Life has a wonderful way of treating us to those first experiences that we will always treasure. Memorable times such as travelling to our first adventure destination that leaves one in awe and words defy description, or taking part in our first serious event where all the sacrifices and training pays off as we push our mind and body to achieve a personal best. And more recently, having the privilege of hosting the World Cup in our country for the first time and being a part of such an historic event. An event that has bridged cultural and racial barriers, and definitely qualifies as one of those extraordinary opportunities that will remain forever etched in our memory. Well done to Bafana Bafana for their courageous efforts on the pitch. Although they didn’t win the World Cup, they have won the hearts of our nation. And to the 2010 FIFA World Cup champions Spain, congratulations on a well-deserved and hard-fought win! At DO IT NOW we are also very excited to be celebrating a first, the magazine’s first Anniversary! DO IT NOW is now one year old and six great issues later, we are looking forward to providing you with even more fantastic stories and entertainment in our second year. I am so proud of all the milestones achieved and obstacles we’ve overcome during the past year, and I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey on a job well done. So with the World Cup over and the end of the year drawing closer far too quickly, there are still a few events remaining on our DINList to be ticked off before we bid farewell to 2010. During August we will be visiting Ponta for another deepblue scuba experience; in September we’re off to the beautiful Umtentwini area in Natal for a dirt bike extravaganza, and one last dash behind the wheel of those ultra-sexy Audi vehicles at Gerotek! Plus there’s still the final three races left in the NISSAN MTB Series to look forward too. Now that winter is almost over and we can start to shed the multiple layers of clothing if favour of our baggies and t-shirts, I know I can't wait to get back behind the boat again and enjoy some great wakeboarding! Until the next time, just DO IT NOW!
Francois Flamengo FOUNDER
inDEX Vol 2 | Issue 4 | 2010 | www.doitnow.co.za
A DIN reader ...
Base // inFO: p. 12-14 Information page - check out our competitions and event dates. // inVOLVED: p. 136 -137 Feedback on DO IT NOW’s involvement in the community.
// inCLOSING: p. 138 A sneak preview of upcoming features and articles. // DINList and CALENDAR: p. 139 All the exciting “Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle” activities for 2010, plus a three-month calendar.
Regulars p. 20-27 p. 28-38 p. 39-43 p. 48-55 p. 56-80 p. 81-83 p. 84-89 p. 94-103 p. 104-113 p. 114-117 p. 118-122 p. 123 p. 124-125 p. 126-127 p. 128-135
inGEAR: "Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle" activities featuring vehicles with gears. inH2O: Water sport and adventure activities. inALTITUDE: Aerial adventure and sport activities. inTRODUCING: Informative articles on a number of sports and why athletes compete in them. inACTION: Information and feedback on various exciting sporting events. inPREPARATION: Training programmes and tips for various sporting activities. inSHAPE: Important information about health, nutrition and exercise. inTHE 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, CD, music and gaming reviews. inSPIRATION: Inspirational stories where ordinary people do extraordinary things. inFOCUS: Photography section with discussions, competitions and event-specific photography tips. Key: Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle
8 >> DO IT NOW August/September 2010
ADVENTURE p. 16 to 43
inGEAR 20-21 4 x 4 and More at Riverwild 22-24 Biking and the Unexplained, Explained 25-27 A Review of the CAV GT
inH2O 28-31 32-33 34-35 36-38
Beneath the Blue - The British Virgin Islands Paddling in the Cold – Part 2 Wakeskating - Finding your Feet Tripping the Mzimvubu River
inALTITUDE 39-41 Boven Boot Camp 42-43 Skydiving Disciplines - a World of Opportunity
SPORT p. 44 to 89
inTRODUCING 48-49 Platinum Riders - The Birth of a Cycle Tour 50-51 Race your Motor 52-55 Why We Ride - Mad about Motocross inACTION 56-58 NISSAN MTB Series 60-63 joBerg2c – A fantastic but tough journey 64-69 SA Team McCain Adventure Addicts – the awesome foursome claim second place at Australian XPD Adventure Race!
70-73 A Beginner’s Take on the Comrades Marathon 74-77 When Tuks Girls DO IT NOW 78-80 Namibia Ultra Marathon – a test of stamina, strength and spirit inPREPARATION 81-83 Rejuvenate your Running with a Dash of Trail inSHAPE 84-85 Stay Immune this Winter 86-87 Glutes, the Powerhouse 88-89 Exercises: Body Bar Training
LIFESTYLE p. 90 to 134
in THE HOLE 94-97 20 Questions with Dave Usendorff, SuperGolf Presenter & Professional Golfer 98-99 Awkward Lies 100-103 The 40 Year-Old Rookie - World Cup Fever inNATURE 104-108 42 Days of South Africa’s Highlights Part I 109-111 A TIGERrific Experience 112-113 Representations inCREDIBLE PLACES 114-115 Borneo, the Island in the Clouds: Part 1 of 3 - Mesmerising Mount Kinabalu inDULGE 118-121 Take a Whisky Tour
122 Pork Fillet Potjie Camping Recipe inSURE 123 The Importance of Long-term Savings inTERTAINMENT 124-125 CD, Movie and Gaming Reviews inSPIRATION 126-127 Magnetic South launches Sustainable Community Development Project inFOCUS 128-133 INTO NGORONGORO: A Photographic Journey with Kingsley lgate and the UNITED AGAINST MALARIA Expedition 114 Reader Photo Competition
Be where the action is - Excel to the finish line - Live the lifestyle - Be the one to DO IT NOW! www.doitnow.co.za >> 9
On the Cover Team McCain Goes Extreme - 2nd Place at XPD (Australia) Photo by Photo Event
the TEAM etc.
The DO IT NOW Team comprises of the following individuals: FOUNDER Francois Flamengo MANAGING EDITOR and OPERATIONS Elri Flamengo BRAND AWARENESS Keane Ludick CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tessa Dreyer GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Ilzé Eva & Hayley Cameron TEXT EDITOR Tracy Knox ADVERTISING SALES email@example.com ACCOUNTS, SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER DO IT NOW CC DISTRIBUTION Subscription Only - www.doitnow.co.za DESIGN & LAYOUT LilyHouse Design Studio WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT Tenaka’s Tribe PRINTING Law Print
HEAD OFFICE DO IT NOW CC Postnet Suite #152, Private Bag X033, Rivonia, 2128 Tel +27 (0)83 415 3899 email@example.com 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.
10 >> DO IT NOW August/September 2010
Thank you to all our contributors who help make this magazine such an exciting adventure!
<< Michael Scholz // in THE HOLE - 20 Questions with Dave Usendorff, SuperGolf Presenter and Professional Golfer, Awkward Lies, The 40 Year-Old Rookie - World Cup Fever
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 newcomer to mountain biking, Mike enjoys the fitness, the ‘burn’ of serious hills and competitive nature of the sport.
< Peter Fairbanks // inSURE - The Importance of Long-term Savings
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’.
<< Richard Flamengo // inTERTAINMENT - CD, Movie and Gaming 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.
< Rocco le Roux // inTRODUCING - Race your Motor
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.
<< Claire Barnes // inALTITUDE - Skydiving Disciplines - a World of Opportunity
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.
< Samuel Sithole // inSHAPE - Exercises: Body Bar Training
Sam has been working in the health, sport and fitness industry for more than four years. When it comes to training, he strives towards positive results, not perfection. He lives an active lifestyle and is passionate about people.
<< Steve Adams // inDULGE - Take a Whisky Tour
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.
< Garth Oliver // inSHAPE - Glutes, the Powerhouse
A sport freak that thrills to the challenge of canoeing, surfing, touch rugby, triathlons and running. Physiotherapist by day and currently runs a multi-disciplinary clinic in Pietermaritzburg.
<< Deon Breytenbach // inH2O - Paddling in the Cold – Part 2
Deon has been paddling white water for the last 13 years, and has 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 exhilarating world of white water paddling. “Have kayak, will smile.” Deon is supported by Fluid Kayaks.
< Christa North // inSHAPE - Stay Immune this Winter
Mom of two, Christa North is a private practicing dietician based in Johannesburg who focuses on weight loss, lifestyle diseases, fertility and sports nutrition. She enjoys a game of tennis, is a keen runner and loves to cook.
< Pietre & Wynand Smit // inALTITUDE - Boven Boot Camp
Wynand and Pietré Smit, a lawyer and geologist based in Pretoria, have a passion 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!
Lee Dormer // inNATURE - Representations
Wilderness guide and coordinator of the Inland Branch of the Wilderness Leadership School.
ADVENTURE: inGEAR: Dave Griffin and Francois Steyn; inH2O: Alex Theron, Perino Hanack and Adrian
SPORT: inTRODUCING: Jaco van der Westhuizen and Lee Viljoen; inACTION: Zoon Cronje, Belinda Stege, John-Miles Griffiths, Landie Visser, Winia Janse van Rensburg and Kobus Alberts; inPREPARATION: Owen Middleton. LIFESTYLE: inNATURE: Dawie du Plessis; inCREDIBLE PLACES: Steven Yates; inFOCUS: Jacques Marais; inSPIRATION: Chris Crewdson; inVOLVED: Judith Gordon-Drake.
Header Page Photographs by: ADVENTURE: Jacques Marais, SPORT: Shutterstock Images, LIFESTYLE: Paul Salvado
www.doitnow.co.za >> 11
By Elri Flamengo
32° 41’ 0’’ E
CONGRATULATIONS to Jane Swarbreck, our April/May winner of I KNOW THE PLACE.
Jane correctly identified the mystery destination as Sani Pass. Your R250 voucher is on its way to you!
inVOLVED is the heart of DO IT NOW! Our aim is to give back to those who are less fortunate than us, as well as protect our animals and planet! The concept behind inVOLVED is to do just that - become involved! As such, the DO IT NOW team’s aim is to become actively involved with and raise awareness of the various charities, church, animal and environmental conservation organisations and institutions brought to our attention. It’s 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. A DIN inVOLVED bank account has been opened and DO IT NOW donates a percentage of its monthly earnings to this fund. Our ultimate goal is to encourage our readers, co-workers and service providers to do the same and get inVOLVED. Read more about our latest inVOLVED adventures on page 136. If you know of an institution or group that is in desperate need of help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see how we can help bring their plight to the attention of our readers.
Does the scene featured on the photo look familiar to you? If so, submit your answer to iknowtheplace@doitnow.
27° 32’ 0’’ S
co.za and stand a chance to win a R250 gift voucher.
The winner will be announced in the next issue of DO IT NOW and on our website.
Tip: The smell of both bread and ocean ...
12 >> DO IT NOW August/September 2010
In our quest to expand the DO IT NOW brand in a variety of directions into the future, DO IT NOW magazine, although the main focus, is just one of these avenues. To ensure that we remain on the right track, we would like to encourage all our readers to give us your suggestions as to what information you would like to read about in the magazine. These topics can fall in any of the DO IT NOW pillars: Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle. This will assist us in meeting all your reading expectations and more in terms of community support, services and networking initiatives. We can’t wait to see what YOU have in mind for the DO IT NOW magazine, so send us your ideas via one of the following methods: Email: email@example.com Attention: DO IT NOW Mag Suggestions Website: www.doitnow.co.za
DO IT NOW (and our website) is divided into three pillars:
By Douw Steyn, Environmental Director Plastics Federation.
Clean-up South Africa Week and the International Coastal Cleanup, from
13 to 18 September 2010, are supported by This section is dedicated to ‘Adventure’ and a wide variety of related topics. These articles, also featured online, share experiences and special memories, provide answers to questions about training, what equipment is required to enjoy it safely and advice on popular destinations. Some of the categories covered in this section includes scuba diving, high performance driving, kayaking, rafting, boating, off-road driving, Big Dune driving, dirt biking, Bronze Shark fishing, skydiving and paragliding.
the Plastic Industry’s Enviromark, which has also donated the well-known yellow cleanup refuse bags for the past 14 years. The cleanups have proved very successful and are well attended by thousands of environmentallyconscious volunteers who scour the beaches, rivers and roadsides for litter.
The ‘Sport’ section covers stories on mountain biking, paddling, adventure racing, trail running, triathlons and so forth. We are continually growing this section to include many other sporting activities that are relevant to our readers. Watch out for our DO IT NOW Action Team and their activities around the country.
So why not join this worthy campaign and organise a recycling awareness event at your school, the office or involve your whole community? For information and tips on recycling activities, visit the websites listed below.
In addition to these two fantastic initiatives, the Enviromark is embarking on another fantastic venture - the initiation and promotion of a Recycling Day for South Africa. To be held on Friday, 17 September 2010, the purpose of Recycling Day is to encourage all South Africans to recycle at home and work, and buy recycled products made with recycled material. Ultimately, the goal is to raise awareness by educating the community about the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling.
Spread the message to ‘CLEANUP and RECYCLE’ and create a better environment for everyone!
The ‘Lifestyle’ section aims to provide valuable information on the DO IT NOW lifestyle. The magazine and website features experiences, valuable information and contact details about various categories, which we are constantly expanding with each new issue. The current categories include hiking, fishing, exciting personal experiences, photography, insurance, all about whisky, recipes and competitions. Do you want to share your ADVENTURE – SPORT – LIFESTYLE experiences with other DO IT NOW readers? If so, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Enviromark is an environmental trademark owned by the Plastics Federation of South Africa. The Enviromark is a Plastics Industry initiative that began in 1997 with the aim of expressing the industry's commitment to the environment and support for a plastics litter free South Africa. Source: www.plasfed.co.za For more information on these events go to: www.cleanup-sa.co.za www.recyclingday-sa.co.za Plastics don`t litter – people do! Plastics - too valuable to waste Recycle!
Visit our new look website and online-MAGAZINE at www.doitnow.co.za
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 email@example.com or telephonically from the DO IT NOW office on +27 83 415 3899.
www.doitnow.co.za >> 13
inFO DO IT NOW Website www.doitnow.co.za Visit our new and greatly improved website - enjoy additional features and more reading pleasure.
Subscribe to the DO IT NOW magazine ONLINE ...
How would you like to SEE some of the DO IT NOW adventures and experiences we tell you about up close and personal? Well, it’s HERE! DO IT NOW TV … By simply logging on to our website, you will find all the links that will take you into the heart of the action, making you feel as if you were there right at that exhilarating or scary moment! Go and see for yourself on www.doitnow.co.za!
Look out for our latest videos on adventure racing, as well as some great climbing action from a new angle!
Easy page through magazine onli
On 27 June 2010 Team Gijima achieved an awesome third place in the very tough Kinetic Full Moon Adventure Race held at Bronkhorstspruit. They completed the race in 17 hours.
We are so proud of our evolving website that we would like to invite all our readers to check it out. Our interactive site covers current news, happenings, events, topical stories and competitions. DIN TV, another exciting feature, brings the action to you. For a limited period only, if you REGISTER online at www.doitnow.co.za you will receive a copy of the latest magazine, compliments of DO IT NOW.
So don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, just DO IT NOW!
OOPS! 14 >> DO IT NOW August/September 2010
The race consisted of the following: Distance: 120 - 130 km Duration: 8 – 24 hrs (overnight) Team Format: 3’s Disciplines: Mountain biking Trekking (running/hiking) Kayaking - flat water Abseiling Orienteering Read more on the Kinetic Full Moon Adventure website:
DO IT NOW would like to apologise to the author of the ‘Why We Pole Vault’ article in DO IT NOW Vol. 2 Iss. 3, 2010, for the error with regards to the printed photograph. We appreciate your understanding and will take extra care to avoid similar errors in future.
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// [inGEAR] 4 x 4 and More at Riverwild • Biking and the Unexplained, Explained • A Review of the CAV GT // [inH2O] Beneath the Blue - The British Virgin Islands • Paddling in the Cold – Part 2 • Wakeskating - Finding your Feet • Tripping the Mzimvubu River // [inALTITUDE] Boven Boot Camp • Skydiving Disciplines - a World of Opportunity.
Photo by Jacques Marais Description: Discovering Damaraland. by Hot Air Balloon.
by Francois Flamengo DO IT NOW | inGEAR: Words Photos by Elri Flamengo
4x4 and More at
We arrived at Riverwild in Mpumalanga well after 19h00 on Friday evening, following a long week at the office. Riaan and his wife, Jolene, were looking forward to trying out their new Prado 4.0-litre in low range at the Riverwild 4 x 4 Trail, as were Elri and I in the DIN truck. Our hosts from Riverwild greeted us warmly and we felt at home immediately. After settling into our furnished domed tents we were treated to a wonderful home-cooked meal. The rest of the evening passed quickly as we sat around the camp fire sharing our urban stories of the week gone by and looking forward to the next two days of 4x4ing. After an energy-packed and very delicious breakfast, we were eager to tackle the adventures that lay before us. At the track we were joined by several more people in their 4x4’s before we got down to business. Our host and guide welcomed everyone and after some basic house rules, we couldn’t wait to get into our vehicles and start negotiating the obstacle course, one of the leading off-road experiences in South Africa. The track started close to the camp and after a quick recce to give us a taste of what we were getting into, it took only a few minutes before we were driving on cambers and making our first river crossing. The river had a tricky tree root to negotiate, which offered little traction as it got wetter as each vehicle made its way past. From here, we headed towards the ‘serious’ side of the track, which led us through the camp and directly towards the overlooking mountain range. Taking it very easy and allowing the vehicles to do all the work in low range, we negotiated our way along the windy and rocky track. All the vehicles with good clearance handled this part of the track quite comfortably, whilst the others required the co-driver to direct their driver over the best line that would protect the undercarriage and running boards of the vehicle. The obstacles that followed were pretty standard obstacles expected from a good 4x4 track, but after about an hour we reached a challenging climb that combined a test of driver and vehicle suspension ability. It started with an easy climb over a small hill, made a tight left turn into a hole and then a right turn that took you up a very rocky and steep climb to the top. Again the vehicles with a larger suspension had an advantage, but the smaller wheel-based vehicles proved to negotiate the line much better. The vehicles armed with diff lock were put into action for the first time, thus enabling maximum traction and making light work of the obstacle. I tried without diff lock and halfway up the steep climb I was forced to manoeuvre my vehicle extra carefully as it started to slide off the road and towards the downhill on the left – not where I wanted to be! This situation elevated my heartbeat somewhat, as the adrenalin started to rapidly course through my body. Experience played a major role in clearing the obstacle, and I encourage drivers to always take the safest approach when you are unsure. Once the action was over and everyone had parked their vehicles safely on top of the hill, we all enjoyed the picturesque landscape and awesome scenery. We were then instructed by the guide to continue on the jeep tack and make our way to the river section. This section of the track was
20 >> DO IT NOW August/September 2010
incredibly exhilarating as the vehicles had to drive into the river and not across it. What also made this obstacle so endearing was the fact that the vehicles were barely able to fit between the walls of the river, which were higher than the vehicle, and to make the challenge more interesting, there were massive trees all around creating loads of shadows and dark patches to negotiate through. I made a rookie error when I underestimated the line through a very narrow section in the river and got stuck in a very un-4x4 way. A root sticking out from a tree in the river created an obstacle that I could not drive around as the camber in the river was running from right to left and each time I tried wiggling myself free, I ended up more to the left and further entrenched. It was quite embarrassing when I had to take off my spare wheel on the left to free up the DIN truck and then to add insult to injury, I couldn’t find the key to the lock securing the wheel. Luckily one of the guys in our group had a bolt cutter in his car and for the price of an ice-cold beer back at camp, I finally managed to free my vehicle. This once again reminded me to make sure that I double-check everything before I leave home, or live with the embarrassment when Murphy strikes. The rest of the track was plain sailing and three-hours later we were back where it all started. The only thing left to do was to sit around the ‘Pour x Pour’ bar and enjoy everyone’s stories and experiences of the day. This is a very cool 4x4 track and I highly recommended it to anyone who wants to test their 4x4 abilities on a track that features good obstacles and awesome scenery. The hosts and staff at Riverwild were also instrumental in making our stay a memorable one, and I have no doubt that you will also be welcomed by the same warm hospitality. •
Riverwild’s contact details are:
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.riverwild.co.za GPS Coordinates: S25 20’50’’ E30 39’19” Riverwild is approximately 320 km from Gauteng. To get there, you take the N4 to Nelspruit and 30 km before Nelspruit, turn left towards Sudwala Caves. Then follow the Riverwild signs past Sudwala Caves for 8 km on a dirt road to the camp. Enjoy!
... What also made this obstacle so endearing was the fact that the vehicles were
barely able to fit between the walls of the river, which were higher than the vehicle, and to
make the challenge more interesting, there were massive trees all around creating loads of shadows and dark patches to negotiate through ...
by Dave Griffin DO IT NOW | inGEAR: Words Photos by Grant Shearer
All too often I pull up to a robot or intersection and am greeted by flurry of mixed reactions. Agreed, sometimes executing a 10-point endo and gliding a revolving back wheel at roof level may create a sense of emergency from most drivers. But instead of turning pale and muttering profanities while twitching your head from left to right, rather appreciate the effort involved in executing such a precise move.
Turn 1 at Zwartkops, 150 kmph average speed through this corner
22 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ August/September 2010
Generally though, bikers are received with a smile and sometimes a wave from the kids in the back seat, whilst Dad has this yearning look in his eye and you can almost feel his envy burning through the now-open window. So to make his day, and as the boy racer in you would have it, you rev her up and drop the clutch, raising the front wheel and leave him wanting as you wheelie away into the distance. So what is it that makes men and some woman crave the freedom and exhilaration that only a bike can deliver? What causes that sparkle in their eye when they hear a V-twin Harley beating down the road like rolling thunder or the sweet scream of a superbike on the limiter? Perhaps it’s the smell of synthetic two-stroke oil lingering in the air. There are many variations of biking and each has its own appeal to the rider. Some may be practical, whilst others medicinal. But at the end of the day, it’s a part of life that is often misunderstood.
Commuter Riders Commuter riders are bikers who run the gauntlet daily and I’m sure they do this laughing and smiling smugly at all the drivers around them, knowing that they slept for an hour longer and ridden for an hour less. They also know that they’ll complete a full day’s work, leave at 5pm and still be home in time to play with their kids, take the dog for a walk, pop in at the gym and offer vital guidance in the kitchen. And this is no exaggeration. Commuting by bike can easily save two to four hours a day in travel time and a whole heap when filling up at the petrol station. So it’s no wonder that many biking commuters who don’t like bikes love the benefits and therefore commute on them. Sure there is an element of danger and sure when it’s cold or wet you feel it, but there are rain suits that actually work and if you’re careful and vigilant, you’ll probably be safer on your bike than in your car. I can tell you from personal experience that each time I have had an incident on my bike, it could have been avoided if I was more alert and my mind on the road. Would I recommend commuting to anyone, hmmm yes. But like anything there are risks attached and rules that must
be followed and if you don’t, then the consequences can be rather severe. It is so difficult to try and explain what a bike rider deals with. When driving a car you would focus on the car in front and next to you. Some more observant drivers like to see two or three cars ahead of them and watch the brake lights for an early warning. ‘Some’ being the operative word here. Now imagine reading lanes of moving metal, 10 ahead and five behind you, all the while scanning brake lights, front wheels, driver’s body language and actions, checking who’s smsing or talking on their cellphone and not focused, where possible gaps are for a would-be racer to squeeze into, busses, grannies and the list continues. There must easily be a thousand different thought processes being digested and analysed every second when riding a bike through traffic. I can recall a time where I was commuting a fair amount on a superbike and in doing so was suffering from bad headaches caused by continuously scanning and analysing the traffic and focusing intently on everything around me. Unfortunately or fortunately, due to some minor misunderstanding with the law, I was restricted from riding my superbike and so I switched to an Adventure bike. It was far more practical but seemingly so less cool and not very good for my street credits… However on an Adventure or Tourer the seating position is higher and you can see so much more. You are able to move freely as you’re not hunched over the tank and an adventure helmet with a peak can block out the sun from torching your eyes. So not only is it a solid favourite for me to ride, but I have a great time doing so. It has also cured my headaches (and really assisted with the law issue).
Adventure Riders Adventure riders are the epitome of cool. They load up their bikes with everything they are likely to need and set off. The destination is generally not important, it is the endless string of events that awaits them; new places, faces, border crossings, MacGyver repairs, close wild animal encounters and the
“... as the boy racer in you would have it, you rev her up and drop the clutch, raising the front wheel and leave him wanting as you wheelie away into the distance ...”
On the race line.... Zwartkops ~ 22 May
routes that often lead to views which are indescribable along passes that are not even 4x4 friendly. Adventure riders can plan their trip down to the last minute or they can just jump on their bike and take off. Either way they are assured of the freedom that the open road brings, the camaraderie from fellow riders and the making of memories that books can be written about. The beauty of an Adventure bike is that it also doubles as a great commuter and is comfortable for the rider and passenger alike. There are some really trick accessories that can be fitted to the bike to make life easier and your trips more enjoyable.
Recreational riders are weekend warriors. These riders are hardcore in that biking is their passion and they almost live through the week to ride on the weekend. Kitted out to the hilt, they sport all the gear and give it horns in every way, from trials, enduro or dirt riders to the breakfast run racers, track day guru or even the cruiser’s crews. You’ll see them most Saturday or Sunday mornings filling up at their selected garages before heading off to Maraisburg, a local favorite, and for the more energetic enthusiast De Wild, which offers a longer and harder ride. Around Gauteng, road riders mostly go to Harties, Magalies or Cullinan for a short but exhilarating ride that is filled with a combination of turns, long sweeps and plenty of straights to clear the cobwebs or take in the views.
Racers are cut from a different cloth and it would be easy to assume that they are petrol-head speed junkies who live life on the edge, but they are not. I rode in my first race at the beginning of 2009 and it was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget. I was warned that the horns would pierce my helmet when lights go out and that the proverbial bull would be released. It did and it was, and you can’t begin to imagine the adrenalin that explodes through your body, your senses heightened and your reactions multiplied. You become one with the bike and it feeds you. Like a blind person reading brail you feel through the bike and she tells you where she is, too far or give more. Smooth or aggressive, you quickly form a bond with your machine that is built on absolute trust. Racers are actually very levelheaded people, driven by a desire to compete and to continuously improve their skills. Irrespective of
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which type of bike they race, the rules and recipe remain the same: dedication, training, practice and discipline. Without these you will never be a successful racer. Unfortunately in South Africa motor sport isn’t a big enough cash cow to support and nurture talented riders and get them to the level where they can compete on a world scale and represent South Africa. Sad indeed, but we do offer some really exciting national, regional and club events. My advice is to take the family and friends out to any of these events and appreciate the local talent we have. You will not only be suitably impressed, but with a well-stocked cooler box and skottel you can be assured of a fun-filled day. So the unexplained, explained. I hope my story has shed some light on biking, its appeal and why we do it. I also hope it will have inspired you to investigate it for yourself and at the very least, make you aware of the commuters and want to support the racers, admire the adventurers and appreciate the recreational riders.
TECH Tips When washing your bike only use degreasers or solvents that won’t stain or tarnish the alloy. Try to stay away from highpressure washers as they can damage seals and force grit into movable parts. Nothing beats a sponge, brush and couple of good rags to clean your pride and joy. Oh and although shiny tyres look really cool, they tend not to grip too well! SAFETY Tips Always trust your senses - smell, sight and touch. You’re sure to smell diesel or oil on the road before you see it, unlike sand or dirt, but if you’re seeing it then it’s too late and you’re probably in it. So now you better feel your way through it carefully and slowly. Don’t panic, just keep the bike up right and stay off the brakes. If this doesn’t help then you’ll be hearing the chaos before you get a taste of it. So trust your senses, which is also why you don’t drink and ride, because without them you are in trouble. Diesel and oil are accidents just waiting to happen and if they catch you, the chances of walking away unscathed are slim to none.
by Francois Steyn DO IT NOW | inGEAR: Words Photos courtesy of Francois Steyn & CAV GT
A Review of the
One of the greatest stories in motor racing history must surely be that of the Ford GT40. In the early Sixties, the world’s most gruelling race, the Le Mans 24-hour endurance event, was dominated by Ferrari who won it five years in a row. Henry Ford II, son of the famous industrialist who made motoring as we know it possible, wanted to buy Ferrari to win the prestigious event under the Ford badge. At a late stage, negotiations between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari broke down and Ford commissioned Eric Broadley, from Lola cars in Britain, and John Wyer, an ex-Aston Martin Team Manager, to build a Ferrari eater together with Ford engineer, Roy Lunn. Ford’s new endurance racer was called simply ‘Ford GT’. The letters come from the European ‘Gran Turismo’ or Grand Touring, a term coined in the inter-war period, when extended automobile travel became (for the wealthy at least) a glamorous activity. Thus the GT racecars – and to some degree the GT40, which was built to compete in the prototype class – had at least a pretension of luggage space and often a spare wheel. The number 40 was added retrospectively with the introduction of the Mark II, and signifies nothing more than the car’s height in inches. Information sourced: www.gizmag.com On the track in official Gulf Oil colours (CAV GT)
The result was a car only 40-inches high (that’s one metre in new money) at the windscreen, and aptly called the GT40. The Mark I initially had a 4.2-litre Fairlane engine but was soon after replaced by the Mark II, sporting a massive 7-litre V8. Back to Le Mans. The key to winning the 24-hour endurance race is reliability and in the GT40’s debut race in 1964, one car’s engine bay caught fire and the other two’s transmissions failed. As a consolation for Ford, Phil Hill at least set a new lap record of 03:49. Back on the grid in 1965 with six cars, again no GT40’s finished the race. Then, in 1966, things started to change with eight of the 13 GT40’s being 7-litre Mark II. Ford dominated from the start of the race and walked away with first, second and third place.
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... world class standards ... Ford went on to win at Le Mans four years in a row until 1969. This awarded the GT40 instant legend status amongst some of the world’s greatest machines ever. A number of production cars were also built around the same time.
As the price and rarity of the Ford GT40 increased, so too did the demand for a continuation model. One of the finest examples in the world is built right here in South Africa by a company called Auto Futura, owned by Jean Fourie. Their creation is known as the CAV (which stands for Cape Advanced Vehicles) GT. When Jean took over the business in 2004, things looked very different from the streamlined machine it is today. It used to take 200 employees to do the same job he now manages with five. Every process is carefully overseen by Jean or outsourced to the best in the business. Initially exports only went to the United States and the customers were concerned about after sales service once delivered. They also demanded improvement of the current cars, and so Jean set about redesigning most of the components, having a mechanical engineering background and been in the business of tuning racing cars for more than a decade. The greatly-improved car looks very similar to the original legend seen at Le Mans, but is much more drivable due to increased headroom (achieved by lowering the floorpan), proper leather-covered seats and luxuries such as air-conditioning. The company now has distributors in more than 10 countries around the world.
The stainless-steel monocoque chassis is designed for torsional stiffness and is welded in jigs for superb dimensional accuracy. The front and rear suspension is fully adjustable and true to the original without compromising the handling. Stopping power comes from 300 mm disks with four pot Wilwood calipers, front and rear, and six
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piston calipers at the front on the race version. Fuel is kept in two 37-litre FIA approved fuel cells mounted in the sills. The body is made from vinyl ester resin, which is fire resistant and less prone to heat shrinkage than conventional polyester. Each body is set up on a specific chassis before it goes to the shaping department, where the car is painstakingly hand sculptured to ensure that the gapping and lines remain perfect. Customers can choose from a standard selection of colours or have the car in the original Gulf Oil Company blue and orange. CAV and Aston Martin are the only two companies allowed to use the original sponsor’s colours. The chassis is designed to accept a Ford Racing V8 small block 4.6-litre or 4.8-litre engine. A 5.7-litre power unit can also be used and there is a long list of optional extras available, ranging from a racing style pedal box to a high-quality carpet kit. The end product really is of world class standards. To give you an idea of the superb build quality and meticulous attention to detail, Jean told me that the Chairman of the Lamborghini Club in Germany owns a CAV GT. And we know the Germans won’t accept anything less than perfect! Then Sir Stirling Moss drove one around the track at the 2006 Le Mans, where one of the specially prepared CAV GTR’s was used as the pace car for the Historic Race held before the main endurance event. Mr Moss commented, “It’s a nice car,” and his praise doesn’t get much higher than that.
You can choose to buy the car complete, as you would any other new car, or decide to assemble it yourself. But rest assured this is no ordinary kit car! If you take this option you are supplied, as a minimum, with the body already fitted to the chassis and all the gaps set to ensure a quality finish. You will also receive all the components required to assemble the car with just a basic set of tools. There is therefore no need to shop around for donor cars and
Ford Racing V8 (CAV GT) Interior with leather seats (CAV GT) Wide rear end (CAV GT )
spare parts, and you don’t have to worry about going bald or your wife leaving you after ten years of non-stop tinkering in the garage late at night. In fact, most cars sold in South Africa are bought this way and are on the road in less than three months. Jean and his team also offer technical advice over the phone when needed. After the engine and gearbox are fitted, the car has to go in for a final inspection, after which CAV will issue the VIN number.
Almost Pulling a Neck Muscle
When I visited Jean at his factory in Capricorn Park, Muizenberg, he didn’t have a demo available, so I rang up Paul Schwartz, one of his customers. Paul agreed to take me for a flip in the car he spent four months assembling in his garage. Being a gynaecologist by profession, he mainly worked during the evenings and some weekends, so it was a leisurely build. He opted for the massive 347 cubic-inch Racing V8, matched to the Audi Getrac six speed transaxle. The end product being 348k W and 580 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm with an overall weight of just 1,200 kg. As Paul pressed the start button, the massive V8 roared to life. We carefully pulled out from the driveway into the street as the front is only 8.5 mm off the ground. He slowly pulled away and without warning, stomped on the accelerator. The power was instantaneous and unrelenting. Writing this the day after, I can still feel my neck muscles aching! The drive train is geared for a top speed of close to 330 km/h, and judging by the ferocity of the acceleration, even at 200 plus, I have no doubt that this car
is capable of well over 300 km/h. At the national highway speed limit, the engine is barely ticking over at 2,000 rpm in sixth. Paul used to take the car out for breakfast runs to Franschhoek and Riebeeck Kasteel, but got bored because you can’t really flex the V8’s muscles. Jean then introduced him to racing in the GT class at Killarney about six months ago, where they race alongside anything from Lotus 7s to a Porsche GT2 RS. Now Paul has removed the air-conditioning to make way for racing components such as an extra oil cooler and up-rated suspension. He also moved the brake bias switch so that he can adjust it while racing. The beauty about this car is that Paul can drive it to the race track from his home in Welgemoed, race it and then drive back home in it afterwards. Personally, I can’t think of many things more fulfilling than building your own supercar and racing it amongst some of the top marques out there. And all this for less than the price of a BMW M3, which by comparison is a green pepper to the GT’s habanero. A special thanks to Paul Schwartz for taking me out for a stint in his GT40. See photo on opposite page (FS). •
For more information on the CAV GT, visit their website at www.cav.co.za or phone them on 021 788 1137.
DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words & Photos by Alex Theron
Ever dreamt of visiting the tropical islands of the Caribbean; drinking Pina Coladas on a white sandy beach with a friendly sun setting behind a turquoise sea and your whole being moving to the rhythm of a steel drum band?
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Anti - gravity
Diving through a chimney
Rhone Wreck: Remnants of floorboard supports lying sideways
A graceful turtle
East of Puerto Rico lies the enchanted British Virgin Islands (BVI), where the pace of living is easy going. Rich in culture and heritage and with exceptional tropical reefs, these islands are the diving and sailing capital of the Caribbean. And that is exactly where we are going, beneath the blue and into the treasure chest of Davy Jones’s locker!
From Soaper’s Hole Marina in Tortola, where I was based, I sailed and visited different scenic islands every day, each with its own secrets and attractions. My favourite is Norman Island where you can expect to see a square-rigger emerging from the early morning fog, and you can almost hear the song of the buccaneer.
• • • • •
The capital of the British Virgin Islands is Road Town, Tortola. It consists of 50 plus islands, of which only 16 which are inhabited. The islands are volcanic in origin with the exception of Anegada, which is formed from coral and limestone. It has been British territory since 1672. Wreck location = 18°22 07 N 64°32 08 W
Working on a sailing catamaran as Skipper and Dive Master gave me the opportunity to explore these mystifying islands above and below the surface. Whether you enjoy diving or just bronzing in the sun, this is sheer paradise!
The BVI were home to the pirates of the Caribbean. What many people may be unaware of is that there is a real Dead Man’s Chest, Dead Man’s Bay and a true story of a treasure chest full of spoils!
“Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!” Folklore has it that Blackbeard marooned 15 men on the cay with nothing but a bottle of rum. Some apparently tried to swim the half a mile to Peter Island’s eastern cove, but none survived. This beautiful palm-lined bay bares the ominous name of ‘Dead Man’s Bay’. Pirate lore, complete with treasure chests and lovable villains, is as popular today as at any time in history. The BVI’s myriad of cays and islands, together with its location at a crossroads of trade routes, made it an attractive location for many adventurers, pirates and buccaneers. Just how these ruthless cut-throats, rapists and robbers became lovable folkloric characters is hard to explain, but every year more and more visitors to the islands are intrigued by
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Looking out from the ghostly interior of the hull
Honeymoon suite portal
Diving from the catamaran
Soapers Hole catamaran fleet
Rhone wreck: Remnants of floorboard supports lying sideways
the stories. Often it was my pleasure as a charter yacht Captain to show tourists the bays, creeks and cays where these ruthless devils plotted and carried out their mischief. Visibility in the Caribbean is a dream at 20 m plus and the water temperature a comfortable 24 degrees - making it some of the best conditions for diving. Amazing corals, walls, wrecks and tropical fish in abundance are what bring divers to these islands from all around the world. Most dive sites are shallow and ideal for novice divers. The more experienced and qualified divers can venture deeper. Visitors should avoid the hurricane season, from August to October. For those of us who are passionate about wreck diving, a popular dive site is the wreck of the Royal Mail Steamship Rhone. The RMS Rhone was commissioned in 1865 to provide transport of mail, passengers and cargo between England, Central and South America and the Caribbean. She was one of the first iron-hulled ships, powered by both sail and steam, measuring in at 94 m and had two masts. Her propeller was the second bronze propeller ever built and deemed by the British Royal Navy to be unsinkable! During a hurricane of devastating proportions, she was wrecked off the coast of Salt Island in the BVI on 29 October 1867. It was while attempting to head out to open sea to weather the storm that the Rhone was pushed back onto Salt Island’s black rock. Hull damage allowed cool seawater to come into contact with the ship’s overheating boilers that were running at full steam, resulting in a violent explosion that ripped the boat in half. The ship sank swiftly! Of the original 146 people aboard, only 23 survived the tragedy. Wrecks are like portals, offering us windows into the past. Dives start with the deeper bow section in 26 m of water and then move to the stern at a shallower depth of only 10 m. Her entire iron hull is encrusted with corals and home to a variety of different fish species. The cracks and crevices of her wreckage provide excellent habitats for lobsters, eels and octopuses. The bow section lies on its starboard side, so what appear to be ship’s ribs are actually remnants of floorboard supports lying sideways as if straining
to reach for the surface above. Haunting, mesmerising and very impressive! The Rhone has received a number of citations and awards over the years as one of the top recreational wreck dives in the Caribbean, both for its historical interest and teeming marine life. The area around her was declared a national park in 1967. Very little of the wreckage is still enclosed and where overhead environments do exist, they are large and roomy and have openings at either end permitting a swim through. The wreck is not considered a difficult or dangerous dive. “From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.” ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau
The British Virgin Islands will set your imagination free!●
PADI Wreck Specialty Course Wrecks offer exciting avenues of discovery. The PADI Wreck Diver course teaches you responsible wreck diving techniques and how to avoid common hazards. Furthermore, you will learn considerations and techniques for entering intact wrecks and what scuba equipment is needed. Part of the experience is planning, organising and making at least four wreck dives under direct supervision of a PADI instructor. The fun part of the wreck diving specialty is visiting wrecks and unlocking their mysteries. Wrecks also provide excellent photo opportunities. You will gain the knowledge and experience that allows you to dive ships, planes, trains and automobiles (as well as other kinds of submerged crafts). The minimum age to enroll in a wreck diving course is 15 and you need to be qualified as an adventure diver. Completing a specialty course brings you one step closer to becoming a Master Scuba Diver.
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DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words by Deon Breytenbach Photos by Celliers Kruger (CK) & Hannes Pienaar (HP)
In the previous issue of DO IT NOW, I focused on how to keep warm when paddling on the water in icy conditions by recommending the correct gear to wear and explaining what happens to your body when you are cold. Here are the next steps to help you get more enjoyment from your paddling session.
Step Three: Planning your food and liquid intake
Your body uses energy to create energy. So when you are heading into cold conditions, you should have an adequate supply of liquids and solids with you, which are loaded with lots of ‘easy’ energy for your body to use. Carbohydrates are the best source of easy energy, so liquids and foods with a high glucose content are good for on-river energy supply. Having said this, you also need to make sure you have a good, hearty meal with some complex carbohydrates for sustained energy a while before you take to the water, especially when it’s cold. Most people will remember to take enough food/snacks with them, but forget to drink enough liquids. As you are wet the whole time, you often don’t realise that you are dehydrating and need liquids. In terms of liquids, there are a million choices out there but I find the best option for me, for ease of mixing and storage, is the powder form of Game energy drink. Any of the other non-carbonated energy drinks will do just as well. Once cruising down the river, you should have enough easy snacks (nut and chocolates) with you to nibble on all day long. Likewise, your lunch should be effortless to prepare and include some complex carbs again.
Step Four: Trip information
When planning a trip, make sure you have the correct information in terms of distance, put-in, take-out, cellphone reception and emergency escape routes or other possible routes. The only current river book that covers these issues is ‘Run the River of Southern Africa’ by Celliers Kruger. This book is your best guide but before you charge off to some remote river, check if the information is correct with any locals or paddlers who have been there. Celliers did his best to ensure that it was 100%, however there were some gremlins that crept in when it was printed. Give all your information to someone who is not going on the trip so that if things go pear shaped, they will know where to look for you.
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Step Five: The weather
When looking at the weather, look at more than just the maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation predictions. Most of the weather sites give you the predicted wind direction and speed too. Wind chill plays a huge role when paddling in cold conditions. In dry conditions, for example, if it is 10° outside with a light breeze (8 km/h) and you then take the wind chill into consideration, the temperature comes down to 8°. Now if you have a strong breeze (double the wind speed) then it suddenly drops from 10° down to 1°. So when it’s wet, you could actually end up paddling in sub-zero temperatures.
Step Six: Keeping an eye on your paddling partners and vice versa When humans get too cold and hypothermia sets in, things start to go downhill fast. This is why it is vital to keep an eye on everyone in the group. When you notice signs of hypothermia, you need to make a plan quickly. Not sure what hypothermia is or what to do when it sets in? Do some First Aid training or even better, a Wilderness First Aid course. In short though, you want to get the victim out of the cold and warmed up pronto. Never give a victim alcohol, it is an old wives tale and could be deadly!
Step Seven: Telling tall stories
This is the best part of the day, when you share your tall stories and laugh at your friend who didn’t come prepared and is still trying to thaw out in a warm bath with some Rooibos tea. •
For any further advice on anything paddling related, feel free to drop Deon an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pogies that keeps your hands warm. (HP)
Gatsien Rodeo 5
May 2010 (CK)
Stay warm! www.doitnow.co.za ď‚ Adventure >> 33
DO IT NOW | inH2O: Words by Perino Hanack
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Bend those knees
Slowly stand up
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DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words and photos by Adrian Tregoning
The Mzimvubu River drains an area of almost twenty-thousand square kilometres, snaking its way through the former Transkei region of rural South Africa to its end at Port St. Johns, where it spills into the Indian Ocean. It has four main tributaries, the Tsitsa, Tina, Kinira and the Mzintlava, all of which stem from the dominating Drakensberg Mountains. During the wet season, the Mzimvubu flows heavily with silt and can carry an enormous amount of water. As South Africa’s third largest river, it runs through a deep valley where time seems to stand still and people still practice their quiet, humble ways. It was a great privilege to be able to descend into this world and experience its magic, even if only for a short time.
and that the water level was dangerously low. In high spirits, we slogged on through the bony rapids that cried out for more water and enjoyed each other’s company. After a long day in the saddle, we clocked up forty-one kilometres and arrived at the campsite, with a lawn that even the most fastidious of green keepers would have been proud of, just before sunset.
On our first day on the river we only managed a meager four kilometres before fading light forced us to stop and set up camp. Although we had left The Falls Backpackers near Maclear before midday, it took us four hours to reach the rickety bridge known as Welsh Bridge. It was great to be out in the wilderness at last and that first night started off with a bang, as lightening filled the air and the rain fell from time to time during the early evening.
Dinner time was a highlight of the day as well as a very festive occasion with each group trying to out do each other by conjuring up a culinary delight that impressed either with its flavour or the effort and presentation that went into it. The ‘meal of the evening’ must have gone to Hugh du Preez who managed to crack out a huge platter of sushi. Very impressive, especially considering that everything we needed had to fit into the back of our small, plastic kayaks.
The Falls Backpackers (http://www.tsitsafalls.com/) A glorious azure sky greeted us the following morning and I knew it was going to be a good day, albeit a long one. We had a long way to go before we would reach the confluence with the Tsitsa River, and as the third group to ever paddle the upper section of the Mzimvubu, information was scarce. The only thing we were sure of was that there was the rather large Mzimvubu Falls to negotiate
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Our third day was spent mostly around the spectacular Mzimvubu Falls. Not many people have laid eyes on this waterfall and I would love to see it in all its glory at high water. The river is more than a hundred-metres wide at the falls and must also be a sight to behold in flood. After an initial scout on the left bank, where Hugh du Preez ran a first descent on a tricky little double drop, we decided to cross over to the right hand side and see what lay in store for us, as the next drop on the left side was way too high to run at these levels. Here, Andrew Kellett ran an impressive first descent of a roughly ten-metre high waterfall that had a rock jutting out about halfway down and was to be precisely missed, which luckily he did.
Two more people ran this drop but the runs were heading towards disaster and after that there were understandably no more volunteers. We were far from any roads and had no cellphone reception, so an injury here would result in a guaranteed epic. After the excitement of the waterfall, there was a fun three-metre drop for everyone to run and then a final much larger one, which we lowered our boats down before jumping into the cool, deep water below. Not far down, and only a few hundred metres below the Mzintlava, we made camp - only three kilometres completed but a full, action-packed day none-the-less. Day four was another awesome day filled with countless rapids and we managed to knock down thirty-seven kilometres. We had encountered the locals at various intervals throughout our journey and of course the customary marijuana fields. The Transkei is the heart of this trade and these fields, protected by thorn fences, are probably the lifeblood of the impoverished people who work the land. What was quite strange though was that we’d sometimes paddle past someone, who would watch us for a second or two before going right back to work. I mean, no one ever really paddles down here, so surely we would be a novelty? But in retrospect, that probably wasn’t the norm as most onlookers would stop and stare, sometimes waving first, other times returning our greetings and then there were times when they were unsure of what to do and did nothing. I think most people in our group wished they could speak Xhosa in order to communicate with the river people and find out more about their way of life here. This verbal isolation was quite frustrating as we passed by, unable to learn more about them. However, the warmth of their smiles and animated greetings made up for the lack of spoken words. In the end though, I believe that the loss was ours. Back in suburbia, I often think about them and their simple lifestyle, and wonder if perhaps that isn’t a better way to live. Does one really need a flashy car, cellphone or the latest Ray Ban sunglasses? Surely a warm, dry roof over one’s head, food and a
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cohesive community spirit should be enough. I also wonder how long their lives will continue along that simple path ... It was our last night on the river and I felt a little sad to be leaving. Although the trip had been organised at a very dry time of the year, what we lacked in water was more than made up by the 12 fantastic people who made this trip so memorable. Our expedition had been organised for Fluid Kayaks team members only, and if the aim of the trip was to be a social and fun trip, then that is exactly what happened! On our fifth and final day, we were now well below the confluence of the Tsitsa and enjoyed the added volume of river and slight increase in speed. The scenery remained fantastic and the mood light and relaxed. The conversation drifted to ice cold beers and thick rump steaks, and the pace increased with the knowledge that civilisation was not too far off. After a two-hour break for lunch and a discussion of where to get off the river, we eventually found the exact spot. So there we were, still in the middle of seemingly nowhere, when Hugh du Preez returned with a case of ice cold quarts. Yes, ice cold – kept cold by gas fridges. I, correction, we, couldn’t believe it. We soon elevated Hugh to a god-like status. Several hours later our trusty drivers returned with the vehicles to pick us up. Our grateful thanks to Angela and Adi from The Falls Backpackers who graciously arranged the logistics for us, and to Fluid Kayaks who made this amazing trip possible and such a lot of fun. ●
Mzimvubu Mzimvubu is is the the Xhosa Xhosa name name of of the the river meaning “home ‘home of of the the hippo”. hippo’.
by Pietré Smit DO IT NOW | inALTITUDE: Words Photos courtesy of the Superheroes
en hard , have be W O N IT o Girl, O sue of D nd Chem a is t y s o la B ey e o th far Chem on, but th ti duced in s c o u a tr h T in k c ’. s g a ro rheroes, b up ‘Fight the Feelinseen much natural thing wrong with tha-5t, The supe clim g9 . No ven’t bing gym as well as workin snates ha g for their m tu in li r c in fo l a n a tr U c in he ir lo ely, (excuse oy and T les at the esburg respectiv real rock n o t Fusion B exing their musc n u n o a t n to the oh n fl me to ge r situatio ti a nd and J il e ra im th id s d M have bee a n , ia bably in ficult to fi in Pretor ark - pro kes it dif p a s as living t m h y ig b r b eir ho some b ms! to fund th now …). Luckily mbing gy li k c I r , o s o e d s excu nted in es - inve ro e rh e p u s
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 39
Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor climbing has different levels, which climbers can try out and master. Despite their uniformity, harder routes demand more effort and physical strength to be successfully scaled. Outdoor climbing routes, however, are diversified since mountain holds are not predetermined. Every slope and crack may serve as a hand or foot hold for the climber.
The benefits of indoor climbing are many. Climbing exercise engages all muscle groups simultaneously including balance, which is as important as raw strength. It also provides a ‘thinking challenge’ for climbers to learn mental control as their skills develop. Added to this, there is a strong social aspect to indoor climbing. Overall, indoor climbing is fun, exciting, physically beneficial, mentally challenging and socially enjoyable. Give indoor climbing a try and get hooked!
Indoor climbing promotes competition since some walls are tailor-made for competitive climbers. Outdoor climbing, however, focuses on the act of climbing itself, pushing the climber to the limit.
Indoor rock climbing is a fun and safe sport for all ages. Climbing gyms provide a controlled, supervised environment where novice through to professional climbers can exercise in an enjoyable way. Trained staff is usually on hand to teach the necessary safety techniques, and climbing gear is available for rent or purchase.
Indoor vs. Outdoor It is common for people who wish to take up climbing to wonder which of the two styles would better suit them. Here are a few of the differences between indoor climbing and outdoor rock climbing: As indoor climbing is done in an environmentally-controlled venue, scaling walls is much safer than climbing real mountain walls. Indoor climbing is also ideal for enthusiasts who are in need of constant practice before they try out the real thing, or for climbers who want to train all year round. Surfaces in indoor climbing can be easily seen as they are distinguished by holds on the artificial wall, as opposed to natural walls where holds are usually not apparent, making the climb more challenging and exhilarating. It is also easier to focus on indoor climbs because distractions are significantly minimised, unlike in outdoor rock climbing where the environment itself can be a distraction; erratic wind conditions, weather and nasty bugs that might hamper a climber’s ascent.
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Although indoor climbing compares to outdoor climbing up to a point, there are of course some aspects that the former can never completely emulate. These include the breathtaking view of the landscape below and that incredible feeling of fulfillment as you reach the summit of a challenging mountain wall.
Outdoor Rock Climbing That said, our superheroes decided to brave the cold and test their newly-acquired skills and fitness on some natural rock. The Unfortunates, as their name suggests, have never had the opportunity to climb outdoors, and as Waterval Boven is only a two-hour drive from Pretoria and has 512 routes (and counting) for all skill levels, plus accommodation almost on top of the crags, the decision was unanimous. So one Friday afternoon, not so long ago, the superheroes set off on their first (hopefully of many) outdoor adventure. Drawing from our past experience of bitter cold winter nights at Waterval Boven in flimsy tents and poor excuses for sleeping bags, we decided to style it and book a couple of chalets. And no, this is not a polite way of saying we’ve grown soft since our varsity days, just richer and wiser! Boy, were we glad that we booked those chalets! Temperatures dropped below freezing that Friday night, which made it really
hard to drag ourselves out of bed the next morning. However, the prospect of some spectacular climbing quickly had even the most reluctant of us up and rearing to go. Boven has several climbing areas (known as crags by us climbers) and we had chosen Wonderland due to its large variety of climbs between 15 and 25. The idea was not to push grades but rather to get as many climbs in as we could, and give the newbies as much exposure to natural rock and different climbing techniques as possible, in the short time we were there. Wonderland crag was a great choice as it faced east and as the early morning sun warmed the frozen rock, Chemo Girl started off by putting up the rope on ‘Forest Glump’, a very easy route graded at 14. After ‘Forest Glump’ we focused our attention on the ‘Glods’. ‘Mission to Glod’ and ‘Sand Glod’ are two fairly easy routes graded at 16, and with just enough exposure to awaken the heroes’ climbing appetites! Mrs Unfortunate demonstrated how to use all eight extremities (yes, eight if you include her nose, tongue and head …) on the open book at the top of the ‘Glods’. With these three routes under our belts we turned our attention to ‘Captain Hook’, an awesome grade 18 route, which demands technique and finesse - something Mr Unfortunate unfortunately lacked. The newbies obviously had a go … and again …and again… and in some instances again. Fusion Boy was a hit amongst the crowd on this route, displaying his amazing acrobatic techniques despite his back. Apparently it is possible to find leverage with your foot next to your ear … Other routes that fell beneath our climbing shoes were ‘Lining Your Pockets’ (17), ‘Butterfly Snowstorm’ (15), ‘Aussie Rules’ (17), ‘Rocky’s’ (13) and also the first newbie lead climb), ‘Emancipated Spider Chicks’ (20) and ‘It’s a 13 Jim, but not as we know it’ (15). By this stage, Chemo Boy had run out of nuclear power and we decided to call it a day and return to our cozy chalets.
So what did our Superhero squad think about their first outdoor adventure?
Chemo Boy: The perfect spot to climb good hard lines and socialise with friends at the same time. The sandstone is brilliant and the north facing crags are a gem, especially in the winter.
Mr Unfortunate: “Francois, you’re on be-lay, climb when ready!” Those were the words that signalled my first outdoor rock climb on a level 14 route called ‘Forest Glump’. By the end of the weekend, I was really happy with my achievements and progress, which included overcoming my wariness of heights and I managed to make it to the top of a level 17 route. But make no mistake, the climbs left me very tired. I still have some unfinished business with a few of the routes, and in particular to ‘Captain Hook’, which I look forward to cracking on a return visit.
Mrs Unfortunate: It’s a mental thing, no not in the psycho way. I mean you can achieve way more than what you think you can at any particular moment. That’s until everything starts to shake and your hands open involuntarily … But spectacular views and getting away from the city - now that’s life! All in all it was a very successful weekend on the crags! The superheroes left Boven feeling all-powerful and ready to take over the world. They did realise though, that all the routes they had climbed were single pitches with little exposure and gradings below 18. For ‘Fight the Feeling’ everyone will be required to climb a 21, with a lot more air beneath them than what they had experienced over the weekend. But it’s a good start and a step closer to conquering their chosen mountain in Harrismith. ●
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 41
by Claire Barnes DO IT NOW | inALTITUDE: Words Photos Courtesy of Jasper Williams
Skydiving Disciplines Some do it for kicks, some do it for sport and some do it for a living. Whatever the reason, every weekend like-minded people get together and experience the freedom that skydiving has to offer. But in order to have the freedom to have fun, one has to start at the bottom.
Every month new students sign up for the First Jump course, hoping to progress in the sport and obtain a licence to jump. They all have different motives for coming, but each person brings enthusiasm and more than a few nerves with them. Sadly though, once past the student progression, novice jumpers are required to select a discipline in which to progress with their Category II and III progression – a decision that jumpers at this level seldom have the knowledge or exposure to make. There is plenty of time and money involved just to become a competent skydiver. First-time jumpers in South Africa need to progress through a freefall progression (solo freefall survival) and an Intermediate Skills programme (basic movement and directional control) before obtaining an A licence and becoming ‘intermediate skydivers’. Once achieved, the skydiver must progress through further tests (Category II and III) and tasks in a preferred discipline to obtain a B licence. The student progression is a long one, and jumping regularly to keep current during this stage is key to becoming a safe and skilled skydiver. Performing a number of jumps on a regular basis is often referred to in the sport as ‘currency’. Currency is not only important for safety reasons, but it also helps you to progress faster by achieving the required tasks with fewer attempts. Time and budget constraints delay many students’ progression, and consequently their ability to advance in the sport. Many arrive at the dropzone once a month, expecting to do a single jump and then leave for the day. This often results in a slow progression and frustration for the student, not to mention the dangers involved in their lack of currency. Students should rather brace themselves for a quick progression, involving frequent jumps and intensive coaching. So it is important to talk to your instructors about the commitment involved to progress through the programmes. And when they finally become licensed skydivers, a world of opportunity opens up. There are many different types of disciplines to take up, and the progression splits by discipline from this point onward. This doesn’t need to determine your ultimate direction in the sport, but certainly determines your primary direction to begin with. Very often people will stick to what they know, which is usually formation skydiving as this is the discipline students are taught
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and the discipline in which you’ll find the most skydivers to jump with socially. There are so many other options, each offering a new experience of the sky and requiring different skills. Intermediate and newly B licensed skydivers may feel lost as they don’t know enough about the different disciplines and what jumps they can do once qualified. Let’s face it, even falling out of a plane on your own, belly-to-earth can get a bit monotonous every weekend. Don’t be scared to expand your horizons and try something new, but talk to an instructor first. Your best bet is to find a coach or mentor that is proficient in your preferred discipline and can give you some pointers in getting started. Different disciplines will often involve their own intermediate progression, and any good coach will be eager to help you get to a competent level so that they have another buddy to jump with. The attitude of most coaches, and indeed fellow skydivers, is that of sharing their knowledge on skill and safety. There is a great camaraderie and a genuine desire to see others improve. It is also important to do a bit of research on your own about certain techniques you need to master. Websites such as the Parachute Association of South Africa website (www.para.co.za) and Dropzone.com are packed with useful articles and information to pore over into the wee hours of the morning. Then go back and discuss what you have researched with your coach, as it’s always a good idea for a more experienced jumper to lend their practical advice, especially when it comes to safety. Don’t get discouraged if you are a student or an intermediate skydiver and feel like you are stuck in a rut. Find your mentor and discuss some ideas. If you like the idea of team disciplines, such as formations skydiving and freefly, why not approach someone who is experienced to help you get a team together? Even if you’re not interested in competing at national level, it is still fun to learn the formations and improve your skills. If you prefer the solo disciplines such as canopy piloting, you can find a team of people who share your enthusiasm for the discipline, and you may even provide some healthy competition. The sky’s wide open and yours for the taking, so don’t hold back -
just DO IT NOW! •
Five Popular Skydiving Disciplines in South Africa Skydiving is a dynamic sport with many disciplines. This list is not exhaustive and includes popular South African competitive events currently recognised by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Words have been reproduced with the permission of the Sports Skydivers Association.
1. Canopy Piloting
This is specialised high-speed accuracy flying of highperformance parachutes. Taking some of canopy formation and accuracy landing combined with high performance canopy flight makes for some spectacular viewing. Distance, accuracy and speed are the three events that are combined to find the overall winner in this discipline. Normally practiced over a body of water, there are some great views of water spray created. This discipline is for those interested in exploring canopy flight to the full.
2. Artistic Events
Artistic Events (AE) comprises Freefly and Freestyle. These are an expansion of skydiving, which includes using any combination of the three flying axes (roll, pitch and yaw). These positions increase freefall speeds and make new types of formations and routines possible. AE is a three-dimensional art form of skydiving that is constantly evolving with its growth in popularity. It can be immensely enjoyed as solo skydiving as well as in groups once individual skills improve.
3. Formation Skydiving
Formation Skydiving (FS) is the ultimate team sport and generally consists of two, four, eight or 16 people. The flying position is belly to earth while forming as many formations as possible in a set time before opening your canopy. FS is about precision flying and using your body to displace wind in order to do the formations. The team is only as fast as it slowest member. There is nothing better than tracking away from a perfect 35 seconds of fully synchronised precisionbuilt formations. FS combines great personal skill with extraordinary team work.
4. Style and Accuracy Landing
These disciplines were the first two competitive events in the history of sport parachuting. The two events are often referred to as Style and Accuracy, and the discipline is often referred to as the Classics. In both events the competitor is required to demonstrate his precision abilities relative to the ground. In Freefall Style the competitor manoeuvres his body in freefall, as accurately and as quickly as possible, using a target on the ground as reference. In Accuracy Landing the competitor tries to land as close as possible to a target on the ground.
5. Canopy Formation
Here, groups of jumpers leave the aircraft and open their parachutes relatively quickly in pre-determined sequences, allowing them to fly those parachutes together in various formations. Canopy Formation is an exciting discipline within our sport and appeals to those who enjoy precision flying and doing something different with a parachute than merely landing it.
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 43
// [inTRODUCING] Platinum Riders - The Birth of a Cycle Tour • Race your Motor • Why We Ride - Mad about Motocross // [inACTION] NISSAN MTB Series joBerg2c – A fantastic but tough journey • SA Team McCain Adventure Addicts – the awesome foursome claim second place at Australian XPD Adventure Race! • A Beginner’s Take on the Comrades Marathon • When Tuks Girls DO IT NOW • Namibia Ultra Marathon – a test of stamina, strength and spirit // [inPREPARATION] Rejuvenate your Running with a Dash of Trail // [inSHAPE] Stay Immune this Winter • Glutes, the Powerhouse • Exercises: Body Bar Training.
Shutterstock Description: Road cyclists pushing boundaries.
DO IT NOW | inINTRODUCING:
Words by Jaco van der Westhuizen Photos courtesy of Forerever Resorts Gariep
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Quotes like these provide focus to supposedly blurry minds and can kick-start a world apparently hell bent on mental inertia and comfort into a flurry of energy with purpose and direction. And sometimes they do provide – in retrospect – a sense of sanity when we look back at that one day when we saddled the seemingly wild stallion, turned its head into the winds of opportunity and like a Mongol horsemen yelled at the world ahead of us in anticipation of the battle to come. For Dave and Wendy Parsons, Martin and Charlene de Kock and Jaco and Andrea van der Westhuizen, things were not quite as dramatic when they founded the Platinum Riders Cycling Club, but every bit as daunting. What started out as an idea over a cup of coffee, has developed into something much larger than the mere sum of each one’s contribution. It has become a business, lifestyle, passion, challenge and at the end of every day, a wonderful reward. And a home for each and every Platinum Rider who chooses to point his or her aluminium or carbon-fibre horse into the wind and laugh at life itself ... Platinum Riders is a virtual cycling club, linking existing cycling clubs into one large Super Club, and so provides members of this virtual Super Club with the advantages that membership of a large sports club bring. These advantages, with particular reference to negotiated discounts for members on the purchase of equipment, participation and licensing fees, events, travel and other lifestyle expenses – in exchange for a small monthly membership fee - are the main benefits for members of the Super Club. Platinum Riders harnesses the collective marketing exposure of several thousand cyclists, all participating in the largest individual sport in South Africa - cycling. This marketing exposure takes the form of a uniform club kit, with a central colour and design theme, whilst retaining the original name, identity and history of individual participating clubs. The Super Club kit is the main advertising medium for sponsors and advertisers; the ‘Facebook’ of the cycling world so to speak. As a member of Platinum Riders, chapter members are eligible to gain points on results at various events throughout the year – especially at the PLATINUM RIDERS Gariep Wilderness MTB Adventure, a MTB extravaganza planned to become a permanent fixture on the South African cycling calendar. The first one will be held from 23 April – 26 April 2011 at the Forever Resort at the Gariep Dam, in the south western Free State. It was on an innocent trip to Philippolis, to explore a part of South Africa previously unknown to them, when the Platinum Riders team stumbled upon the idea of a cycle race in these parts. The first-class facilities at the Forever Resort made the choice of a starting venue an easy one and once the area surrounding the Gariep Dam had been explored, the concept of the MTB tour started taking shape. The dam, the largest man-made lake in South Africa, covers 374 square kilometres when it is at capacity and has a circumference of more than 200 kilometres. The dam lies fully within the boundaries of a nature reserve, which shares borders with the provinces of the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape and the Free State, and it it was this feature – the rugged terrain that ‘holds the dam in the cusp of its hand’– that planted the seed of a three-day mountain bike race that spanned the whole circumference of the famous Gariep Dam! The race is planned for a maximum of 500 teams, of two each. Race goers will stay in a tented village on the camp site of the Forever Resort for the four nights of the tour, with family and supporters staying in either the chalets at the resort, the hotel in Gariep village or one of the many guest houses and guest farms in the area. The event will be fully catered for, with breakfast and supper supplied every day, as well as ‘race food’ provided at all of the watering points along the route. As this will be an event for the whole family to support, every effort will be made to provide access to the race route for them, as well as being able to join the riders at breakfast and supper time. The programme is planned to look like this: ● ● ● ● ●
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday,
23 April 2011: 24 April 2011: 25 April 2011: 26 April 2011: 27 April 2011:
Arrival and registration Day 1 (+/- 80 km) Day 2 (+/- 80 km) Final day (+/- 40 km plus an extra 20 km ‘special section’) Public Holiday
The south western Free State has adopted the slogan ‘Wide Spaces Little Places’ and with its good roads, low traffic volumes, very low crime rate, friendly people, scenic natural beauty and country hospitality, is fast becoming a haven for cyclists who want to experience true country freedom whilst enjoying their beloved sport. The towns of Philippolis, Trompsburg and Fauresmith in the Free State and Colesberg in the Northern Cape are all within easy reach from the Gariep Dam, and these ‘little places’ will provide contestants and their families with many a wonderful opportunity to experience real Karoo hospitality and turn their time there into a true holiday. ● * Guide for the Advanced Soul: Susan Hayward
For more information on the Platinum Riders Cycling Club, the PLATINUM RIDERS Gariep Wilderness MTB Adventure and how to enter, visit www.platinumriders.com. Entries close: 31 December 2010 or once all the 500 team entries have been filled. Each person entering the Gariep Wilderness MTB Adventure will receive a one-year subscription to DO IT NOW!
by Rocco le Roux DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING: Words Photos by Rocco le Roux & courtesy of Silver Cup Racing
Club racing is one of the most exiting forms of motor racing for any motor enthusiast and is open to anyone. There are many clubs offering different levels of racing and just about every marque has its own club race series. But what makes the Silver Cup Racing Club unique is its very basic rules and focus on promoting the sport. By creating a relatively low budget saloon car series, which brings motor racing within reach of the average enthusiast without breaking the household budget, Silver Cup ensures that enjoyment remains the key focus. It is evident that the people involved in club racing are there for the love of the sport. Competitors are eager to help each other excel and although the competition is fierce, no one dares get nasty about it. “The first time I raced, the guys gave my Oval Track tyres one look and offered me a set of used Long Track tyres. I was quite surprised by this but soon learnt that camaraderie is yet another benefit of joining Silver Cup Racing,” says David. Of course there are people that spend a lot of money on their cars, but you don’t need to. If, like David, you have a technical background and space for a small workshop, you can build your own car from the chassis up. If you can afford a Space frame you
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will have a solid base to start from, but any sturdy small car will do. Firstly you need to attend to the handling of the car and experiment with different suspension parts until you find a combination that works for you. Then only should you turn your attention to performance. If you take the time to assemble your own engine you will know exactly what the effect is of every small change you make to the motor. When you make changes yourself and manage to improve performance, the satisfaction is just so much greater on race day. Some competitors spend a lot of money on having an engine built by someone else, however when you do it yourself you tend to put in that extra bit of effort to make sure it is perfect. David spent weeks porting the head and experimenting with different length intake manifolds, but this all adds to the pleasure he feels when beating his opponents. Things may not always go your way and sometimes you can spend months hunting for the cause of a gearbox destroying vibrations or even having to rebuild your engine due to some small problem you were unaware of. Just like any other sport you need to be committed if you want to take part competitively, but you can also take part just for the rush. Cars are not allowed to touch during racing, so the chances of damaging your car is limited to how hard the driver is willing to push himself.
There are four classes ranging from 1.4-litre all the way up to an Open class with no limits. All the classes’ race at once and points are awarded for your position in your class as well as your overall position. A handicap system ensures that even a class D driver can take the title of the Club Champ. Apart from the engine size that determines race class, the only other limit imposed is the type of tyres you are allowed to use.
So next time you feel the urge to do more than race in a straight line from robot to robot, give club racing a thought. It is sure to be more adrenalin packed and you won’t get any comments from your front-seat passenger! •
Sport >> 51
DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING: Words & Photos by Lee Viljoen
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family especially certain e, m nd ou ar le op and by the pe It’s a valid question ? I am often asked ss ro oc ot m g in e n’t stop rid spital bed or at hom ho a members, why I do in g in ly I’m t point whils You would think that s. ne a popular discussion bo en ok br or cuts, bruises t. with a fair amount of some reason it isn’ r fo t bu e, on e pl m a si the answer would be tch and en I was about d a long time ago wh rte sta all it e, se u Yo my very first dir t ars old and I got three and a half ye d and motocross The seed was plante bike for Christmas. d then. I wasn’t an re my life right the became a part of t I took to it like on my own at first bu able to ride the bike ted. The falls sis as was soon riding un d an ter wa to ck du a oked! but I was officially ho were soon to follow e at the tender ry first motocross rac I took part in my ve ria. The track eto called Mayhem in Pr age of five at a track shing today uri flo ll sti is al racing and is well known for ov ross. Back then, , no longer has motoc but as far as I know small jumps few a mi-flat track with ed for dir t they only had a se us s wa ich wh of the oval, built in the middle us rvo at my first ber being really ne bike racing. I remem ess. I remember sin bu going, it was all race but once it got of me couldn’t turns and for the life falling at one of the for me. One of y av it was way too he as up e bik my k pic me and kick start had to pick it up for the race marshals ll have that bike ntinue the race. I sti it so that I could co head using one my e to lift it abov today and am able ow how tiny I was … It just goes to sh hand, it’s that small weekend after ery that bike almost ev ed rac I n. the ck ba Moon. Us little ck called Back of the that, mostly at a tra single lap on the the BMX track as a guys had to race on an entire race en be ck would have actual motocross tra to make it around had we been able on it’s own for us leave behind. uld s the big guys wo with the massive rut bigger bike in the e I moved up to a It wasn’t long befor eight. That bike of e ag 80 at the form of a Suzuki RM
d a clu g at the time! It ha was so intimidatin wer band that po a d height and ha gears, was twice my s comfortable off! Before long I wa could rip my arms bike for about t tha pinned. I raced it ing ep ke d an it on to use starting remember having two years or so. I fore every race at the start gate be blocks to stand on und. Then one gro the uldn’t reach because my legs co some farm a casual outride on Sunday morning on her serious rat a in ed e I was involv roads near our hous s rou trips back later and after nume crash. Three days T scans, the CA d an spital for x-rays and for th to the ho in my neck bra rte ve C1 that the doctors discovered be alive, let to ky said I was very luc was broken! They had broken I , ten of e ag So at the the last. alone able to walk! be t no it certainly would my first bone, but m any form of n I was prohibited fro Right there and the arding, rugby, bo ate sk ross, BMX, contact sports. Motoc no go, as the imming were a strict soccer and even sw from diving ct pa im that even the doctors were afraid to do serious ol would be enough into a swimming po a result of As n. itio dy fragile cond months. damage to my alrea ee thr for ce bra lo wear a ha ull with sk my injury, I had to ur yo to tal rim that is fixed plate ck This brace is a me ba d an t es ch a attached to that so screws, which are ck ne so to stabilise your next the strapped to your tor y sa to s les move it. Need you are unable to d I remember incredibly tough an re we s nth three mo nthly basis to mo a to the doctor on having to go back hout the use of rews in my skull, wit re-torque the four sc could imagine, u s the worst thing yo wa It . tic the es an an
Sport >> 53
to school , I still managed to go as it sounds. However bad such as as es s wa nam k lly nic rea of it nt and ed up being the recipie end and e and all, bik a and r ce after that, bra used to let me nea the like. My mother ref ve at and dri to ein rn nst lea nke to Fra at , gre D2 R2 a car instead. It was ve dri to year how 11 y me onl ch decided to tea st have been the rnt really quickly. I mu lea of a I aid and the age h ly wit ear eit an alb such drive a car perfectly, ld cou t tha ng bei ood of orh ent old in the neighb spite the excitem over the dashboard. De n see soo r me the p mo hel to My s e. ow few pill me off my bik t not enough to keep could be. I as py hap e, bik able to drive, it was jus my k on nagging and I was bac gave in to my constant sibly could. pos I as n ofte as e never raced but I rod
ss track de at the local motocro ro d an 5 12 KX a t go I eventually style Motocross nd Juan was into Free every weekend. My frie from time the steel ramps with him p jum d an go uld wo tead I and ping every weekend ins jum lf se my nd fou I on to time. So motocross track would only ride on the of riding the track and ogressed and g to jump. My riding pr on str too s wa nd wi if the ogressively the gaps and tricks pr le, tab or mf co re mo t group as I go g, there was a small lon e for Be r. ge big d got bigger an at our local FMX gularly jump together re uld wo o wh ys gu of d two good d at Melkbos 4x4. We ha ate cre d ha we ich wh tances Park, s set up at different dis mp ra el ste few a th landings wi ally nice FMX direction, creating a re and pointing in either er a little too ndy day, I got blown ov wi ly lar cu rti pa e On ting dir t oval. wind and ended up ea ss cro a by air the in far while ... again! me directly in
twisted bars hitting k, loose sand with my let me I landed in some thic pain and injuries, but I’d had my fair share of ge l as I sta nfu this pai by as w ly No ote s. the rib ed anything even rem enc eri exp get er to nev r e minutes to an hou tell you that I hav ance around for ty-five bul am the At the . k ath too bre It . a e day did that ld I sor t of tak first morphine shot cou liver was my and ed, ect to me and only after my exp s, as t I had a few broken rib irregularly the hospital they found tha heart was beating so my and lly rna inte ng edi ble in and lived s aga wa I . yet ted ry era ove lac kily I made a full rec Luc p. sto ht mig it t doctors though to ride another day … this sport, ed from par ticipating in g list of injuries sustain lon at least. and tly n nen pai ma the per te spi not De of giving it up, well n ntio inte after no this tely h olu wit I still have abs I came to terms ’t intend to ever again. I will don I k thin and ’t e rac don I ger ll, we lon I no ng riding all together, ppi sto for era as cam but k, new y to buy some I broke my nec d my Honda CR 250, onl sol ed ly lish ent pub rec s I wa to. e ich abl wh ever be bikes (one of e photographs of dir t just had has o wh e, Kyl r equipment so I can tak the r bro IT NOW). My younge will often find us in the fifth issue of DO injury, also rides so you s ros toc mo a m fro y behind the lens me h wit s, major knee surger lap weekend banging out the at ck tra Kyle’s bike s ros toc at the mo two or three or four on t shot. I still do a lap or next bike. my get to e nag trying to get the perfec until such time as I ma y onl but re, k behind the bac am be I every time and my brother will have to stay at home l wil era cam the en Th st. me chewing on my roo really a more accurate stop riding, there isn’t ’t don I y wh who I am. ed ask So when I’m my blood, it’s a par t of I can’t. Motocross is in say hing like to n not is tha er ere oth Th r g. we ans tell you the same thin l wil y the and pinned er a bik of t e, or the sound Ask any true dir oke oil from an idling bik -str two ling of tic fee e the Th syn p. of jum ell a the sm sting the face of roo or ck tra the s as age und 250 doing laps aro for what seems like and hanging in the air e re bik mo a for on k gap bac big ing a clearing at keeps me com is inexplicable. It’s wh en in the bitt n bee I’ve ly you go over the jump bad how no matter how often or tand it … time and time again, that feeling can unders ed enc eri exp e hav o past. Only riders wh it’s called passion! ●
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s 4x4 in Cape Town
Ryan Mc Car thy, Melkbo
when I The brace I had to wear broke my back
as a gift stmas when I got my first bike
s 4x4 in Cape Town
Ryan Mc Car thy, Melkbo
Sport >> 55
DO IT NOW | inACTION:
Words & Photos by Zoon Cronje
Great news for Gauteng mountain bikers! There are still two events remaining in the ever-popular NISSAN MTB Series that you can look forward to during the latter part of this year. Fritz Pienaar, race organiser, was very enthusiastic about the races left in the Series saying that, “We’ve had time to find and develop some new and exciting trails with routes that boast even more single track, as well some really fun and unique sections. Riders might be worried about bottlenecks when they hear this, but they need not fear because we are really excited to be introducing a SAS Seeding and Batching system. This will result in riders starting in smaller batches, thus ensuring a safer and more enjoyable race. “According to Pienaar, the NISSAN MTB Series grew from the FPC Mountain Bike Series, which focused on having good quality events close to home for the Gauteng-based mountain bike riders. “We wanted to establish quality events in Gauteng and with the economic slowdown, we felt there was a need for this,” he said. Nissan South Africa is involved in adventure sports globally under the umbrella of Nissan Sports Adventure. Nissan aims to shift expectations on mobility, and its sponsorship of the Series is a natural fit as mountain biking is all about challenging boundaries and personal limits. Carron Haarhoff from Nissan said, “The Nissan MTB Series is a family event consisting of 60 km and 30 km races that are challenging and interesting in every instance.”
Race Report: Hazeldean, 5 June 2010 Tyger Valley College (30 min from JHB) Amazing, fantastic, my best ride ever … These are some of the words used by mountain bikers to describe their racing experience during the Nissan Hazeldean event in Pretoria on Saturday, 5 June. Dubbed ‘some of the best mountain biking trails on offer in Gauteng’, the NISSAN Hazeldean event featured farm roads, endless winding single track, technical riverside bush trails, river crossings, cattle tracks and more. With a variety of distances to entice even the most discerning of mountain bikers, the route was not for the
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fainthearted. With only 60% of last year’s route remaining and the addition of numerous innovative sections, it was much safer and flowed nicely. Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN-Energade) surprised everybody by winning the first 2010 NISSAN Hazeldean Race over a distance of 70 km. During the last 10 km, when the going got tough, the young rider from Rwanda kept his cool and claimed his first win in a major South African race. Neil MacDonald (Medscheme), better known for his exploits in road races and having only started competing in mountain bike races in July 2009, finished second, Paul Cordes (MTN-Energade) in third place and Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Specialized/Mr Price) taking fourth. Said MacDonald, “To be honest, I surprised myself. I really had a good race and throughout all the technical sections I was able to ride with the front guys. Towards the end of the race I was the lone leader for a few minutes, but then Adrian caught up with me. Unfortunately I didn’t have the legs to stay with him. In the end, Paul Cordes and I were involved in a sprint for second place.” Yolandé Speedy (MTN-Energade) won the women’s race with Mariske Strauss (MTN-Energade) in second and Theresa Ralph third.
Race Report: Fast & Furious, 19 June 2010 Walkerville south of JHB (20 min from JHB) A week later, the fun was repeated in Walkerville at the NISSAN Fast & Furious race on Saturday 19 June. The race is aptly named ‘Fast & Furious’ and according to Pienaar is a true description of what awaits the riders. The routes really are fast and furious! Said Pienaar, “In my racing days as a pro-elite, the Walkerville race was part of the National Mazda Series. It was one of my favourite races, not only because I managed to win it a few times, but
because of the route that can only be described with one word, ‘unique’. We took great pains to ensure that the route was interesting and challenging for both the novices and pro-elites. Riders had ample opportunity to test their mountain biking skills on the single-track sections as well as time to recover, as they were linked by tarred roads.” Route Description The NISSAN Fast & Furious is a true Highveld race and offered roughly 55% single track, 23% jeep track, 20% gravel roads and 2% tar. Minimal rock and grass sections made the routes very quick. There were only two long climbs, one of about a kilometre and the other just over two kilometres, with lots of winding single track that took riders around old river beds. The race was never going to be a ‘walk in the park’ as there were some interesting surprises along the way. Race Results Renier Bellingan (USN) won the NISSAN Fast & Furious Pro-elite class after he joined forces with Waylon Woolcock (Medscheme) to outride the MTN riders. Woolcock came in second and South African cycling legend, Andrew McLean (Cyclelab), finished third. Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN-Energade) was fourth and Justice Makhale (MTN-Energade) in fifth. According to Bellingan, the race started in earnest right from the word go. “A group of seven riders, consisting of Kruger, Cordes, Woolcock, McLean, Niyonshuti, Makhale and myself managed to break away almost immediately. Then Kruger caught us all napping when he launched a second attack early on in the race. At that stage none of us were prepared to chase him down, which meant that he slowly but surely increased his lead.
Diamond Rush, 24 July Cullinan (1 hour from JHB) The route traverses areas inaccessible under normal circumstances due to diamond mining (come try your luck), and that’s not all! Winding single and jeep tracks take you through pristine areas and over river crossings where you can still drink the water. There’s lots of entertainment for the family too including a beer garden, jumping castle, face painting and professional massages or rub-downs. Route Description The route options are 70 km, 40 km and 15 km, each promising its own excitement. The scenic 70 km route will be a good test of fitness, skill and experience as it offers a number of technical sections for the average-to-skilled rider on single track. The route goes through areas where plains game roam and even past lion. As you ride on the verge of a massive water fall and through a cave – you will not find better mountain biking than this! The 40 km route has short sections of single track, of which 80% will be jeep track and gravel roads. Depending on your route option, also expect to find gorges, ravines, kloofs, river crossings, hand-cut single track, horse trails and game farm trails going right through the Bavaria, Gauteng’s only remaining grade A river! Encounter eland, zebra, giraffe, ostrich, sable, wildebeest, rhino plus various other buck species as you ride through exclusive game reserves. But watch out for the lion enclosure. They might just chase you along the fence!
Down & Dirty, 4 September
Smuts Museum (20 min from JHB) Celebrate the start of spring at the NISSAN Down & Dirty on 4 September. Enjoy the warmer weather and take on the challenge of either a 70 km, 40 km or 20 km trail on the best mountain bike trails the area has to offer.
“With three MTN riders in the breakaway, Waylon and I decided to work together. It’s not the first time we’ve done this. Somehow we just seem to ‘gel’ really well during races. We were involved in quite a tactical battle with the MTN riders who, unfortunately, seemed to experience a series of bad luck.”
Bring the family along and join in the fun and festivities at the historical Smuts House and museum, previously the home of the iconic General Jan Smuts in Irene. There is a jumping castle and kids’ play area as well as short, shaded hiking trails and a tea garden for those not competing.
According to Bellingan, he and Woolcock just kept on riding at a comfortable, consistent pace, while Cordes and Niyonshuti battled to fix a puncture. “We hoped to wear down the MTN riders, however, they managed to catch up with us and pass Kruger with about ten kilometres to go.”
Route Description The 70 km route is a single loop and all three distances share the first few kilometres. The area is famous among mountain bikers for its legendary rocky outcrops! Fast jeep tracks, rhythmic short climbs and exhilarating single tracks through the forest make this route something to remember!
The deciding point in the race came when Woolcock put the hammer down hard on a tarred-road climb. Only Bellingan was able to stay with him and they opened a gap of about 20 seconds on McLean and Niyonshuti. During the last kilometre, when matters became somewhat technical, Woolcock couldn’t keep pace with Bellingan. “I felt really bad riding away from Waylon, especially because we had worked so well together,” Bellingan said.
Van Gaalens, 13 November
Woolcock, who is actually a roadie, had no hard feelings. The NISSANFast & Furious was only his fifth official mountain bike race, and finishing second was his best placing to date. The Medscheme riders have certainly made their presence felt at the NISSAN MTB Series with Neil MacDonald finishing second in the first race of the Series held at Tyger Valley. It came as no surprise for Yolandé Speedy (MTN-Energade) to win the women’s race and Mariske Strauss (MTN-Energade) in second. Leatitia Botha (Ghost/BBT) came in third. Speedy and Strauss have dominated the Series, claiming first and second places in eight races – an awesome achievement!
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Van Gaalens Cheese Farm (1hr from JHB) The NISSAN Van Gaalens is the last event in the Series and starts from the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm in Skeerpoort. An abundance of riverbank single track, extreme climbs and technical descents ensure first-hand experience of the mighty Magalies mountains. Route Description The NISSAN Magalies Meander route is totally diverse, sporting riverside single track, grasslands, jeep track, water crossings, wicked downhills, fast and flat open sections and steep-as-can-be uphills. We’ve pulled the rabbit out of the hat with this one so you can experience what mountain biking is all about! ●
To take part in any of these events visit www.mtbseries.co.za and we look forward to sharing these awesome experiences with you.
by Belinda Stege DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by Action Photo, Belinda Stege & Chris Cronje
It was with much trepidation and excitement, to the point of nausea, that I allowed my friend to convince me to enter a nine-day stage race – the epic joBerg2c. Saying ‘yes’ to something like this is actually quite easy – especially when one has not considered the hours of training required, camping conditions (ugh! Give me the Hilton or Sheraton please) the expense of extra kit, camping equipment and the logistics of returning home once at the finish (should I make it and survive without hospitalisation or helicopter assistance). The preparations were daunting – the training, shopping, arrangements with work and convincing the spouse with dewy eyes (harking back to Puss ‘n Boots from Shrek), all seemed rather selfish but necessary to complete my newfound mission.
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Here are some of the race’s highs and lows from a female novice’s perspective. Pre-race Anxiety Attending the race briefing the evening before race day only served to give me a more nervous disposition and novice or not, it was also not conducive to a good night’s rest. When race day arrived, my 3:30 am alarm had me sitting bolt upright as though rising from the grave. I found it difficult to eat my usual breakfast of champions (ProNutro), but it would have to suffice for the 125 km flat and fastish ride. My personal support group of in-laws waved me off and wished me well. I knew I was going to need it!
Smile Moments Stage racing is so much more fun when you just let go and speak to everyone whilst taking in the beautiful sights around you, as you might not ever go there again. It also makes a huge difference to ride in a group and not be concerned with finishing times. On one occasion, entertainment was provided by a rider I know from my local area. A few kilometres into the ride, he discovered that he had in fact filled his Camelbak not with the usual carbohydrate drink, but washing powder! So don’t wait until it is dark to do housekeeping. On the evening of our third day, we were shown a video clip one of the riders had taken of his partner giving a cane rat or something equally scary, ‘mouth to mouse’. Not sure if it was the exhaustion, but we all laughed long and hard. On Day 7, Phil Liggett accompanied the riders on this first stage of the sani2c route, and entertained us that evening with his amusing and candid tales of the Tour de France and his life as a sport commentator. It was a special evening and a real privilege to have listened to this incredible man.
The Awful Reality I heard some scary news from some of the other riders about a cyclist who had suffered a heart attack before reaching the finish on Day 4. His partner had contacted the medics, who were waiting at the end for him. This highlights how important it is to know your partner well and to always ride within sight of each other.
Keeping it Clean Well into the journey, I did not feel like a girl anymore with a constant stench of worn cycling kit in my tent and my body tattooed with bruises and roasties. With all the dust, mud and sweat, I always felt unclean despite showering everyday.
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Then there was washing my long hair in a cold trickle of water. It was pretty unpleasant to say the least and my girlie screams throughout my speedy cleaning ritual elicited many a guffaw from my fellow riders - but I knew I would live.
Squirm Moments A huge issue for me was getting over the awkwardness of peeing in the bush. The men seem to find it quite easy to water the grass wherever they were along the route. I needed to find as much coverage as possible, which often left me having to ‘knyp’ until reaching the finish. On one particular day, I was stalling again while my riding posse gorged on the fare at a water point. I felt the blue gum trees would hide me sufficiently, so I snuck behind them and did what needed to be done. Looking to my right however, I had to stifle a shriek as an entire row of men seemed to be obeying their calls of nature too!
Inferiority Complex I felt completely inadequate around the few women who had entered the race as they wore items from previous stage races and spoke of many sections which they found easy. Whenever I mentioned that this was my first stage race and on a hard tail, their gob smacked faces said it all. I still had so much to learn but would nod agreeingly anyway, not wanting to admit my ignorance.
Sustenance The food was excellent at all the race villages but it felt as though there was never sufficient time to get in enough calories. In fact, one of my riding buddies took photos of how we were eating. He deduced that at the start of the race we were eating our ‘normal’ portion of food, but by the end of the race we were all walking away from the buffet with two heavily-laden plates each. Despite a generous dinner, most nights I would still wake up around 2am ravenous, which made it impossible to get back to sleep. Some race villages made an additional effort to make our stay memorable and comfortable and left little treats in our tents, which were greatly appreciated by me in the early hours of the morning. Three bowls of oats with honey every breakfast was not a preference but a necessity. By race day six, I’d had enough of bananas and potatoes to last me a life time, and was reluctant to consume carbohydrate and recovery drinks as they too had become repugnant. Luckily, the race villages had set up a bar and red wine became a more palatable recovery beverage for many. Some of my friends also sought refuge here and on more than one occasion were asked to leave the bar at 2am. How they rode 100 km plus after those evenings should be studied.
Oh the Pain Along many of the beautiful routes I passed, often I felt just too tired to enjoy it. My legs would not work and I felt powerless. Knee pain also became my constant companion reminding me that I was doing something I was not prepared for. Still, I consider myself to be very fortunate not to have sustained any serious injuries. Overall, the pain and suffering will fade but the memories will remain.
Mechanicals Towards the end of the race, at the base of a short climb, my dropout snapped in half and sent my jockey into my wheel. My
partner did not notice my disaster and was waiting up ahead for me to catch up. Luckily one of my riding buddies from home was with me and set about hurriedly trying to assist me by using his bike as an example to mend mine. Later that evening and with the help of an on-site mechanic, my jockey was replaced, gears were reset and I was oh so enthusiastic to complete the last stage.
Teamwork and Family I knew nothing about riding with a partner coming into my first stage race. Watching partnerships working and not working in the joBerg2c race has given me some insight into how the journey could be made more pleasant or comfortable for both riders. You should be able to tell your partner when you can really give it gas or need to take it slower, as they might not be able to see it on your face or from your body language. The stronger rider should ride behind the weaker one so no pressure is put on them and they can dictate the pace. Staying together is also hugely important because if a mechanical or medical problem arises, you are there to help. On the down hills, the heavier rider should take the lead, allowing the lighter rider to move in behind them and get sucked along so that you can both move quickly. Knowing exactly what each other’s expectations and motives are for doing the race are vital, and either make or break you as a team. For example, a team I spoke to said they wanted to race hard and remained focused for the first three days but when they decided to lighten up, they found that they started having more fun and were actually riding even faster. Most riders have families or partners who must make sacrifices while you are out training and racing. Don’t underestimate the strain this can cause. Some of the participants said they would definitely do the race again, but not without their children and partners nearby.
Lessons Learned 1.
Before attempting a race such as this, find a three or four day stage race during summer and practice your skills at packing, camping and riding any terrain. 2. Train wisely and do a lot of hills! When tired you can always go slower on the flats or freewheel the descents, but there is only one way to get up a hill. 3. Pack cycling gear for at least half the total number of days you will be riding and for all weather conditions. 4. If you have the space, be sure to pack newspaper in case your shoes get wet as this will help to dry them. 5. It’s a good idea to pack your own medical supplies such as antihistamines, antiseptic creams, eye drops, headache tablets, plasters, anti-inflammatories and pain meds, as you camp quite far from towns and might not be able to get assistance if you need it. 6. Bring your own strapping just in case you suffer from Achilles heel injuries and ITB pain. If you stay strong, you can always sell it to the desperate, and there will be no shortage of those cyclists on such an arduous stage race. 7. Keep a spare dropout in your Camelbak as this is a small and vital spare should you need it. 8. Bring two different recovery and race powders with you for some variety. But don’t try anything new during the race as you never know how your body will react to it, especially when pushed so hard daily. 9. Even though you eat until satiated at dinner, take the muffins, apples and anything else you can find with you to your tent. If you don’t consume it later, you can always pack it in your pockets for the next day’s ride 10. The paths around the mountainside in KZN are really narrow so you need to remain absolutely focused on your wheel and where you want it to go. This good advice from my local bike shop owner helped keep me on the straight and narrow. (Thanks Clint!) 11. Keep some cash on you as you never know if you will be in need of some red wine from the bar as a more exciting recovery drink, or to pay for the services of a mechanic. 12. When you are finally spat out of the single track at the finish on Scottbourough beach, carry your bike across the sand and sea water because salt is hell on all moving parts.
Finally If you ever decide to enter a stage race, I hope my experience has provided you with an inkling as to what you may encounter.
Best wishes, happy riding and visit the joBerg2c website to book your place for this amazing ride.
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by Jacques Marais Media & Keane Ludick DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by Photo Event
s t c i d d A e r u t n e v d A SA Team McCain XPD Adventure Race! lian
- 2nd place at Austra
- By Jacques Marais Media
Local Team McCain Adventure Addicts recorded their best-ever international race result in Australia, where they took part in the XPD Cairns 2010 expedition length adventure race. A key race in the Adventure Racing World Series, this no-holds-barred, multi-disciplinary event saw the South African foursome race non-stop for six-and-a-half days over 700 km to claim a commendable second place. This time, they seemed to have bitten off more than they could chew … The four McCain campaigners may be old hands when it comes to adventure racing, but trekking, running, kayaking, snorkelling, biking and rafting through croc territory for six days or more might be pushing the limits, even for them. Let’s say that the Adventure Addicts were able to avoid the ‘salties’ (local parlance for the saltwater crocs, which max out at up to a massive 1,000 kg), they still had to contend with a full gamut of other Australian nasties. The fact is they were pushing themselves to the ultimate limits of human endurance in the XPD Cairns 2010, a 700 km expedition race constituting a gruelling course through one of the wildest regions on the world’s most dangerous island. ‘Stinging trees’, which the teams ran foul of on Day 2 within the Misty Mountains rainforest near Ravenshoe, were a case in point. Contact with the toxic trees caused extreme pain and distress, and treatment by the race medics reduced several hardcore adventure racing heroes to tears. Skin areas exposed to the insidious thorns are treated with a solution of hydrochloric acid to break down silicon tubes broken off in the skin. Following this, the area is waxed repeatedly in an effort to remove any remaining capsules, thus adding even more pain to the ‘cure’. Despite the gauntlet of vicious vegetation, extreme white water and the gnarly topography of the Cairns region, Team McCain hit the straps right from the word go. The daunting event, which started
with a snorkelling and orienteering leg at midday on May 19th, commenced at pace with Team McCain needing to go hard to stick with the front runners, or lose out on the biggest race of their lives. And so Team McCain did just that, the only way to go when you’re running with the big dogs of AR. From the start gun, they snorkelled, trekked and went coasteering around Dunk Island, then banged straight into a 100 km mountain biking stage before rafting the
‘Coasteering’ is a physical activity that encompasses movement along the intertidal zone of a rocky coastline on foot or by swimming, without the aid of boats, surf boards or other craft. It is difficult to define the precise boundaries between, for example, rockpooling and ocean swimming. Coasteering may include all or some of the following: swimming or adventure swimming, climbing, scrambling, sea level traversing, jumping and diving. A defining factor of coasteering is the opportunity provided by the marine geology for moving in the “impact zone” where water, waves, rocks, gullies, caves etc, come together to provide a very high energy environment. Source: Wikipedia
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white water thrill ride that is the Tully River Gorge. A massive monster of a trek followed on Day 2 (as did their encounters with the stinging trees) and still they persevered. Together with the leading bunch, including world-beaters such as Teams Blackheart, Orion and Merrell, they toiled tirelessly and steamed into mid-camp after more than 70 hours of non-stop racing. With the exception of an enforced sleep at the start of the race, they had not rested and, as expected, the dreaded Sleep Monster pounced during their ensuing paddling leg along the spectacular Walsh River. Not wanting to lose sight of Orion, Merrell and Blackheart, the Adventure Addicts pushed mind, body and soul to the limit as they trekked towards Mount Mulligan. But, after nearly 34 hours of bushwhacking, their minds and bodies could do no more and, in the words of the captain, Graham Bird, “We collapsed like dead bodies in the transition area to pass out for a solid three-hour sleep.” This much-needed rest rejuvenated them and despite being more than 12-hours behind the leaders (and four hours behind thirdplaced Merrell), their new-found energy allowed them to kick up a gear. Within less than a day they had overhauled Merrell and cut the overall lead down to a mere six hours. Unbeknownst to them, Team Orion had to withdraw from the race after an injury to one of their teammates, and the SA foursome were now lying in second place! So far, they had managed to survive (or avoid) poisonous plants, marine ‘stingers’ such as the box jellyfish (rated the most lethal sea creature on the planet), tarantula spiders as big as side plates, the odd crocodile and a selection of seriously venomous snakes. According to Bird, their most dangerous encounter came within the last few kilometres of the race as they were navigating their way through the streets of Cairns. Tatum was walking along the sidewalk and after six-and-a-half days with less than eight hours sleep, everyone was dead on their feet, and what looked like a stick turned out to be a 1.5 m extremely angry snake. “At least this meant we crossed the finish line fully awake!” said Tatum. The XPD had taken its toll and Iain-Don Wauchope had to spend the day in hospital undergoing treatment for dehydration and serious leg-wound infections encountered
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during the night hikes. Thousands of fans around the country followed their progress though live satellite tracking, and there must have been collective cheers and tears as they finally reached the end of their epic expedition. In a telephonic interview with the team after the race, they all echoed the words of their Team Captain, “This was without a doubt the toughest task we have ever faced in our lives.” “We aimed for a top five finish” added Team Captain Graham Bird, “and therefore, placing second against some of the top adventure racing teams in the world is ultimately satisfying.” Bird hails from Knysna in the Western Cape, as does work-horse Hano Smit. Tatum Prins, also known as ‘Hobbit’, is from Cape Town and team newbie Iain-Don Wauchope from the Drakensberg, make up this awesome foursome. The team members excel in a range of disciplines as varied as paddling, mountain biking, trail running and navigation, and the extreme climate, topography and conditions in north-eastern Australia suited their style of racing down to the ground.
XPD Events - ‘As much an expedition as a race’, is what participants must expect on the multi-day XPD Events. These events form part of the AR World Series (ARWS), a global circuit of premium adventure racing events representing a dozen countries over a one-year period. This year, the ARWS will culminate in the World Series Final – The Bimbache Extreme 2010 – to be held in the north of Spain in October. For more information about the McCain Adventure Addicts and upcoming races, check out the following websites: Team information: www.advaddicts.co.za XPD Australia: www.geocentricoutdoors.com.au World Series: www.arworldseries.com
After one of the most brutal forest trekking legs with the infamous â€œstringing treeâ€?, Tatum getting some treatment.
Hanno Smit enjoying some Sardines at the transition after a 20 hour paddle down the Walsh River
Iain and Graham Bird carrying the boat up the beach after the 8km open see paddle from Dunk Island
Are you ready.......GO......Graham Bird off the start line
Team running on the trial on Dunk Island shortly after the start of the race.
Graham Bird heading out on the monster Trekking leg in the Australian Outback
Team running on the trial on Dunk Island shortly after the start of the race.
- By Keane Ludick Q: What is adventure racing exactly? Adventure racing is all about racing with four members in a team of which one must be of the opposite sex, and in our case female.
iain at the finish of the race.
You race around a non-stop course that can range from 30 km up to 1,000 km. You go through various checkpoints whilst participating in various disciplines such as running hiking and MTB, as well as your water disciplines including paddling, rafting and kayaking. Those are the main disciplines and a basic outline of the sport. You do it non stop and sleep when you need to. The race organisers let you know via a newsletter what disciplines are involved, for example, running, trekking, mountain biking, snorkelling, diving and rafting. So you need to be prepared for everything. They will also tell you what gear is required and conditions to expect. Once at the race, you will do various proficiency tests as well as perform safety checks on all your equipment. The race organisers also check basic gear. Then you are given the maps and routes to follow, which you then need to study and decide on the best and fastest route to take. Teams navigate from point-to-point with just a compass and map.
After crossing the finish line, Tatum whom had her birthday on the day we finished the race was greeted with a birthday cake. It was heaven.
Q: How was the race organised? All the international races you go to are very well organised, otherwise they wouldn’t attract the top competitors they do. This one was really well organised, probably the best one I have been to. It was a stunning race and everything worked. One of the things that really impressed me was that the race organisers didn’t try to do anything fancy, they kept it simple. It was simple in terms of gear checks, proficiency checks, loading gear and getting to the start. Q: If you compare the XPD to the other international races you have done, how different was it? We have done many international races and it’s always difficult to say which one was harder or easier. How do you compare this race with something like the Primal Quest we did in 2006? It’s also hard to remember because it was a few years back. I think that all of these races are hard in its own unique way. It puts you out there and tests your capabilities over a period of time, anything from a couple of hours to a few days. In this specific race, we all crossed the finish line very tired and emotional. It was a really physical race and by the time we reached the finish line we were drained. We were also dicing for a top position so it put a lot of stress on us too. Every five-minute mistake sort of started to eat at us, but at the end of the day we made it through and did well. So we are very happy. Q: Did your team expect to do well? We were focused on doing well. In this race we made a slight navigational error on the one leg, 48 hours from the end. This put us seven hours behind the leaders. We were very despondent and also incredibly tired. So we decided to have a good sleep and a hearty meal before tackling the remaining 210 km. Our plan worked. We managed to close the 12-hour gap between ourselves and the leaders down to two hours some 20 km before the finish, then lost some more time again in the final kilometres.
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Celebratory drink at the finish, after 6 and a half days.
Team all rearing to go at the pre race registration.
Q: Where and when did you start adventure racing?
Q: What brands of gear did you use?
H: Some eight-years back, doing a local 100 km event.
T: Only the BEST! ● MTB Bikes - Giant ● Headlamps - Black Diamond ● Backpacks - Salomon ● Running shoes - Salomon
T: I was overseas and met one of the top lady racers in 2002. I decided then and there to start adventure racing the minute I got back. I did just that when I got back home in 2003 and participated in a Quantum Adventures 60 km race with Ian actually, and I’ve never looked back! Q: When you did your first race, did you ever think you will be doing the XPD? H: Really long races have always been my food, but I never had much opportunity to do them. T: I can’t say it was the XPD specifically, but my dream was always to race overseas. I have now done seven international adventure races and we are getting better and better. I’m just loving living this dream! Q: How long did it take you to complete the race? T: Six days and twelve-and-half hours … I think. I made a pact with the boys that I had to get back for my birthday! We did if we went on SA time. Q: How often and what would you eat during these longer races? H: Variety is the spice of life and that counts for diet as well! If you can think of it, I probably ate it, continuously. Come to think about it, I probably ate the better part of the race. T: Initially I eat quite a bit from PVM bars, Fusion protein shake and dry oats mixed with protein shake in a Ziploc bag, etc, which I just add water to when I need it. Nice and light. I generally pack a 24-hour pack of food before the race and try and eat what I can out of it. In it will be two Fusion shakes in Ziploc bags, two helpings of oats in a Ziploc bag, five bars, a pack of nuts and raisins, a pack of sweeties, a pack of wholesome biscuits like crunchies, a couple of PVM Octane energy dynamic gels and maybe a chocolate or two. Phew that sounds a lot. I definitely don’t eat all that and as the days go by I seem to eat less and less. I tend to start eating the soothing things like the shakes because at the end, your mouth just wants cool and soothing foods.
Q: Would you say the XPD is the pinnacle of adventure races? H: It certainly provides the platform for an herculean battle against the world’s best adventure racers. However, there are many other races that could be as taxing or even more difficult depending on the depth of competition and other variables like the weather. T: I would say it’s pretty close. A 700 km race and unsupported! You don’t really get better than that or more hardcore in racing terms. Q: How did you train and prepare for this race? H: Simulating racing with a full pack is paramount. T: We train all year round and pretty much have our breaks after big races like this - we’ve just taken three weeks off now. Otherwise it is a mixture of running, paddling and mountain biking. I would say I average at least a two-and-a-half hour session a day during the week. On weekends, I tend to do about four hours and more, depending on where we are in the build up to the race. If we are just hiking, it will be a lot longer and those sessions are usually to get time on the legs with a pack. It really does vary with when the race is and any build races we might do. We all do quite a few races in between, from trail running to mountain biking to get us in race shape. For this race, I was lucky enough to do the Platteklip Charity Challenge and that was perfect timing and training. Q: Where’s your favorite training place? H: In and around the Garden Route, why go anywhere else? T: My second-home town and a place I would love to live … Knysna! But if you mean when I am home, then it will have to be my backyard … Table Mountain. It’s really hard to beat that!
Q: Did you have any seconding support?
Q: Is there another XPD inside you?
T: No, this race was an unsupported race, which is better for us when we race internationally. That way there is no advantage for the home teams and no disadvantage for us. It puts us all on an even playing field. So our boats, bike and transition boxes, etc were the same specs. I like it that way, it works well.
H: Definitely T: Ha ha – maybe not this last one with the stinging trees but definitely one without them and much, much more … It will be hard for me to ever stop.
DO IT NOW would like to congratulate the team on this brilliant achievement and wish them the best of luck for their upcoming races! ● www.doitnow.co.za
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Photo by Action Photo
by John-Miles Griffiths DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos courtesy of John-Miles Griffiths & Action Photo
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“If you feel good during an ultra marathon - don’t worry, the feeling will pass” Anon
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Interesting Facts: ● It is the world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon. ● It was first run on 24 May 1921 and won by Bill Rowan in a time of 08:59. ● The race was introduced by a famous World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. Clapham, who had endured a 2,700-kilometre route march through sweltering German East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants. ● The constitution of the race states that one of its primary aims is to ‘celebrate mankind’s spirit over adversity’. ● Gold medals are awarded to the first 10 men and women finishers. ● Silver medals are awarded to athletes who finish from position 11 to those finishing in under 7 hours 30 minutes. ● The Bill Rowan medal of silver and bronze is awarded to those athletes who complete the race between 7 hours 30 minutes and 9 hours. ● Bronze medals are awarded to athletes who finish the race in a time of between 9 hours and 11 hours. ● Copper medals – known as the Vic Clapham medal – go to those athletes who finish the race between 11 and 12 hours. ● The men’s ‘down run’ record was set by Leonid Shvetsov in 2007 in a time of 5:20.49. ● The women’s ‘down run’ record was set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989 in a time of 5:54.07. ● The men’s ‘up run’ record also belongs to Leonid Shvetsov with a time of 5:24.48, run in 2008. ● The women’s ‘up run’ record belongs to Elena Nurgalieva with a time of 6:09.23, run in 2006. * Sourced from www.runner.co.za and www.ahguesthouse.co.za
At the start Wall of Honour
DO IT NOW | inACTION:
Words by Landie Visser and Winia Janse van Rensburg Photos courtesy of Tuks Girls DO IT NOW
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How it all Started 2006 was the year we met. Winia was working at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), whilst I was enjoying my student days and completing a degree in B Com Accounting Sciences. We literally ran into each other at a Business Relay where Winia was representing PWC and I was running in the colours of TUKS. And so the endless takkie times started!
We were reunited in 2008
when Winia decided to teach the students a few lessons and signed up for a job in the Tax Department at the University of Pretoria. Unable to say goodbye to my festive student days, I was appointed as an Academic Clerk in the same department … and what a wonderfully convenient coincidence that turned out to be! Both passionate about running, we
grabbed the opportunity whenever and wherever to sneak in a run or two or three!
Since then, our roles have changed. I am now slaving away at PWC and Winia is still firmly ensconced at the University. But as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. What remained constant was our love, passion and commitment to the sport of running, or rather a more accurate description would be to call it: a way of living.
Becoming Training Buddies The secret to finding the right training buddy is to find someone who has similar ideas of what life is about, the same priorities and most importantly, commitment towards a common goal. As a ‘blondie’ this is not always easily found and so it required another blondie to fit the profile!
Landie and I found in each other a loyal and hard-working friend. We are both deeply devoted to our sport and have also been described as hard headed (our partners can vouch for that!). I firmly believe that this combination and the strength we draw from each other to overcome any obstacles, no matter how tough, is our winning formula and what will see our partnership continue to grow from strength-to-strength. Finding a balance between the focus and dedication required to enter a demanding multi-day stage race event becomes interesting when combined with a lifestyle in the corporate world. A world where success is defined in different terms and your colleagues can’t comprehend that you don’t have the desire to manage the art of walking in stiletto’s, but would rather save your energy for a midnight run when you eventually manage to get away from the audit files! A few years ago, and without knowing it, we both chose to follow the route of becoming Chartered Accountants. A profession where stubbornness and grinding without end comes in handy to get you through the gruelling milestones set along the way. I have since qualified and Landie is in her final year of Articles. We
are both currently enrolled at the University of
Pretoria and in the final stages of completing our Masters in Taxation.
DO IT NOW and Tuks Winia encountered her first real experience of trail running in 2008, when she teamed up with her cousin, Jac Steenekamp, and entered as the Tuks Cousins in the 2008 Cape Odyssey (a five-day stage trail run over 200 km). After this challenging event, her focus turned to triathlons where she represented the South African team in the 2009 World Championships held in Australia. I am part of the Adventure Racing Team Gijima and have obtained several podiums in events such as the Swazi Extreme and Kinetic Urban Adventure races. So although we both come from road-running backgrounds, I took the first brave step into the world of adventure racing and it didn’t take long for the trail running ‘gogga’ to bite! I then persuaded Winia to team up with me and compete in a trail run. Our target: The 2010 ProNutro AfricanX.
Tuks Running Club and with DO IT NOW as our sponsor, Team TuksGirls Do It Now was formed and we were ready to take on the three-day stage trail run in Kleinmond.
Proudly running in the colours of the
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Team Tactics Running (track, cross country and marathons) is traditionally a sport associated with individuals challenging one another. So when running with Landie as a team, the saying that you are ‘only as strong as your weakest link’ suddenly became a
reality. The race is no longer just about me and my goals; it’s about us and our overall goals. This was true for the race itself, but especially during the preparation.
The role of taking the lead in a training run, of encouraging, making sacrifices and adjusting the training schedule, plans and deadlines to accommodate each other were constant challenges. Different strong and weak points are revealed. The secret is to firstly realise and admit your own strong and weak points, and be constantly on the lookout for them (being hard headed by nature, it’s not always spoken aloud) in myself and in Landie. This, together with getting to know each other’s unique personalities and being able to react accordingly, are the ingredients to a building a successful team at the end of the day.
Preparing for the AfricanX Winia and I mainly trained at Groenkloof and Faerie Glen Nature Reserves, close to Pretoria, where many an hour was spent ‘tekkie klapping’. When one competes in a team event, it is absolutely key to train together. I enjoyed teaching Winia how to hop and scramble over rocks at a pace she would normally not dream of doing! Next, we had to get used to carrying our water supplies with us – not the typical thing we ‘roadies’ are used to. We also had to train ourselves to take supplements such as ProNutro Bars or energy Goo to up the sugar levels.
Obtaining the right takkies, the perfect socks and most comfortable running clothes for all weather conditions also formed another vital part of our preparation process. Our back-to-back two to three hour runs had to be done over weekends as work interfered quite a bit with our training schedule during the weekdays … On those morning runs, we were sometimes joined by zebra or met with inquisitive stares from the giraffe (we always wondered what they were thinking!). What a simply amazing experience and
how privileged we were. 4
ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun 2010 Race Report This year’s ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun was the biggest event to date with more than 270 teams taking part in the three-day stage race, held from 7 to 9 May in the vicinity of Kleinmond. This team challenge with a difference considers every day as a separate event, with podium celebrations for each stage and category winner. The ultimate winner is determined by the cumulative fastest time of the different categories, over the three stages. We entered the Open Ladies category and were competing under the name ‘Tuks Girls DO IT NOW’. As this was the first event we had teamed up for, our nerves were highly strung in anticipation of what lay ahead.
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1. African X Finish; 2. Prize giving in Cape Town; 3.TV Interview on the beach; 4. Girls with Bruce Fordyce
Day 1 Starting out from Betty’s Bay, we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves until we were misled by the markers indicating which route to follow. We took a right turn instead of taking the ‘just-follow-the-road’ option. After some scary bundu-bashing we finished in fourth position after Day 1, a distance of almost 26 km. This was not a bad result considering our detour; one that was not conducive to us fair maidens who like to run in pink (after this stage there were rumours flying around the race village about the ‘wondering proteas’ … the girls in pink who braved the Fort Jackson fynbos). The first stage was won by Team Salomon Ladies.
We were determined to stick to the route and managed a fantastic comeback, to the great surprise of the leading teams. The second stage was by far the longest day of the race over a distance of 42.2 km. It was a bit less technical and more suited to our style of running. Taking advantage of the initial warm-up section through Kleinmond, we settled into a good rhythm and enjoyed a game of ‘follow the leaders’. It was on a beautiful single track that hugged the tranquil flowing Palmiet River when we decided to test the position of the leading ladies, a position we liked so much that we decided to stay. The climb of the day followed and what a climb it was. It was hot, tough and long. Reaching the top, however, was awesome. The rest of the stage took us past apple and wine farms, as well as phenomenal valley and coastline views. We finally headed into Kleinmond, via one of the biggest Protea cultivating farms in the country, and as we approached the town we both got goosebumps from the tremendous support and cheering from the crowds. Team ‘Tuks Girls DO IT NOW’ proudly took first place, winning the stage with a convincing five-minute lead. We were tired … but incredibly happy! And so looking forward to Day 3! Unfortunately, the final and deciding day of the race was cancelled due to stormy weather conditions and concern over the participant’s safety! So with only two days of the three-day event completed and taken into consideration, the well-established Team Salomon Ladies, Tatum Prins and Linda Doke, claimed first place overall in the Women’s Open category of the ProNutro AfricanX. We finished second and Lisa Bauman and Mayra Sheard in third for the Nature Conservation Corporation. We are incredibly thankful and proud of our second-place achievement. Us ‘pinkies’ will definitely be back next year to do it again and give the Team Salomon Ladies a real run for their money! Many thanks to our wonderful sponsor DO IT NOW, the competitors and race organisers Stillwater Sport, and to our loved ones for their incredible support. It was a race never to be forgotten!
Stage results for Day 1 and 2: Day 1: 1st
Salomon Ladies - 02:26:39
Natconcorp Women - 02:32:50
Iron Maidens - 02:33:09
Tuks Girls DO IT NOW - 02:39:08
Day 2: 1st
Tuks Girls DO IT NOW - 04:08:59
Salomon Ladies - 04:14:00
Natconcorp Women - 04:23:09
The Hammer Nutrition Whippets - 04:32:13
Watch this Space What an amazing experience this race turned out to be, and in so many more ways than expected. We both learnt a great deal about life, ourselves and the ability to do more than we ever dreamt of! The feeling we experienced after Day 2, compared to the relative disappointment of Day 1, is a prime example of what is possible when you put your mind to it. Our motto throughout, and which we often repeated to each other, was taken from the wonderful and inspiring words of a poem in the movie ‘Invictus’: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
Q & A for the Girls Q1: Which off-road takkies do you run with? Landie: Asics Tribuco. Winia: Ditto (same model and size). Q2: How many hours a week do you train normally? L&W: Approximately seven hours. Q3: How many hours a week do you train before a big event? L&W: Approximately nine hours. Q4: What is your favourite long distance race? Landie: Mont Aux Source Challenge and the AfricanX. Winia: AfricanX, Cape Odyssey and the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. Q5: What food do you prefer before a race? Landie: ProNutro. Winia: ProNutro and coffee! Q6: Athletes usually have weird cravings during and after endurance events. What do you crave? Landie: During - anything sweet. After - slap chips and a coke. Winia: During - water. After- anything that looks like energy! Q7: Is there anything that you dislike about running? Landie: The fact that you get tired. Winia: Not even a single little something! Q8: Who is your sport’s idol and why? Landie: Bruce Fordyce. His amazing running achievements, humour and sporting campaigns are very inspiring! Winia: Vivienne Williams, the multi-day stage running and triathlon champ. Viv inspired me so much during my first multi-stage day race, the Cape Odyssey in 2008. Her warm smile, advice and words of encouragement before and after each hard day helped me to believe in my legs when I no longer wanted to! She is just awesome, awesome, awesome! Q9: You are known amongst your competitors as ‘The Pinkies’. Were the pink outfits meant to conceal your off-road talent or do you really like pink? Landie: A bit of both! Ladies in pink would not normally be considered off-road experts. Winia: Pink is a girl’s best friend
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by Kobus Alberts DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by Joakim Jonsson, companion and friend on many a mountain in Namibia
Start of the Ultra Marathon, south of Brandberg, Namibia. Photographer unknown
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Kobus Alberts and Joakim Johnson: One Hour before the race at camp, south of Brandberg. Photo by Amy Hughes
Arriving the day before the race, we all spent the day acclimatising and attending the in-depth briefings regarding medical issues and route descriptions. The race was scheduled to start at 09:00 the following day from Brandberg Mountain, the country’s highest and most spectacular rugged peak, and would follow a two-track road across the vast expanse of the scorching Namib Desert, past the Messum Crater to its conclusion at Mile 72. Waking up at 05:00 on race-day morning, the tension and expectations could be felt in the air. It was a live, vibrant feeling and everyone could feel it. The eyes of the people around me were bright with fervour and a nervous energy rippled through the camp. As the gun went off, heralding the start of the race, realisation set in. This is it, there’s no turning back. Do it now or forever regret it. My backpack contained all the necessary items to support me through the 126 km race and included food, cashew nuts, energy gels, two litres of water, perpetuam, medical kit, sleeping bag, warm clothing, GPS and various other survival tools. It weighed in at around 10 kg and would be with me every step of the way to the finishing line. The first 20 km of the race took place in the veld, with no track of any sort to follow and one had to run around or over obstacles such as rocks and aardvark holes. Checkpoints were spaced 10 km apart up to Checkpoint 6 and from there, the distance stretched to 12 and 24 km apart. Running with me were Hentie Hough and Karen Nel, from Namibia and South Africa respectively. After making sure we did not start off too fast, we kept up a decent pace and were making steady headway. Conditions were good; the temperature mild with a slight easterly wind blowing. After
the first kilometre, my nerves started to settle and I found my rhythm. As the kilometres accomplished began to increase, so too did the heat. At Checkpoint 2, and 10 km into the race, we were weighed as part of the continuous medical assessments. Participants are only allowed to lose two percent of their body weight during the whole race and if you lost more than that, the medical team could pull you from the race. The scale showed that I had already shed two kilogrammes. I ended up losing about three kilogrammes, which was slightly more than the two percent limit. Luckily, the medics judged me to be in good condition and I was allowed to carry on with the race. At each checkpoint, competitors had to fill up their water bottles in preparation of the next section of the race. As I approached each checkpoint, I had a ritual where I would undo my back pack, remove my pipe and tobacco pouch and fill my pipe. I would then take out something to eat and refill my water bottles. During this process I would light my pipe and have a few leisurely puffs. Usually, the rest/preparation period at the checkpoints did not take longer than 10 minutes, and during these stops I would never sit down as this could have led to my muscles cramping. At the last couple of checkpoints it was really tough not to sit down, but in the end the discipline paid off. When I reached Checkpoint 4 at the 42 km mark, I was really happy as this was my first-ever marathon. After that, the race really started for me. I entered the Messum Crater, an amazing sight to behold. In total silence and awe, the three of us walked through this eerie yet amazing landscape and as the sun disappeared from sight a huge full moon took its place and became my companion for the night.
The Messum Crater is a magnificent 20-kilometre-wide groove on the landscape created by a meteorite impact 115-millionyears ago.
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Checkpoint 6 was located on the rim of the crater and from there we headed for the coastal plains. An ice cold south west wind was blowing and soon I was shaking from the cold as much as from exhaustion. I put on a long sleeved shirt and water proof jacket, but still the cold penetrated deeply. At this stage of the race I started to get severe cramps and had to devise a strategy that would enable me to keep my average speed up. This I did by walking 100 metres and then jogging 300 metres. Completely focused, it came as a surprise when Checkpoint 7 arrived suddenly. I had seen the checkpoint’s strobe for some time, but knowing how deceiving distances can be at night. I had not realised how close I was. After a quick stop, Karen and Hentie pushed on without me as they are much stronger runners. After completing my 10-minute ritual I was off again, this time alone. I did not use my head torch as the full moon lit the way ahead. All was going well as could be expected at this late stage in the race, until I was about halfway to Checkpoint 8 and started urinating blood. This was a relatively bad sign, but I countered it by drinking lots of water and it got better towards the end of the race. At Checkpoint 8 another surprise awaited me. My wife had come out to see me cross the finish line, but decided instead to meet me at Checkpoint 8. This little surprise boosted my morale hugely. Checkpoint 9, or 102 km into the race, was a tough one for me. I arrived at 02:55 and left at 03:00. My legs were now really stiff and sore, and I could feel some blisters developing. This last stretch was 24 km long and the longest stretch of the race, following the coastal road past Cape Cross towards Mile 72. Thankfully, the wind had died down so I decided to smoke my pipe while walking. Several times I talked out loud to my legs, telling them to start jogging, even slowly, but to no avail. They were not responding at all, so I had to slog it out. By now my speed had fallen to around 4,7 km an hour. At long last I saw the turn off to Mile 72 where Steve Clarke, from Across the Divide and race director, was waiting for me. He walked with me to the finish line and I triumphantly crossed it at 07:00 on a beautiful Friday morning.
What a race and what a feeling to have done it. I felt absolutely alive, even though very tired. The one thing that kept me going during the dark hours was the saying: “Run if you can, walk if you can’t and crawl if you must.” I told myself I would finish and I did. This once again reinforced my belief that the longest distance in the world lies between one’s ears! Thanks to everyone who made this race possible, and especially my family for their loving and unrelenting support.
Photos from top: 1. Kobus Alberts, Dr. Amy Hughes & Joakim Johnson, before the Start. 2. Ultra Marathon athlete, just after sunset close to the Messum Crater. 3. Ultra athletes that were witidrawn, Checkpoint 6, Messum Crater.
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by Owen Middleton DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION: Words Photos by Patrick Black (PB), Cecile Mella (CM) & Pierre van der Spuy (PVDS)
Take off! Race 2 of the Gauteng Winter Trail Series is packed to the max and the front runners start at a pace ... with some paying for it later in the race! (PB)
Trail running and the Trail Series
Trail running in South Africa was the sport of a small group of ardent, passionate runners for many years. Runners curious to this rebel sport, however, really only had the choice of long, longer or super-long races to choose from. This created the impression that trail running was an ‘extreme sport’ for a special breed of human cross mountain goat only, and finishing a race was an act of survival. That was until the Trail Series came along in 2008 – the original short-course trail running events in South Africa.
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Eugene van Dyk runs the Hennops River bridge near the end of his route in the long course, in the Gauteng Winter Trail Series. (PB)
Nigel Smith and Marcel Joubert enjoy the special routes and single track in Silvermine Nature Reserve, in the Cape Summer Trail Series. (CM)
Maki Mokhitli and Martin Buttner, running the short course, take on the infamous Hennops River bridge early on in their course. The bridge is a favourite feature of this run, although rickety and wobbly! (PB)
Many of the trails in the Cape Series have absolutely spectacular views. Here a solo runner enjoys the views from the top of Silvermine Nature Reserve. (CM)
The Trail Series, owned and run by Wildrunner Events and partnered by Capestorm and Salomon, consists of 20 races in both Cape Town and Gauteng, with a KZN Trail Series launching in 2011. Each race day offers both a long 10-16 km and short 5-8 km well-marked course that traverses a variety of different terrains, representing the perfect platform from which to experience this incredible sport and have loads of FUN. Being overwhelmed by the joy of trail running is a common phenomenon with new runners at the Trail Series! Kids as young as six years old as well as runners in their seventies have all enjoyed the Trail Series events. It’s a great day out for the whole family, and the wonderful spirit of the sport and incredible beauty of the routes are what make these events so special.
To find out more about what’s happening in the Trail Series stable and for the race calendar, check out the dedicated Trail Series website (www.trailseries.co.za).
Getting into trail running
The common thread with trail running is that it’s about the journey and not the destination. Venues range from scenic wine farms to mountain ridges and remote wilderness locations, and cater for all tastes and abilities. There is a serious competitive side to trail running, of which we have only just started to see what is possible, but for the majority of runners it’s all about getting off the road, away from traffic and enjoying the surroundings. When taking part in a trail race, there are a few major differences that you need to bear in mind:
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The Wildrunner Trail Grading (WTG) system on Wildrunner’s website (www.wildrunner.co.za) will also give you a good idea of what you are getting yourself into. 1. Terrain and total ascent/descent have a huge impact on the time it takes to complete a trail race. Unlike road running, constant pace is more often than not impossible. Throw in a few sharp climbs and rough terrain and you can add hours to your time. Experience and checking previous winning times will give you a good idea of how long you can expect your race to take. 2. Trail running races, due to the very nature of the venues you run in, require you to be self-sufficient. Water tables are a bonus and not to be expected. This means that you may often be carrying at least a litre of water with you and, depending on the event, other safety items such as a wind breaker, cellphone and first aid kit. 3. Hiking is as much to trail running as waves are to surfing. Hiking can be as fast as running with half the effort on steep terrain, so you can expect to walk from time to time, once again adding to your time taken.
What kit do I need to start trail running?
One of the most common questions asked by road runners wanting to get into trail running is, do I really need trail shoes? If you are just checking out the trail running scene at the Trail Series, then don’t go and splash out on expensive trail shoes. But if you have been bitten by the trail running bug, then most definitely yes as they can be the difference between staying on the trail, ending up on your backside – or worse.
On another perfect summer afternoon in the Cape, Suzanne Higgins gives us a smile as she takes on the grassy single track. (PVDS) Top Left With the addition of a short course per venue, the Trail Series has enjoyed bringing trail running to the younger generation, with more and more kids taking part in the Series and even becoming pretty competitive! Here, Sarah Hyland and Kathryn Wahl take on the short course in the Gauteng Winter Trail Series. (PB) Top Right Heidi Wagner and Kenneth Joubert get into the spirit of things as they take on the long course in the Gauteng Winter Trail Series. More clear blue skys and warm winter sun make the course just that much more pleasant. (PB) Right Bottom The open bushveld and mild winters of Gauteng makes for ideal trail running conditions and beautiful views. Runners at the start of the trail snake their way (walking!) up the hill. Races start at a reasonable 9am in the Winter Series. (PB)
What about safety and security?
Trail running is as safe as you make it, and is in my opinion safer than road running. The closer you are to the city, the higher the risk and more cautious you need to be. Running on your own is never a good idea, both for safety from crime and in the event of an injury. You may be a long way from help when you roll over that ankle and it’s good to know that someone is there to get help on your behalf. If you do run on your own, always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Take an old cellphone with a pre-paid card in it for use in the event of an emergency. Carry what you need for when you can’t run anymore. A 50 g space blanket can make the difference between life and death. Events are one of the safest ways to trail run and also explore parts of South Africa you may never see otherwise!
Aggressive lugging, integrated rock protector plates and lateral stability are some of the specialist aspects of trail shoes that really do make a difference. Like off-road tyres, there is a huge range of trail shoes to suit a variety of applications – from shorter sprint shoes to the more solid endurance shoes. There are also a host of brands to choose from, but my advice is to ask other trail runners what they use and then find the one that best fits your needs. But remember that putting lugging on a road shoe does not make it a trail shoe! So look at brands, such as Salomon, that specialise in off-road shoes.
Other kit you might need, depending on the race, includes: • • • •
Running backpack or carrying system. Water ‘bladder’ or hydration system. Lightweight windbreaker or waterproof. Trail first aid kit.
You can get your hands on all kinds of trail running equipment from outdoor specialists such as Capestorm.
And finally ...
Trail running, and especially the Trail Series, is everything running should be – adventurous, fun, exhilarating and dynamic! At the Trail Series we call it ‘rejuvenating running’ – the feel good factor of dodging bushes, jumping over rocks and tearing down fast forest single track. Trail running is not about huge crowds, massive stadiums and long race numbers. It’s about small groups of likeminded people looking to add a little spark to their running and possibly take on any one of the iconic trail running events around the country such as single-day events like the 4 Peaks or multi-day events the likes of the Wildcoast Wildrun (www.wildrun.co.za). •
To get the latest news on what’s happening on the trail running scene and sign up for the Trail Series, visit Wildrunner’s Facebook pages, Wildrunner Group or Wildrunnerza Twitter.
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DO IT NOW | inSHAPE:
Words by Dr Christa North
Flu season is here and now is the time to make sure your immune system is fighting fit! Did you know that the average adult has two to three upper respiratory infections each year? We are exposed to viruses all day long, but some people seem to be more susceptible to catching colds or getting flu – namely you; the (recreational) athlete - than others. Whereas regular and moderate exercise boosts immunity, prolonged and intensive exertion causes numerous changes to our immunity status. There is usually an immuno-compromised state within 3 to 72 hours after intense exercise and it is during this ‘open-window period’ that you are most vulnerable to picking up minor illnesses or infections. The most common is Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI). An impaired immune system weakens the body’s ability to fend off infection and can also produce symptoms such as fever, weight loss, musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. In fact, many of the symptoms of flu, such as achy muscles and joints, fever and headaches, are caused by the immune system’s response to the infection.
Some of the factors affecting our resistance to illnesses during training and competition include: Cumulative stress of intensive training. The fitness level of the athlete. Nutritional status, and insufficient carbohydrate ingestion. Nutritional intake during training. Recovery practices (rest/nutrition). Exercise intensity and duration. Continuous, prolonged (>90 minutes) exercise; and Moderate-to-high (55 -75% V02 peak exercise intensity). It is important to get sufficient intakes of energy, protein, carbohydrates and fats to match your training load because each macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates and fats) plays a vital role in maintaining an effective immune system. Deficiencies of the following vitamins and minerals have been shown to impair immune function and decrease the body’s resistance to infection: Fat-soluble vitamins A (cod liver oil and other fish liver oils, liver, egg yolk, full cream dairy, yellow and dark green vegetables) and E (avocado, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, whole-wheat foods, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables). Vitamins B6 (dark green vegetables, bananas, wholegrain cereals, oats, fish, poultry, pork and peas), B12 (organ meats, red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products) and folic acid (brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, celery, lentils, asparagus, yeast, oranges, green beans, wholegrain cereals, fish, eggs and organ meats). Vitamin C (citrus fruits, peppers (yellow, green and red), chillies, guavas, tomatoes, lettuce, kiwi fruit and papaya). Iron (red meat, molasses, spinach, liver, egg yolk, oysters, raisins and prunes). Zinc (oysters and other shellfish, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pulses, nuts, dairy products and wholegrain cereals). Magnesium (green vegetables, lean red meat, wholegrain cereals, nuts and pulses). Manganese (spinach, beet greens, blueberries, wholegrain cereals, nuts, tea, pulses and organ meats), selenium (brazil nuts, other nuts, seeds, wholegrain cereals, onions and lean
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meats) and copper (mushrooms, liver, kidneys, shellfish, cherries, nuts and wholegrain cereals). However, an excess intake of iron, zinc and vitamin E can also impair immune function.
Other factors to consider Quercetin is a powerful anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study of cyclists showed that 1,000 mg of quercetin per day for three weeks prior to three days of exhaustive training, resulted in significantly lower URTI incidences. Probiotics are live micro-organisms that help to protect the gut. Regular consumption of probiotics has shown to improve gut immunity and speed up recovery from rotavirus diarrhea, as well as URTI incidences in athletes.
Other methods to optimise your immune function: Avoid getting a dry mouth during competitions and when resting. For the travelling athlete, make sure you have bottled or properly treated water with you. Ensure good hygiene at all times, such as washing your hands, and do not share drink bottles, cutlery or towels. Make sure you get adequate sleep. Keep other life/social stresses to a minimum. Avoid rapid weight loss. Ensure you have adequate recovery periods between exercise sessions.
The bottom line Ensure adequate carbohydrate intake (30 to 60 g/hr) during prolonged (>90 minutes) or high-intensity exercise sessions. Take a broad-range multivitamin/mineral supplement to support restricted intake from food, or for the travelling athlete and when the availability or variety of fresh fruit and vegetables is limited. Vitamin C and probiotic supplementation during periods of intense training, as well as prior to ultra-endurance events may have some benefit. Iron supplements should not be taken during periods of infection. My advice is to consult a dietician to make sure that what you take is tailored to meet your individual and specific needs! ●
Words by Garth Oliver
DO IT NOW | inSHAPE: Photos by Kate Howells
- Your glutes (buttock muscles) are the powerhouse and centre of your frame, anchoring your torso, pelvis and legs. Much like the critical function of the back, your butt is equally a keystone to the overall integrity of our structure. It acts as a stabiliser for our bottom and top half, aiding balance and contributing to control during motion. It also acts as a thruster, integral to the ability to run and produce bursts of speed. In the cycling action it is responsible for the downward stroke, the same motion as when you kick-start a motorbike. These muscles are working hardest when you are out your saddle, for example, climbing a hill or sprinting for the finish line.
glutes and quads engage to propel you forward. This muscle engagement increases when you are out of your saddle. So it makes sense to train and strengthen these muscles to not only aid in stabilising your lower back and pelvis but also provide that extra power and make the pedal stroke more energy efficient. By taking some of the load off your quads, you are able to ride harder for longer. How do we train these muscles? It’s important to try and incorporate all the muscle groups that are used for cycling in your training. Compound exercises that involve all the relevant muscles groups, quads, buttocks, hamstrings and calves are ideal.
Keeping the glutes in good shape is not only important to avoid injury but will also enable you to ride faster and more efficiently, which means riding harder for longer. During the pedal stroke, different muscles are firing at different stages in the stroke as the foot does a full revolution. It is when your foot is at the top of the stroke (12 o’clock to 6 o’clock) that the
These exercises combined with supplementary core training will definitely help to make you more energy efficient and FASTER!
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Single leg squats
Deep squat, make sure your heels are on the ground and drive through your heels to activate your glutes.
Make sure you keep your heels on the ground and then go as deep as u can, drive through your heels.
Pendulums Pendulums. Maintain an upright posture. Lean forward, keeping your hips and lower back in line. A great workout for the glutes and hamstrings!
Box jump Explosive jump driving from the hips - posture on the finish and soft knees are important!
DO IT NOW | inSHAPE:
Words by Samuel Sithole Photos & Illustrations by Hayley Cameron
Here are some great exercises to do in the comfort of your own home. These simple Body Bar training exercises work the core, arms and legs and are excellent for burning fat while building strength and stamina.
1: Upright row with knee lift Position Stand with your feet slightly apart, abdominals in and up, chest open, shoulders back and down and your back straight. Hold the Body Bar in an overhand grip with your arms hanging straight down in front of your body. Movement Bend your elbows outwards and pull the bar up to your chest. Keep your elbows above the bar and lift it no higher than shoulder level. Avoid shrugging your shoulders towards your ears. As you pull the bar up, lift your one knee at the same time to a 90 degree angle. Then as you move the bar down again, also lower your foot to the floor. Repeat this motion now by lifting the other knee as you pull up the bar (upright row). Sets: 3 Reps: 5
2: Overhead press with knee lift Position Similar to the first exercise, stand with your feet slightly apart, abdominals in and up, chest open shoulders back and down and your back straight. This time hold the bar at shoulder height, as shown in the picture, ready to push it upwards. Movement Press the bar upwards until your arms are straight above your head. While pushing the bar up, lift your one knee at the same time to a 90 degree angle. Then as you bring the bar down again to shoulder height, also lower your foot down to the floor. Repeat this now lifting the other knee as you push up the bar (overhead press). Sets: 3 Reps: 15
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3: Side squats with bicep curls Position Place your feet together. Hold the bar in an under grip to allow you to do bicep curls with the bar. Movement Squat down to the left. Make sure you donâ€™t move your knees over your feet as this might lead to an injury. While you are in the squatting position with your knees bent, do a bicep curl by bringing the bar up to your chest and keeping your elbows against your body. Then take the bar back down and getting up and out of the squatting position. Sets: 3 Reps: 15 to the left side and 15 to the right side
4: Lunge forward with tricep extension Position Stand with your feet together. Place the bar behind your head, holding it in an under grip with your elbows bent, Movement Lunge forward by taking a step forward on one foot and bend down, while bending both your knees to a 90 degree angle. When you are in this lunge position, extend your arms until they are straight, lifting lift the bar above your head. Bring the bar down to the back of your head and stand up into the starting position. Sets: 3 Reps: 15
5: Oblique twists Position Stand with your feet together. Place the bar behind your head at the back of your neck with your arms supporting the bar. Movement While keeping your lower body motionless, twist your upper body (head, shoulders and waist) to the left as far as possible while still keeping your balance, and then twist to the right. Make sure that only your upper body is moving and keep your tummy pulled in throughout the exercise. Sets: 3 Reps: 30
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// [in THE HOLE] 20 Questions with Dave Usendorff, SuperGolf Presenter and Professional Golfer • Awkward Lies • The 40 Year-Old Rookie - World Cup Fever // [inNATURE] 42 Days of South Africa’s Highlights Part I • A TIGERrific Experience • Representations // [inCREDIBLE PLACES] Borneo, the Island in the Clouds: Part 1 of 3 - Mesmerising Mount Kinabalu // [inDULGE] Take a Whisky Tour • Pork Fillet Potjie Camping Recipe // [inSURE] The Importance of Long-term Savings // [inTERTAINMENT] CD, Movie and Gaming Reviews // [inSPIRATION] Magnetic South launches Sustainable Community Development Project // [inFOCUS] Into Ngorongoro: A photographic journey with Kingsley Holgate and the UNITED AGAINST MALARIA Expedition • Reader Photo Competition.
Photo by Paul Salvado Description: Antartica
by Michael Scholz DO IT NOW | in THE HOLE: Words Photos Courtesy of Michael Scholz
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1) You are a professional golfer. Other than the Monthly Mug – Individual Stableford title at the Port Elizabeth Golf Club in March 1996, what other silverware furnishes your world famous trophy cabinet?
I won a few amateur events such as the EP/Border Stroke Play Championships, where I beat Nick Henning/Craig Kamps. to name a few. I’ve also won a couple of pro ams, but the most memorable for me was winning the SA University Championships in 1989 and 1990, which got me an invite to play at St. Andrews in the Boyd Quache Championships and finished second. These days, winning club knockout matches with my partner and great mate Bryan Engels is the most satisfying!
2) You have played with some of the greatest players in the world. Name a few and have you beaten any of them?
Many people forget what a world-class player Dale Hayes was in his heyday and playing with him has always been the most fun. I’ve played with Rory Sabatini (not that memorable), Tim Clarke, Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman. The most impressive of all was ‘The Big Easy’ with whom I’ve been able to play a couple of times. Way back he beat me like a drum in the SA Amateur held in Pietermaritzburg. Any time I get to play with my wife and two boys is still the best – they ARE the greatest players in the world to me!
3) What was your greatest golfing highlight?
Arriving at St Andrew’s for the first time. It was a beautiful summer’s day in Scotland (very rare) and I walked down this narrow cobble road and turned the corner to see the 18th green, 1st tee and the wide fairways – it brought tears to my eyes and is an experience I’ll never forget.
4) It is rumoured that you had a tough choice to make as a kid between golf or synchronised swimming? Tell us about this tough decision.
It really took a lot of encouragement from my Dad to get me to go down to the golf club to play with all the juniors at the club. My synchronised swimming career was beginning to blossom, but my nose clip keep slipping off and they had to have too many time outs. Besides, I never really looked too good in a floral speedo!
8) Johnny Miller struck fame as a studio commentator for the PGA Tour after a lackluster career as a professional golfer, winning only two Majors and 25 PGA Tour titles. Should he be watching his back and what are your ambitions going forward?
9) The Senior Tour is just around the corner for you. Are you going to give it a crack and is Dale Hayes going to caddie for you?
There is no doubt that I’d beat Dale (he’s getting old you know). He would, however, get his own back in the knife and fork revenge!
6) What is the greatest comment you have ever heard throughout your years of golfing commentary and by whom?
David Feherty has been responsible for many of the greats and I’ve really enjoyed reading his books. Humour is all about timing and one of the best chirps I heard, it’s a bit of an old one, and with perfect timing is:
Dale Hayes to Dennis Huthchinson, “Hutch at the height of your career, what was your world ranking?”
Hutch in response, “Dale that was such a long time ago, they didn’t have world rankings!”
Dale, “Hutchie, that’s so long ago, History wasn’t even a subject.” (You had to be there?)
7) During the Nedbank Golf Challenge, you emulate David Feherty with a radio backpack and lightning-speed agility between the groupings. How do you train for this test of ultimate fitness?
Fortunately, I’m a well-conditioned athlete! About six weeks before the event I do a bit of light cardio every day – walking at various paces around the buffet spread at the Eboste halfway house.
Just around the corner is all relative!! I’m only 46 you know! Can you imagine Hayes on the bag? I don’t think we’d get enough time to play the shots considering all the potential bull#@% that would be spoken! Besides, they don’t have halfway houses on the Senior Tour!
10) During the final years of your lucrative amateur career, you did some crazy things including a few dares, which you were known to never back down from. What was the craziest thing you’ve done and were there any pets involved?
5) Dale Hayes and yourself anchor the popular weekly golf show, SuperGolf. Who would win at downing a depth charge (pint of beer with a peppermint liqueur)?
The few opportunities that I get to do on course commentary are just great. I really have fun chatting to the players, do the odd interview and get inside the ropes to witness some amazing shots. I was offered the chance to do an event in the good ol’ U S of A, but it never materialised. Winning a few toasters and the club knockout with Bryan hasn’t really given me the credibility needed to join Johnny Miller and Sir Nick in the commentary box. Long may it last though!
After winning the 1989 SA University Champs at Wingate Country Club, I decided that the only way to celebrate would be to do a bomb into the dam, which adjoins the 18th green. I took off all my kit (after several beers), charged across the green and launched myself off the side of the retention wall. My body position was perfect and I hit the water like a bag of cement being thrown off a truck. Unfortunately the splash didn’t even rise above the dam wall due to the fact that the water was only two inches deep! I broke all the toes on my right foot, twisted a few things and spent the next six months in plaster and on crutches. I missed playing in the 1990 SA Amateur at my home club, PE Golf Club. I’ve done many other stupid things but that one really redefined my golfing career. Instead of becoming a thin tour player, I was doomed to the life of a fat Club Pro (much more fun!). By the way, the three swans enjoying a leisurely paddle recovered well after counselling!
11)You run a very successful golf club management business that provides a service to a number of top South African golf clubs, as well as spearheads the current national golf booking system, GolfTime SA. Do you still get time to play and who are the regulars you play with?
I really love playing golf and it’s important for me to play at least four times a month. Many of those rounds are played with my lovely wife, Elri, and whenever possible my sons, Michael and Adam. I also love playing with my mates preferably at Silver Lakes, Ebotse or The Eye of Africa. Pro ams are still a fun way of entertaining the members of the clubs that I’m involved with, but golf is very much a part of my life. 12) Have you ever totally buggered up on national television? Explain please.
Many, many, many times. Fortunately the blups are edited out of the final product; however, live TV is another story! I was on
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the green at the Supersport Shootout some time back, and very new to live commentating I committed the most basic of sins by leaving my mike on! Ray Moordt, the great Springbok wing was over a 15 footer and asked what I thought of the line, to which I replied, “Ray, this putt swings more than ... (a prominent golf estate in Johannesburg, which I can’t mention due to a potential rerun of threats). 13) You are one of the foremost golf day master of ceremonies and trick shot artist. Please let us in on the most ‘unheard of’ place you have ever done a gig. Where is that?
Definitely Marble Hall and what a place! The people were so hospitable and friendly, but they really do need to get out a bit more. We had a fun day, but it was a culture shock for me in that the course was overrun with bakkies, which followed various four balls around the course. When the group teed off, the driver of the bakkie would make his way to the next tee and set up a table and four chairs, pour four BIG Brandy and cokes and wait for the group to arrive. They’d sit down, write up the scorecard, have a drink, wind each other up and then move on to the next tee. Amazing to see! 14) How many holes in one have you had?
I’ve been lucky five times!
● Old 4th at PEGC - I was the Pro there and played with Derek Murdock, the GM at Leopard Creek, who gave me my first-ever bottle of Moët. ● 5th Selbourne - Waiting for my buddy John Rimbault, I went to play with one of the locals and a caddy. John and I celebrated properly. ● 7th Dainfern CC - Playing a big-money game with my very special mate Noodle Langton that shot created a massive swing! ● 8th Graaf Reniet - I used to teach up there and played just after the rain. It was dead quiet; we didn’t see it go in but heard the ball hit the flag and found it in the hole! ● The other one … I can’t remember? Age will do that to you! 15) What is the biggest bet you have ever lost on the golf course? How much?
I’m really not much of a gambler, but do remember playing with my old mate Dave Christie at Houghton, who was the Pro then. We played against Gary Treger, a legend of golf equipment distribution and the Cleveland Golf representative in South Africa at the time. He brought along one of the bandits from the Wednesday school and I got myself into a bet I didn’t understand. After a quick drink at the club I had to go home and do an EFT!
and was in full view of the next two four balls waiting to tee off behind us, as well as a host of locals sitting on the balcony in front of the clubhouse. I proceeded to hit the most perfect shank, which if you’ve ever had the pleasure of playing at St Francis Golf Club will know it was headed straight for the village shopping centre. Fortunately the ball didn’t hit anybody or anything of note and landed in the middle of the car park, bounced rather high before lodging itself into the thatch on top of the Spar’s roof. I only managed to regain my normal colour by the third hole. Adam, however, has never forgotten that story and is quick to remind me if I short pay him his pocket money! 17) Have you ever hit anyone with a stray golf shot? Elaborate.
Although I’ve often thought about it, thank goodness that to date I’ve yet to inflict any harm on another golfer. I was really lucky at St. Francis!
I’ve been hit a couple of times though, the worst was while caddying at Randpark Golf Club as a young boy. In those days the golfer would have his own shag bag full of balls and the caddy would then go out onto the range and retrieve all the balls his player had hit. You can imagine the range at Randpark on a Saturday mid morning, it was like Pearl Harbour! It was only a matter of time before I got one on the head and fortunately for me, it bounced first! I really milked that situation to the point where I got paid R10 for the 18 holes as opposed to my normal R7! 18) Who is the greatest golfer in the history of the game and why?
In my opinion, it’s got to be Gary Player. He’s done it all and continues to inspire people all over the world. He’s the most travelled golfer and although he hasn’t won the most majors, nine is good enough for me. He has been a wonderful ambassador for South Africa and for golf in totality. He was an integral part of the Big 3 along with Nicklaus and Palmer, and between them they popularised the game all over the world. He remains a great inspiration to me, who was quoted as saying that the most important word in the dictionary is LOVE! Besides, he is South African! 19) Who would make up your perfect four ball?
I’ve often thought about this question, having heard it asked so many times. I play with the perfect four ball very often – Elri, Michael and Adam. Five would be great because then I could get my Dad to join us. But as a one off, I’d love to play with Hendrik Stenson, David Ferhety and Gary Player. 20) If you could ask any golfing legend (alive or deceased) a question, who would you ask and what would the question be?
16) What was the worst golf shot you have ever hit in front of a crowd and were there injuries sustained?
John Daly – Please don’t tell me you got the inspiration for those outfits from Dan Nicol and Callum Scott!
No seriously, I’d like to ask Seve Ballesteros about his ability to retain his focus after some of the wild shots he hit. We would rarely see him down. He has always displayed passion for the game, but hardly ever let a wild shot get him down. He invariably followed it up with something spectacular. ●
Mike Powell from Srixon gave me a set of the latest irons that he was selling at the time. So I took them with me on holiday and was really excited about trying out a new set of clubs. I was playing with Elri, Michael and Adam at St Francis Golf Club and we started on the 10th hole, a par 3 of around 160 metres. I chose to hit an 8 iron
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DO IT NOW | in THE HOLE:
Words by Michael Scholz Photos courtesy of Michael Scholz
course, es with an awkward lie on the golf As golfers, we have all found ourselv lope or w your feet or you are on an ups whereby your ball is above or belo in your With a few simple adjustments downslope. Daunting? Not really! f into master these shots and turn yoursel setup and a bit of practice, you can a genius on the slopes! the slope to compensate to accommodate With all of these shots, the key is rather than fight against it.
Ball above your feet When the ball is lying on a slope, creating a situation where it is above your feet, you must firstly remember that the ball will always take the shape of the angle of the slope. Therefore, it will draw or hook more for this shot so make sure you aim accordingly. To compensate for the slope and the fact that the ball will be a little closer to your body at the address position, you need to hold the club a little shorter or ‘choke’ down on it. If the ball is an inch above your feet, then you need to hold the club one inch shorter. Swing the club normally and maintain good balance throughout the swing.
Ball below your feet When the ball is perched beneath you on a side slope, you need to compensate for this by bending your knees and hips to the same extent that the ball is below your feet i.e. if the ball is two inches below your feet, then you need to bend your knees so that you are two inches lower at address. Also make sure that you grip the club to its full length (at the top of the grip) to ensure that the club assists you in reaching the ball during the swing. The ball will fade or slice away from you as it leaves the club, so be sure to allow for this.
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Ball on an upslope When you are faced with a ball lying on an upslope, you must once again remember not to fight the slope, but rather to play with it. This said, you need to align yourself with your hips and shoulders parallel with the slope, being careful not to lean into it and take a normal swing. The ball will naturally take off higher (relative to the extent of the slope) so take some extra club to obtain your desired distance. Also aim for the draw or hook as it will be your instinctive tendency to fall back a little, thus making the ball move that way.
Ball on a downslope From a downhill lie, it is important to understand that the slope will deloft the loft angle of your clubface, thus the ball will come out lower. Take a club with more loft to ensure you get over any obstacles or trees in your way. It’s also important that you align your body ‘with’ the slope by ensuring that your hips and shoulders are parallel to the slope and that you are not leaning into the slope. This will assist you with making a normal golf swing. The ball will typically come out with a little fade or slice due to your instinctive tendency to lean a little back into the slope on your follow through, so make an allowance for this when setting up. Follow these simple instructions and you will never be caught
worrying about the slopes again. •
For more swing information and lessons or to arrange corporate clinics, contact Renier Pieters from GolfGuys Academy on 084 507 1681.
DO IT NOW | in THE HOLE:
Words by Michael Scholz Photos courtesy of Michael Scholz
World Cup Fever
By the time you read this, the 2010 FIFA World Cup will have come and gone and life will have returned to partial normality. Road construction works will resume, the traffic cops will sneak a quick fifty from your ID book, the clubfoot guy at the traffic light has resorted to looking dismal for his wage rather than selling World Cup flags and mirror socks and the din of vuvuzelas will be heard only when the Buccaneers take on the mighty Amakosi in the local derby. Our sacred tradition of playing golf will also return to its routine. You won’t be scorned by your playing partner for booking a tee time that interferes with the Spain vs. Honduras game, claiming that his great uncle’s cousin’s dad’s neighbour’s friend was Hondurian and hence his undying support for the Central American nation (I’ll bet some of you didn’t even know where Honduras was?).
from the Mother City will have World Cup flags flying from the windows of their 1972 Volkswagen Beetles. Jo’burg was ‘King’ in this department with most cars sporting some sort of national or international support! China made a killing out of the manufacture thereof!
With all the hype and excitement around the ‘world’s greatest event’, perhaps it’s time to calculate what benefit our nation obtained:
4) Bafana Bafana – Well done to our boys! As is a South African trademark, we were disappointed with their performance in the game against Uruguay. My 50 cents worth … We are ranked 83rd in the world and played like it in that particular game. For the other games, we played like world beaters, so I applaud our lads for a grand performance and the memories that will remain forever!
1) Gautrain – Nobody thought it would be operational! Not even the guys building it! A big thumb’s up to those clever engineers and the Bombela consortium for getting it done. So what that they haven’t entirely completed it yet and that it runs a little slower in sub-zero temperatures … so do you! World class!
5) The South African spirit - Not since Francois Pienaar hoisted the William Webb-Ellis trophy aloft in 1995 has South Africa been united in a sporting event such as this. Every South African honked a vuvuzela (or tried to), wore the regalia and celebrated the spirit of our greatest ever swan song!
2) Stadiums – Wow! Seeing those pristine, manicured pitches on TV with not an available seat in the house! Unbelievable! Now let’s keep them in this condition!
6) The 40 Year-Old Rookie almost had a top 10 … 11th at the Lombard Insurance Swaziland Open means that all the practice and perseverance is finally paying off. I just had to throw that in!
The only fixtures that will interfere with our ‘religion of golf’ will be rugby test matches, the odd important premiership game, a braai at Pete’s house and of course, whatever your better half tells you to do!
3) Flags at robots – The Capetonians were a little slow on the uptake, but I’m sure that by the end of the year my mates
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In amongst all of the madness, the 40 Year-Old Rookie also found an opportunity to find 10 ‘golfing’ uses for the most loved/hated noise maker on the planet …
1) A golf tee for teeing the ball up on the tee box.
The trend at the moment is to use long tees, so the vuvuzela is a guaranteed hit and will give you a little lift in your swing!
2) A grip guide to assist you with holding the golf club correctly.
You can now practice your golf grip whilst watching Bafana Bafana beat everyone.
3) Correct your alignment.
The vuvuzela can give you direction and assist you with your set up, thus ensuring that you are aiming at your intended target. Moving targets require some additional effort!
4) See only the hole!
Tiger Woods cups his hands around his eyes to focus on the hole. The vuvuzela is way more practical for blinding out distractions and keeping one focused on golf.
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5) Turn your standard putter into a long putter.
Avoid expensive modifications that require professional club fitment. Simply plug your existing putter into a vuvuzela and John Daly’s your dandelion!
6) Shoulder alignment is vital when swinging the golf club.
The vuvuzela is the perfect swing aid for lining up your shoulders and obtaining the correct position of the arms on the set up. This looks so awkward that it could be endorsed by David Leadbetter soon.
7) Lift your head and keep your chin up troughout the golf swing by resting your chin in the muzzle.
It’s comfortable and can also be modified to accommodate a ‘sickness’ bag for those missed three footers.
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8) The vuvuzela makes a fantastic ‘on-the-club’ hand-warmer for those chilly mornings when a thinned shot loosens the fillings in your premolars.
You can also use it to disguise abusive finger gestures from your opponents.
9) Keeping your head still during the golf swing will never be a problem again with the vuvuzela as a head-movement indicator.
Move it and risk mild concussion from this ‘traditional weapon’ of the 2010 World Cup.
10) When nature calls, you no longer have to scare off the lady members at your club and your vuvuzela keeps the cold wind away from the little fella.
Your wife will like this too as you won’t have to fight about lifting the toilet seat anymore due to your newfound, pinpoint accuracy!
To follow the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s progress and crazy antics, sign up as a fan on Facebook and search for ‘40 Year Old Rookie’. Till next time, keep rooking. •
DO IT NOW | inNATURE:
Words & Photos by Dawie du Plessis
Prior to embarking on a massive year-long adventure across the continent of Africa by 4x4 to reach my wife, Catt’s, native land, England, by April 2011, we decided to take a whirlwind 42-day tour of my home land, South Africa. Whilst living in the rainbow nation, we’ve had the opportunity and privilege of travelling to many of the more desirable tourist attractions offered to independent travellers. These include places like the quaint towns of Mpumalanga, thundering waterfalls and remote fly fishing spots, the world famous Kruger Nation Park, KwaZulu-Natal’s North and South Coast, the Wild Coast, Garden Route, Western Cape, Namaqualand and the West Coast. We have also ventured into the neighbouring countries of Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana on a few occasions. Although we’ve travelled extensively, we realised just how little we had actually experienced ... or rather, sometimes seen but never explored.
Bastervoedpad pass summit
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Mapungubwe Hill L’Agulhas Lighthouse
Richtersveld National Park
Our journey took us from Pretoria, the place we have called home for more than six years, westward towards the Kalahari. This sandy, semi desert has a special kind of magical attraction, which can only be described to someone who has been there and understood by the same select group. In the past, we have visited the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on the borders of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. In our search for new adventures, we selected the Augrabies Falls National Park as our first destination. Being part of the South African National Parks (SANParks), the standard of accommodation and ablutions are very high. The prices are reasonable, staff well trained and friendly and entrance is free to people with a Wild card. Augrabies Falls, according to their literature, has the most volume of water of any waterfall in the world. It has to be said that this is only when the falls are in flood, which is usually in March and April. We missed the floods, but none the less had the spectacular view of some 19 000 m³ per second of water gushing through the gap the granite. The most incredible part for me was the fact that I could feel a vibration. The vibration was caused by the force of the water through the viewing platform I was standing on, even though it was imbedded into solid granite and was probably no less than 300 m away from the actual waterfall. From Augrabies our journey took us further west, through the capital of Namaqualand, Springbok. There we turned north west to the town of Port Nolloth and entered the Ais-Ais/Richterveld Transfrontier Park at Sendelingsdrift. Although there are other places to enter the park, this is where the Reception is and so it is from here that you start your park experience. We did not realise that you had to enter the park before 4pm to be allowed to drive to our designated camp site at De Hoop, but fortunately the lady at Reception was friendly enough to let our 15-minutes lateness slide. The roads inside the park are not paved. The literature says that you need a high-clearance vehicle to be able to drive in the park, so I was very happy to be in a 4-wheel drive! You encounter some steep climbs, deep sand and even a few puddles of water on the way to camp. We never needed to engage 4x4, but the brute strength of the mighty Land Cruiser on Bridgestone Mud tyres was a welcome advantage!
The stark dryness and abundance of dust and rock leaves one feeling a little small and fragile in this magnificent desert landscape. As the late afternoon light bathes the high mountains, the environment becomes alive with a myriad of reds, browns and yellows.
The park itself can best be described as desolate. It truly is a landscape photographer’s magical wonderland! There are significant rock formations of varying impressiveness, and for me The Toe and the view over Springbok Vlakte were by far the most impressive. However, animal life is very scarce and close to non existent, but we did see a Cape Fox, which is pretty rare. The plant life is what a lot of people come to see. Quiver trees dot the hill sides and the illusive ‘Halfmens’ (Half Human) are endemic to the area. The San people believe that these plants are their ancestors and therefore sacred to them. In a part called Hell’s Kloof you will
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find aloes with red leaves, which are endemic to only this part of the world. The border of the country, but not the park, is the Orange River. The two main campsites, De Hoop and Richtersberg, are both on the river and offer a welcome green belt and refreshing cold swim to the dusty and tired traveller. Although part of SANParks, the camp sites here are very primitive. They do have decent ablutions, but only cold water so If you are used to all the creature comforts, it’s best to take your sense of humour with you. After four days in the park we wished we could stay longer, but it was time to move on. Our next destination was the Cederberg, about three hours north of Cape Town. We left the park via Eksteenfontein and this would be my recommended route to anyone who is not in a hurry. Our place of residence in the Cederberg was Sandrif. This is home to Cederberg Winery but also offers easy access to an abundance of nature trails and walks. The campsite is lovely and has the atmosphere of a country fair. It was more affordable than any other place near by and so we decided to stay for three nights and walk everywhere. The well known Wolfberg Cracks is on Sandrif property and we chose that as our first challenge. This involves an hour-and-a-half walk up a steep hill to get to the start of the trails. After taking one look at us, the Reception lady explained the ‘adventurous’ route to us. This included a description of how we needed to help each other over a boulder or two, do some fancy traversing and finally pass through what she described as ‘the birth canal’. Needless to say that by the time we summated, we were tired, sweaty and completely clueless as to which direction the camp site was in. We eventually found an easy way down and enthusiastically planned our next day’s walk as soon as we got back to the campsite. Our second day of walking started with a 20-minute stroll down to the Maalgate, also on Sandrif property. It is a magnificent cold whirlpool in the mountain stream. There are some high rocks the brave can jump off, as well as an easier option to get to the freezing water for the less brave, but tempted. The second walk for the day was along a trail called Lot’s Wife. This is named for a small rock formation that looks like a woman praying in a standing position, but frozen in rock. The 50-minute flat level trail meanders through some spectacular rock formations and the mid-afternoon light magnifies the effect of the contours beautifully. The last walk of the day was to find the Maltese Cross, also prominent on tourist maps. It was a five-kilometre drive to the start of the trail and the map we had showed little contour lines. Boy were we mistaken! The trail is steep and tough and it took us a good hour and a half to reach the cross. This 30-something metre high formation is incredible and well worth the effort. We reached it in the late afternoon and after 30 minutes of exploring and admiring the area, we started the long walk back to the car. We were exhausted and I have to admit that we over did the hiking thing just a tad. Leaving Sandrif, our journey took us inland on a track towards the sleepy village of Eselbank. We passed a sign recommending 4x4 vehicles and found this to be good advice. From Eselbank we drove to Wuppertal, on to the Bidou Valley and across the Bidou River further east. This road can be closed between April and October depending on the level of the river, but for us the river was bone dry. On a previous visit to this region, I was fortunate to see the most spectacular scenery during the Namaqualand flower season.
Cango caves honeymoon suite
View from wolfberg Cracks
After crossing the Bidou River the track got really small, rough and scattered with sharp rocks. It climbs to a plateau from which you feel as if you can see into next week, before descending into the Tankwa Karoo National Park. We had no time to stay in the park, so pushed through to Sutherland, home of astronomy in South Africa and South Africa’s largest telescope. We had booked into the closest campsite to town, Sterland, so we could go on a stargazing tour at the Observatory. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see the large telescopes, but the stargazing was out of this world. The tour guide explained that the Observatory is situated here for the simple reason that the closest town to Sutherland, Matjiefontein, is over 100 km away. After one starry-eyed night in Sutherland we headed to Cape Town, the Mother City. We took the obligatory photo at Cape Point and after spending two nights with good friends, we headed inland again. It would have been great to stay longer, but we have been to Cape Town a few times before so our time was better spent elsewhere. On the way to Montagu we stopped at the Language Monument in Paarl. This monument was erected to commemorate the Afrikaans language and the design symbolises the influential languages with concrete needles of varying sizes and heights. It is an impressive sight and we were glad to have included it in our itinerary. Our reason for going to Montagu was because we had heard that it has 14 national monuments on the main street. Although this is true, only two of them are open to the public and the rest are private residences. Our next stop was Cape Agullas, the southern most tip of Africa. No Trans Africa traveller worth his salt would leave without a stopover here! We walked from the town’s bizarre camp site to the Lighthouse and then to the tip of the continent for some photographs. With our goal accomplished, we set off for De Hoop Nature Reserve. We had planned to stay for two nights, but the absolutely extortionate camping fees saw us only staying one night and so we decided to make the best of it! The reserve is a botanist’s dream and also boasts an impressive list of animals including the endangered Black Oyster Catcher, Bontebok and the largest antelope of all; the Eland. We managed to fit in a few hikes and a morning on the beach before leaving. The treat for the day was to cross over the Mallagas River by a handdrawn ferry. This is the only remaining hand-drawn ferry in South Africa and the gentle 10-minute glide across the river was definitely worth the R25 fee. We ventured further inland towards Route 62, which seems to be the Klein Karoo’s bid for tourism. To reach this we drove up the impressive Tradouw Pass, with its winding curves and steep climbs. We joined Route 62 at Barrydale and headed east to Oudshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa. Oudshoorn has become a big tourist attraction complete with wildlife farms (or glorified zoos) offering caged crocodile diving.
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Our main interest was the Cango Caves, so we drove through town towards them and found the Cango Mountain Resort, some 10 km before the caves, where we overnighted.
The Cango Caves is one of the world’s great natural wonders sculptured by nature through the ages - fascinating limestone formations in a wide variety of colours, and a must see. A visit to the caves is always worth it! The entrance fee is very reasonable at R60 per person for the standard guided tour and gives visitors access to the main halls of the caves. In the late 1950s, the tour used to be half-a-day long and you had to carry a burning torch to find your way. Today, there are electrical lights and a path, and the tour takes about an hour. There is a an adventure tour that is not for the faint hearted or unfit. The guides are well trained and the information they share is both accurate and interesting. Instead of back tracking to Oudshoorn, we decided to drive to ‘Die Hel’ in the Gamkas Kloof National Park. The route takes you up the Swartberg Pass, definitely not for sissies, and then down into the Gamkas Kloof, which is pretty hair raising. The road consists of switch-back after switch-back with sheer cliffs on one side and sheer drops on the other. It was built in 1958 to provide access to the subsistence farmers in the valley below. It is the only road in and out and once completed, the inhabitants of Die Hel left. We camped at the national park’s camp site before setting out the next day. At the top of the pass we turned left and carefully navigated our way down towards Prince Albert. That was the most exciting part of the road for me. You descend at a ridiculous rate into a valley using a good but narrow dirt road. Once in the valley you drive through deep narrow gorges until you spill out onto the plains close to the town. It was time for us to head towards the coast again, so we took the tar road through Meiringspoort to complete our circular route back to Oudshoorn. The impressive Meiringspoort has the best picnic spots I have even encountered on a public road. After a well deserved lunch, we headed through Oudshoorn towards George and into Victoria Bay where we camped on the West Terrace. We lazed around in the afternoon sun watching the surfers wait for the perfect wave, and after a comfortable night woke up to the most pristine sunrise imaginable! It was such a fantastic place that we stayed for a couple of days, going for walks on the disused train tracks and soaking up the friendly atmosphere of the Garden Route. We moved on to Knysna and did more of the same for a further two days. In the next issue, I will cover the rest of the highlights from this incredible journey of discovery, which continues through the Eastern Cape all the way to our final destination, Beitbridge. ●
DO IT NOW | inNATURE: Words and photos by Francois Flamengo
There is something special about a group of guys going on a fishing trip. Special because it’s a time to bond and talk about guy stuff, and we were also going to take on the legendary Tiger – something that appeals to the ‘hunter’ in us men. We where on our way to Namibia for a holiday and decided at the last minute to add a few days onto our trip by visiting the Okavango Delta in Botswana and try our hand at catching a few tigerfish.
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Our motley crew consisted of my brother who has barely dipped his rod in any waters; Raymond was without a doubt our best metrobranded fisherman but also with limited fishing experience; my Dad, well what can I say other than he enjoys fishing and is happy to spend time next to the water any day; Paul, who worked in the area a few years back and has claimed a few Tigers and lastly myself, thrilled to get a chance to catch the ultimate freshwater fish but certainly nowhere close to being called a serious fisherman. So although we were not the experienced tiger-fishing type, our enthusiasm more than made up for our lack of angling skills With our crew in place, destination in sight and prey identified, all that remained was the equipment to make it all happen. Between us, all we were able to scavenge was a small rod for each of us and my Dad and Paul took their fly fishing rods. As for the rest of the tackle, we decided to buy anything else we would need from the lodge, and wing it if necessary by using what we had in our basic tackle box. So there we were; high in spirits, low in experience and with no prizes at any fishing competitions on our horizon, yet! After crossing the border at Skilpad Gate and driving for the remainder of the night on the Kalahari Highway, we managed to reach the A3 road, finally we turned left towards Drotskys. Not wanting to sound like a broken record and I’m sure you have heard this many times before, but good quality lights are essential to spot the many game, cattle and donkeys loitering on the road. We reached our camping site in Drotskys at 11pm, stiff and very tired. I was really impressed by the quality of all the sites, which where spacious and surrounded by big trees; perfect for creating lots of shade and great for cooling down in the hot African sun. Once we had set up our tents, we made our way to the riverside bar area to relax and treat ourselves to a well deserved ice-cold beer. We asked the owners of the lodge for advice on what else we would need for our Tiger foray and they were extremely helpful by supplying us with all the extra bits and pieces of tackle we required. They also recommended that we use one of their local boat boys to help us find the correct spots and educate us on how to catch tigerfish. Without hesitation, we booked six sessions over the next three days and spent the afternoons taking some time out and just chilling around the camp site.
Discovering the Okavango River After a quick breakfast and packing a cooler box we met Happy, the boat boy, at the boat and then headed off down the river in a southerly direction. We made a quick stop on the bank of the river so that Happy could stock up on Bream, the live bait we would use to catch our Tigers.
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The river was unbelievable and we saw many crocs and hippos as we cruised towards the fishing spot. The marshlands channelled into smaller rivers creating, in my mind, a maze that you could get lost in quickly if you did not know the area well. Happy stopped the boat in the middle of a wide section of the river and instructed us to ready our rods. We were ready! After everyone’s hooks were in the water, Happy then cast his rod. As we were lazily floating down the river on the current, Happy’s line started to swerve from left to right in the water. The fight of the Tiger had begun. It jumped out of the water and was doing everything possible to get rid of the hook in its mouth. Reeling in the fish slowly and keeping the line tight, Happy smiled at us and said, “See there is fish, now you can catch!” With renewed gusto and very much hyped, everyone started re-casting. A little later, Richard managed a successful strike while the rest of us remained empty handed. When it was time for our afternoon session, Happy decided to take us north. This time we had a lot more luck as Paul and Raymond quickly found their groove and by the time we were ready to head home, they had caught 11 Tigers between the two of them. My Dad and I had also claimed our first catch. During our final cast for the day, Raymond hooked what looked to be the five-kilogramme Tiger we had all been searching for and soon we were all cheering him on in his fight with whatever was on the other end. When we finally lowered the net into the water to get the fish out, we were surprised to find an enormous and very tired looking Barbel in it. As the sun dipped, signalling the end of our first day, we were immensely proud of our overall performance and eager to repeat our fishy stories over a tasty dinner at the restaurant. On our second day, we patrolled both sides of the river and everyone enjoyed more exciting fishing. Paul was by far the most successful fisherman of the day, landing more than 10 of which two were over three kilogrammes. Happy took great delight in the running commentary that was making its rounds on the boat and when it was time to return to camp, it looked like someone had glued a smile permanently to his face – now he was truly Happy.
Catching the Giant Day three started early because we were leaving for Namibia after our morning session and wanted to make the most of our final outing. Again Paul was the first to get the show on the road by landing a beauty. Not to be outdone and having learnt a few tricks in the last couple of days, I also started reeling them in one after the other. Raymond caught the biggest Barbel and was heart broken when the line snapped just as we where about to scoop his pride and joy out of the water. This would be our story about
‘the one that got away’! Richard was the only one in our crew who hadn’t managed to catch anything. However, just as Happy was instructing us to start preparing to head back to camp, Richard’s rod flew out of his hand and into the boat next to him. Quick as a flash, he retrieved it just before it went over board. And the moment he striked, we all knew this was something BIG! It was not jumping out of the water or dragging the line all over the show like we had become accustomed to. Instead, it was making its way straight for the reeds on the river’s edge like a runaway freight train. Everyone was handing out advice and Happy was just as interested in what was on the other end. Richard fought for many minutes, taking in all the advice and fighting the fish slowly to ensure that the line didn’t break. It must have been close to five minutes since the fight had started when we finally saw the silver body reveal itself for the first time. This was it. The five-kilogramme Tiger we had all been waiting for! Another minute went by before the big boy surrendered and we managed to get him into the net. Richard was ecstatic and we all where handing out high-fives on a job well done. Once Happy had helped us weigh the massive Tiger, it was time to let it go! As it disappeared out of our sight the expression on everyone’s faces said it all - it does not get better than this! Back at the camp, it was with much pride, and loads of boastfulness, that we shared our experience with the fishermen who had just arrived at the lodge. We couldn’t have ended our fishing trip on a higher or better note and reluctantly started to break up camp. On the way out, we thanked everyone at Drotskys for a wonderful time and making our visit very memorable. The hospitality and experience is highly recommended and this is another great DINList experience that can be ticked off. ●
Tigerfish Fast Facts By far the most powerful freshwater fish on earth, the scientific name is translated literally as water dog (hydrocynus) striped (vittatus). Tigerfish can be considered Africa’s equivalent of the South American piranha. Though they belong to a completely different family, they are famous for their ferocity when hunting. They have razor-sharp teeth that are interlocking, along with streamlined, muscular bodies built for speed. A tigerfish has a gas-filled sac in its body that it uses as a sound receiver. This transmits vibrations from the water, enabling it to detect any animals nearby and respond accordingly. Tigerfish are aggressive predators. They attack from the side, then turn their bait around and swallow it headfirst. Tigers have been recorded to hit their prey at 50 km/hr! A school of juveniles can tackle animals of almost any size, including any land animals that stray too close to the water’s edge. Adults tend to travel in smaller groups of four or five, but they are no less dangerous. Even an individual can take down prey as large as itself. When food is scarce or the competition for food is too great, tigerfish may resort to cannibalism. This is particularly common in the dry season. Tigerfish have also been known to attack humans, these attacks can be devastating owing to their sharp teeth and aggressive hunting tactics. On average, they gain one kilogramme a year and the life span is about eight years. Their fantastic skill to bite through a lure/bait is what makes them such an exciting fish to catch. An average of 4:1 is expected when fishing for Tigers. Source: www.shayamoya.co.za
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DO IT NOW | inNATURE:
Words by Lee Dormer
Raising his trunk to test the air, the elephant caught our scent. In an instant he was throwing his head from side to side and slapping his ears sharply against his head. With a side-step he trumpeted his protest and kicked the ground. Unlike many humans the elephant is a very honest communicator, always saying, thinking and doing things consistently. I didn’t need any further encouragement that the time was ‘now’ to move back to a safer distance. The sound of a mechanical shutter was undesired at this moment and pulling on Etienne’s shirt, I dragged him backwards whilst he sharply whispered his protests. There was no time to negotiate compliance as any recall of our pre-trail briefing had apparently vaporised. Etienne’s overriding desire to indelibly record this extraordinary sight was presenting me with a potentially dangerous challenge. That evening I invited Etienne to talk about his representation of an African Elephant. He confidently announced, “It is Dumbo, loving, caring and friendly.” To create a balance in his perception I explained the other side of Dumbo’s character, which changed the way Etienne approached wild animals the following day. This experience is a sharp reminder of how far some people are removed from the natural world. This distance allows a film maker the power to shape a person’s understanding. How much harm is caused by the vast numbers of people who go about their daily lives making decisions founded on the wrong premise? This is particularly important regarding environmental issues. We have one Earth and the actions of people who are unconscious of the facts will have an impact on it without any knowledge they are doing so.
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DO IT NOW | inCREDIBLE PLACES:
Words & Photos by Steven Yates
Borneo is a land of three nationalities and I suppose quite aptly the third largest island in the world. The largest part of the island is an Indonesian region called Kalimantan (73%), then there is Malaysia with its two provinces Sarawak and Sabah (23%), and finally the sovereign state of Brunei occupying less than one percent. So when I say that Borneo is a land that everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime, I am probably being a little ambitious. Laura and my three-week journey to Borneo started and ended in the Malaysian state of Sabah, and was an extension of our honeymoon. ď ˇ
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Landing in Kota Kinabalu is not unlike any other South East Asian city; the people are friendly, the weather is sticky and all in all it’s great. Not having a lot of time to spend in Sabah’s capital, Laura and I made our way to the local market for dinner. As the only westerners (and English speakers) we wandered through the market eyeing out absurd-looking fruit, delicious smelly satays and numerous other items we could not identify. The people of Sabah were welcoming and pleasant, and we enjoyed an interesting meal – although I am not sure what it was – at a shared table with a group of locals doing their best to communicate with us and explain what we were eating. The food was delicious and even with our western strawberry Fantas, the whole meal cost us a whopping four ringgits (about R10). We ended off with a traditional Kinabalu dessert, the ABC, which is a mixture of condensed milk, jelly, nuts, sugar, honey, noodles, avocado, something red, something green and a whole lot of other ingredients all mixed together in a plastic sandwich bag and served with ice and a straw. It was very sweet and had a most unusual texture. The next morning we jumped into a cramped little taxi with all our gear including two full sets of scuba diving equipment and two Scandinavian backpackers. The Scandinavian guys, whose names I can’t remember nor pronounce, where full of fun stories about their travels though South East Asia and we laughed the entire way to Mt Kinabalu, a World Heritage Site. Arriving at Timphon Gate, our two new-found friends set off for the summit immediately. Laura and I on the other hand went to the Mesilau Nature Resort where we would be staying that night and one after our mountaineering escapades. This tranquil resort is nestled within the Bornean rainforests filled with exotic flora and fauna and the wonderfully comforting scents of rain and earth. Mesilau put on a massive steamboat dinner (you have to have it to understand it as no explanation would do justice to such a meal), which was almost reason enough for our foray into Sabah. Then an early night and an even earlier morning start along a trail up the mighty Mt Kinabalu, Borneo’s highest point at 4,095.2 m. Day one was a massive hike that took us from 1,866 m to the Laban Rata Guest house at 3,270 m, a trek of over eight kilometres in six hours.
ping ose prey-trap us plants wh n as ro ow ivo kn rn d ca ui e liq ts ar with Pitcher Plan ep cavity filled features a de mechanism ia ed kip Wi e ~ Sourc a pitfall trap.
Our first day’s hike ended at Laban Rata Guest House, which provided spectacular views and a magical sunset for us to marvel at while warming up over a cup of hot chocolate. A warm shower and a simple but delicious dinner was all that stood between our tired bodies and a good half-night shut eye. At 2am, we dragged ourselves out of bed and dressed in every single item of clothing we had with us. It was FREEZING. No really, it was below zero and being February in the tropics we had no warm clothing, and then there was still the wind chill to contend with. It really was a crazy experience. We hiked for twoand-a-half hours in the biting wind, slowly climbing the steep granite slopes up the final 1,000 m to the summit. Arriving at the summit, ahead of the sun, Laura and I found a slightly protected rock crevice to cuddle in while we waited for dawn to arrive. The crisp blue sky as the morning sun crested the horizon and bathed this rocky world in a golden light was spectacular! With the cloud-covered rainforests below, it felt like we were floating on top of the world. And what a wonderful world ... Look out for part II of our trip to Borneo in the next issue of DO IT NOW. ●
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Beauty of the rainforest
Laban Rata far below the clouds
Mount Kinabalu is amazing as the ascent takes you through towering Dipterocarp forests, thick rain forest, cloud forest and finally alpine landscapes, all of which present a plethora of fauna, of which many are endemic to the park. Some of the incredible plant life includes over 800 species of orchids, 600 species of ferns (more than the whole of Africa) as well as the amazing Raffelsia (the world’s largest single flower) and the carnivorous Pitcher plants. ● ●
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Mt Kinabalu can be summated from two different starting points: The Timphon Gate and Mesilau Nature Resort. The total climb will cost about R1,800 once you are at the National Park and includes a climbing permit (R250), guide fee (250), transfer to Timphon Gate (R75), accommodation at Laban Rata (R1,200) and entry into Kinabalu National Park (R40). It is definitely worth getting a private room at Laban Rata (about R1,100 extra) for no other reason than not having to wait in a queue for a hot shower. Take a warm fleece and good wind breaker with you. For more information about Laban Rata and Mesilau Nature Resort visit http://www.suteraharbour.com The easiest way to get to Malaysian Borneo is to fly into either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur direct from JHB and then connect to Kota Kinabalu (about R10, 000 on Singapore Airlines). Low-cost airlines are available from both Singapore and KL but you can generally get a better deal using the same airline from JHB right through. Air Asia is a good low-cost airline if you are travelling around South East Asia rather than an in-and-out trip from SA. Be warned though that flights change often so if you book in advance, confirm flights one month and then again one week before you are due to fly. No visa is required for stays up to 90 days. Monsoon season is from November till January. Borneo is one of the most bio diverse places on earth. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants, 3,000 species of trees (267 species are dipterocarps – the greatest abundance and diversity in the world), 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds.
World Abov e
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by Steve Adams DO IT NOW | inDULGE: Words Photos courtesy of Wild about Whisky
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Every time I announce a forthcoming trip to Scotland someone remarks on how bad the weather can be there. I must be exceptionally lucky as I’ve had perfect weather on my last three trips, all taken in May for two or three weeks, over a three-year period. Granted, the temperature can be on the chilly side and when it does rain, the breathtaking scenery is a little dull, but just be prepared for the worst and you could be pleasantly surprised. Being a keen photographer, I always pack my camera and lenses, a tripod, good map and GPS and last but not least – my partner Eve (always an important part of the inventory, the drink-driving laws are very strict over there!). Over the next few issues I’ll be discussing some of the great whisky destinations we’ve visited, as well as some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable.
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We normally plan to travel around Scotland in May, when spring has sprung and snow still caps the higher peaks, and the summer holidays haven’t yet started. June to August is the best time to see pink heather covered hills and enjoy the best of summer weather, the trade-off being that accommodation is at a premium and tour buses occupy most of the (limited) open spaces on the road. Famous for its salmon and trout fishing, Scotland is also the home of golf. There are more golf courses in Scotland, around 600, than castles, and of those there are plenty. It’s difficult to drive more than a few miles without catching a glimpse of a magnificent castle or stately home. Most Scottish distilleries welcome visitors, some even feature elaborate visitor centres with interactive displays. The overall experience appeals to all the senses; as one moves around the distillery there are so many aromas – cereal from mashing, yeasty and malty from the fermentation vessels, esters and phenols from the stills, woody and dank in the warehouses and smoky in the kilns. Temperatures vary from extremely warm in the kilns and still houses to cold and damp in the warehouses, while the ears are subjected to stills hissing, similar to the sound of the final few breaths forced into a large balloon. Visually, each distillery has plenty to offer. Although the basic processes are the same, each distillery has its own unique size and shape of copper pot stills, different materials used in the fermentation vessels and mash tuns, the brass or copper spirit safes and the cool, dark warehouses with their blackened walls. The whisky evaporates from the casks at the rate of about 2% per annum, providing the necessary conditions for the growth of the black fungus Baudoinia Compniacensis, growing on the walls and trees near the warehouses and thriving on ethanol. There is normally a small charge to tour the distilleries. Most tours last around an hour or so and end with a tasting of the distillery’s whiskies. There is nothing quite like enjoying a malt, with its unique aromas and flavours, at the distillery in which it was produced. Late April sees the staging of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, with many distilleries offering limited specials along with festivities to keep any whisky lover entertained. Of the 100 or so active distilleries in Scotland, almost half are located in the Speyside region, or Spey Valley, an extremely picturesque region of rolling green hills and woodlands that takes its name from the Spey River. The water permeating through the hills and peat bogs is particularly soft, making it ideal for producing the sought-after style of whisky that characterises this region: light to medium-bodied, very lightly peated, with aromas of rich dried fruits and cake spices. Driving through Speyside it’s difficult not to notice the traditional pagoda chimneys, unique to distilleries, coming into view above the trees. In days gone by, peat smoke permeated the drying barley and
exited through these pagodas; today only half-a-dozen distilleries continue this tradition but the ornamental pagodas live on. Late May is time to catch a ferry or airplane to that most magical of whisky shrines, the Inner Hebridean Island of Islay, for Feis Isle – the Islay Whisky Festival. The big, smoky Islay whiskies are the baritones in the blending choir, the bass notes in the complex score, and even 1% of a robust, oily, Islay cratur is often enough to impart smoky, medicinal notes to a whisky blend. The island itself is steeped in turbulent history, and whisky is its greatest export. Eight distilleries are now active on Islay, seven of which produce heavily peated spirit, and all of which welcome visitors. It is said that during the festival the population more than doubles, generating revenue for the locals and helping to grow Islay’s second largest industry – tourism. The island’s beauty is enough to keep one returning time and again, and when you add the local warmth and hospitality to the mix, the scene is set for a perfect whisky holiday. Scottish lowland whiskies were, for many years, considered the choice of the gentry. Delicate and light in character, some even triple-distilled, with hints of deciduous fruits and a dryish finish, these are perfect aperitifs. Many lowland distilleries have closed over the past few decades and any remaining bottlings from these have become prized collectibles. Now only a handful of lowland distilleries remain in operation and they still produce the gentler spirits. The Scottish isles are mostly connected by ferry routes, and with a little planning it’s possible to visit most of the well-known isles at a reasonable price with island hopper tickets. Several of the isles feature distilleries, each with their own unique character: Arran, Tobermory on Mull, Jura, Highland Park and Scapa on the Orkney Isles, Talisker on Skye and the recently completed Abhainn Dearg on the Isle of Lewis. The scenery on each of these isles makes for great photography, and even better whisky tasting. Whatever has been said about the thrifty Scots, their generosity with regard to pouring drams is unparalleled. Ask six locals how much whisky is in a dram and you’ll get six answers, ranging from “an eighth of a fluid ounce” to “a generous helping.” The Highlands are divided up geographically into the Northern, Central, Western and Eastern Highlands, and their styles of whisky follow similar distinctions. It’s not easy to divide them up into set categories, but we can generalise to a degree. Northern Highland whiskies favour maturation in bourbon casks and tend to be lightbodied and delicate, dry with hints of sea-salt. Eastern Highlanders are medium bodied and slightly sweet with hints of smoke. Western Highlanders are generally slightly phenolic, with a sweet start and peppery finish. Central Highlanders are slightly sweeter than their Eastern Highland counterparts, with a drier finish.
In the next issue, look out for our tour of Speyside!
DO IT NOW | inDULGE
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Photo by shutterstock
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DO IT NOW | inSURE: Words By Peter Fairbanks
Did you know that the only reasons why people save for longer than 10 or 15 years are either for retirement purposes or their children’s tertiary education! Parents save and save and save, but education has become such a money spinner that most people are finding themselves having to hand over their carefully-hoarded tertiary education savings to pay for their children’s secondary education. With no savings left, they would rather re-bond their property or take out a student loan to fund the latter stage of their children’s education. The real fun and games regarding long-term saving begins when you mention the word ‘retirement’. Being in the trenches 24/7, I come across all sorts of arguments about what type of instrument is best to provide for those golden years. A short list of these instruments would include Pension and Provident Funds, Long-term Saving Plans, Retirement Annuities and property. The most controversial of these is, or I should rather say was, property. Five or six years ago, it was impossible to discuss retirement provision with any individual without hearing how they would rather invest in an additional property for this purpose. And what a great argument it made! House prices increased by 30% year-on-year and tenants where standing in a queue to pay your bond for you. The more I tried to expose the long-term risks involved, the faster they ignored me. Structured vehicles like Provident or Pension Funds are the most common and many people belong to them as part of their employment contract. If there was one ‘saving grace’ for retirement provision, it would be these types of products. I say this for the simple reason that it’s a compulsory vehicle to which you contribute to throughout the duration of your working career. The end result is, cash on the table at retirement age. For self-employed individuals, there are retirement products with great tax incentives to build provision for your retirement. What concerns me though is that lately this market is once again being flooded by product suppliers selling combination products with Retirement Annuities, and promises of great bonuses and discounts. The market, in general, has moved away from these types of products in the last decade due to the costly implications to the clients over the term, which will only be realised at retirement. So, how do you choose the correct instrument? I have always been in favour of all things balanced, so when planning for your old age you need to keep the following in mind.
1. At retirement age you need to be liquid. This means that you need cash in your pocket and access to cash, i.e. you can’t wait for the property market to recover as we have learnt over the last two years. 2. Set realistic goals. Be honest about how you want to live in retirement and how much it will cost. Then calculate what you will need to save to supplement your sources of retirement income to meet those objectives. 3. Make use of the time you have. The sooner you start saving for your retirement, the more time your money has to grow. For example, the monthly contributions a 23 year old has to make to meet his goals would be far less and easier to meet, than that of a 50 year old. 4. Diversify your portfolio. Remember the saying: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s true, so make sure that your investments cover all of the assets classes, such as cash, equities, properties and a bit of foreign exchange and bonds. 5. If you over invest in one asset class, like many South Africans did in property over the last seven years, you could be putting yourself at risk when you most need to reap the rewards of your efforts in your senior years. 6. Various recent studies prove that over the past 100 years, Equities have out performed all asset classes, with a return above inflation. Most structured instruments will give you access to all of these asset classes. My only hope is that our generation will remember the credit crunch and teach our children not to do as we did, but to excel above our short sightedness. As always, I urge you to speak to your personal advisor before acting. ●
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DO IT NOW | inTERTAINMENT:
Words by Richard Flamengo
Platform: Wii Genre: Adventure Sport
Big Catch Bass Fishing 2 is the first fishing game for Nintendo’s Wii console, which boasts Motion Plus technology and thus greater accuracy for an altogether more authentic fishing experience. Now that the World Cup has come and gone, I’m sure you will agree that the tournament we hosted was a HUGE success and has left many fond memories that will live on for some time to come. Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro, in association with DSTV and SuperSport, went the extra mile to make the World Cup experience even more memorable by screening some of the games in 3D. I was one of many who watched the round-16 match between Brazil and Chile in 3D. Being a serious sports fan, I rocked up at the movies kitted out in my Brazilian supporter’s gear and was totally psyched to watch the game. But a box of popcorn and cream soda somehow just didn’t feel the same as being at home with your mates, the smell of a braai and an ice cold one in your hand. All sports fans know it’s all about the vibe, cheering, yelling (good or bad) and the disappointment if your team loses or sheer happiness if they win. Somehow all of this got disconnected. The disconnection definitely wasn’t linked to the 3D visuals but might have been that the rest of the crowd wasn’t as into it or that the game wasn’t as exciting as it could have been. In summary, it was stunning to watch the game in 3D but it lacked the sport’s experience vibe from watching a game live or with your mates at home. I will, however, definitely give it another go when they do the same for a few Springbok rugby games and see if the vibe that was lacking in the soccer game will connect the match experience to the visual experience.
Enjoy all the accuracy, excitement and tension of fishing without having to leave the comfort of your living room. Participate in one of the many game play modes and unlock the latest lures that’ll help you catch the elusive Lunker. Put your angling skills to the ultimate test and challenge the best fisherman online. I’m no expert fisherman and was lucky enough to have been a part of the group that went tiger fishing in Botswana, which is covered in this issue of DO IT NOW. Although I didn’t come close to catching the most fish, I did end up catching the biggest one The awesome feeling that comes with outwitting and conquering your catch isn’t rivalled easily, and is the reason why men spend as they do for their fishing trips - something the ladies don’t always grasp. This game gives you the chance to live the experience at home, and try to get your lady ‘hooked’ to go on some more fishing trips. If this doesn’t work, then invite your mates over for some fun and see who can catch the biggest one. The challenge of catching your ‘game’ fish in your living room will prove easier than catching the real thing in a dam, river or ocean, but it’s a great adventure nonethe-less.
• Visual experience.
• The Motion Plus accuracy when casting.
• All sport fans.
• All fishing fans.
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Director: David Slade Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Dakota Fanning
• For the girls, the two hunks of which one doesn’t seem to own a shirt. • The chemistry between the three leading characters Bella, Edward and Jacob.
Recommended for: • All Twilight book fans. • Action movie fans.
As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which? I’m sure you must have heard of the Twilight Saga by now. If you haven’t, then there is a distinct possibility that you might have been living under a rock or in a cave with no contact to the outside world for the last couple of years. Since 2008 this phenomenon has taken the world by storm winning over millions of fans. This is the third movie instalment based on the ever-popular series of books, of which the last labelled ‘Breaking Dawn’ is set to be a two-part movie finale due for release in 2011 and 2012. This instalment has received the biggest hype of the three in the build up to its global release, and had the second biggest opening day ever recorded for a movie. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how this movie continued to build on the previous two, and it also appeals to the guys. Let’s face it girls, the first one was labelled ‘ok’ by the guys as it was more of a chick flick. The second one was better as there were hints of action in it. But I have to say that the third instalment is definitely the best thus far, with enough action, drama, intrigue and clever humour to keep the gals and guys equally entertained and glued to the screen. Die-hard Twilight Saga fans who have read all three books might be a bit disappointed, as with all the book-franchise movie adaptations such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, it’s impossible for film makers to include everything from the books in the approximately two-hour running time. I haven’t read any of the books but the ladies I spoke to assured me that all the major points from the book are covered in the movie. In summary, this is a great movie that has something for everyone - romance, drama, action and comedy, and is complimented by three very talented actors who generate fantastic chemistry on screen. To all the male sceptic out there, do yourselves a favour and whisk your lady friend off to see this movie - you might even score some brownie points with this one.
Following Twilight and New Moon’s solid and best-selling soundtracks, the Eclipse soundtrack had a lot to live up to. Having listened to it, I can definitely say that the Eclipse soundtrack not only lives up to its predecessors, it surpasses them. Coming in with a total of 15 tracks, each song compliments the other to produce a fluid compilation with a few that stand out, most notably track two by Muse. Soundtrack albums tend to reach the same success as the actual movie. I got the impression that without the Twilight link, this album might not be as successful as I’m sure it will be, with millions of Twilight followers all clamouring for a copy of this soundtrack. The one aspect that really stood out for me is not necessarily the tracks themselves, but rather how the mood of the soundtrack flows along like that of the movie. In closing, any album made up by various artists, especially movie soundtracks, tend to blend songs together to please different tastes. So although not every song on the album will appeal to everyone, there is a little bit of everything to please even the sceptics.
• Tracks from Metric and Muse. • The diversity of music that compliments the movie.
Recommended for: • Twilight fans.
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by Chris Crewdson DO IT NOW | inSPIRATION: Words Photos courtesy of Magnetic South
1. Linden Booth c/o TSiBA Eden with his charges plus two students from Chester University in the UK who spent a month in SA volunteering their services to various event organisers to gain further experience. 2. Learning the importance of correct radio procedure. 3. Mark Collins of Magnetic South explains the importance of the race briefing and being an MC. 4. Magnetic South’s Christine Collins goes through the Registration Process to the TSiBA Eden students in the mobile Race HQ. The students names from left to right. Ekome Same, Godknows Ncube, Amanda Tede, Nadine April, Thembisa Ngaka, Nicel Boezak. 5. Magnetic South’s John Collins explains the Start/Finish set up to the TSiBA Eden students. 6. TSiBA Eden Students pack and sort. 7. Chris Crewdson of Magnetic South discusses Field Planning with Field Section Leaders Fanus & Rodney c/o TSiBA Eden. 8. The TSiBA Students swopped between being the athletes and being the organisers to get the whole experience.
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Magnetic South launches
Sustainable Community Development Project Event organisers who have incorporated successful and sustainable Community Development projects within their business models will know what a positive and lasting effect it has on the overall event experience. Knysna-based event company, Magnetic South, has long been involved in the development of previously disadvantaged athletes who have wanted to try their hand at adventure racing or multidisciplined sports. Since 2005, the company has thrown its weight behind establishing the first-ever competitive development adventure racing team, which took part in the 500 km Bull of Africa in 2008. It has also been contributing financially to the Knysna Canoe Club Development Paddling programme through its annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival events.
back into the running of TSiBA Eden and not their own pockets. As such, the students are not only making themselves marketable but in the process they are assisting in sustaining the very institution that has given them these opportunities in the first place.
Mark and John Collins, brothers and owners of Magnetic South, are both members of South African and international adventure racing teams and have raced all over the planet. The wealth of experience they have gained is willingly shared with aspirant athletes from all walks of life.
Having cut their teeth on the challenges posed during the Oyster Festival, the students who had shown potential and taken the ‘ball and run with it’, were now about to experience all the professionalism required to be a part of the Otter – African Trail Run and Southern Storm Multi-day Duathlon, presented by Hi-Tec. Both these events involve spectacularly remote terrain that tests every aspect of ensuring the staff is physically and mentally tough. The multi-day/ stage aspect also presents its own set of challenges as the event team dynamics over a prolonged period are absolutely crucial to its overall success.
Magnetic South continues to use its events to assist the development of previously disadvantaged athletes, and has taken it one step further by launching its most ambitious community development plan to date – to introduce previously disadvantaged folk to the world of organising a sports event.
Magnetic South has built up an enviable reputation for the high level of professionalism in all its events, and will expect no less from the TSiBA Eden Community Development Programme - to further raise the bar and set a new standard for others to follow, come Otter and Southern Storm.
TSiBA Eden was identified as the ideal partner in which to create a sustainable and successful venture. Based in Karatara on the Garden Route, TSiBA Eden offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to enter its Business School. With support from private and corporate sponsors, their aim is to turn these individuals into successful business entrepreneurs. TSiBA Eden’s Business Manager, Linden Booth, who has been driving the programme, was immediately able to identify the perfect synergies that existed between Magnetic South and TSiBA, and in April 2010 the first lectures and practicals commenced.
Caring for the environment is an area of constant focus and improvement for Magnetic South, and minimising its carbon and hydro footprint a high priority. Passing on this awareness to the TSiBA Eden students has played a fundamental role in the education process. Right from the start, the training team was able to identify who was going to make the cut just from their attitude to the environment.
Training and selection courses include a variety of subjects ranging from set up, registration, timing, camp logistics and field and environmental awareness. Twenty-seven students signed up for this initiative and within four months, 19 students had made it through the first three modules and were selected as part of the team to work on the 2010 Salomon Featherbed Trail Run, presented by Petzl, during the annual Knysna Oyster Festival. Not only was it possible for the students to put into practise their new-found skills with Magnetic South, but more encouraging was the interest shown in the TSiBA Eden candidates to assist other organisers put their own sports or lifestyle events together, such as the very popular Rotary Cycle and Forest Marathon events. The fact that the students have been trained and were required to pass a stringent selection process made them ideal candidates, and the money raised from working for the various entities is fed
The particularly stringent Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that was drawn up by the independent Nature Conservation Corporation in conjunction with SANParks for the Otter – African Trail Run has now become the benchmark that Magnetic South uses for all its events. The long-term plan is for TSiBA Eden to organise its own lifestyle and sports events in the future, and put into practise the experience gained by working for Magnetic South and others. The lessons learnt can only benefit them in establishing excellent relationships with landowners, without whom you do not have anything to offer as your event needs a venue and an interesting route. The training and selection phases have been designed to take the students out of their comfort zones in order to determine who has been able to absorb the pressure and work through the challenges created. Exciting times indeed and for those of you taking on the 2010 Otter – African Trail Run or Southern Storm presented by Hi –Tec, you too will be a part of this wonderful experience. •
For more information please visit the following websites: www.magneticsouth.net, www.southernstorm.co.za and www.edencampus.co.za
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DO IT NOW | inFOCUS:
Words & Photos by Jacques Marais
Into Ngorongoro: A photographic journey with Kingsley Holgate and the ‘UNITED AGAINST MALARIA’ Expedition. Often, the best way to tell a story is through pictures, and the old chestnut ‘one picture is worth a thousand words’ rings true despite sounding downright corny. The beauty of the digital age is that it has made photography accessible to the masses, and this means that even you can capture a brilliant image. I often get quizzed on what it takes to become a good photographer, and have to come clean up front: there is no magic formula. As in any other career, it takes hard work, dedication and a fair amount of being plain ‘hardegat’. Quick rule of thumb – to get your photographs into a magazine on a regular basis could take up to five years of rejection. It’s a hard slog, bud, and the only way is to get off your butt and behind the lens. The upside is that, once you’ve made a name for yourself, you will be able to lay claim to an incredible lifestyle, where every day dawns with creative challenges and exhilarating opportunities. It’s taken me a while, but after nearly two decades of shooting, the hard work is finally paying off and I regularly get to go and explore the world with my Canon in hand. On my most recent trip, I was fortunate enough to join Kingsley Holgate on his ‘United Against Malaria’ expedition. I flew into Tanzania with a small media contingent, and met up with Papa King and his crew in the Serengeti. After more than eight weeks of dirt track tripping through some of the most remote reaches of Mother Africa, the Wild Frontiers tented camp came as a welcome break for the Holgate clan, and we made good use of the Discovery 4 expedition vehicles to explore what still rates as one of the continent’s prime wilderness areas. More malaria net distributions awaited, and after two days of game viewing, we set off in the direction of Ngorongoro Crater and then Kilimanjaro itself. In the park and along the way, Kingsley and a crew of volunteers from sponsors Land Rover and Nando’s, handed out hundreds of chemically impregnated nets in their on-going battle against Africa’s most vicious killer, the anopheles mosquito. Although the UAM Expedition rates as a quickie compared to Kingsley’s previous expeditions, it was by no means an easy journey. The Disco 4s navigated potholes, deserts, marshes and stone-covered plains, carrying the expedition members and life-saving nets more than 12 000 km via Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and, finally, to Moshi in Tanzania, where we celebrated this incredible feat within the shadow of Kili itself. Along the way, I had the chance to document not only Kingsley’s journey, but also the deep gratitude of the people whose hearts he touched through this humanitarian journey. More than 12 000 mosquito nets were distributed by the UAM crew, which equates to potentially saving at least 40 000 lives. Hopefully the images which follow will persuade you to visit their website at www.kingsleyholgate.co.za and, in your own small way, contribute to making Africa a better continent.
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Very much a grab shot, as the elephant only sized up the Disco 4 for a few seconds before moving on. I had a 70-40 mm lens on my Canon 7D, exposed on the elephant and fired off a sequence at 1/200th sec at an aperture of f5.6. It was a grey day and to avoid camera shake, I pushed the ISO to 200 and set the White Balance to ‘Cloudy’ to warm up the image. Specifications: Canon 7D with 70-200 mm lens; ISO 200; 1/200th at f5.6; no flash
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During the net distributions, proud Maasai pastoralists from the surrounding savannah would come to meet the UNITED AGAINST MALARIA crew. There was ample opportunity to focus in on details such as the hands of this regal old lady. I used the ‘Direct Positive’ process in Adobe Lightroom to enhance the contrast and colours of her traditional clothing. Specifications: Canon 7D with 100-400 mm lens; ISO 250; 1/250th at f4.5; fill-in flash
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The handing over of the mosquito nets took place in far-flung and tiny villages, both within the Serengeti and the vicinity of the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater. I used both my Canon 5D MkII and the 7D to capture these colourful occasions, shooting wide on the full-frame 5D and with a telephoto lens on the 7D. Specifications: Various
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In order to harness the energy of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Kingsley staged soccer matches at most of the net hand-overs. These games proved to be extremely popular, with the whole village arriving to support there chosen team. Action opportunities abounded, with the game often set within a natural savannah environment, resplendent with Marabou Storks and Flat-topped Acacias. Specifications: Various
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Both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro weave their own magic when you study them through the lens. The former boasts endless plains and the archetypal ‘umbrella trees’, while the latter comes with unexpectedly lush rainforests, statuesque Maasai and vast herds of big game. Together with Kilimanjaro, these are the landscapes which shape Tanzania, and being there with Kingsley certainly rated as a once in a lifetime experience Specifications: Various
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Previous entries (above clockwise): Sunning Kingfisher by Steve Yates; Motorcycle rider by Lee Viljoen and The guys having fun on the ramp by Lurina Eykelenboom
This is your opportunity to showcase your photographic skills and stand a chance to WIN R500 for the best image in DO IT NOW’s inFOCUS competition, which features in every issue of the magazine. So get clicking and send us your photographs – you never know, you could just be our next WINNER! When submitting your images, please also include the following information: Name of photographer. Name of photograph. Camera type. Camera settings. Place where the photograph was taken. Which category you are submitting your photo under – Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle.
The closing date for the next competition is 1st September 2010 and the winning photo will be featured and credited in the October/November issue of DO IT NOW. 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. Only amateur photographers may enter. Email your 1-3mb compressed .jpg image to email@example.com There is a maximum of one entry per person, per issue. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Please note that your images may be published in the DO IT NOW magazine and on the DO IT NOW website. By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules.
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Words by Judith Gordon-Drake
LifeLine Johannesburg Counselling 011 782 1331 LifeLine Johannesburg was established in 1969 (41 years ago). As a non-profit organisation, it exists to facilitate the emotional wellness of individuals and communities in the Greater Johannesburg area. Some 250 highly trained volunteer counsellors work in the LifeLine Johannesburg, Soweto and Alexandra offices. These unsung heroes provide a vital 24-hour telephone counselling service, as well as face-to-face counselling, rape counselling and trauma debriefing to those people who traditionally have no access to psychosocial support. LifeLine Johannesburg is a developmental organisation. Its goal is to facilitate the strengthening of emotional wellness abilities of individuals and communities to such an extent that it enables them to appropriately manage strong emotions and mobilise social change. There are various training courses available and initiatives on the go and these include:
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Community Development Initiatives: ● Community-based Mentorship with child headed households. ● Peer education in the field of HIV and AIDS.
LifeLine Corporate: ● LifeLine Corporate Training Division provides communication and relationship skills in the corporate world, which are custom designed to meet specific needs facing employers and employees in today’s demanding workplace. ● LifeLine Corporate Employee Wellness Services provides Emotional Wellness interventions to corporates and fellow non-profit organisations.
There is a great emphasis and focus on the topic of wellness, both in the workplace, such as Employee Wellness Programmes (EWP), and in people’s private lives. But what does it mean and how can we define it, in order to integrate it in our lives? It takes more than physical exercise to maintain good health. Work-life balance is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, wellness is the dynamic process of becoming aware of, taking responsibility for and making choices that directly contribute to one’s holistic wellbeing and that of the common good. It is the integration of body, mind and spirit and the ongoing development of one’s own meaning in life. The goal of achieving optimal health is achieved by way of ‘striking a balance’ in relation to these eight dimensions: 1. Emotional wellness is striving to meet emotional needs constructively. It is the ability to respond resiliently to emotional states and the flow of life events. It is realistically dealing with a variety of situations and learning how your behaviours, thoughts and feelings affect one another and your decisions. It is taking responsibility for your own behaviour and responding to challenges as opportunities. An emotionally-well person is self-aware and self-accepting, while continuing to develop as a person. Emotional wellness is the ability to form interdependent relationships based on mutual commitment, trust, honesty and respect.
2. Cultural wellness is being aware and respectful of your own faith, traditions and cultural background, as well as learning about accepting and contributing to the diversity and richness present in other faiths and cultural backgrounds. It is acting towards oneself and all others with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, appreciation, tolerance and civility. 3. Environmental wellness is an awareness of the precarious state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment. It is respect for God’s creation and the beauty and balance of nature. Environmental wellness involves maintaining a way of life that maximises harmony with the earth and minimises harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment. 4. Intellectual wellness is having a curiosity and strong desire to learn. It is a lifelong process of creating and reflecting upon experience, staying stimulated with new ideas and sharing. It is discovering challenges, overcoming barriers and integrating opportunities to grow, making plans, developing strategies and solving problems in an academic community dedicated to leadership in service to others. It is the ability to engage in clear thinking and recall, and to think independently, creatively and critically.
5. Physical wellness means respecting and taking care of your body. It is applying your knowledge, motivation and skills toward enhancing personal fitness and health. It is making healthy and positive choices regarding a variety of issues including nutrition, physical activity, sexuality, sleep, the use of alcohol and other drugs, self-care and the appropriate use of health care systems. 6. Social wellness means contributing to one’s human and physical environment for the common welfare of, and social justice within, one’s community. It includes promoting a healthy living environment, encouraging effective communication and mutual respect among community members and seeking positive interdependent relationships with others. It is being a person for others and allowing others to care for you. It is also recognising the need for leisure and recreation, and budgeting time for those activities. 7. Spiritual wellness is the quest for meaning, value and purpose resulting in hope, joy, courage and gratitude. It encourages one to develop a personal faith and to seek God in all things. It is the discovery and incorporation of a personal set of values and beliefs that defines the person, places the individual in relation to the larger community and engages a faith that promotes justice. 8. Vocational wellness is a fit between who you are called to be and what you are called to do. It is finding the place where your deep desires and gifts meet a need in the community. A ‘vocationally well’ person expresses his or her values through paid and volunteer activities that are personally rewarding and make a contribution to the well-being of the community. Vocational wellness involves continually learning new skills and seeking challenges that lead to personal growth and a better world. Listening for and following your vocational calling is a lifelong process. Emotional intelligence (EQ) and effective interpersonal communication are increasingly being recognised as essential components in the efficient and productive functioning of employees. Soft skills are finally being recognised as ‘hard skills’ that directly impact on the bottom line. LifeSkills Corporate Training, a division of LifeLine Johannesburg, offers courses based on 40 years of dealing with mismanaged lives (working and private) and life situations – unsuccessfully negotiated. The effect on employees’ well-being, interpersonal relationships, conflict management, team morale and productivity is marked as a result of this soft skills training. ●
For information about LifeLine Johannesburg’s LifeSkills Corporate Training courses, contact Desire Davis on (011) 728-1331 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial contact, Judith Gordon-Drake | email@example.com
LifeLine Johannesburg Counselling 011 782 1331
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Words by Francois Flamengo
Steve Adams continues his journey through Scotland to discover the whisky distilleries that produce some of the world’s best brands. This will be the second of a series of six articles! The Diamond Dash is here to stay as the race organisers did another outstanding job at their second adventure racing event for 2010. Adventure racers, mountain bikers and trail runners enjoyed the well laid out track and we can only expect bigger things from this event. Be sure to read all the feedback and be entertained by the action that took place.
Part 2 Don’t miss this follow-up article about Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Steven Yates takes us further into this magical destination and reveals even more of its beauty.
A large company, feeling it was time for a shake-up, hired a new CEO. The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning on a wall. The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He walked up to the guy leaning against the wall and asked, “How much money do you make a week?” A little surprised, the young man looked at him and replied, “I make R400 a week. Why?” The CEO then hands the guy R1,600 in cash and screams, “Here’s four weeks pay, now GET OUT and don’t come back!” Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that freaking slacker did here?” From across the room came a voice, “Pizza delivery guy.” 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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