most alluring scenic routes. Golfers have a choice of nine courses on an island not much larger than the southern Kruger Park. The only distillery on the island, Arran Distillery, is positioned outside of Lochranza in the north, occupying a very scenic spot at the foot of rolling green hills that are home to a breeding pair of golden eagles. Built in 1995, the distillery itself occupies one room, making it fairly easy for a novice to understand the various processes. Distillery Manager James McTaggert, very hospitable and affable, brings years of distilling experience to Arran and proudly opened up samples of his latest creations for us to taste. The new-make spirit has a light fruitiness that comes through in the 10 Year Old, but some of the various cask finishes are very definitely peaty and well worth seeking out.
The warehouse is racked with many different expressions, most of which were limited batches. The distillery is now cutting back on the number of expressions to focus on its core products. Outside the warehouse a small herd of deer basked in the intermittent morning sunlight. The Isle of Mull is another short ferry trip, this time from Oban on the west coast to Craignure on Mull’s southern end. The only distillery is at Tobermory, a very picturesque little maritime village on the northern end of the island. This must surely rate as the most photogenic of towns; the buildings all painted in a multitude of tartan colours that overlook the weather-beaten port. The local pastimes include sailing (not for the faint-hearted here) and birding is high on the list with tourists. The distillery itself looks like it’s had its fair share of storm batterings. The best looking building - once home to a plethora of maturing casks – is now a block of apartments. The Distillery Manager Graham Brown, another very likeable character, took time out of his busy schedule to show us around the distillery. Two very different malts are produced here; the lighter, fruity character of the Tobermory contrasting with the very smoky peated Ledaig (pronounced Laychig). While the latter doesn’t rank as one of my favourites, the 15 Year Old Tobermory fares very well and the 32 Year Old is superb! The Isle of Jura is also a very short ferry hop, around five minutes to be more precise, this time from Islay, which happens to be a long ferry hop of around two hours from the west coast of Scotland. If ever a trip was worth making, this is it. Jura sits between Islay and the mainland, population around 150, many thousands of deer and some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable. It was here that George Orwell wrote his 1984 classic, and his landlord at the time decided to build a distillery in 1962. The distillery produces a lightly peaty spirit, becoming rich and malty after years in oak. Standing in the tiny village of Craighouse, with the distillery at your back, the view is reminiscent of a more tropical island (weather permitting!), due mainly to the gulfstream allowing small palms to prosper. There are also times that the weather is so bad it prevents the Jura ferry from sailing, effectively severing the umbilical connection to Islay. It’s not difficult to see why most visitors to Jura fall in love with it. Oh, and there’s no police presence on Jura! Apparently the last serious crime there was over 200 years ago. That in itself could make me consider moving …
by Jacoline Haasbroek DO IT NOW | inDULGE: Words Photos courtesy of Jacoline Haasbroek & La Motte
Rejuvenate your body, mind and soul at La Motte - Escape to La Motte
Are you feeling cooped up in the city or have a hectic job with no time for outdoor recreation? You may well be in serious need of a day-trip to La Motte, in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, as a satisfying solution to your dilemma. With a rich history dating back to the 17th century, La Motte is one of the oldest wine estates in the valley and offers entertainment for almost every taste. For a more energetic outdoor experience, why not start off with the new 5km mountain hiking trail? The trail is part of La Motte’s commitment to biodiversity and the protection of precious natural flora and fauna in the surrounding mountain area, as well as creating awareness of the earth’s most precious gifts. First though, get your sluggish system going with a strong espresso, served piping hot from the new farm shop. The earthy decor speaks of freshly baked goodies specially prepared in the farm kitchen: steaming loaves, pastries and other mouthwatering delights. Use carbo-loading as an excuse to indulge. The hiking trail starts diagonally behind the cellar and is clearly marked by a white stone bearing a painted La Motte shield. It begins as a tractor track that crosses the farmyard and then runs between the vineyards and into the fynbos, with arum lilies all around. Here it changes into a single track, still marked with the now familiar white stone, and is occasionally decorated with an unmistakable baboon offering. The route gradually rises as you make your way to the top of a hillock that is surrounded by aloes and simply the most beautiful view over the Franschhoek Valley. Take a breather at the comfortable wooden bench before tackling the more
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rocky terrain that involves traversing a modest rock face, where a chain has been attached to the rock for a safe climb. Aromatic indigenous fynbos and bird song fill all the senses and in front of you, always the magnificent view over the valley. La Motte is a key role player in re-establishing virtually extinct species such as the Franschhoek Blushing Bride and the Cape Disa. You may also get to meet our friends the baboons, and who knows, even other members of the fauna population such as leopard or mountain viper. A last thicket reveals some interesting rock formations and vegetation, and your final destination. The cool thatched lapa overlooks an alluring hidden valley and is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy some munchies and a coolie from your backpack. Remember to take a picture of the loo-with-a-view. From here the trail gently meanders between historic farm dwellings and vineyards. Before you know it, you are back at the cellar and just in time to quench your thirst with something refreshingly cool.
"La Motte boasts many local and international award-winning wines."
In addition to this fantastic trail, La Motte boasts many local and international award-winning wines. With a modern tasting room, outstanding wines and friendly and knowledgeable personnel, you are in for a real pamper session! The museum, with its exceptional collection of Pierneef artwork, and a storyboard displaying this beautiful farm’s history, compliments the many special experiences La Motte has to offer. Dining at the Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant is definitely one of those experiences, and the mouth-watering aromas and array of culinary delights are sure to seduce even the most discerning of palates. The menu is an interesting mélange of authentic Cape winelands cuisine with a modern La Motte flair. The restaurant is tastefully decorated in cream and pistachiogreen, spacious, has large windows that over look the lush gardens, leaping water and shady oaks and there’s lots of room for the kiddies to romp around in.
A visit to La Motte is truly worthwhile if you are looking to nourish the body, mind and soul, and we look forward to welcoming you to our little piece of eco-paradise! •
Hikes must be pre-booked at the Tasting Room. For enquiries and bookings email: tasting@la-motte. co.za, or vsit the website www.la-motte.com Trail info: • Grading - 1B rating, requiring a fair amount of fitness. • Distance - 5km circular route, two to three hours walking. • Cost - R50 per person, limited to a maximum of 10 persons at a time. Taking children under 10 years of age is not recommended. You need to provide your own energy snack and water/ cooler. • Operating hours - The trail is open Mondays to Saturdays from 09:00 to 14:00.
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DO IT NOW | inDULGE: Words by Chef Neil Ross
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ped min • 1 Tbs chop e eet chilli sauc • Splash of sw gar • 1 Tsp of su
DO IT NOW | inSURE: Words by Peter Fairbanks
DO IT NOW FEBRUARY - MARCH 2011
Insight Preparation =
Carefree Living One of the realities of working with matters such as death cover, disability and severe illness benefits is that I spend more time than most with clients who are clinging to life in the hope that the chemo will work or attending funerals. Despite coming face-to-face with these heart-wrenching situations, it has taught me a valuable lesson and that is to appreciate the gift of life. Now why all this doom and gloom so early in the year you might ask? Well let’s face it; none of us know how long or short our earthly journey will be and if it will be a healthy one. So my question to you is do you have the insight to be prepared for any eventuality? The word ‘insight’ is described in the Oxford Dictionary as, ‘the capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something’. One of my friends recently commented on this, saying that there’s hardly time to really understand things anymore, even when a solution is offered to us because of our fast paced, frantic lifestyles. He has a valid point! So that leads me to being prepared. One of my clients has her own business and being extremely successful and busy, it’s usually quite a challenge to get together even once a year to talk. After offering her various solutions from different product suppliers, she then schedules a meeting for the following week. When we met again, I am always astonished by how accurate her insight is about the various offerings made. Not only is she able to distinguish between all the various benefit payouts percentages and descriptions, she also understands the importance of what she is purchasing so that when she needs to claim there are no excuses or surprises. So when she was diagnosed late last year with breast cancer, she received the full critical illness pay out and nothing less. It was hugely satisfying to see that the choices made were the right ones. However, this satisfaction was short lived when she explained that the chosen amount was not enough. “Pardon me,” I said, “but surely with R250 0000 in your pocket all is fine? This real-life situation ruined my day. After battling with her medical aid to pay their dues in the first round of chemo, the doctors suggested more treatments. The medical aid informed her that none of this would be covered by them. According to the doctors, another R350 000 was needed for what lay ahead. So although we had done our homework by carefully reviewing all the critical illness options available, this was not the case in terms of the medical aid’s benefits and conditions.
Critical illness is often added to a policy as an after-thought by most people. Generally, the premium opted for is minimal as they feel that R250 000 or R300 000 will be sufficient should something happen. This is a mistake and you will be surprised how an additional R100 difference in a premium can save you from all those outstanding medical bills. The actual concept of critical illness came into being by Dr Barnard. No, not the world famous heart transplant doctor, Dr. Chris Barnard, but his brother, Dr Marius Barnard. Incidentally, he was part of the 1967 team of surgeons that removed the heart from a donor for the world’s first successful transplant! More than 30 years ago he had the insight to foresee the ridiculous spiralling cost of medical treatments and the need to be able to compensate for this. Over the years, most product suppliers have differed in the percentages paid out and what they classified as an actual traumatic event. This has caused a lot of hardship for people claiming when they discovered that the benefit only pays out a percentage according to the stage of illness. However, over the past year or so all product suppliers have had to standardise the classification and amounts of which some of these events will be compensated for. It is still a far cry from uniformity in the market, but is a move in the right direction for consumers. Statistics provided by various product suppliers show that almost half of all claims relate to heart diseases and cancer. In most cases these illnesses can be overcome and don’t need to be a death sentence. But what will kill you is the hospital bill, especially if you find out that you will only receive 20% of the covered amount from your assurer. Therefore, doing your homework beforehand is much easier and less stressful than running to the Ombudsman afterwards and trying to plead ignorance. I urge you to take the time to gain some insight into how your medical aid will respond to a cancer or heart attack claim, and talk to your broker about the critical illness benefit; do it now before it’s too late. As always, seek advice from your broker before acting. • * The details used in the example above have been adjusted to protect the client’s identity.
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DO IT NOW | inTERTAINMENT:
Words by Richard Flamengo & Gerrit Viljoen
MOVIE TITLE BOOK TITLE
• The chemistry between Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Starring: Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton
Recommended for: All Depp and Jolie fans.
During an impromptu trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, Frank unexpectedly finds himself in a flirtatious encounter with Elise, an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path. Frank's playful dalliance with this stranger leads to a web of intrigue, romance and danger. With an A cast starring two of the best Hollywood has to offer in Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, you just know you are in for something special. Add in the accomplished Paul Bettany and the final product is truly spectacular. The story grabs your attention from the start and will have your eyes glued to the screen until the final credits roll. In closing, this movie is a definite must see for all Depp and Jolie fans, and will have you leaving the theatre thoroughly entertained. It’s perfect for a relaxing night out.
• Zach Galifianakis.
Director: Todd Phillips Starring: Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis
Recommended for: Hangover fans.
Peter Highman is an expectant first-time father whose wife's due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan – on what turns out to be a crosscountry road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter's last nerve. The toughest job for any moviemaker is following up a smash hit movie with another. So when the Hangover crew (Director, Producer and Zach Galifianakis) got together again and added Robert Downey Jr. to the mix, I got all excited. However, I made one of the oldest mistakes by watching the trailer too many times, which gave away many of the funny moments and ended up spoiling the movie a bit for me. In closing, this movie will have you laughing and giggling, but won't have you watching it over and over again like we all did with the Hangover. It’s good, but not brilliant, so let's hope the crew rediscovers their magic with the Hangover sequel due out this year.
CONCERT TITLE BOOK TITLE
360˚ at The Rose Bowl Artist: U2
HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS • The stage is simply magnificent
Recommended for: All U2 fans. In preparation of probably the music event of 2011, U2’s return to South Africa for the first time since their famous PopMart tour in 1998, we decided to have a look at the band's latest DVD featuring the same concert we can expect to see in February. This DVD features all the massive hits we have come to know and love from this legendary Irish band, such as ‘With Or Without You’, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and the list goes on and on. This concert was filmed at the iconic Rose Bowl in California, America, packing in close to a 100,000-strong crowd, similar to that of our very own FNB Stadium. This DVD is definitely worth the money and promises to give you the closest U2 360˚ experience there is, unless you are one of the lucky ones that have a ticket to the concert in Johannesburg on 13 February or Cape Town on 18 February. The DIN team will most assuredly be covering this historic event and we look forward to telling you more about it in the next issue.
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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
• • • • • • •
Platform: PC Genre: MMORPG Developer: Blizzard Publisher: Blizzard Release Date: December 7, 2010 Requirements: Internet connection, Base install and first two expansions Available from: BT Games
After defeating the Lich King and restoring peace in Northrend, the Alliance and Horde settle down – fishing (and other professions), questing and generally going about their business. That is until Deathwing the Destroyer returns to Azeroth, fostering chaos and destruction across the continents. Whether you've never played World of Warcraft before, used to play it years ago or are a current player, you are likely to feel very differently about the third expansion. So let's start off by comparing the old and new versions. Cataclysm tears apart 10 years of WoW development and puts it back together better than it's ever been. While some quests and storylines remain mostly unchanged, the majority of content is new and implemented with a graceful technique that simply wasn't there when the game first launched six years ago. Here are some of the highlights that you can look forward to when installing Cataclysm: • As a new player questing has been improved with richer story lines. You can choose from a number of races that include two new races - the cursed worgen on the Alliance side or the resourceful goblins on the Horde side. • The achievement system has been improved by adding progression as a guild with guild levelling, thus providing extra abilities and special guild-only gear. • The level cap has been increased to 85. Earn new abilities, tap into new talents and progress through the path system; a new way for players to improve characters. • Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been altered forever and updated with new content from the devastated Badlands to the broken Barrens, which has been split in two by the biggest dragon Azeroth has known. • For only 250 gold, you can take up flying and explore the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor as never seen before. Stormwind and Orgimmar is a must see from the sky when you first take flight. Explore newly opened parts of the world including Uldum, Grim Batol and the great sunken city of Vashj'ir beneath the sea. • Although questing seems a bit easier than before, Blizzard has made the dungeons more challenging, with fun cut scenes in between that enhance the experience further. • Enjoy more high-level raid content than previous expansions, with added optional and more-challenging versions of all encounters. • Class combinations have been revised; imagine taking on the world with a gnome priest or a dwarven warlock. • For the hard-core PvP maniac, a daily quest has been added on Tol Barad Island, a new PvP-enabled zone. Wage war in all new battlegrounds and get there first to outshine the rest. • Master Archaeology is a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artefacts and earn unique rewards. These are just a few of the adventures and events you will encounter in the latest expansion of the world's most played Massive Multiplayer game. If you've ever been curious or used to play, there is no better time to step through the portal into the World of Warcraft . Just be warned that you might not want to step out again. By Gerrit Viljoen
FORTHCOMING ATTRACTIONS Title: The Next Three Days
Title: Drive Angry
Title: The Dilemma
• Genre: Thriller/ Action • Director: Paul Haggis • Starring: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Brian Dennehy, Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson • Date: 21 January
• Genre: Drama/Music • Director: Steven Antin • Starring: Cher and Christina Aguilera • Date: 21 January
• Genre: Action/Adventure • Director: Patrick Lussier • Starring: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard and William Fichtner • Date: 25 February
• Genre: Comedy • Director: Ron Howard • Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and Winona Ryder • Date: 4 March
Title: The Green Hornet
• Genre: Action • Director: Michel Gondry • Starring: Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Seth Rogen and Jay Chou • Date: 4 February
Title: The Fighter
• Genre: Drama • Director: David O. Russell • Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams • Date: 25 February
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DO IT NOW | inFOCUS:
Words and Photos by Jacques Marais
SHOOT! … an Expedition Bang a team of Expedition Force members onto a Hercules C-130, park a Disco 4 onto the plane, add Kingsley Holgate and a chimpanzee called Claude to the mix, and you can be damn sure you have an adventure on your hands … An expedition into darkest Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but when you head into Blood Diamond territory, you need to make sure you get the shots without upsetting the rebels with itchy trigger fingers. The way to go is under the radar and with equipment you can trust implicitly and won’t attract too much attention … That’s why I love the Canon 5D MkII. It shoots full-frame and punches way above its weight when it comes to specifications, with a Megapixel count of close on 23MP. It’s also quiet and the chances of it failing you in the field is arguably nil. Ask me; mine has survived the vagaries of the rainforests of Brazil, sailing for weeks upon the Indian Ocean, the salt-ridden Altiplano deserts of Bolivia and lightning storms up in the Berg. As a back-up, I carry a nifty 7D that shoots a mean eight frames per second at 18MP, more than good enough for a DPS in any quality magazine. Lenses need to be feather-light and compact, without having to compromise on quality, and once again Canon delivers. My bag holds a full range of L-series glass, from the dinky 14mm f2.8 fisheye and 17-40mm wide-angle zoom to a selection of magnificent ‘white’ telephoto zooms that get the shot time after time. Bottom line, when I hooked up with Kingsley Holgate and the Land Rover team on a chimp rescue mission into the Central African Republic, I knew that I’d packed the right gear. This made getting the killer shots below easier … read on and see how it happened.
Image 1: Big Bird The Action: Military airport in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). The Shot: First, get yourself into a Hercules C-130 and be on good terms with the pilot. Second, slip onto the roof of the plane through the cockpit porthole. Third, capture the shot with a fisheye lens before attracting the attention of AK47-toting soldiers patrolling the perimeter. The Technique: Diffused on-camera flash provided fill-in for the fuselage, as I wanted to shoot towards the dawn skyline and thus had to balance out the contrast. The Specifications: Diffused on-camera flash provided fill-in for the fuselage, as I wanted to shoot towards the dawn skyline and thus had to balance out the contrast. More Information: www.jacquesmarais.co.za
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Image 2: Rock the Boat The Action: Dugout canoe race during CAR Independence celebrations. The Shot: The chaotic energy of this boat race, with sometimes up to 60 paddlers crowding onto a single dugout, is captured by this front-on shot of a team entering the starting area. The Technique: I used my telephoto zoom to foreshorten the perspective and highlight the pattern formed by the wooden oars and paddlers’ faces. The effect was enhanced in Adobe Lightroom by converting it to monochrome. The Specifications: 1/1250th sec @ f4.5; Canon 5D MkII with 70-200mm zoom; no flash; ISO 200; WB Setting – Sunlight. More Information: www.landrover.co.za
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Image 3: Warrior Ballet The Action: Traditional dancer in a mid-air pirouette. The Shot: Independence Day unfolded around us in all its manic bedlam, with armed soldiers, traditional dancers, touts and dugout paddlers flooding the river bank. I braved the crowds to get close enough to obtain this in-your-face image of a tranced-out dervish. The Technique: Go wide or go home â€Ś sometimes thatâ€™s the only way. Flash combined with a slow shutter speed and underexposure gives this shot great dynamic movement. The Specifications: 1/25th sec @ f6.3; Canon 5D MkII with 17-40mm zoom; full flash from Canon Speedlite 580EX; ISO 50; WB Setting: Auto; AE Setting: 1 stop underexposed. More Information: www.kingsleyholgate.co.net
Image 4: Wheels in the Sky (left) The Action: The Land Rover Discovery 4, about to go sky high. The Shot: Pat, the pilots and star of the show (the Disco of course) coming down from a natural high. The vehicle was integral to the chimpanzee rescue attempt, involving Kingsley Holgate and funded by Nando’s and Land Rover. The Technique: Position, position, position … once you’ve got the subject in a spot like this, it is easy enough to get fantastic composition. I asked Pat to switch on the lights for effect and then banged some flash in to chase away the shadows. The Specifications: 1/200th sec @ f4.5; Canon 5D MkII with 17-40mm zoom set wide; flash from Canon Speedlite 580EX; ISO 200; WB Setting: Cloudy; AE Setting: 1 stop underexposed. More Information: www.landrover.co.za
Image 5: Down on the Bangui (left below ) The Action: A dugout in the Independence Day race on the Bangui River. The Shot: This is what I call a boat race, and it blows the Oxford vs. Cambridge meet out of the water in my book. This image captures a moment of absolute athletic harmony within the unqualified chaos of the Central African Republic’s national day celebrations. The Technique: My telephoto (I took the small f4 due to space and security considerations) allowed me to isolate this crew as they powered along the home straight of what is probably the African continent’s third biggest river. The Specifications: 1/1250th sec @ f4.5; Canon 7D with 70-200mm zoom; no flash; ISO 100; WB Setting: Cloudy. More Information: www.kingsleyholgate.co.net
Image 6: The Dead and The Dying (below ) The Action: Inside the Bush Meat Market, downtown Bangui. The Shot: Despite having an interpreter and a huge bodyguard, things went all wrong after this shot. Tension, anger, harsh words, fists flying - we did get out unscathed, but only because we had the big guns as back-up. Endangered species here are being eaten to within an inch of extinction, underlying why the chimpanzee rescue was so necessary. The Technique: The dim interior of the market necessitated the use of flash, but I also had to push the ISO to make it easier to capture detail in the low light. The Specifications: 1/13th sec @ f4.5; Canon 5D MkII with 17-40mm zoom set wide; flash from Canon Speedlite 580EX; ISO 250; WB Setting: Auto; AE Setting: 1 stop underexposed. More Information: www.jacquesmarais.co.za
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Photo Gallery Congratulations to our Winner!!!
Photographer: Engela Timcke Photograph: "If looks could kill" Camera: Nikon D70 Settings: Aperture mode. F5.6, ISO 200 with a 300mm Focal Lense. Place: Lion Park in Muldersdrift Category: Lifestyle
Photographer: Heather Fourie Photograph: “Kurper on the Hook” Camera: Nikon Coolpix Settings: Macro Place: Hanlin Lodge, near Modimolle (Nylstroom) Category: Lifestyle
Readers' Photo Competition 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. Category: Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle?
1.) The closing date for the next competition is 10 March 2011 and the winning photo will be featured and credited in the April/ May 2011 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 (no full-time photographers) may enter. 4.) Email your 1-3mb compressed .jpg image to email@example.com 5.) No previously published work will be allowed. 6.) There is a maximum of one entry per person, per issue. 7.) The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 8.) Please note that your images may be published in the DO IT NOW magazine and on the DO IT NOW website. 9.) By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules.
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for love of water
A new kid on the block, FLOW was established when the need to focus purely on water was identified. Changing the face of the water crisis involves education to motivate new behaviors. Coping with the coming era of water scarcity will require a major overhaul of all forms of consumption, from individual use to the supply chains of major corporations.
Change your thinking: Natural Capitalism. The human body, like the earth, is predominantly made up of water. If the earth can survive with her water intact, we can too. The principles to live by in life, love and business in four easy steps are:
FLOW aims to do this in a fun, positive way and has two initial goals in partnership with WISA, the Water Institute of South Africa: 1. Improve awareness in schools about water. 2. Improve communication between scientists and the public.
When FLOW and WISA, the water industry’s mouthpiece, got together and started comparing notes, we realised that we share the same goals. Our decision to collaborate means that we will be able to share resources and spread a more effective and unified message, whilst maintaining the independence of the various campaigns. The unified message is that it takes a community to take ownership of water, to make it work and in South Africa we’re on top of it!
Partners in industry, academia and government have already expressed interest both nationally and internationally. Students in particular play a vital role here as facilitators to school learners, as the youth are the best guerilla marketers to spread the water message. Incidentally, they are also in the greatest need for water and sanitation service delivery. So the feet on the ground are Young Water Professionals (YWP); young professionals and students who form part of the International Water Association (IWA) youth branch. So what is FLOW’s future intentions? Well, we’re taking control of the situation. WISA, FLOW and their many partners will be hosting World Water Week in Cape Town from 21 – 27 March 2011, themed Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge. World Water Week is a celebration of how to do things differently, while having fun.
Even though there are massive water-related challenges facing South Africa, we are not alone – it’s a global problem! And if we continue to do the things the way we are doing them now, we will never be able to address these changes even with all the money in the world, best functional government, most active civil society and innovative scientists. Sure we need money, functional governments, civil buy in and innovation, but what we really need are change makers and a change in consumer behaviour. February/March 2011
Advanced resource efficiency. While this is punted by many to be THE solution to ‘sustainability’, it is only the first step. Eliminate the concept of waste by redesigning industry along biological lines, close loops in the flows of materials and do not produce persistent toxins – *Biomimicry. Nature produces ‘waste’ all the time, except that nature knows no waste. Very few things in nature end up as useless, and nothing actively poisons anything else. Change the business model to encourage these two shifts by rewarding the provider and customer for doing more and better, with less for longer – flow of services. Reverse planetary destruction by restoring natural capital. Any good capitalist reinvests in the capital that is in short supply.
Make the FLOW promise to change your behaviour. Raise your awareness by finding out about water facts and solutions, take part in educational activities and have fun at awareness raising events.
*Biomimicry is a design branch of natural capitalism. ‘Bios’ means life and ‘mimicry’ means imitate. So biomimicry is the practice of learning from and then emulating life’s genius to solve human problems and create more sustainable designs.
Suggested websites: • Hawkins P, Lovins AB, Lovins LH, 1999, Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution. London: Earthscan Pub. • Janine M. Benyus, 2003, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Morrow, New York. • www.asknature.org • www.biomimicryinstitute.org • www.geniuslab.co.za
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Reduce your water consumption by re-using your water and understand what wastewater treatment entails. DON’T USE BOTTLED WATER as you’re spending money unnecessarily, producing plastic trash and if your water really comes from a mountain spring, you’re messing that up too. Check your tap water at www.dwa.gov.za/mywater. If it is ok, drink tap water. If you have to carry your water with you, get an ecofriendly refillable alternative to plastic bottled water such as decomposable cups, glass bottles or stainless steel bottles. Calculate your water footprint (the water involved in producing your food and consumables) and explore ways to mitigate and offset this. www.waterfootprint.org has a good water calculator and www.thegreenbluebook.com has a nifty book to help you be for love of water.
I promise to respect water as a vital source of life, to be mindful of how I use water and to preserve our water resources. I am for love of water. www.flow.org.za
Moola for Amanzi Business Concept Competition, launched in November 2010, is aimed at generating high quality investment proposals that address water and sanitation issues while building awareness in the public eye, the water sector and sectors outside conventional water-related industries, as well as access to clean and affordable water. The aim of this competition is also to build confidence and partnerships in young water entrepreneurs and get the industry to think a little differently by enabling them to communicate their ideas in a way that makes sense to business. This is part of a bigger initiative - the Dutch-SA water partnership. Anyone is eligible to enter, and prizes of up to Euro 15 000 plus support to implement your idea are up for grabs. Please visit www.waternetwork.co.za for more information. •
If you want to get involved or find out more, contact Bernelle@merahmas.co.za
More valuable sources: • http://forloveofwater.co.za/top-19-solutions-to-the-globalfresh-water-crisis/ • Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa: www.WESSA.org.za • Water Research Commission: www.WRC.org.za • Water Institution of South Africa: www.WISA.org.za • For Love Of Water: www.FLOW.org.za • Young Water Professionals: www.wisa.org.za/YWP • www.worldwatermonitoringday.org • UN World Water Day 2011: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/ • Rose George, 2008, The big necessity: adventures in the world of human waste, London : Portobello Books.
Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts. Dan Gable
Orange River to Kunene! Len Nell takes us on another 4x4 adventure, all the way from the Orange River to the Kunene River! Onca and friends managed to do this trip in real DO IT NOW style by combining adventure, sport and lifestyle; and what a success it was! They visited places like Aus, Kolmanskoppe and many more. Birding was high on the list, as well as dune driving, kayaking, fishing and quadbiking. Make sure you read your April/May issue for all the details on this exciting trip.
Waveski WHAT? Doug Copeland takes us behind the scenes to give us an insight into the sport; looking at what it is, how it’s done and what equipment is needed. He also chats about what it’s not, as well as where to start should you like to try out this exciting sport.
Skydiving Interview When the 'Suit' the 'Daredevil' and the 'Hill-Billy' decides to climb the Western Cape … As a Pretoria-based rock climber, one hears all the stories and rumours of how awesome the climbing spots in the Western Cape are. The question that now remains unanswered is, if the crags in the Cape live up to the hype and is it worthwhile to undertake the trip as an inexperienced climber? Hoping to gain some insight, a handpicked selection of functioning lunatics set off to explore the rock climbing opportunities that the Western Cape offers your regular garden variety climbing enthusiast.
We catch up with the current World Champion Canopy Pilot and PD Factory team member Jay Moledzki (left), and the current South African Champion Canopy Pilot, Selwyn Johnson (right), during the second Dubai Parachuting Championship and Gulf Cup. We find out a little more about them and their thoughts on the fastest growing discipline in skydiving, and get a glimpse of what it takes to lead the pack in such a demanding discipline.
Golfer: “Do you think my game is improving?”
Dear Windshield Wipers, Can't touch this!
Caddy: “Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now.”
Sincerely, That Little Triangle
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, the Founder and Team cannot except responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of using the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of the Founder’s opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of the Founder. DO IT NOW 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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