A Technicolour Dreamscape
• Three Green Machines
• Rediscovering Downhill Skating
• The Dreaded Snap Hook
• Surviving Gogela Gorge
• Sean O’Brien’s SA Tour
• Spice Up Your Island Break
• Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
• CA2C Ride the Wind MTB Race
• Fly Fishing for Slabs of Gold
9 772074 61100 0
Vol. 3 • Issue 2 • Apr/May 2011
www.doitnow.co.za FREE SUBSCRIPTION - p.13
Reader Competitions P: 8, 12, 14, 45, 105, 122
Safron Vosloo Photo by Chris Hitchcock
Congratulations to Simone and Savannah for earning their SA colors!
Team Ghost DO IT NOW would like to welcome Max Knox to the team!
Activities to try out over the next three months: Rock Climbing|Lion’s Head (Western Cape)
& Calendar ...
Kloofing/Canyoning|Magaliesberg Mountains (Gauteng) Surfing|Jeffery’s Bay (Eastern Cape) Fly Fishing|Dullstroom (Mpumalanga) Hot Air Ballooning|Cape Town (Western Cape)
April 2011 Sun
Hiking|Echo Valley (Western Cape) Wed Thurs
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Picnics|Le Pique Nique Boschendal (Western Cape) Horse Safaris|Waterberg (Limpopo) Rand Easter Show|DO IT NOW Adventure Arena (GP): 22 April-2May*
AR|Ystervark Legend (Gauteng): 8-10 April MTB|Caveman XPD (Western Cape): 16-24 April AR|XPD Africa (Western Cape): 7-15 April Gravity Sport|Street Luge SAGRA (Western Cape): 17 April Surfski|Plett Easter Championships (Western Cape): 23 April
10 11 12 13 14
Running|Two Oceans Marathon (Western Cape): 23 April Motorcycling|Shark Motorcycle Rally (Western Cape): 30 April-2 May Trailrun|African X (Western Cape): 6-8 May Swimming|Cadiz Freedom Swim - Bloubergstrand (Western Cape): 7 May Surfing|SA Surfing Championships (Eastern Cape): 18-22 May
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Trailrun|The Helderberg Mountain (Western Cape): 22 May
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Racing|Speedway Racing (Gauteng): 28 May
MTB|Magalies Monster (Gauteng): 28 May
29 30 31
MTB|Freedom Challenge Start - Rhodes (Eastern Cape): 11 June
Racing|Speedway Racing - Winter Challenge (Gauteng): 25 June
Gravity Sport|King of the Fort (Gauteng): 18-19 June Surfski|Dunlop SA Surf Ski World Cup (KZN): 26 June Wed Thurs
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 Public Holidays
4 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
AR|Kinetic Sprint (Gauteng): 26 June
Expo|Hunt Expo (Gauteng): 15-17 April Festival|Tonteldoos (Western Cape): 23 April Art|Cederberg Arts Festival (Northern Cape): 27 April-1 May Car Show|Top Gear Show (Gauteng): 30 April-2 May Live Show|Just Jinger Picnic Concert (George): 24 April Wine Tasting|The Wine Affair (Western Cape): 3-5 May Festival|Riebeek Valley Olive Festival (Western Cape): 7-8 May Brandy Tasting|Standard Bank Fine Brandy Festival – Sandton (Gauteng): 25-27 May
inTRO Dear DO IT NOW Reader, Happy Easter! I sincerely hope you all enjoy the April holidays, and please travel safely if you are going to be on the road. The first four months of this year have been a blast, with so many awesome events and activities on the go. It was a great pleasure, and loads of fun, joining DO IT NOW contributor Danie van Aswegen and teammate Nicol at the 2011 Dusi, where their solid performances secured them a great result. The annual Land Cruiser big dune driving trip in Namibia was also bigger than ever, with more than 60 of these dune-munching machines coming together to celebrate the 60th birthday of this highly-respected 4x4 workhorse. The Ghost DO IT NOW MTB team has also done incredibly well in all the races they’ve entered and I am especially proud of Simone and Savannah, who were awarded their SA colors this season - GO GIRLS! For the fifth year running, the Blyde XFest continues to be a major success and is now considered to be the biggest and best white water event close to Gauteng. As a headline sponsor, it is a great privilege for DO IT NOW to be associated with such a prestigious event. Read more on page 70-72. April will see DO IT NOW proudly hosting the first-ever ADVENTURE-SPORT-LIFESTYLE Arena at the Rand Show. The arena will showcase a variety of top quality adventure, sport and lifestyle products, which visitors – and hopefully many of our readers – will be able to try out in the 500 square metre swimming pool or on the climbing wall. Book this event in your calendar now so that you don't miss out on all the fantastic specials we’ll be running at the show. Over the next few weeks, yours truly will be taking part in the sani2c adventure race, our adventure racing team will be looking to take on the mighty XPD down in the Cape and DO IT NOW will join Onca Off-road on a trip to conquer the Legendary Baboon’s Pass in Lesotho in May. As always, you can look forward to reading about these and many other great events in the next issues of DO IT NOW. And remember, if you have a story to share with the rest of our readers, please don't hesitate to contact our team. Change is ever-present at DO IT NOW and I am proud to announce that we have moved into new and bigger offices in Fourways. The new office will soon feature a concept store, which will be stocked with our new ADVENTURE-SPORTLIFESTYLE clothing range, some very cool gadgets and nutrition products that will be useful on your next excursion or event. So if you are in the area and would like to pop in and say hello, don't hesitate to do so. I am also very excited about a new partnership that DO IT NOW is entering into with a major wholesale partner, which will enable us to sell their products to our readers at very competitive prices. There will be more details about this new development in the next issue. Thank you to everyone who has visited our website, facebook page and sent in their comments. Your suggestions help us to grow, so please keep those ideas flowing in! To ensure that the website is everything we envision it to be, we’ve also appointed a new in-house designer who will help us turn this baby into the ‘Real McCoy’. New features that we have focused on includes an easier registration process, even more content and loads of exciting competitions with fantastic prizes up for grabs! Until next time!
DON’T HESITATE, DON’T PROCRASTINATE, DO IT NOW!
Francois Flamengo Founder
www.doitnow.co.za >> 5
On the Cover - Photo by Ania Nel. Len Nel from ONCA Off-Road travelling on a muddy road close to Kunene River Lodge, Namibia.
the TEAM etc.
The DO IT NOW Team comprises of the following individuals: FOUNDER Francois Flamengo MANAGING EDITOR Elri Flamengo | firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING, SALES & MARKETING Keane Ludick | email@example.com SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES Terence Mdluli | firstname.lastname@example.org TEXT EDITOR Tracy Knox PUBLISHER DO IT NOW CC DISTRIBUTION (Subscription only) The Tree House DESIGN & LAYOUT LilyHouse Design Studio ART DIRECTOR Adele Cloete GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Ilze Eva, Adele Cloete WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT DO IT NOW Web Team | email@example.com PRINTING Law Print
HEAD OFFICE DO IT NOW CC No 2 Hammets Crossing Office Park Building 805 Cnr Witkoppen Rd & Selbourne Ave Fourways, Johannesburg Tel: +27 (11) 462 1261 Fax: 086 517 0934 Website: www.doitnow.co.za
DO IT NOW (ISSN 2074-6113) is published bi-monthly. While every effort is made by the DIN Team to ensure that the contents of the DO IT NOW magazine are accurate at the time of going to press, the Founder cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of using the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of the Founder’s opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of the Founder. DO IT NOW supports and encourages responsible practices with regards to all Adventure, Sport and Lifestyle activities. We also believe in the conservation and protection of all fauna and flora.
6 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities For more information on Advertising and Sectional Sponsorship opportunities in the magazine and website, you can request the DO IT NOW Company Profile, Rate Card, Specs & Schedule Sheet via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically from the DO IT NOW office on +27 (11) 462 1261.
Thank you to all our contributors who help make this magazine such an exciting adventure! 1. Alan Hobson // inNATURE Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Yellowfish – a World-class Experience at Sterkfontein Alan has been fly fishing for more than 35 years and his passion for anything Pisces is contagious. He achieved his R.E.F.F.I.S. and THETA accreditation five years ago and is constantly developing the ultimate fly. He also collects malt whiskies that are displayed in his pub in a century old church.
2. Claire Barnes // inALTITUDE Skydiving Contributor Claire is a young thrill seeker who was bitten by the skydiving bug and competes at a novice level. When she’s not jumping out of planes, she enjoys soccer, cricket and indoor climbing.
3. Claire King // inALTITUDE King of the Sky: An Interview with Jay Moledzki: Canopy Piloting World Champion Claire loves to try new stuff; if it’s outdoors and active, she’s game. Her main passion is skydiving and she is a PASA Coach, FAI Judge and has medalled at various SA National Championships. Most weekends Claire can be found team training, coaching or judging skydives.
4. Dawie du Plessis // inTRANSIT A Typical Day Travelling in Sudan Dawie is a self-taught photographer and writer with a passion for travelling and adventure. Many of his images can be found on the Getty Images and Gallo Images sites, and his work showcases many of SA’s major and international companies. He’s also a skydiving instructor and film-maker with numerous credits in the movie industry.
5. Deon Breytenbach // inH2O Blyde Xfest 2011 - Bigger, Better, Best! Deon has been paddling white water for the last 13 years and competed in both local and international freestyle competitions. Currently based near the Blyde River canyon, he spends as much time as possible introducing new faces to the world of white water paddling. “Have kayak, will smile.” Deon is supported by Fluid Kayaks.
6. Francois Steyn // inGEAR In Review: Three Green Machines Adventure rider, Chartered Accountant and Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. He’s happiest on two wheels and favours the dryer, barren regions of southern Africa.
7. Jacques Marais // inFOCUS SHOOT! The Unlimited DUSI Canoe Marathon A professional photographer, author and columnist, Jacques photographs and articles grace the pages of too-many-to-count local and international newspapers, websites and premium magazines. You name it and he’ll capture the moment perfectly one way or another, be it extreme events or diverse action and adventure disciplines, receiving numerous prestigious awards for his efforts.
8. Michael Scholz // in THE HOLE Golf Interview with Basil Naidoo – Lead Character in the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s Show; The Dreaded Snap Hook! A journeyman professional golfer and adrenalin junkie, Mike enjoys scuba diving and fly fishing, but mountain biking tops his list of activities. A passionate but relative new-comer to mountain biking, Mike enjoys the fitness, the ‘burn’ of serious hills and the competitive nature of the sport.
9. Neil Ross // inDULGE Tasty Salmon and Shrimp Fish Cakes Neil has worked his way around the world enjoying every ‘foodie’ minute of it. Gentlemen’s clubs such as Brookes in London opened up many wonderful learning experiences, including cooking suppers for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. South Africa is now his home, and he couldn’t see it. Neil currently cooks up a storm of culinary delights at the Inanda Club.
10. Peter Fairbanks // inSURE Take Control of Your Future 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’.
11. Richard Flamengo // inTERTAINMENT Music, Movie and Game Reviews Richard is a movie, music and games (MMG) enthusiast, who loves relaxing at home playing games or going to watch movies, with a box of salt and vinegar popcorn. Richard enjoys all sorts of music ranging from lekker sakkie sakkie Afrikaans stuff through to hard-hitting rock.
12. Rikus Scheepers // inSHAPE Getting to Grips with Tennis Elbow Rikus is a Chiropractor by day in a private multi-disciplinary practice in Middelburg and Witbank. He enjoys being active and spending time outdoors, scuba diving, mountain biking, trail running and any kind of activity that gets the adrenalin flowing. He likes to challenge himself on all levels to achieve his goals and then celebrate them with a cold one!
13. Steve Adams // inDULGE The Ireland Whiskey Trail 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.
14. Steven Yates // inCREDIBLE PLACES Zanzibar - Spice Up Your Island Break Steve works as a Business Consultant to pay for his extravagant lifestyle of travelling and adventure sports. He loves cycling, scuba diving, rock climbing and just about any sport.
ADVENTURE ADVENTURE header page photograph by: Chris Hitchcock www.photobay.co.za inGEAR: Len Nel and Tania Steyn; inH2O: Doug Copeland, Gareth Evans, Rory Taylor, Mark McLeod, Sharon Rawlins and Nicky McLeod; inALTITUDE: Dennis Wevell, Gert-Louis van der Walt, Jaco de Villiers and Honorata Saar. SPORT SPORT header page photograph by: Chris Hitchcock www.photobay.co.za inTERVIEW: Angélique-Marie Pierry; inTRODUCING: Janie Smit, Roland Jungwirth, Massimo Bastiotto, Anthony Churchyard, Faizal Samsodien and Duwayne Smith; inACTION: Colleen Saunders, Dennis Walthew, Lelani Boshoff, Nicola van Heerden, Patrick Cruywagen, Alison Cole and Karin Schermbrucker, Chloe Torr and Greg Beadle; inPREPARATION: Heidie Muller, Mandy Hartlett; inSHAPE: Danie Kriek and photos from www.sxc.hu. LIFESTYLE LIFESTYLE header page photograph by: Chris Hitchcock www.photobay.co.za in THE HOLE: Darren Witter; inDULGE: Jacoline Haasbroek; inVOLVED: Bernelle Verster, Ralph Tuijn, Tracy Knox and James Oertel.
www.doitnow.co.za >> 7
Kayaking | Scuba Diving | Climbing | 4x4ing
Don't hesitate, don't procrastinate, join DO IT NOW at the RAND EASTER SHOW!
We look forward to welcoming you to the
ADVENTURE | SPORT | LIFESTYLE Arena.
SUBSCRIBER TICKET GIVE-AWAY!! WIN double tickets worth R140 each.
To Enter: Subscribe a new reader on the subscription form on page 13, putting your name and email address as a reference. Send to: email@example.com | Fax: 086 517 0934, please use "Rand Show Lucky Draw" as the subject. Competition closing date moved to 15 April 2011.
Dirt Biking | Motorbiking | Mountain Climbing
Visit the DO IT NOW ADVENTURE | SPORT | LIFESTYLE Arena @ the 2011 Rand Easter Show from 22 April to 2 May for 11 days. The Arena will feature a mountain bike track, swimming pool & climbing wall, where you can try out the latest and greatest gear around. Stock up on various fantastic gadgets and products from well known brands at Rand Easter Show bargain prices. Why not try out a new activity that you've been wanting to get into, but kept putting off?
inDEX Vol 3 | Issue 2 | 2011 | www.doitnow.co.za
Goba Goba Lodge, Gobabis. Namibia
Base // DINList and CALENDAR: p. 4
// Subscriptions: p. 12-13
An exciting three-month calendar of Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle.
DO IT NOW Subscription form and competition.
// inVOLVED: p. 124-129
Information page, check out our competitions, feedback and updates.
Incredible stories of involvement in one community, environment, marine, wildlife and other areas of life.
// inCLOSING: p. 130
// inFO: p. 14-15
A sneak preview of upcoming articles.
Regulars p. 18-28 p. 29-32 p. 34-40 p. 42-49 p. 52-59 p. 60-69 p. 70-79 p. 80-86 p. 88-91 p. 94-97 p. 98-100 p. 101-105 p. 106-112 p. 113 p. 114-115 p. 116-123
inGEAR: "Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle" activities featuring vehicles with gears. inTRANSIT: Exciting and entertaining travel stories from Africa and beyond. inH2O: Water sport and adventure activities. inALTITUDE: Aerial and high altitude adventures. inTERVIEW: Interviews with a variety of sportsmen and women. inTRODUCING: Featuring informative articles on a number of sports and why athletes compete in them. inACTION: Information and feedback on various exciting sporting events. inPREPARATION: Information, tips and or training programmes for various sporting activities and events. inSHAPE: Important information about health, nutrition and exercise. in THE HOLE: Golfing articles and celebrity interviews. inNATURE: Outdoor experiences and activities such as hiking and fishing. inCREDIBLE PLACES: Stories about incredible and magical places to visit. inDULGE: A wine and dine section with a twist. inSURE: Valuable information about insurance and related topics. inTERTAINMENT: Book, music, movie and game reviews. inFOCUS: Photography section with discussions, a competition and event-specific photography and tips. Key: Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle
10 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
ADVENTURE p. 16 to 49
inGEAR 18-22 Namibia, Orange River to Kunene a Technicolour Dreamscape: Part 1 24-28 In Review: Three Green Machines inTRANSIT 29-32 Typical Day Travelling in Sudan
inH2O 34-35 What is Waveski Surfing? 36-38 Surviving Gogela Gorge 39-40 Preparing to Dive the Red Sea inALTITUDE 42-46 Climbing the Western Cape 47-49 Amateur Father and Daughter Team Tackle Mt. Kilimanjaro
SPORT p. 50 to 91 inTERVIEW 52-54 Stewart Couper on FMX 56-59 King of the Sky: An Interview with Jay Moledzki, Canopy Piloting World Champion inTRODUCING 60-61 Who is the Fittest Person in Cape Town? 62-64 Rediscovering the Soul of Downhill Skateboarding 66-69 Hansgrohe Masters of The Water Series - The Competitive Side of Lifesaving inACTION 70-72 Blyde Xfest 2011 - Bigger, Better, Best! 74-76 CA2C Ride the Wind MTB Race - heat, hills and sssssssssand 77-79 Dan Hugo Wins XTERRA SA 2011 Championship
inPREPARATION 80-83 Expedition Africa, a 500km Adventure 84-86 Sean O’Brien’s South African Tour inSHAPE 88-89 Getting Back to Basics: The Importance of Good Nutrition 90-91 Getting to Grips with Tennis Elbow
LIFESTYLE p. 92 to 129
in THE HOLE 94-95 Golf Interview with Basil Naidoo - Lead Character in the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s Show 96-97 The Dreaded Snap Hook! inNATURE 98-100 Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Yellowfish - a World-class Experience at Sterkfontein inCREDIBLE PLACES 101-105 Zanzibar - Spice Up Your Island Break
inDULGE 106-109 The Ireland Whiskey Trail 110-111 Seasons of Mellow Fruitfulness 112 Tasty Salmon and Shrimp Fish Cakes inSURE 113 Take Control of your Future
inTERTAINMENT 114-115 Music, Movie and Game Reviews inFOCUS 116-121 SHOOT! The Unlimited DUSI Canoe Marathon inVOLVED 124-127 Of Bankers, Movie Stars and an Occupational Adventurer 128-129 Birds of Prey Fall Victim to Hard Times
Be where the action is - Excel to the finish line - Live the lifestyle - Be the one to DO IT NOW! www.doitnow.co.za >> 11
SUBSCRIBE A N D W I N ! ! One LUCKY new subscriber to DO IT NOW will stand a chance to WIN a blue-5ive Heart Rate Monitor worth R700
Heart Rate Monitor by blue-5ive >>> local brand – local support
Aimed to suit the pocket of the scholar, student, housewife or semiprofessional athlete, this hardy model has shown its mettle at local marathons, triathlons and other sporting events by withstanding standard wear and tear. A year ago, we have launched our exciting brand in South Africa with this rugged and attractive heart rate monitor which is already available at several sport stores. Contact blue-5ive on firstname.lastname@example.org
Change gear at the starting block with a heart rate monitor watch crafted for champions. Our entry-level heart rate monitor is both durable and affordable.
• Wireless HR measuring with chest strap • Display heart rate bpm and % based on BMI • Target zones with alarm and visual indicator • Maximum and average heart rate of total exercise • Displays exercise timer and calorie consumption • Displays fat burnt • Calculates body mass index (BMI) • Clock • Calendar • Stopwatch • Timer • EL Backlight • Low battery indicator • Interchangeable strap and watch batteries
WINNER!! Congratulations to
Hermann Wessels for subscribing to DO IT NOW Magazine and winning the Rigid Industries Halo Flash Light
FREE Subscription to
Subscribe today and stand a chance to win a
blue-5ive Heart Rate Monitor worth R700 www.doitnow.co.za In order to receive a FREE 2 Year Subscription* to DO IT NOW, either complete the online subscription form at www.doitnow.co.za or please complete the form below thoroughly and Email to email@example.com or Fax to 086 517 0934.
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www.doitnow.co.za >> 13
30°45’46.60”E If you would like to share your ADVENTURE – SPORT – LIFESTYLE story with other DO IT NOW readers, then send your article to firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to ...
Congratulations to Team Ghost DO IT NOW on their awesome performances over the past few months.
Tip: SA tar roads after the rains ... Do you know the pace in this photo, then email your answer (the name of this place) to email@example.com and stand a chance to win a R250 voucher. The competition closes on 10 May 2011 and the winner will be announced on the DO IT NOW facebook page, website and in the June/July 2011 issue of DO IT NOW’s magazine.
Another congratulations go to Team Red Ants who placed 4th overall at the recent Tierra Viva 500km Expedition Race in Argentina. What an excellent performance! Have a look at their photos on: w w w. t e a m r e d a n t s . c o. z a / TierraViva_gallery.html Congratulations to Erik Voges who was drawn from all entrants who correctly identified the place in DO IT NOW Issue 3, Volume 1 as The Lighthouse in Swakopund (Namibia)!
inVOLVED is the heart of DO IT NOW and it is our aim to give back to those less fortunate than us, and protect our animals and planet! The concept behind inVOLVED is to do just that - get involved! It is also our mission to laud the many unsung heroes who are making a real difference in our country by offering their services, time or money to improve our communities, help and protect the animals and care for our environment. Read more about various inVOLVED adventures on pages 124-129.
If you know of an institution or group 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.
Thanks for Shaving and Spraying at 2011 CANSA Shavathon!
Johannes Radebe, Venetia Howes - Silverstar Casino, Lucy Balona - CANSA, Mark Pilgrim - 94.7 Highveld Stereo
Keri Miller: 94.5Kfm On Air Presenter
Bianca Coutinho - Sandton City, Ray Levine - KIA South Africa, Mark Pilgrim - 94.7 Highveld Stereo
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)’s eighth Shavathon event was a huge success thanks to everyone who helped fight cancer by spraying or shaving their hair at schools, workplaces and shopping centres countrywide, over the weekend of 3 – 6 March.
Approximately 2,800 trained volunteers assisted CANSA with support services to almost 7,000 patients, and 2,700 caregivers supported over 92,800 bedridden patients. More than 3,200 patients were accommodated while undergoing treatment at CANSA’s Interim Homes country-wide.
We used over 55 000 tins of spray, 540 Wahl Clippers, 800 bibs and 1,000 capes.
With the hairspray not yet dry, CANSA’s already gearing up for the next big event; the CANSA Relay For Life. To be hosted nationally, it’s an overnight, fun-filled event that mobilises communities to celebrate survivors, remember loved ones that have passed away from cancer and raise money for the fight against cancer. Visit www.cansa.org.za for more information on entering or how you can get involved.
Funds raised will help CANSA continue to provide its service to the community and support cancer survivors. At the time of going to print, figures were close to R4,3 million and growing! In the past financial year, CANSA’s 156 support groups helped provide support to over 9,500 cancer survivors and their families.
14 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
DO IT NOW Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle Arena @ the Rand Easter Show Don't miss this year's Rand Easter show at Nasrec from 22 April to 2 May 2011, as it's going to be bigger and better, and DO IT NOW will be there too with an Adventure | Sport | Lifestyle Arena.
Lucky Draw: 50 double complimentary entry tickets worth R140 each for DO IT NOW subscribers. Turn to pages 8 & 9 to see how you can win two entry tickets to the show, compliments of the DO IT NOW team!
HIKING TRAILS Competition, DO IT NOW Vol 3 Issue 1
DIVE SITES Competition, DO IT NOW Vol 3 Issue 1
The correct answer was the Otter Hiking Trail. Congratulations to the following DO IT NOW entrants, who have each won a ‘Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape’ book, compliments of MapStudio and DO IT NOW!
The correct answer was Volume 2 Issue 1. Well done to the following readers, who have each won a ‘Atlas of Dive Sites of Southern Africa & Mozambique’ book, compliments of MapStudio and DO IT NOW.
• □Luke Mangaliso Duncan • □Laura Yates • □William Cairns • □Dagmar Merkle
• □□Robert Taylor • □□Nelda Murray
• □Helen Fourie • □Hilde-Mart Retief
Feel like you need a break? There are some excellent holidays valued around R15 000 to be won on pages 45 and 105. Don’t miss out on your chance to win some much needed time away!
Limited FREE Subscription Offer!
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What we're up to ...
Photo Competition p. 122
EFI BIG DUNE Driving in Namibia During February DIN ventured into the mighty sand dunes of the Namib desert. The event was the annual Cruiser big dune trip and this year was made extra special with the celebration of the Land Cruiser’s 60th Anniversary. Toyota South Africa, various media groups and loyal Cruiser drivers got together for this great adventure.
attached ... no strings
Are you part of our community? To get all the latest news, happenings, events, topical stories and competitions, visit our very cool and interactive Facebook page and website. Go and see for yourself on www.doitnow.co.za and the www.facebook.com/DO-ITNOW. For a limited period only, SUBSCRIBE online at www. doitnow.co.za and receive a FREE two-year (12 issues) subscription to the DO IT NOW magazine! Don’t miss out on this amazing offer and watch us grow on the online subscriber-counter!
EXPEDITION AFRICA ADVENTURE RACE The inaugural Expedition Africa is taking place in May and will be a six-day adventure race held in the Western Cape. This challenge will demand top physical and mental preparation to complete the entire course, set out by Kinetic Gear’s Stephan Muller.
Check out our very own golfing celebrity, the 40 YearOld Rookie, who will be appearing on Super Golf at 19h30 every Wednesday evening. You can also follow Michael Scholz on Facebook: 40 Year-Old Rookie.
www.doitnow.co.za >> 15
// [inGEAR] Namibia, Orange River to Kunene - a Technicolour Dreamscape: Part 1 * In Review: Three Green Machines // [inTRANSIT] A Typical Day Travelling in Sudan // [inH2O] What is Waveski Surfing? * Surviving Gogela Gorge * Preparing to Dive the Red Sea // [inALTITUDE] Climbing the Western Cape * Amateur Father and Daughter Team Tackle Mt. Kilimanjaro
Photo: Chris Hitchcock (www.photobay.co.za) Description: Dragon Boat
DO IT NOW | inGEAR: Words & photos by Len Nel
Namibia from Orange to Kunene:
a Technicolour Dreamscape
It took three months to plan and prepare our vehicles for a 4 x 4 trip to Namibia before Onca, some friends and I were finally ready to hit the road. We left Gauteng at 04:00 in one of the worst rainstorms I have even driven in, so it was with caution that we proceeded towards Vryburg, to meet up with the rest of our convoy. Just outside Upington, we met up with the EFS Suspensions’ convoy and spent the afternoon having loads of fun driving in the sandy tracks alongside the Orange River. The Africa River Lodge, on the banks of the Orange River in Upington, was an oasis after spending 12 long and hot hours in our vehicles. Carel had printed birding lists for us that highlighted all the endemic birds to be found on this trip. The Gariep White-eye was definitely my favourite on the first day, and the first of many more birds that followed. We bid farewell to Upington and the mighty Orange River early the next morning and went in search of the plane wreck that Gerald’s grandfather was in, when it tragically crashed on top of a hill in the 1950s. We were approximately 40km before the Nakop border when we experienced a sunrise that only the Kalahari can offer; it was truly breathtaking! Shortly afterwards, we found the lonely old tangled Piper Cub wreck and the sight brought back many sad memories of the accident. After sharing our thoughts and Gerald’s mother’s stories about her father, this area and what happened around here when she was a young girl, we set off once again. We crossed the Nakop border and headed for the Fish River Canyon, one of the main attractions in southern Namibia. The canyon is 550m deep, about 160km long and several kilometres wide. It lies in a seemingly endless desert, where the eye only occasionally rests on green euphorbia or tall quiver trees. We spent the night at Klein Aus Vista just outside Aus, a place where big boulders and great open spaces form the most amazing landscape. It is also here where you will find graceful gemsbok and magnificent wild horses roaming free. You can stare at this view indefinitely, as it constantly changes with the time of day.
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After breakfast the next morning, we headed towards Lüderitz and were amazed by the number of gemsbok, springbok and wild horses we encountered along the way. How they manage to survive in this hot, barren desert is a mystery to me. The origins of these wild horses remain unclear even today, but according to some the horses are descendents from Trakehners and were brought into the country by colonial troops. Others link the horses’ origin to that of Baron Hansheinrich von Wolf, who started breeding horses some 130km further north at his manor house, Castle Duwisib, near Maltahohe, in 1908. The only certainty is that over the years, the wild horses have adapted very well to their desert surroundings and thrive. Lüderitz is a small town nestled between the sea and a desolate hinterland. It is far removed from established centres and is a diamond mining town within the Sperrgebiet. Among the town’s attractions are the colonial style buildings, monuments, a museum, Dias Point, spectacular bird life, more than 50 species of succulents in the desert and some fine gemstones.
Dias Point is the site where Bartholomew Dias erected a padrao, a stone cross, to commemorate his landing at Lüderitz on 25 July 1488. The Sperrgebiet is a rugged, closed area that can only be visited with a permit that must be applied for two weeks in advance. No children under 14 can enter the Sperrgebiet.
Just outside of Lüderitz you will find Kolmanskop, the most celebrated of ghost towns. Once a booming mining settlement, the depletion of diamond deposits saw the mining operations move to richer fields around Oranjemund. As a result, Kolmanskop became a ghost town almost overnight. Today it stands silent and forsaken, half buried by the drifting sands of the desert. A tour unveiled an abandoned butchery, bakery, ice and lemonade factory, general dealer, hospital, school, ten pin bowling alley and a town hall that served as a theatre, dance hall, gym, church and hotel bar. A two rail train linked the heart of the town to the majestic houses higher on the dunes. After exploring Lüderitz’s harbour area, we went to have lunch at a charming restaurant that overlooked the ships docked in the harbour’s calm waters. Back in Aus we turned onto the C13, a gravel road that led us to Maltahohe. When travelling on this road a fair amount of concentration is required, and the correct tyre pressure and good suspension essential. A tyre pressure of two bars worked well for our vehicles. But watch out for the sand skirting on the left hand side of the road and take extra care when it’s being scraped. Hitting the sand skirting at high speed will cause the vehicle to start sliding, so refrain from overcorrecting or braking too rapidly. When approaching a slope or bend, keep well left.
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We arrived at Namseb Game Farm and spent the night on one of the oldest farms in Namibia. On our arrival, we were informed that it was their year-end party and were invited to join in the festivities. We enjoyed true Namibian hospitality, great food and were entertained after dinner by some of the local farmers playing their guitars and the hangers on singing merrily along. The evening was most memorable, especially for the birthday girl in our group! At breakfast, some of the local farmers warned us that the next stretch of gravel road to Walvis Bay via Solitaire was in a bad condition, but still the shortest route and also very scenic. We were not disappointed! However, a trip such as this should not be attempted without two-way radios in each vehicle, so that the leading vehicle can warn the rest of the convoy about bad road conditions or oncoming traffic. The radios proved their worth time and time again during our trip. The C14 from Maltahohe to Solitaire winds it way through the Maltahohe region and the last few kilometres takes you through the tip of Naukluft Park, one of the most bewitching desert wilderness areas in Africa. It’s amazing to see how the landscape changes from bushveld to valleys with rocky cliffs, to desert with massive dunes towering in the distance, all in a matter of 100km. It is heaven on earth for any photographer!
"Solitaire is a small oasis in the middle of nowhere and boasts a filling station, general dealer, workshop and bakery." Solitaire
Solitaire is a small oasis in the middle of nowhere and boasts a filling station, general dealer, workshop and bakery. We devoured the most amazing apple pie, Solitaire’s claim to fame, in the shade of some trees and watched the sociable weavers and sparrows waiting patiently for some crumbs. Back on the road again, and before we could reach the drifting sand and gravel plains of the desert, we had to conquer two beautiful passes; the Gaub and Kuseb. The 120km route was a real test for the vehicles and fitted equipment, and the suspension setups on the vehicles proved a great success. Just before Walvis Bay, the convoy was forced to slow down quite considerably as we drove into a thick cloud of dust. Sand storms in this area are common, visibility is poor and large quantities of sand are blown onto the road, making it very dangerous when driving too fast. We reached Walvis Bay without incident and headed towards Swakopmund, our base from where we would explore the surrounding areas for the next seven days. After three days of hard driving it was time to take it easy for a day and bird watching seemed like a great idea. The salt pans nearby attract a myriad of coastal and aquatic birds, and the Cape Gull, Damara Terns, Cape Cormorant, Lesser and Greater Flamingo and Ruddy Turnstone were just some of the incredible species we spotted in this arid region, with the chilly
Atlantic ocean on the one side and desert on the other. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach and as another day came to an end, we witnessed a spectacular sunset over the sea. Dirk from Namib Off-road, a good friend and the Onca dealer in Namibia, agreed to join us for a morning of dune driving. He had also arranged the necessary permits to make this drive possible. It is always better to have a local around in this unforgiving area because even though it’s great fun, it can also be very dangerous if you don’t stick to the rules! Early morning and late afternoon are the best time in the dunes as the sun is directly above the dunes in midday, which makes it very difficult to navigate with no shadows to outline the dune crests. Low range, pedal to the metal, and most importantly, a tyre pressure of 0.8 bar is needed to conquer these sandy beasts. But don’t get carried away by racing up the back of the dune. You need to slow down before descending a slip face and then just break over the crest. It’s really important that you keep this in mind because you don’t want to fly over a slip face that is 150m long, with angles exceeding 40 degrees. It’s more difficult than you think and not for the faint hearted. Once again the suspension upgrades done by Onca proved successful in the dunes.
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This all sounds like a lot of fun, and it definitely is, but remember that we are playing in a very sensitive eco system. Avoid the stony pans as vehicle tracks remain visible for years, and donâ€™t drive over any desert plants or grass patches. Stop for a moment and just appreciate the vastness of this sandy sea that covers much of the central Namib region. The land appears to be lifeless, but is in fact home to an intriguing array of small creatures ranging from beetles and termites, to lizards and snakes. The insects feed on particles of vegetation that are blown in by the desert winds and they in turn provide food for the larger species. Moisture is provided by fog and dew that accumulates on the sand dune grass.
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A few hours in the dunes felt like minutes because we were having such an awesome time. After enjoying a cold Windhoek at Dune 7, we inflated the tyres to the correct pressure and headed back to Walvis Bay to enjoy lunch. In the next issue of DO IT NOW, I will tell you about our exhilarating one-day yacht trip in Walvis Bay, catching elusive Bronzies with the DO IT NOW team and the delights discovered enroute from the popular seaside town of Swakopmund to the haunting Skeleton Coast before we reluctantly headed home via the Waterberg plateau. â€˘
by Francois Steyn DO IT NOW | inGEAR: Words Photos by Francois and Tania Steyn
IN REVIEW: With the current hype about all things green, South Africa introduced a new tax in 2010, which penalises anyone who buys a car that emits harmful greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide. Even though the motor industry causes but a fraction of the damage, it has been taking most of the blame. Consequently, car manufacturers have had to come up with alternative, greener solutions to the ‘dreadful’ internal combustion engine. Pure emission-free cars, like electric and hydrogen cars, won’t be viable in the nearby future because of the expensive infrastructure needed to refuel these power plants. In the meantime they’ve had to make a compromise, and Toyota led the way when it brought us a petrol-electric hybrid car, the Prius nearly six years ago. Then in 2010, Honda gave us two more hybrids; the futuristic-looking Insight hatchback and the sporty new CR-Z. The Jazz hybrid is said to be coming out in the near future.
Honda Insight 1.3 Hybrid The Insight hatchback’s futuristic design is not purely for show, it’s also designed to cut through the air as efficiently as possible. The result is a slanting rear door, with a near horizontal back window, but the aerodynamic rear-end limits available headroom in the rear, especially in the middle where only a child will fit. But when the back seats are folded completely flat, there is oodles of space. The Insight is powered by a 1.3-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder petrol engine producing 65 kW and an electric motor, which lends a helping hand when needed. Honda calls this system Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). It charges the 10 kW battery under braking or when the engine’s full power is not utilised, but adds power when called upon to reduce fuel consumption. It also reduces the nasty gases that kill our butterflies. The combined output is 73 kW at 5,800 r/min and 167 Nm of torque from as low as 1,000 r/min. The reason this calculation does not add up is because the battery and engine develop power at different engine speeds. The Insight has comfort and economy in its sights and with the CVT gearbox and speed-sensitive power steering, it hits the target perfectly. The suspension may be on the firm side, but it limits body-roll around corners quite effectively and is not too harsh. It doesn’t feel fast, but is good for 182 km/h. The futuristic instrumentation teaches you how to drive economically and if you get it right, virtual flowers grow on the display behind the steering. A green backlight on the digital speedo means you’re saving fuel, and the planet, but turns dark blue when you’re being naughty. There is also a charge/assist gauge that shows whether your driving style is charging the battery or accepting its help.
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It has all the active safety features, including ABS, EBD, EBA and traction control, as well as six airbags and ISOfix child seat attachment points in the rear. The best thing about the Insight though must be its price. There may be ‘better’ cars out there for R259 900, but it is still the cheapest hybrid available locally, making this advance in motoring technology accessible to the masses. It also topped the sales charts in Japan when it was first launched, placing a hybrid on top for the first time in motoring history! I liked the Insight for the effort, but if only being responsible could be fun and good looking too. Honda says it can, with the CR-Z.
Honda CR-Z This little 2+2, or more realistically a two-seater sports car, is a stunning, streamlined petro-electric hybrid, which reminds me of the old CR-X. It’s powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, with the same IMA system found in the Insight. Combined power is 91 kW at 6,100 r/min and 174 Nm of torque between 1,000 and 1,500 r/min. Instead of an automatic gearbox you get a slick six-speed manual, a first for a hybrid. Performance figures claimed are a 10 second 0-100 km/h sprint and top-end speed of 200 km/h. There are three different driving modes: Econ, Normal and Sport. In Econ and Normal, the futuristic display tells you when to shift up or down, and the same green to blue backlighting on the digital speedo display shows you how to save fuel. Press the Sport button and the engine immediately sounds different, revving more freely due to increased throttle response. The steering feel is sharpened and delivers a more-involved driving experience. The green and blue backlights also give way for a permanent red glow on the digital speedo and the stop-start system does not cut in as easily. The leather front seats are heated and it’s easy to get comfy with the steering wheel adjustable for rake and reach. When you floor the right pedal from a standstill, traction control is needed to keep the front wheels from spinning, as most of the torque is available from idling speed. Once on the move the taut suspension makes for a satisfying experience on the twisty roads around the Boland. Both Honda hybrids have multi-function steering wheels, with audio and cruise control buttons. Another nice feature in both is USB connectivity, into which you plug your flash drive or cell phone to listen to your favourite tunes over the sound system. What I enjoyed most about the CR-Z though, was all the stares I got wherever I went, and the stunning Horizon Turquoise Pearl paint job did not help it to blend in either. At R299 900, it may still be a bit expensive, but is definitely a step in the right direction.
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Chevrolet Lumina SS Ute
This is motoring at its best! It has an enormous 6-litre V8 petrol engine in the front, rear wheel drive, flared wheel arches and massive 18-inch spoked rims with low profile rubber. The only sanity included in this monster is in the form of a 6-speed automatic gearbox and four of the eight cylinders switch off when driving slowly or cruising. This is done to save fuel and emissions, and I managed close to 7.8 km/l, commuting on the N1. Not at all bad for a mad ‘bakkie’ like this. When you depress the accelerator you can feel, and hear, the other bank of cylinders fire up. Give it the boot and it starts to roar. It’s not a savage roar though, mainly due to the cabin’s excellent sound proofing. Driving like this, which is hard not to do due to the addictive rush of 270 kW and 540 Nm of torque, will show an average consumption of 15 l/100km (or 6.7 km/l) on the onboard display. Still way better than I what imagined. It will drop considerably if you ignore the impending stay in prison AARTO is proposing. The auto ‘box is quite smooth in normal driving mode, but throw it over to the left into sport-shift mode and it stays in each gear for longer and adapts to your driving style by not up-shifting when lifting off for a second or two. Instead, it keeps the gear ready to pounce on your demand. To override the cog swopping, simply shift forward to drop a gear or backwards to up-shift. This car, especially in metallic green, is a real head turner and I had people taking photos and trying hard to overtake me just
to show me a thumbs up. This is what DRIVING, as opposed to just driving, is all about. The power is explosive, yet predictable. Grip from the fat 245/45 R18 tyres is ample, yet you can loosen its tail with a thump of the throttle. The traction control quickly reins it in, but it can be switched off if you want to smoke the tyres (the owner’s manual on the other hand explains it’s used when you want to fit snow chains). The interior is well laid out, has dual zone climate control, and a multi-function steering wheel for radio and cruise control buttons. The digital display shows trip, range, speed or consumption and has a customisation menu that allows you to set the headlight delay when getting out, as well as when the doors should automatically lock either on start or at speed, or unlock when in Park or on shut down. Another neat touch is the large display box in the centre of the dash. It shows battery charge voltage, oil temperature and oil pressure. The Ute is huge fun to drive, great to be seen in and at R413 700 it is well priced too. Before you start laughing, hear me out. Most two-seater sport cars cost as much or more, have no storage space and don’t get noticed anymore. In the Ute you get two sporty leather seats, all the power you need, room behind the seats for a cooler box and picnic blanket, plus all the space you need to move house. I can’t think of a more functional sports coupé. •
Comparisons between our three green machines: Petrol Engine Capacity (cc) Max Power (kW) Engine Electric Motor Combined @ r/min Max Torque Engine Electric Motor Combined @ r/min Gearbox type Claimed acceleration (0-100 km/h) Claimed top speed (km/h) CO2 emissions (g/km) Warranty (km / years) Service plan (km / years) Service intervals (km)
INSIGHT 1.3 HYBRID 1,339
CR-Z 1.5 HYBRID 1,496
CHEVROLET LUMINA SS UTE
65 10,3 73 5,800
84 10 91 6,100
121 78,4 167 1,000 - 1,500
145 78,4 174 1,000 - 1,500
CVT 12.5 sec 182 108 100,000 / 3 90,000 / 5 15,000
6-speed manual 10 sec 200 117 100,000 / 3 90,000 / 5 15,000
6-speed auto / 6-speed manual N/A N/A N/A 120,000 / 5 60,000 / 3 15,000
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& Photos by Dawie du Plessis DO IT NOW | inTRANSIT: Words www.pictureafrica.org
The ancient Soleb Temple
As our Trans Africa trip was nearing its end and after an exhausting six weeks in Ethiopia fighting our way through crowds, touts and scammers, my wife, Catt, and I found ourselves in the Nubian Desert of Sudan. Here we met up with two more travellers, Andrew and Lucy, who had taken 498 days to travel from Cape Town to Karima by public transport.
This was day 290 of our trip … and is about a typical day of travelling in Sudan. We had agreed to meet our boatman at 08:30, which meant waking up at sunrise and facing the bitterly cold desert winds outside. We made some coffee, packed up camp and drove the 15 minute route back into town, and were pleasantly surprised to find our friendly transporter waiting for us. As is the way of life in the friendly Sudan, we were first invited to tea at his house before we could even think about travelling further. We were ushered through a small metal door set in a high wall and entered a fantastic world of Nubian courtyards and rooms leading off them. The concrete floor had an intriguing motif carved into it and
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the walls were a mustard-yellow colour. The contrast between the floors, walls and brilliant blue sky was an amazing sight to behold! We walked into one room with a big table and some chairs around it, and after sitting down were served piping hot and very sweet minty tea and freshly baked biscuits. The room was bizarrely warm compared to the world outside and the drinks acted like central heating to half frozen people. The ceremony took an hour and in that time we managed to establish a price for his services. The deal was that he would take us to the opposite side of the river Nile and come back for us at 17:00. The total cost was approximately $15 and seemed pretty fair to us.
There were no fences, no signs telling you what not to do and most importantly, not a single other tourist in sight. The place was eerily deserted, offering us the privileged opportunity to circumnavigate it in peace. We inspected the massive pillars and what appeared to be the central courtyard from a distance, taking photographs from every angle and theorising about the purpose of all the places we thought to be rooms. We moved in concentric circles and by the third pass we had made it to the centre. That was also the time our ghaffir had gotten bored, and told us to meet him and our boatman at his house when we were done with our exploration. I stood in the centre of the centre room, staring up at the perfectly clear blue sky, marvelling at the efforts it must have taken to erect even one of the seven 15-metre high pillars surrounding me. As if on cue, a Peregrine Falcon landed on the highest one, looked at me with some astonishment for a while and then simply took off again. If I believed in reincarnation that could have been a very spooky experience indeed!
The Gaffir at his front door
He led us to the Nile, about a kilometre from his house, where we boarded a metal hull, flat-bottomed boat. There were two oars and the familiar and seemingly popular Yamaha 15HP Enduro outboard motor, which we had seen on similar-sized vessels all over Africa. The river was perfectly calm and had a thin layer of mist blanketing the cold water. Even the boat’s engine seemed less enthusiastic than us to get going in the cold early morning air, but eventually purred to life under the expert handling of its owner. It was only once we had left the relative safety of the bank that we realised just how fast the river was actually flowing! Our transporter expertly manoeuvred us upstream, along the east bank before making a diagonal crossing to the western side. The journey took a comfortable 15 minutes to complete and with every minute that went by, the price we had agreed on appeared more and more like a bargain.
On closer inspection of the pillars, I started noticing the ancient carvings. Our old friend Amun was there with his lady friend, and there were hieroglyphics of birds, bulls and an owl. We saw snakes, geckos and all kinds of inexplicable signage, and the closer we looked the more we found. This place must have been simply out of this world when it was built and inhabited! We found the carved head of a lion on a pillar buried deep into the sand, as well as soldiers names carved into the soft stone dating back to around 1881. It was sad to see that even way back then, vandalism was a problem! Every time we thought we had seen it all one of us would discover something new and interesting and call the rest over. It took another hour before we deemed our visit complete. The ghaffir then invited us to breakfast and said he would show us some tombs that were not really open to tourists … just because he liked us. The ghaffir’s house was typical Nubian, with the colourful wall and small gate into the property. It had the familiar courtyards and sitting areas, and the proud owner even told us that he had chairs for foreigners who did not seem to grasp the concept of ‘elbowing’, relaxing on a bed. We declined his offer of breakfast and instead consumed more insanely sweet minty tea.
Mooring on the western bank, we disembarked onto a steep, sandy hill where we were met by our boatman’s friend, who also happened to be the ‘ghaffir’ (caretaker) for the ancient Soleb Ruins. He led us through a date palm grove and some vegetable plots, and as we made our way through the rambling trees we managed to catch our first glimpses of the breathtaking old temple.
The boat to Soleb
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The ancient Soleb Temple
Ferry to Sai
Fuul on the table
After tea, and true to his word, he showed us the secret tombs. It was about a two-kilometre walk straight into the desert and I thought how easy it would have been to drive right past them without noticing what they were. The underground caves were the tombs themselves and you could clearly see the footprints of the pyramids that used to mark them. In Sudan, we discovered that there are no rubbish bins, skips or land fill sites. Everyone simply discarded their litter outside their houses. Even these tombs, in the middle of the desert, had fallen victim to litter, including large quantities of plastic. I asked our ghaffir about this and he simply shrugged and said something about the tombs being plundered centuries before. They were not Muslim graves after all and he didn’t seem to find anything wrong with turning them into rubbish dumps. I found it all a little sad. As we walked back towards the ruins we passed some villagers going quietly about their daily lives. It was kind of strange to think that these people, who lived so close to something so incredibly spectacular, just saw this ancient temple of an ancient god as
nothing more than a row of trees or a rocky hill. Our boatman and his friend were no different. Despite the collapsing pillars and buried lions, it was easy to see just how spectacular the place would have been for the unsuspecting traveller, who happened to be floating down the Nile on his Felucca, a (Dhow-like sailing boat). Our return trip in the little metal boat was slightly more interesting, as the wind had come out to play and created some fairly serious waves. We had also acquired a new passenger, a very skinny, but very tall man with a smile to match his show size. He spoke no English, but somehow we still managed to communicate with him. He explained that we couldn’t cross the river in a straight line as the waves would capsize our measly vessel. Instead we had to go downstream and into the wind for about a kilometre before turning upstream and downwind at a slight angle, to make it safely to our mooring. The small outboard engine gave out just enough to manage this expertly-made manoeuvre, and the boatman was visibly relived when we finally tied the boat to the eastern bank and got off. We walked back to our car, Maggie, where we paid him his dues, and before we could get in we were all invited to lunch at his house. Anyone who has travelled Sudan will know that it is not really possible to refuse an invitation for food. So we filed back into the mustard-yellow house to the comfortable room, with its
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everyone was immensely helpful with advice and directions. I started Maggie up and drove off the barge and up a steep hill, then parked off the road. We walked back to the barge, but no one was really interested in us. We found the ghaffir and paid the fee for the island, but even he could not tell us what the cost for the ferry was, so we just left … and still no one seemed to care in the slightest.
chairs and beds and assumed the elbowing position. It had been a very cold day and even though it was past midday, the mercury still pushed no higher than the mid teens. The dining room was out of the wind and comfortably warm, and when the food arrived the room warmed up even more. Lunch was served on a massive round silver platter and consisted of no less than five different dishes. We had Fuul (stewed brown beans with onion and tomato), cheese, salad, bread and a chilli concoction mixed with an aubergine paste, which we washed down with more minty tea. We feasted until we could eat no more, and there was still enough food left over to feed another two or three hungry people. It was an amazing experience to share such a basic but insanely tasty meal with people we had only met that day, and whose language we could not speak. Yet somehow, as with so many other people in Sudan, we managed to communicate and hold a simple conversation. It was mid afternoon by the time we managed to tear ourselves away from the friendly yellow house, having humbly declined an invitation to spend the night. I put that invitation down to my newly acquired skill of expert elbowing! But we had other places to see and people to meet, so the time to move on had arrived. We filed back into the front seats of Maggie, fired up the engine and drove out of town waving at old men and small children alike. Even the village dog came out to say goodbye and once again it felt like we were leaving old friends behind. It was a truly magnificent place, with truly fantastic people inhabiting it. Continuing the spirit of adventure, we worked hard to avoid the new tar road. Instead, we meandered through villages along the river and in-between the palm groves until we reached a point where we believed another ferry could be found. We did indeed find the ferry, and at this point we were 10km south of the town of Abri. This ‘bontoon’ (boat) was the only link between the mainland and island of Sai and the last ferry for the day, which we managed to make just in the nick of time! I squeezed Maggie in between two local Toyota pickups, which took all my driving skill and the expert directions of Catt and Andrew to do. I climbed out the driver’s side window, as there was simply no way to open a door. When I looked back at my handiwork, there was barely two centimetres spare on each side of Maggie. Saying that, we did have to fold back the wing mirrors of all three vehicles to make it work. Trying to find out what the cost of our little island adventure was proving to be a total failure. We knew there was a standard fee of SDG 20 per person to see the sites on the island, but no one could tell us the price of the ferry. The ride was no longer than five minutes and we were the first in line to get off. When we asked where to go and where to park,
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It was still pretty cold and the day was drawing to a close. None of us were in the mood for more sightseeing; we just wanted to find a place to sleep for the night. We decided to follow the one road we could see around the island to look for a suitable hiding place from the wind and cold. The road took us past an old mud brick structure, which looked like a fort. So we stopped and went to investigate. Within a few minutes we were discovered by an elderly man and his adult son. They indicated that we should follow them and they took us on a tour of the facilities. They didn’t seem to know anything about it, and besides we could not understand each other, but they appeared to take great pleasure in leading us around. When the tour was done we thanked them and waved good bye, but the old man frowned and said ‘chai’ (tea) and insisted we follow him again. He led us into a house, which did not seem to belong to him, and introduced us to the owners as best he could before beckoning us to elbow down on the provided beds. We met the wife and children, and even the grandmother came by to greet us. We were served sweet minty tea and freshly baked biscuits. By this time, I was seriously starting to worry about our sugar consumption for the day! Whilst we were lazing on the simple beds, it felt like the whole village stopped by to say hello. Woman with small children greeted us by hand, while the men offered us more food and tea. The elderly found us fascinating to look at and talk to, but the smallest children seemed to find us quite scary. I did wonder how many visitors they actually had every year, but there was just no way of asking. With our fill of tea, we gracefully declined another invitation to stay the night and explained that we simply loved camping in the desert. The old man seemed to know exactly what I was talking about and pointed to a hill not so far away. So we headed in that direction. We found the place with relative ease. It was a small valley nestled between two rocky hills, with an old river bed providing comfortable ground to sleep on. Our friends pitched their tent on the soft sand and after rolling out the desert rug, we had a cosy and perfectly wind-free camping site in the open. There was no one in sight, so we used the opportunity to have an outdoor shower before the sun went down. When sunset finally occurred, it was phenomenal! The sun was perfectly round and blood red, the sky a pale and perfect blue around it. The familiar wispy clouds were lit up in pink and the moon, growing in size, was rising at the same time as the sun was setting. It was the kind of desert sunset that poets would become famous for writing about it!
Definitely one for the bucket list! •
DO IT NOW | inH2O:
Words by Dough Copeland Photos by Rory Taylor & Gareth Evans
'Big waves are measured not in feet but in increments of fear'.
- Hawaiian surfer
Doug Copeland is the newly-crowned ‘King of Magna Tubes’ after winning the prestigious 2010 SA Masters title at the 2010 SA Waveski Surfing Championship held in Jeffrey’s Bay in October. Ronnie Ackerman at Jeffrey's Bay Photo by Rory Taylor
Mike Wessels at Noordhoek Photo by Rory Taylor
Andre Burger at Queensberry Photo by Gareth Evans
Dave Hammond at Queensberry Photo by Gareth Evans
J.P. Photo by Rory Taylor
Waveski surfing is not to be confused with surf ski surfing. Waveskis are designed for surfing ocean waves, whilst surf skis are designed for racing in open water. Waveski surfing is the dynamic sport of riding waves whilst seated on top of a board. The surfer is strapped on with a seat belt and their feet are held in place by foot straps. A paddle is used to propel the surfer onto waves where they can do similar manoeuvres to stand up surfing. Waveski surfing is a great way to get fit and healthy, and help keep off those extra kilos. Not only does it provide a good upper body and cardiovascular workout, it’s also ideal for anyone with knee or ankle injuries that rule out stand up surfing. Whether you’re a beginner or enjoy the excitement of riding big waves, male or female, young or old, there is a waveski to suit you. Standard waveskis are stable, easy to use and the perfect vehicle for easy access to the waves and adventure of surfing waves. High-tech competition boards are more difficult to handle but allow you to do more critical manoeuvres in the fastest section of the wave and compete at the highest level. Whilst waveski surfing is enormously enjoyed by novices who surf purely for fun, it can also be extreme and involve spectacular aerial manoeuvres. It’s a visually pleasing sport to watch and a strenuous one to participate in. Learning to surf a waveski is easy and as you progress, advanced techniques require good physical agility, coordination and strength.
the seat belt attached and getting back on the waveski in deeper water. When you're comfortable paddling the board, take it to the nearest surf beach with mellow waves and start riding the waves. Try catching the small white water or broken waves in front at first and then move to the backline where you can catch breaking waves. Ride along the face of the wave, away from the white water. Once you've got this under control, you're ready to try some surfing moves such as turns, cutbacks and re-entries.
Are there any rules? Yes there are! Waveski surfers are just one more group of surfers trying to share the waves. There are some basic rules that apply to everyone no matter what type of board you’re surfing. Most of the rules are common sense and decency, and the most important ones are listed below. 1. Respect other wave users and SHARE the waves. Due to our paddling power, we can out paddle most other types of surfers, so don’t abuse this privilege. 2. Never take off on a wave if someone is already riding it. 3. The person closest to the breaking part of the wave has first priority.
What is a waveski? A waveski is a closed board designed for riding waves whilst seated. The board is usually constructed from fibreglass with a foam core or hollow moulded fibreglass. To be comfortable on a waveski it is important to consider the following criteria when selecting a board: 1. Make sure the waveski has the correct flotation for your weight, as an under buoyant board is extremely difficult to balance and paddle on. 2. The seat to feet measurement is also important, as you don’t want your knees too flat or too bent, they should be at approximately a 25° angle. 3. The wider the board the more stable it is, BUT less manoeuvrable. If you are just starting, it is advisable to look for a wide board and as your skills improve progress to a narrower, more manoeuvrable one. 4. Learning to Eskimo Roll, righting a flipped waveski without undoing the seat belt, is a vital skill to learn. So until you’ve this mastered this, it’s preferable to purchase a leash that attaches your paddle to the waveski. Waveski construction is based on the surfboard design, but is thicker to support the seated weight of the surfer, with depressions for the seat and feet, foot straps to anchor the feet in and a quick release seat belt to strap the surfer to the board.
What are the benefits of competitive surfing? One of the best ways to improve your surfing is to surf with people better than you. This is not always possible, so the easiest way to do this is through competitive surfing. From a beginner’s perspective, competitions give you the opportunity to learn techniques and skills from better surfers. Competition surfing will speed up your skill development and constantly challenge you, increasing your ability and enjoyment of the sport. For the intermediate and enthusiast surfers, you get to see firsthand current waveski designs, which most surfers are more than happy to let you try out. Even if you're not competitively minded, you will be with a group who share your interest, learn about new secret surf spots and pick up tips on how to enhance your surfing techniques. For those with a competitive spirit, competitions enable you to push yourself and determine what your skill level is. You have the chance to learn from the best at close quarters and surf with champions. You will also see how our top surfers utilise the power of the wave, find out how deep they take off and in what sections they pull off their big aerial moves. Taking part in provincial, national and international events will ultimately help to increase your ranking. For many the best part of the sport is the social aspect of surfing with people who share the same passion, catch up with old friends, have a laugh and spend the day having fun in the sun and surf. •
A paddle is also required and serves several purposes. It helps paddle the board out to the backline where waves are forming, provides a pivot to turn the board during manoeuvres and if the waveski is overturned, with some practice, it helps the rider right the ski (Eskimo Roll).
How do I start? Take your waveski to a calm area of water and practice paddling around to get your balance. Become familiar with the quick release buckle on the seat belt and practice overturning the waveski with
Regional associations and development clinics are available in KwaZulu-Natal, Border, EP and WP. For more advice on how to get involved in waveski surfing, contact Doug Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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by Mark McLeod DO IT NOW | inH2O: Words Photos by Sharon Rawlins and Nicky McLeod
Surviving Gogela Gorge Between Cedarville and Mount Frere (the N2) lies a hulking basalt massif that defies the angry brown waters of the Umzimvubu. The brown serpent crashes into the rocks near Cedarville and bounces away in its southerly pursuit of the Indian Ocean. Finding no weakness, it runs along the eastern edge of this impenetrable dyke heading towards Kokstad, impatiently biding its time. Eons of its tempered passing finally breached the basalt wall near a remote village called Mbunmebi, but the wound is still raw. The river still rages against the earth, seeming to tear at the cleft through the rocks that it has created. 36 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ April/May 2011
It was this theatre that has for the past two decades always held me spellbound, yet at the same time repelled me. I’ve paddled big lazy rivers in KwaZulu-Natal and crazy gradients in the Cape creeks, but here was a stretch of river with a section that has the gradient of the Wit and volume of the Umkomaas. Back in 1992, shortly after moving to Matatiele, I hosted a group of pals who paddled the section. Being an articled Clerk and a working man, I was unable to join them. Stanford Rickets, Paul Karis and Nick Helme came back with big eyes and even 19 years on, Stan said, “It's some steep gradient, you'll be pleasantly surprised.” Now Stan’s a master of understatement so my alarm bells immediately began to ring. With my interest further piqued, I did a bit more research and found that the section appears to have been first paddled by the Exploration Society of Southern Africa in 1990. Using a large raft they put-in just above Cedarville and described the gorge thus, “The river was gouging out dramatic cliff faces and churning up huge amounts of great rocks. The surrounding bush was low and dense, and virtually
impenetrable with all manner of thorns.” Going through the dolerite massif they encountered a small problem, “Then the river dropped and suddenly we were in a chute accelerating downhill, with the bottom of our boat torn to shreds.” Nevertheless they survived and 33 days later they emerged hardened by the Umzimvubu at Port St Johns. Around 2000, Andrew Kellett paddled this stretch with a group of paddlers, and he also warned me about its gradient. A group of paddlers and I dedicated a weekend to the trip and we looked to be the fourth descent to take on the challenge. I thought that the Lord might be a good ally, so I tried to persuade Pastor Sean McGuigan to join the expedition, but for him Sunday is a working day. Having failed here I tried Timmy Biggs, but he was in Cape Town. Without a hotline to the Almighty, I was after a hottie to take the sharp end and relieve me of the responsibility of boat scouting, yet this was not to be. In the end, it was Greg Hitchins
www.doitnow.co.za Adventure >> 37
and myself in plastics and my beautiful wife, Nix, and ‘Boss’ Sharon Rawlins in a croc. We did however manage to secure Pastor Jan Radley for the pick-up and last rites. We cautiously paddled the first six kilometres nosing around each corner in the mists of the early morning, expecting the big water at any moment. After a while I thought that the guys had been having me on, as this was only a Grade 2 stretch! All of a sudden the gradient cranked up a few notches as the river began to drop away through massive boulder gardens and we found ourselves in cataract land. A number of Grade 4 rapids followed over the next 10km, making boat scouting very difficult. The runs went on for more than 500m, had multiple drops and very few eddies. Poised on the lip of many of the bigger rapids, I was amazed that I couldn’t see any bottom pool. The river just carried on descending, drop after drop for the kilometre that I could see and then disappeared around the next corner. There were a number of nasty siphons too and these often at the bottom of long, involved rapids. Moving around the rapids on the bank was not easy either, due to the thick vegetation and huge boulders. We had to manhandle the croc around the more hungry rapids, sometimes lowering it with ropes as the river was descending at a rate of about 20m/km through this section. As I neared the last drop on one of the rapids, my wife was standing on a rock on the river’s right. I noticed her pulling horrid faces at me. Gesticulating that I throw the line in with one hand and demonstrating throat-cutting movements with the other. There was no clean eddy, so I just ramped the boat onto some small rocks in a side chute right next to her. Just in time too, as most of the river went straight under a house-size rock. To continue, I was forced to ferry right across its pillow wave face to the other side of the river, sneaking around its side and down a small pour-over. It had a log jammed into it for good measure.
I got quite spooked at the prospect of taking a swim in these conditions. With the continuous nature of the rapids and the fact that there were very few rescue pools, I think that a swimmer would come out second best here. Although we posted throw lines at a few strategic places, they were not necessary. I think only one roll was missed and that was in a rather innocuous place. The surrounding thicket and forest vegetation, with swirling mist, towering cliffs, the odd glimpse of a remote village and perpetual rush of water through the steamy warmth made the whole experience feel somewhat like a Burmese jungle adventure. We were lucky to have paddled this stretch in reasonably low-water conditions (just over one metre at the Cedarville steel bridge). The big rapids are seriously channelled and with larger volumes of water, would have become more committing than they already were. Unfortunately, this was to prove more challenging for us as the river flattened out beyond the gorge near the Mvenyane River junction, and the going proved a little bony. I would love to have done this when the river was half-a-metre higher, but it would require a larger group of kayakers for safety reasons. When the gorge finally released us, it was with a sense of silly relief and an appreciation of the challenge we had just gone through, with good friends at our side. Each paddler was reliable and retained their good humour despite the adversity. As the river met the Mvenyane and we idled through longer pools, we had that post-adrenaline lethargy and contentment about us that only comes from experiencing something extreme in the company of solid companions. Our spirits were replete and not even a stoning from two aberrant pondos from a cliff top could ruin our mood. At last I had done it! Thanks to our drivers, Hamish McLeod, Andrew Duminy and Jan Radley. You guys are bulletproof pals!
If you are keen to do this trip, email me on email@example.com and I will gladly give you some advice on the put-ins and take-outs. • 38 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
by Francois Flamengo DO IT NOW | inH2O: Words Photos courtesy of Scuba Scene
Dive the Red Sea There is always an added sense of adventure and excitement when planning a holiday to a new foreign destination.
Finding the answers to all the usual questions like, “What documents do I need?”, “What should I take with?” and “What can I expect?”, is all part of the planning process. For the seasoned traveller, these questions may seem rudimentary, but for a first time trip it could mean the difference between an awesome holiday or a very disappointing and expensive one.
What dive qualifications do I need?
I’m busy preparing to travel to the Red Sea during June and as I’ve not yet had the opportunity to visit this fantastic destination, I’ve been going through all these questions to make sure that I’m thoroughly prepared for this adventure. The reason for this trip is to discover the underwater wonderland of the Red Sea and its living tapestry of vibrant corals and exotic fish. And what better way to do this than by booking a trip with the team from Scuba Scene in Pretoria and spending a week on their yacht.
The Red Sea is renowned for its many wreck sites, popular for their history and wealth of marine life. A combination of Deep and Nitrox skills means that you will have more time to explore these incredible sites, including the world-renowned World War II shipwrecks SS Thistlegorm and SS Dunraven. Penetrating some of the rooms can be quite unnerving, so by specialising in Wreck diving you will find your confidence is boosted, thus getting the maximum pleasure out of your dive. Diving on Nitrox is recommended as you won’t feel as tired at the end of each day and still have enough energy to socialise on the boat. Just be careful not to have too much to drink as it does not go well with diving
This is the advice I received from other divers, who have had the privilege of exploring the Red Sea, which is dotted with coral reefs, fringed by ancient ports, is teeming with marine life and boasts a rich maritime history that stretches back to Pharaonic times.
A PADI Advanced (or equivalent) dive qualification is the minimum requirement when arranging a dive trip to the Red Sea. When you start investigating the many dive tours available in the region, having a qualification in Nitrox, Deep and Wreck is definitely worth considering before leaving home.
Wreck dives are sure to be a highlight and not something to miss out on. I know I won’t!
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Self deploy buoys
Diving watch Regulators
Under water flash light
Courses and qualification manuals Back
Bouyancy control device (BCD)
Diving head gear Front
Backpack with lots of space
What can I do when I’m not diving? When you’re not diving, you’ll be on your boat. Although these boats are well equipped with all the expected bells and whistles, packing a board game or two will help pass the time between dives. While a book is also a good idea, it’s pretty unsociable and a board game will keep you and your friends entertained. Remember to give your stomach a chance to adapt to the food that will be available on the boat, as you don’t want to have to sit out on that perfect dive because of an upset stomach! Although the Red Sea is known to have flat waters, on occasion there can be big swells and having motion sickness tablets handy will help, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Most charters keep medication like this onboard, but rather pack your own just to be safe.
What should I pack? Travel light and pack clothes that will dry quickly and protect your skin from the harsh UV rays. We all know how unpleasant sunburn is! Some T-shirts and shorts should do the trick, leaving plenty of space in your bag for souvenirs to show-off to your mates and gifts to placate them. Invest in a good dive travel bag because it will make your life much easier. These bags are specially designed to carry all your dive gear; fins, regulators, BCs and dive suits. Most of the bags come with some nifty and easily accessible pockets to store your travel documents and passports in. Minimal luggage also means that you can get through the airport quickly and with the least amount of hassle.
What cool dive gadgets can I buy for the trip? If you don’t already have a dive computer, this will be a good time to seriously consider investing in one. It will be of immense help when planning your dives and safely staying within your dive limits, especially if you planning on doing numerous back-to-back dives in one day. If you are planning to do your Nitrox Spatiality for the trip, ensure the computer you choose has this setting.
A good underwater camera is highly recommended to capture all those special moments. Make sure you check the calibrated dive depth of the camera because you don’t want to damage your camera on the first dive as a result of having exceeded its ability. Also ensure that your camera of choice is easy to download so that you can begin each day with loads of memory and you can click away to your heart’s content. Alternatively, stock up on lots of SD cards. When the action is all around you, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to delete images to free up space underwater; it’s not easy to do and will take up precious time. If you are not a photographer at heart, you may want to consider taking a Photographic Specialty course, with your camera. A reliable underwater flashlight is another great gadget to have as it will increase your viewing pleasure when exploring the coral walls and wrecks. It is especially useful for wreck penetrations so you can see what’s lurking in the dark.
What else should I know? Don’t buy any gadget that you won’t have time to play with before the trip. If you don’t know for certain that it’s going to work, then don’t take it with. Do some diving prior to your departure date, so that you can test all the equipment you intend to take with. Take the time to set up your buoyancy so that it’s 100%. Pack some extra weights because the Red Sea is very salty and you may need to weight up. What’s important to remember is that the extra time spent preparing properly beforehand will ensure you struggle less when entering the water. Read up on the different dive sites that the operator is planning to visit. This will help you to be better prepared and have some sense of direction underwater, as you’ll have a good idea of what to look out for during each dive. If you have addressed the above, you are well on your way to having a truly awesome time. For more details, I recommend you talk to your dive operator and attend a briefing session about your trip.
Enjoy your dive wherever you go, and I can’t wait to tell you about mine in the August / September edition of DO IT NOW! • 40 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
by Dennis Wevell DO IT NOW | inALTITUDE: Words Photos by Dennis Wevell (when not climbing), Gert-Louis van der Walt and Jaco de Villiers
Climbing the Western Cape
As a Pretoria-based rock climber, you get to hear all the stories and rumours about the awesome climbing spots in the Western Cape. This led to the question of whether the crags in the Cape live up to the hype and is it worthwhile taking the trip as an inexperienced climber? ď ˇ
Daredevil on Porn Star (21) Run Away Wall, Kleinmond
Suit on Spits or Swallows (17) Arête area Kleinmond
Daredevil on Spoons (20) Zucchini Wall
Hoping to gain some insight, a select group of functioning lunatics set off to explore the rock climbing opportunities on offer in the Western Cape to your regular, garden-variety climbing enthusiast. Our crew of weekend warrior class climbers from Pretoria included the ‘Suit’, who owns his own consulting business while finishing a degree and is known to take life rather seriously, at least in his official capacity. Unofficially he is an insane party animal and a man who has contacts to get you anything. The ‘Daredevil’, a traveller and adventurer at heart, has travelled most of the known world inbetween his attempts to seriously endanger his own life. His career is merely a tool to fund his many hobbies and adventures. He was voted most likely to die young by his class in high school … yet this doesn’t seem to bother him. The third and final member was the ‘Hill-Billy’, who appears to be a presentable and respectable student should you meet him on campus or in a formal context, but it’s during his time off when the problems arise! He is the type of person who is most comfortable outside, sleeping on the ground, eating straight of the fire and only changing one worn out shirt for another every couple of days. On a climbing tour, the sight of him on the streets makes parents hide their children, and he spends most of his non-climbing time taking naps in his hammock or wherever else he sees fit.
With lunch packed and spirits high we set out early from Pretoria in Hill-Billy’s beat up Corsa Utility (aka Donkey), a faithful yet somewhat unreliable companion through many adventures, on the long road south. Our first stop would be the De Hoek Resort, seven kilometres from the Cango Caves in the Swartberg Pass between Oudtshoorn and Prins Albert. Oudtshoorn is famous throughout South Africa for its climbing so we eagerly headed out to explore the crags, all of which are
44 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
Hill-billy on Dr Stein (18) Initiation wall
located within easy walking distance from De Hoek Resort. The main crag is an awe-inspiring sight with stalactites and an overhang that creates an aura reminiscent of a gothic cathedral. This site is indeed holy ground in the climbing community and features some of the best routes in the country, including the Streetfighter (34), the second highest grading in South Africa. However, routes on the main crag range from a grade of 22+, so we decided to start out on the surrounding crags. Over the next few days we did some climbing on Curiosity crag, Initiation section and Short Circuit crags. But it soon became apparent that with the exception of Short Circuit (31), a wonderful roof climb we could only admire from the ground, none of these crags where worth driving all the way to Oudtshoorn. The rock is incredibly sharp and rough on most of these alternative crags and has a tendency to shred your shoes, rope and hands. These crags also pale in comparison to the wonder that the main crag offers. On our last day we took a shot at the main crag, but soon realised that this is not a crag for beginners. We dejectedly trudged back to camp mumbling vows that we will get better and we will return! The De Hoek campsite provides spectacular views, clean facilities and safe camping close to the crags. However, we recommend that you bring your own drinking water and supplies from Oudtshoorn, as the shop only stocks sweets and cool drinks, and the tap water is very chalky. The climbing in the area is definitely world-class, but as an inexperienced climber it might prove a frustrating experience, so we’ll leave it to the serious climbers, for now. From Oudtshoorn we travelled to Buffalo Bay Backpackers, a surfshack styled backpackers located right on the sand, for some rest and recuperation before our next stop. They offer camping between the dunes and the bar is a great place to have a few beers and relax.
Main Crag, Oudtshoorn
Our next stop was Montagu, a sleepy little town that sits on Route 62 and offers a surprising array of activities, from wine-tasting to warm-water springs. It also sits in the heart of the primary sport climbing area of the Western Cape. With more than 50% of the bolted routes in the Western Cape located in the surrounding area, it has become a bit of a climbing Mecca. Most climbers visiting Montagu prefer to stay at De Bos Guest Farm, as it provides you with direct access to the riverside crags that are closely connected to the climbing community. De Bos’ owner is a rock climber currently living in Switzerland and his parents, who run the farm, are very knowledgeable regarding the climbing in the area. They offer various forms of accommodation including camping, dorms and private rooms. On weekends, the campsite tends to fill up with climbers and can get rather noisy, so you may have to queue to use the bathroom should this happen.
A Magical Houseboat Holiday from Lightleys
We isolated three areas that seemed to be specifically dedicated to less experienced climbers, namely Steeples A, Legoland and the Boschkloof crags. Unfortunately the Boschkloof crags are currently closed off due to disputes with the owner of the farm, so we decided to tackle the other two. Both Steeples and Legoland are in full sun the entire morning and for the greater part of the day. Therefore, it can get somewhat uncomfortable on the crag on warm days, but both offer a lot of fun climbs that cater to different skill levels and climbing styles.
It’s time to get creative with your camera and stand a chance to win a magical holiday in Knysna onboard a Lightleys holiday houseboat, valued at R4,000!
In town we had a couple of beers at the local watering holes that attract an interesting array of people and is where you can find out everything and anything happening in Montagu. We recommend the local Pizza World, which makes some of the best pizzas south of the Vaal River, and it would be unfair not to mention The Mystic Tin, known for its delicious micro brewed beer. As a climbing destination, Montagu definitely deserves its reputation as one of the premier climbing destinations in South Africa. As we were leaving Montagu for Kleinmond, we decided to take a look around the wine farms in the Robertson Valley. We stopped at the popular Van Loveren cellar and Klipdrift distillery before heading down towards Kleinmond, with Donkey riding low under the added weight from our wine purchases.
Kleinmond is a peaceful little seaside town located less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and is apparently the climbing spot of choice for the Stellenbosch students. The route guide on www.climb.co.za recommends camping in the parking lot at the base of the crag, but on arrival the campsite was filled with unsavoury characters and so we decided to find alternative accommodation. We camped at the Palmiet Caravan Park, which is managed by the Overberg municipality. It’s recommended you call beforehand to reserve your campsite. Kleinmond’s crags are on a hill overlooking the town, ocean and surrounding mountains. It offers very scenic and exposed climbing, although it takes a bit of hiking to get to the crags. We started out by climbing the Run Away wall, which is in full sunshine the entire morning, but as the wind was blowing we appreciated the extra bit of heat. It soon became clear that the wind greatly affects the climbing on the Kleinmond and if the wind is blowing non-stop, we recommend you stick to the beach, bars or wine routes. After climbing a couple of routes on Run Away wall, we called it a day. The Palmiet River flows right next to the parking lot and has a very nice swimming spot right next to the bridge. It can get busy over the weekends, but it’s a great way to unwind and cool down after a hard day’s climbing. The next day we set out to conquer the Arête area and Zucchini wall before heading to our final destination.
All you need to do is send us a fun photo of your most exciting trip involving water; anywhere, anytime and anyway. The prize for the best photo includes: • Accommodation for two adults and two children, under 12 years of age, onboard a Lightleys holiday houseboat in Knysna for two nights. • One night’s mooring at Thesen’s Islands Harbour Town on the houseboat. • One half-day canoe or fishing boat hire from Lightleys River Runners, with a delicious picnic basket to tuck into after exploring the beautiful Knysna Lagoon.
HOW TO ENTER: Email your low resolution photograph along with your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org before the competition closing date of 10 May 2011. Terms and conditions: • The prize is subject to availability. • It does not include transport to and from Knysna, fuel used on the boat and a R1,300 refundable security deposit. • It excludes school holidays, weekends and peak periods. • The winner will be notified via email and the prize letter will only be issued once the winner has been announced in the June issue of DO IT NOW magazine, as well as on the DO IT NOW Facebook page. • The judges’ decision is final. To find our more about Lightleys holiday houseboat visit their website at www.houseboats.co.za or contact them on (044) 386 0007.
Suit on The Gift (16) Lower Silvermine
From Kleinmond we headed to the Mother City and spent a night in the heart of it all, Long Street. After a night of mixed successes with Hill-Billy crashing out, Daredevil learning to speak French, Suit forgetting how to walk and all of us making some new friends in Cape Town’s underworld, we found ourselves taking a late morning drive around Chapman’s Peak to Noordhoek, where we planned to set up base camp for the last leg of our trip. We stayed at the Chapman’s Peak Caravan Park, which offered a selection of sheltered camping sites located close to most of the sport-climbing areas in the Cape Peninsula. We opted to climb in the Silvermine Nature Reserve, an area that is immensely popular amongst beginner climbers in the region. Unfortunately, as we were there in December, the main crag was closed off due to the birds breading on the crag. However, the lower Silvermine crags still offered plenty of climbing opportunities and we spent a couple of days enjoying the view of the Cape Flats and False Bay. The climbing proved to be fun and the easiest routes were almost always full of families, with small children learning to love the sport. The wind that seems to permanently prowl the mountains around Cape Town did prove a bother, but some of the routes on the Silvermine lower crag were sheltered from this beast and we were able to stay out of its way. Daredevil got all excited on our last day of climbing and had a very serious go at a roof climb, Malcolm’s Route (26), but gravity proved to be the final victor. Although the Peninsula offers some great sport climbing, this is trad country and we were seriously tempted to switch sides and try the many fantastic trad climbs available. In fact, we almost considered moving to Cape Town just for the climbing! Sadly, our money and time were running out and before we knew it, it was time to break camp and set off on the long journey home, taking with us memories of the many special moments that had made the trip so unforgettable. Our scouting trip proved that all the talk and rumours about the Western Cape are indeed true, as the area offers excellent climbing for any type of climber. Whether
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you are vertically challenged or related to Spiderman, there are routes to suit your needs. Our trip barely scratched the surface of the wealth of climbing opportunities in the Western Cape. We turn homewards now, but they haven’t seen the last of us yet ... •
De Hoek Resort: www.dehoekmountainresort.co.za (between Oudtshoorn and Prins Albert) Buffalo Bay Backpackers: www.buffalobaybackpackers.co.za De Bos Guest Farm: www.debos.co.za (Montagu) Palmiet Caravan Park: 028 271 8458 (Kleinmond) Chapman’s Peak Caravan Park: www.capestay.co.za/chapmans-peak Route Guide: www.climb.co.za
DO IT NOW | inALTITUDE: Words by & photos by Honorata Saar
Amateur father and daughter team tackle
Mt. Kilimanjaro The locals refer to Mt. Kilimanjaro as a ‘she’. When considering her ability to be both beautiful and brutal, they are probably right. They also say she is very shy, always hiding in the clouds. However, as we descended into Kilimanjaro airport, we caught our first glimpse of her and she took my breath away! It was the second
Bucket List 60
Drive a race car elf) Bake a Cake (by mys Ocean Swim the Atlantic
A RO CLIMB KILIMANJ ! TER WITH MY DAUGH
o HERE g s m a e r D
most beautiful sight I have ever seen, the first will be revealed later. She was so majestic, ostentatious, glorious ... and scary! The pilot announced our cruising altitude was 17,000ft above sea level and Mt. Kilimanjaro was at approximately 19,000ft. He also added that it was -8°C outside. My legs began to tremble!
We checked into our hotel and prepared ourselves for the challenge ahead, with a beer and some much-needed final words of motivation.
Statistics and Facts: • Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits. • It’s the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, with Uhuru Peak rising to an altitude of 5,895m (19,341ft) above sea level. • Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895m; Mawenzi 5,149m; and Shira 3,962m. • Approximately 20,000 people attempt the mountain every year. Only 40% to 50% summit.
DAY 3: Third Cave (3,800m) to Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m) Simba’s pace was slowing as his muscles had begun to hurt. I was quite frustrated, but I believe this pace saved me from many troubles further up the mountain. Our guides kept us well informed and had vast knowledge about the ever-changing fauna and flora. They also took great pride in their work and the majestic mountain they have been blessed with. Mawenzi Tarn Hut camp is situated in the clouds and had an eerie ghost-like feel to it. Our ‘food engineer’ made us popcorn and a delicious dinner, which he magically conjured up out of practically nothing. TIP: The food prepared daily is both filling and delicious, so eat as much as you can while you still have an appetite. DAY 4: Extra night for acclimatisation
DAY 1: Rongai Gate (1,950m) to First Cave (2,830m) We met our guides, Gabrielle and Simon, whose biblical names gave me some comfort. After our briefing and a final weighing of our bags, we were ready. However, the vehicle transporting our porters, who carry everything for you other than your daypack, broke down twice and resulted in a considerable delay. We eventually started our walk through the rainforest approximately five hours later. The walk was relatively easy; my father was singing with the guides and walking way too fast. We arrived at the first campsite in darkness and were thankful that we had packed our headlamps. Later that night I told my dad to slow down and conserve his energy. Our ‘father and daughter’ roles had been reversed for the time being. TIP: Pack your daypack carefully and for the unexpected, whilst still trying to keep it light. Once the porters leave, you will not see your main bag for a few hours. DAY 2: First Cave (2,830m) to Third Cave (3,800m) After a ‘wet wipe wash’ and filling breakfast, we departed on a long nine-hour hike towards Camp 2 behind a long train of hikers, feeling like we were on the N1. The less travelled Rongai route is no longer so ‘less travelled’, but is still an amazing route to climb. The hikers dispersed throughout the day until we were completely alone again. We walked very slowly today. ‘Pole’ is the Swahili word for slowly, and you will hear your guides say it often. My dad had taken my advice and we walked his pole, pole pace for the rest of the climb. The guides and porters nicknamed him Simba. Luckily we’d had no rain, but the weather did change quite unpredictably during the day. A thick layer of mist rolled in and suddenly it got very cold. I realised then that it was not mist we were walking in, but the clouds! Camp 2 was at 3,800m above sea level and is where altitude sickness symptoms started to affect one of my friends. She worked through these symptoms painstakingly during the rest of the trip, and earned the nickname ‘Hero’. TIP: Layer your clothing so you can remove and add layers easily when the temperature changes.
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We took a steep, picturesque acclimatisation walk up Mawenzi Peak and hiked through some snow for the first time. Little did I know that the next night we would be looking down on this peak as if it were nothing more than a molehill. TIP: It was a great idea to stay an additional night to acclimatise. Hero felt much better after this and it alleviated many of her altitude sickness symptoms. DAY 5: Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m) to Kibo Hut (4,730m) Hiking slowly through the alpine desert terrain was hard work. An icy wind was blowing down from Kibo Peak and slowed our pace even further. We passed an old plane crash and it reminded me of how high up we were and the fine balance between life and death on this terrain. We could see Kibo Hut in the distance, but it appeared to get further with every step. When we eventually got there it was crowded with hikers and the atmosphere was electric. It had also started to snow! For a South African this was a great delight! After a good meal we were briefed for the night ahead and ordered to bed at 19:00. TIP: Sleep in your summit-night under garments so you don’t have to change. However, make sure you don’t overdress as you warm up quickly when hiking. Day 6: Kibo Hut (4,730m) to Gillmans Point (5,681m) Gillmans Point (5,681m) to Summit Uhuru Peak (5,985m) Uhuru Peak (5,985m) to Horombo Hut (3,720m) We left at 00:01 precisely. It was the night before full moon and the landscape looked like it was sprinkled with diamond dust. The snow rings around the occasional boulder reflected the moonlight and lit up the rocks. Behind us, Mawenzi Peak looked small and strangely luminous against the backdrop of the moon. I was in awe! Some climbers were already far ahead and their headlights mimicked twinkling Christmas lights. At this point, Hero was not looking well. Exactly one hour into this final climb, the mountain finally hit me. I took a breath and got nothing. I took another, nothing. Only on my third attempt did I feel the oxygen slowly filling my lungs. From this moment onwards, every step was difficult. I then saw a hiker being run down the mountain by their guide, and began to doubt if I would make it.
The next five hours were a blur, but as long as you have energy to take one more step you must take it. I followed this rule slowly, scrupulously through the dark and just when I thought I couldn’t take another, the sun peaked its golden head through the clouds. Clouds, that were hundreds, maybe even thousands of metres below us! It was THE most beautiful sight I have ever seen. The sun brought new energy to our bodies, enabling us to clamber over the final ledge of the crater at Gillmans Point. Hero had somehow made it to this point, but after seeing a fit looking man being dragged down the mountain by two guides, she decided to stop. The decision was the right one as she was a good candidate for serious mountain illness. We bid her farewell and continued on the final stretch to the highest point on the crater, Uhuru Peak. The next three hours at altitude were torture! We worked out that our speed was an exemplary 400m/hour. Simba’s pace was too fast for me now, and for every two steps he took, I forced one. But we kept going and my efforts earned me the nickname ‘Little Simba’. After 1,200m of sheer mental and physical perseverance, we finally made it! My dad shed a tear as we took our first photo at the famed Uhuru Peak sign. The Swahili word Uhuru means ‘freedom’, an accurate description of how you feel; free. After spending 20 captivating minutes at the highest point in Africa we started our descent. On the way down we encouraged other hikers still taking their last agonising steps to the top. They barely acknowledged us. We then saw a Japanese guy looking very disorientated and ill, and urged his guides to assist him. However, they were very nonchalant about his condition. Later we saw him being run down the mountain on the famed Kilimanjaro ambulance that’s only used in extreme cases of mountain sickness.
every step down, they felt better. But I did not. Your knees and feet suffer, and you feel like it will never end. The vegetation, weather and scenery change quite rapidly though and you may see some black and white Calabash monkeys lazing in the trees. On the final morning our whole team sang for us. Simba joined them and they were thrilled to hear he knew the words of their song. Without them we wouldn’t have achieved what we achieved, and we will be forever grateful. TIP: My deviation from the packing list was to make my second pair of shoes an old pair of comfy hiking shoes. I alternated these with my heavy waterproof hiking shoes daily, as the hiking boots felt heavy. My feet wouldn’t have survived without doing this. Even in our little group, we experienced the mountain differently. I hope that by reading about our experiences, you will be all the more prepared to take on a challenge such as this. Climbing Kilimanjaro was much harder than I expected, but I also gained much more from it than I expected. The Kili climb is one I highly recommend for anyone and everyone. The sights you see can’t be envisioned by even the most vivid of imaginations; it really is worth every single (torturous) step. Just go pole, pole. The mountain will co operate; she is patient and waiting for you.
Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way. Dr Seuss •
We walked (or slid) back down to Kibo Hut, had a small lunch and then continued to the next camp, Horombo Hut. We made it at 19:00 and had been walking for 17 hours. TIP: Choose a reputable tour company so you aren’t stuck with uneducated guides like the Japanese man. Also, watch your body and make sure you’re fully aware of the symptoms of mountain sickness. DAY 7: Horombo Hut (3,720m) to Marangu gate (1,843m) In all my research I found that nobody really talks about the trip down, and why should they, the summit has been reached? The truth is, the way down is hard! I’d read of people saying that with
AL TIPS ADDITION
u to help yo in Swahili are some basic words e e er m H so . n ls Lear e loca ate with th communic basics: llo Jambo - he how are you iHabari gan od a - very go Mzuri san t zi w Mambo - ho k you an Asante - th owly, slowly - sl Pole, pole ght a - good ni s Lala salam travel blog rnet, read se the Inte u can to U yo e: g as d e le Know knowledg as much tuality. and gain r any even fo lf se ur uipment prepare yo the best eq make don’t need u es Yo do t: re en su Equipm gear, but it gular e re iv a t ns no pe e or most ex le. If you ar ent ab rt pm fo ui m eq co e h the trip mor rent as muc or ow rr bo hiker, try to . as possible important, fitness is al er en G ch a hike n: epare for su Preparatio st way to pr be e th er howev is to hike!
View actual video footage on the DO IT NOW Magazine Facebook site and/or www.doitnow.co.za.
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// [inTERVIEW] Stewart Couper on FMX * King of the Sky: An Interview with Jay Moledzki, Canopy Piloting World Champion // [inTRODUCING] Who is the Fittest Person in Cape Town? * Rediscovering the Soul of Downhill Skateboarding * Hansgrohe Masters of The Water Series - The Competitive Side of Lifesaving // [inACTION] Blyde Xfest 2011 - Bigger, Better, Best! * CA2C Ride the Wind MTB Race - heat, hills and sssssssssand * Dan Hugo Wins XTERRA SA 2011 Championship // [inPREPARATION] Expedition Africa, a 500km Adventure * Sean O’Brien’s South African Tour // [inSHAPE] Getting Back to Basics: The Importance of Good Nutrition * Getting to Grips with Tennis Elbow
Photo by Chris Hitchcock (www.photobay.co.za) Description: Western Cape Downhill MTB Championships.
by Keane Ludick DO IT NOW | inTERVIEW: Interview Photos courtesy of O'Brien
Fondly known as Super Couper or Coups by everyone in the FMX community, Stewart is 31 years old and has been involved in the FMX scene for about five years now. Prior to getting hooked on FMX, Stewart raced motocross for approximately 10 years. Venturing into the world of FMX has been an awesome experience and journey for Stewart, as it has enabled him to travel around the country and take part in a number of shows abroad, including the exotic Saudi Arabia. Stewart’s foray into FMX in 2006 started on a high note when he won his first FMX competition in the Pro Am level. In his next event, he competed in the Pro Class and placed fifth, an incredible achievement in such a short time. Over time, he’s just got better and better, claiming third and fourth place finishes wherever he goes. He’s currently ranked fourth in the country, which he’s super stoked about! The highlights of his career include riding overseas with some of the biggest names and taking part in various high profile FMX shows. Currently his focus is on trying to get more events held in South Africa and help promote the sport.
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Stewart and his wife own Ride Authority, a company that does FMX demos and shows. His team consists of Nick de Wit, Alistair Sayer, Brendan Potter and Stewart, and is considered to be one of the foremost FMX teams in South Africa. Their passion for and commitment to FMX is seen in their untiring efforts to put this incredible sport in the spotlight as much as possible and scouting for up and coming talent. His recipe for success is to train about two to three times a week, which also includes some motocross training and loads of mountain biking to keep fit and in shape. In addition to the having some really great sponsors behind Stewart, his family are his greatest supporters of all! I will continue riding until I can’t ride no more. It’s something I’m very passionate about and I just love riding.
An interview with Stewart Couper, professional FMX rider Keane Ludick from DO IT NOW caught up with local Freestyle Motocross (FMX) rider and owner of team Ride Authority, Stewart Couper, to find out more about this adrenalin-pumping, high-flying sport and what drives him to success. Q: When did you get involved with FMX and why? I started in about 2006. I was looking for a change from the motocross scene and a friend suggested that I try out freestyle. I tried it, loved it and never looked back. Q: What bike do you ride and why? I used to ride a Suzuki 250 two-stroke, but I’ve now moved on to a Suzuki RMZ 450, which I really enjoy as it feels like I am taking the sport to a whole new level by performing on a four-stroke. Q: What size bike do most FMX riders use? All the other guys are on 250 two-strokes. Q: Where do professional FMX riders get their bike graphics, plastics and graphics kits? We get all our stuff from various sponsors and the bike stores. Some guys are lucky and get a bit more. Q: Who are your full time sponsors? Ride Authority, Rock Star Energy, Thor Gear, Scott Goggles, Airoh Helmets, Black Flys, Wetherd Clothing, Michelin Tyres and DVS Shoes are my sponsors. Their support has been awesome and allowed me to achieve so many things that would not have been possible without them! Q: Where are the best places to ride in Jozi? The best place to ride would be Sick Nick de Wits Park in Muldersdrift. It’s full of variety and a great training ground for us. We also go to The Compound in Fourways, but it’s more of a beginner’s park as it caters for all types of riders. Q: What are the basics to get started in FMX? Firstly you would need a bike, and then I’d say you need to hit a local motocross track and make sure you are clearing some jumps. Only once you mastered this would I recommend you start thinking about jumping steel jumps. From here, find some riders who are in the area, or find out where they ride and get involved with them. We love to help anyone that is up and coming and passionate about the sport. Q: What is the worst wipe out you’ve ever had? It was during my very first show where I over jumped and crashed into a palisade fence and broke my wrist. Then about three months ago I was on my 450 and cased the landing jump and basically bounced all the way to the bottom. Luckily I only came away with some bruises. Q: Why do FMX riders use two-stroke instead of four-stroke engines? Well, two-stroke engines don’t have engine break like a 450. But now that the new 450 is fuel injected it takes a lot of the engine break away. The 450 is also heavier and has way more power. But it pretty much comes down to personal choice and what the rider enjoys riding. Q: Is there any money to be made in FMX? In the beginning, a rider will have to prove his worth by taking part in various shows and events to get his name out there. Once he’s established himself and found some sponsors, he can then look forward to earning some cash. Q: Who do you think are the best local and international FMX riders? Locally, I would say guys like Nick de Wit and Alistair Sayer have really put South African riders on the map. There’s also some exciting new talent coming through the ranks such as Brendan Potter and Dallan Goldman. Overseas, it would be Mike Metzger, whom I have always looked up to, as well as the Original Gangster (OG) riders for starting this incredible sport. Q: So where can we find you in action? I will be taking part in numerous events all over South Africa this year, including the Hippo Rally in Richards Bay, the Upington show, the Forrest Fair in Sabi, the Bloemfontein show, plus there’s are a few other events in Jo’burg and Pretoria. Q: Are you on Facebook and/or Twitter? Yes, I’m on Facebook and Twitter (Couper65).
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FMX is a variation on the sport of motocross in which motorcycle riders attempt to impress judges with jumps and stunts. The two main types of freestyle events are: • Freestyle Motocross, the older of the two disciplines. Riders perform two routines, lasting between 90 seconds and 14 minutes, on a course consisting of multiple jumps of varying lengths and angles that generally occupy one to two acres. A panel of judges assigns each contestant a score based on a 100-point scale, looking for difficult tricks and variations over jumps. • Big Air, also known as Best Trick, is where each rider gets three jumps - usually covering more than 60 feet - from a dirt-covered ramp. A panel of 10 judges evaluates the style, trick difficulty and use of the course, to produce a score on a 100-point scale. Each rider's highest single-jump score is compared and the top score wins.
Did you know? In 1924, the first known British off-road event known as the Scrambles was held at Camberley in Surrey. This would become the earliest known origin of freestyle motocross as we know it today. •
R E T Y O B DAVID R E D I R BMX
by Claire King DO IT NOW | inTERVIEW: Words Photos by Angélique-Marie Pierry
e h t f
n i K
: y Sk
An Interview with Jay
Canopy Piloting World Champion Canopy Piloting (CP) is the Grand Prix of skydiving. It’s fast and precise, carries almost no margin for error and shows no mercy to those who err. It consists of three events, all of which require the pilots to fly at high speeds close to the ground.
Distance: The pilot must begin his performance by passing through a set of ‘gates’ that are 1.5m high, and then maintain flight to cover the maximum horizontal distance before touching the ground (current World Record: 181.70m). Speed:
The pilot enters the course through a similar set of gates to follow a curved course across the ground, passing through a second set of gates 70m further (current World Record: 2.093 seconds that’s an average speed of over 120km per hour!).
Accuracy: The pilot scores points for landing accurately, accumulating additional scores for dragging a foot through the pond as he goes, which also assists the pilot to slow his flight and land in the highest scoring zone.
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In the extreme world of CP, one figure has stood out as the single most successful pilot since the inception of this discipline. Jay Moledzki has dominated CP since its humble beginnings and doesn’t look ready to budge from this top spot. Jay exudes professionalism. Listening to him speak, you start to get a sense of how he has achieved what he has, in a discipline that is so demanding, precise and ruthless on those who make even the slightest mistake. Having attended more than 100 CP competitions, he has won over 50 titles and stopped counting the medals, which include more than 50 Gold medals.
I caught up with Jay for an interview during a weather hold at the Dubai Parachuting Championship & Gulf Cup 2011.
Q: How many jumps have you done?
A: Approximately 11,000 (about 6,000 CP).
Q: How long have you been participating in the sport?
Q: What are your thoughts on the Dubai Parachuting Championships and Dubai’s intention to bid to host the Mondial World Championship in 2012?
A: I think the venue is fantastic. They have done an amazing job of preparing themselves for the event. I am so impressed with the amount of improvement from last year in terms of staff, processes, understanding and management, scale, volume of people and safety. I have no doubt they’ll do everything necessary to do an incredible job hosting 2012. I am also impressed with the financial commitment to making it a success. This has been lacking in skydiving, as it is so hard to come up with the capital required to bring the sport to the scale it deserves and should be at, so I’m really happy to see that.
A: Sixteen years; serious CP for eight years and exclusively for seven years. I’ve been a professional Canopy Pilot since joining the PD Factory team in 2002. A Mondial is a World Parachuting Championship in which three or more disciplines are hosted at the same venue, over the same time period. Skydive Dubai’s bid was subsequently presented at the IPC plenary in January 2011, and the 2012 Mondial has been awarded to Dubai.
Q: What’s your gear choice?
A: Javelin Odyssey, Velocity 79 (for distance), Velocity 96 (for accuracy) and Velocity 75 (speed).
Q: What other sports are you into?
A: BASE, surfing, fishing, outdoor adventuring, trekking and hiking.
Q: How did you get to take your first skydive and what made it stick?
A: My boss had a picture of a static line jump from a Cessna in his office. I was at a pretty rough point in my life and a little down, so I thought that was the kick in the ass I needed. I was 21 and we had a company jump day. I borrowed money for my first jump and rig and have been back every weekend since.
Q: What are the high points in your skydiving career?
A: Joining the PD Factory team and placing first in the World Games.
Q: What has been the low point in your skydiving career?
A: Hearing of injury or the death of students I have worked with.
Q: Is there a single most important factor or tip for succeeding in competitive CP? A: Commitment. Throw yourself to ground as hard as you possibly can and never waiver in your efforts. There is no other option!
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Q: What do you think needs to be looked at in CP, such as the competition, rules and judging?
A: Right now I am pretty happy with how the FAI/IPC event is being run in the bigger picture regarding non-subjective judging, structure or courses, layout and so on. Accuracy was improved a year ago, but scoring and judging needs the most improvement as they are still lacking in some areas.
The judging requires more training, not logistical, but practice and getting used to the system, process and so forth. The changes to CP competition and lack of currency for some judges make more training imperative. The pilots are moving away from the judges who aren’t keeping up with CP developments.
Q: The late course completion in this meet kept judges from training adequately and being ready. Your comments? A: The judges should have been there for the training day, as 180 training jumps went by with no judges there for training and practice.
Q: What are your plans and goals for the coming year?
A: My competition focus has been very isolated to top-class world events. My body doesn’t like the punishment of constant training, so to keep passionate and enjoying it I like to stick to one or two events per year. Otherwise the drive to put in my all goes and I don’t want to be there without that drive and passion.
We’re now running a high-growth company, Flight-1, developed by the PD factory team, which covers the educational side of what we do. Last year we hosted over 50 CP camps for sports education, covering everything from essential skills through to the most advanced skills. We run military training camps too, which is currently taking a huge part of our time, energy and focus. We have air-toair training packages, training participants to safely land parachutes. It lowers the injury rates, which is currently high. We introduce the participants to advanced skill sets too where they learn to fly dynamically together, so that you can have a group of special forces parachutes flying in a tight group, land simultaneously and complete well executed and safe demo jumps. The majority of our civilian camps are outsourced training of people at their own locations. South African Canopy Pilots who are interested in CP training should email Ian Drennan (Flight-1 Sports Education Co-ordinator) on Drenan@flight-1.com It has become quite complicated because we have so many requests now, in so many places, and we’re really busy. We have developed an intricate contracting formula so that we can keep delivering what we promise, and that everything expected by the coach is there on arrival. There are many variables and a lot of coordination and planning goes into it.
Q: Does the PD team have any new projects or videos on the go or planned?
A: We’ve just finished a project in Switzerland, our first expedition as a team in a few years, which has been going over a year. It was very in-depth and we had quite a few hurdles to over come. We had some incidents and accidents on the way that were challenging, but it was positive in the end and all will recover. We have also got some video production in the works from that.
We experienced such amazing flying there. It was hard to focus on the positives when the negatives were so big, but it was amazing and so spectacular: flying a 2.9 wing loading, 12,000 foot peak and sheer knife edge and slicing the mountain. I haven’t seen any of the footage yet, but there were a dozen people rolling cameras and taking pictures every day. We’d get back to our accommodation with SD cards jammed into boxes to be downloaded, but there was just no time to review anything. There is so much information and same thing was repeated the next day. We will keep it to just the best cuts, as shorter videos are what holds people’s attention nowadays.
Q: What is you view on serious skydiving athletes being compared to the skydiver stereotypes.
A: There are some aspects I don’t like, but have to accept it as part of the sport.
Many people who jump like to drink and party hard, and it’s a bad habit. As an athlete it is very disappointing to see new jumpers coming in and being taught by seniors to get inebriated. It is damaging to our sport too. Part of being respected and getting investment is professionalism and commitment. If we
show ourselves as a bunch of hooligans, we don’t get the much-needed respect for our sport.
We’re just starting to see real athletes in skydiving. Before, the vast majority were party animals.
Q: Is the ‘new skydiver’ more focussed and see themselves as athletes?
A: The last 10 years have brought a dramatic change in pilots’ approach to professionalism and what they do. We have always tried to be leaders in that.
Q: Should we have more spot drug tests at events?
A: I have been tested (at the World Games right after the closing). I don’t think it is needed or necessary, and should be reserved for the Olympic category sports. We aren’t encountering performance enhancing drugs and there is nothing in this discipline to enhance with drugs.
Q: What do you focus on to help your own performance?
A: Diet, exercise and strength training. We are just moving out of the dark ages in terms of training, and when compared to a track athlete or cyclist’s training and approaches, for example, skydivers are lazy, unprofessional and inattentive. There is also a financial aspect. Skydiving is typically a hobby sport and doesn’t hold strong potential for most people to go professional or become a star athlete, get endorsement contracts and so forth. There is a lower level of motivation, focus and commitment to training in skydiving as a result.
Q: Top skydivers are often more mature, unlike most sports where younger is better. Do you think this is the endurance and mental aspect?
A: Yes, this is true for aviation in particular, where you’ll find more mature pilots. They need the self-discipline and ability to recognise the difference between their own ego and the ability to perform dangerous and high risk tasks. Mistakes have high consequences. We very rarely see young athletes performing consistently well in CP (and FS). Experience, mindset and maturity are key.
Q: Who are your mentors and inspiration?
A: General sports: all the greats. Legendary athletes such as Michael Andretti, Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan. People who are overachievers. It’s a huge list. In skydiving, Craig Girard and Dan BC.
Q: Have you identified any newcomers coming through the ranks?
A: Curt Bartholomew. He has lower jump numbers and few competitions, but is performing really well and has a great attitude. •
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by Janie Smit DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING: Words Photos by Roland Jungwirth
Who is the Fittest in Cape Town?
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fittest of us all? It all started on a perfectly glorious, wind-free day at the foot of Table Mountain, as 19 athletes lined up to take part in a day they would never forget. These were no ordinary athletes! These athletes, from all walks of life and sporting disciplines, were Cape Townâ€™s finest and fittest and competing for the coveted title of the Fittest Person in Cape Town, held on Saturday, 5 March 2011. Being an all rounder was not just a nice to have, it was a necessity to get through the numerous gruelling exercises in store, which would soon sort out the men from boys (and the girls from the ah, the girls). Now throw in hot conditions, hungry-for-victory competitors and the ever-present pressure of the stopwatch and you have yourself a sizzling CrossFit event. There are no age categories in this event, merely ladies and menâ€™s weights to be lifted and total sets to be completed. Competitions like these demand that athletes are able to compete in any combination of exercises without knowing what to expect. The only workout that was made public 48 hours prior to the competition was workout two. The rest were only revealed on the day, and just an hour before commencing. In the first workout, competitors had to complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes. The workout consisted of 50 rope jumps,
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10m of walking lunges holding 11.3/4.5kg weights overhead, 15 24/16kg-kettlebell swings, another 10m of walking lunges with 11.3/4.5kg held overhead and then a 100m run. The workout was performed outside on grass, just to make it a bit more interesting. CrossFit not only tests coordination, speed, agility, mobility and endurance, it also demands strength. So for the second workout, we headed to the gym to dead lift as much weight as possible in five repetitions within 45 seconds, and then do as many pull ups possible in three sets without letting go of the bar in seven minutes. Oh, we did have a 90 minute rest in-between. It was stiflingly hot in the gym and despite the stunning view of the mountain on the one side and sea on the other, there was more eye contact between competitors than staring out of the window. The sport masseuse literally had her hands full as every time the next event was announced and equipment changed, we all started warming up again, while discussing strategies with our coaches and trying not to think about our tired, aching muscles. The rowers were lined up and the feared medicine balls lay in fat round blobs on the floor, waiting patiently to be hurled 10 feet into the air towards the ledge. Hit the ledge anywhere but square on the side and you are made to do it all over again. Failure to catch it in a deep squatting position and the same fate befell you.
For the third workout, the men had to row 375m, perform 50 wallball shots with a 7kg ball onto a 3m high target and finish off with another 375m row. For the ladies, it was a 250m row, perform 30 Wallball shots with a 4.5kg ball onto a 3m high target and a 250m row. When the fourth and final event of the day was announced, the competition was still wide open and determined faces lined up for the ‘Last Man/Women Standing’ event, otherwise known as ‘Death by Burpees and Thrusters’. This entailed performing one burpee and jump over a barbell and one thruster (front squat and push press) with a 29/15kg weight in the first minute. In the second minute, you had to perform two burpees and jumps over a barbell and two thrusters, and so it went on until you couldn’t perform the required number any more. This meant that every rep counted. As the repetitions increased, so did the volume of encouragement from the spectators crowding the side lines. No-one was prepared to give up without a fight and so both the men’s and ladies events went right down to the wire. And finally it was over. With exhausted bodies strewn across the floor and ribcages heaving, a collective feeling of achievement hung around the room. Not just for a superbly organised event, but also for completing all four workouts. And so the mirror replied, “It is our fair maiden Ellie Hagopian from Cape CrossFit and the valorous warrior Neil Scholtz from Ballistix Fitness who are the fittest of us all (in Cape Town that is).” Results
1. Ellie Hagopian
Cape CrossFit, score: 8 1. Neil Scholtz
2. Kathryn Green
Cape CrossFit, 11
2. Julian Reichman Fitness Technologies/CF Platinum, 10
3. Kate Munnik
Cape CrossFit, 12
3. Chris Öman
4. Lynda Piper-Roche Cape CrossFit, 16 5. Janie Smit
Cape CrossFit, 19
Ballistix Fitness, score: 9 Cape CrossFit, 14
4. Craig Reichman Fitness Technologies/CF Platinum, 17 5. Grant Elario
Cape CrossFit, 23
For full results and more awesome pictures, visit www.fittestincapetown.com So if you are up for a challenge of a lifetime, start preparing now for next year’s competition because you can’t afford not to be there! •
Should you wish to join a CrossFit gym near you, the contact details are as follows: Cape CrossFit: www.capecrossfit.com / Cape Town Ballistix Fitness: www.ballistixfitness.com / Somerset West Fitness Technologies: www.fitnesstechnologies.co.za / Johannesburg CrossFit Jozi: www.crossfitjozi.co.za / Johannesburg
by Massimo Bastiotto DO IT NOW | inTRODUCING: Words Photos by various photographers
Photo by: Anthony Chirchyard
The natural force of attraction exerted by a celestial body, such as earth, upon objects at or near its surface tending to draw them to the centre of the body. Since the beginning of time, mankind has been fascinated with the earth's natural forces and has found many ways to manipulate these forces to his benefit or to fulfil basic needs. One of man's most primal needs is the pure rush of adrenaline. This has been found and fulfilled in many ways, and gravity has been the largest provider thus far. Whether we are walking, riding a bicycle, pushing a skateboard or running, the force of gravity is constantly acting on us. But, man has never just been happy with simplicity. Instead, man is constantly challenging and searching for what could be better, higher and faster. Out of man's frustration with the mundane and his insatiable curiosity for the unreachable, gravity sports have come to life with full force.
The history of Downhill Skateboarding starts with the history of the skateboard itself. In 1959, the first skateboard available was the Roller Derby Skateboard. Essentially, it was roller skates on a plank of wood, and had either steel or clay wheels. Needless to say, skateboarding back then was far more dangerous and very difficult to run at high speed. 62 >> DO IT NOW ď‚ April/May 2011
Photo by: Anthony Chirchyard
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The longboard was a by-product of the skateboard revolution and became the transportation of choice, especially among the surfers. There had always been a core group of skaters with a love for speed and soon there were regular competitions featuring slalom and speed boarding. The famous Signal Hill just outside of Long Beach, California, was host to some incredible
Sidewalk Surfing, as skateboarding was often called, took a technological leap in 1970 with Frank Nasworthy's invention of the faster, more grippy urethane wheel. Skateboarding became very popular, with races not uncommon, especially in California.
In South Africa, the world renowned Red Bull Downhill Extreme was the unofficial kick off for the scene. Many riders today will tell you stories of them pitching up with street boards and no leathers, to try and take part in this crazy event. The sport has grown considerably since then. Today, there is a full South African racing league with junior and senior categories. The biggest local race would have to be the annual Hot Heels Africa event, the last series on the international World Cup calendar for the past eight years and also the longest running event. Many world champions have been crowned on this beautiful and unpredictable hill in the beautiful Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve, outside Cape Town. Downhill Skateboarding can start with the slightest gradient on any hill. Any road with a gradient is considered a hill. There are two main styles in the sport, namely ‘Downhill’ and ‘Freeride’. Downhill is the fast aspect of the sport. The longer and steeper the hill, the better. The current downhill speed record on a skateboard is 130.08 km/h and was set on 31 September 2010 by the 2009 World Champion, Mischo Erban, at a secret location in Colorado, USA. This year there are nine World Cup races taking place around the world, and is where the world's fastest, most technical and, more importantly, safest hills have been scouted, approved and raced on. The International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA) is the governing body behind most of the races and officiating body for the World Championships in all gravity sports, just as the FIA is to Formula 1 car racing. In addition to these races, there are countless national, regional and unlisted events held around the world, with more than 800 registered riders in 2010. Around 300 more than in 2009. Information on the World Cup races, as well as those around the world, can be found on the IGSA's website.
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Lloyd Clark & Robin Sandberg Photo by: Faizal Samsodin
As with any sport, there are obviously going to be dangers and safety concerns. The human body was not designed to take high-impact crashes, and therefore it’s necessary for a rider to take precautions, to prevent any serious injuries and maximise their enjoyment of the sport. The golden rule of longboarding, as it should be with all similar sports, is ALWAYS wear your helmet. No questions asked! Therefore, investing in a good helmet is paramount to your wellbeing. Longboarding gloves are required and come customised with plastic pucks attached to the palm for when you need to get your hand down around corners and in a slide, and protect your hand from the tar. When freeriding, you should always wear protection on your impact points; the elbows and knees, a helmet, wrist guards and gloves. When racing, riders wear full body leather suits and some come with built in pads. Just as bikers wear leathers for high speed sliding on the tar, longboard racing is no different. Racing helmets cover the face completely and have a visor to protect the eyes from stones that flick up. They are also aerodynamically designed for speed and look very cool. Gloves with pucks are mandatory. Custom-made shoes with an extra layer of durable rubber, usually car or bike tyre, for high speed foot braking situations complete the look. Although the skateboarding scene in South Africa is relatively small, its popularity is increasing quite rapidly. Some skate stores have started to take notice of this growing trend and you can now find a small selection of boards in a few stores around the country, and they usually come completely set up. If you ask any downhill skateboarder, they will tell you that a custom set up is always best, as only the rider can tell you what works for him. There are also a few factors that need to be taken into consideration, so custom is definitely better. Currently, the best place to go for advice and buy longboarding equipment online in South Africa is through First Nature or other skaters who are connected. A few skaters have started businesses to bring in various top quality brands and make them available to local skaters. A prime example is First Nature, which was started by two Jo'burg-based skateboarders looking to organise skate events, and now bring in the largest selection of downhill equipment. In South Africa, longboarding has a huge internet presence with many local sites and blogs containing information on anything you need to know about the local and international downhill scene. Many riders have developed great filming and editing skills, which has resulted in the compilation of a massive library of top quality videos for riders to enjoy and learn from, as well as check out SA’s hills. •
Here are a few links to check out: First Nature: firstnature.posterous.com Jo'burg Longboarders Club: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=89318043804 Longboard Stellenbosch: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=121263354160 SAGRA: www.sagra.co.za/ Longboarding SA Forum: www.longboardingsa.com/ Silverfish Longboarding: www.silverfishlongboarding.com
DO IT NOW | inACTION:
Ladies Board race
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Words by Colleen Saunders Photos by Dennis Walthey
The Competitive Side of Lifesaving Lifesavers from across South Africa gathered together to compete in the ultimate lifesaving challenge, the Hansgrohe Masters of Water Lifesaving Series that was held at various top beaches on our southern shores. From the start, the competition was fierce in all the categories and concluded in an exciting final in Durban. ď ˇ
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Following its inaugural success, Hansgrohe, sponsor and the leader in the sanitary-brassware industry, has been promoting and supporting voluntary surf lifesaving in South Africa, a sport that has been steadily gaining in popularity amongst the locals. The series was designed to enable squad members to compete against each other on a more regular basis than in the past, and push the level of competition in South Africa higher. Just 31 top lifesaving athletes from across the country were invited to compete at an international level in the two main categories; Beach - Flags and Sprints, and Surf - Ski, Surf, Swim, Board and Ironman. Winners in each category received a cash prize, as well as points contributing to the overall series championship. Camps Bay Beach was the setting for the first stage of the series, held on 4 December 2010. It was Aimee Faulmann who claimed the Woman’s Overall Winner - Beach category, and Eloise van Gysen took the Woman’s Overall Winner - Surf. The Men’s Overall Winner - Beach went to Ryle de Morny, and Luke Nisbet took the Men’s Overall Winner - Surf title. In the second leg held at Humewood Beach in Port Elizabeth on 11 December 2010, it was once again Aimee Faulmann who blazed her way to glory clinching the Women’s Overall Winner - Beach title for the second time, and another outstanding performance by Eloise van Gysen saw her also take the Woman’s Overall Winner - Surf for the second time. Similarly, Ryle de Morny won the Men’s Overall Winner - Beach category, while Luke Nisbet took top honors as the Men’s Overall Winner - Surf category, both for the second time in the series. The third and final stage culminated at North Beach in Durban on 15 January 2011, and the eagerly anticipated crowning of the Masters of Water. Unsurprisingly, Aimee Faulmann made another clean sweep on the beach, claiming a hat-trick in the Women’s Overall Winner - Beach event. But this time it was Michelle Eder who performed consistently well throughout the day to claim her first win of the series as the Women’s Overall Winner - Surf. It was an all-out fight to the bitter end for the men, with Stix Mthiyane (Flags) and Matthew Hindmarch (Sprints) proving to be the better under pressure to claim the Men’s Overall Winner - Beach. Luke Nisbet continued to prove his dominance in the surf to also take a hat-trick in the Men’s Overall winner - Surf category. The undisputed Hansgrohe Masters of Water Overall Series Winners were, Aimee Faulmann and Luke Hindmarch in the Beach categories, and Eloise van Gysen and Luke Nisbet in the Surf categories. •
Luke Matthew and Stix
Since Lifesaving started in Australia in 1906, it has expanded across the globe and saves thousands of lives annually. To raise the profile of this vital service, as well as keep its members fit, lifesaving added a sporting element to its portfolio of talent. But unlike other areas globally, where lifesaving is a professional career and sport, South Africa relies on the goodwill and skills of a steadfast group of volunteers, who lend their time and effort to keeping our waters safe. Source: www.capetowntoday.co.za * For photos and more information go to: http://www.hansgrohemastersofwater.co.za Ladies Ski race
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Dylan Tommy, Eloise van Geysen & Anthony Mederer
Luke Nisbet and Jayden Alford
Dylan Tommy, Luke Nisbett & Anthony Mederer
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by Deon Breytenbach DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by Lelani Boshof & DO IT NOW
Bigger, Better, Best!
1. Group shot on the start of the Pro race. 2. Pro race handpaddlers with Deon Breytenbach in the lead. 3. Josh Duffus, the only junior in the Pro race swimming on Amphi Extension. 4. Pro race winner Andrew Kellet. (Photos by Lelani Boshoff)
The 2011 Blyde Xfest, held from 25 to 27 February, was our fifth attempt at hosting what is now the biggest and best white water paddling festival in southern Africa. Judging by the feedback, we hit the nail on the head. This opinion is worldwide, with paddlers from seven different countries flocking to the banks of the Blyde River for a weekend of some serious fun and competition.
filming of Halo Effect, and not in his usual unbeatable condition. So for anyone with their sights on a win, this would be the year to do it in. By the end of the race the top paddlers were separated by split seconds, necessitating competitors to keep it tight and fast for both remaining race rapids. The infamous Terminator and Mark’s Drop didn’t disappoint and resulted in a sweet spanking or two for the less focused. Gutter 2 and Jenny’s drop were up next and it was here that a couple of paddlers underestimated the fluffiness of Jenny’s drop, resulting in another reshuffle of the leader board.
Friday started off with the usual last minute craziness, as happens before any major event. But by midday everything was sorted; the music was pumping and the sun shining, all that needed to happen now was the arrival of more kayakers than I have ever seen in any one place in South Africa. For the early arrivals, we had a fun King of the Hole session in Gecko’s. Unfortunately we had so much fun that we forgot to choose a winner. Friday evening’s highlight was the premiere of the award winning white water kayaking adventure film ‘Halo Effect’, filmed and produced by local Fisher brothers, Steve and Dave, in Iceland.
Camels Humps once again ended up being the race decider. This long rapid has various lines through it, but a mistake in the wrong place could cost you that extra second or two and plunge you from the top of the rankings to the bottom. Despite a courageous effort from Shane Raw, he eventually ended up in second place, with Capetonian paddler Andrew Kellet taking his first Blyde Xfest Pro race title. Six and a bit hours later, the largest group of white water kayakers ever to paddle the Blyde Canyon arrived full of smiles at the take out. From here our slow but trusty barge was waiting to give them a lift over the Blyde Dam, laden with ice cold beers to slake the many thirsty throats. Arriving back at the festival grounds, it was time to pick it up again and start the high-flying action of South Africa’s one and only big air kayak ramp. But more about that later.
It was a nippy 05h00 start for the Pro race paddlers on Saturday, as they headed into the Blyde River canyon for the start of an actionpacked day, in the largest green canyon in the world. Shane Raw, who has been the dominant force in the Pro race for a number of years, was still recovering from a broken arm sustained during the
Shortly after 09h00 it was the Intermediate kayakers’ turn to tackle a three kilometre section of fast and tight rapids on the lower Blyde. With a mass start, paddlers of various ages dug deep to try and get ahead of the pack and claim first choice of the fastest lines through the rapids. Junior paddler Bradley Altona from Stanford Lake was
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fastest out of the starting blocks and stretched his lead all the way to the finish, with a bit of help from his secret weapon; the Fluid Donsa. One of our favorite events is the Beginner kayak race. Not because of the many entertaining swims, but if there’s beginner kayakers it means that new people are getting into our sport and enjoying it. Beginner kayakers are not rated according to age, but rather by skill and this event was once again dominated by a junior paddler. It was rising female paddler Zoe Macchiarulo from Southern Cross School who cleaned up in all the heats and finals. With the sun high in the sky it was time for more fun and so began the Ark inflatable races; these events are for anybody and everybody. First you race in a two-man inflatable Croc raft down the same section as the beginner kayakers. After a couple of heats and the final, paddlers then get to race the same section again, but this time in a Gecko tube, which always results in much amusement and laughter. Once the finals were over, everyone had a couple of minutes to prepare for one of the main events; the Kayak Ramp Freestyle. Here you slide down a five metre high ramp in your kayak, hit the lip and go flying into the middle of the river. As you fly, you must complete
Intermediate Kayak race
Inflatable Croc race
Gecko Tube race
Fun for young and old!
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some or other freestyle move. There were some classy moves made, but nothing spectacular until Ryan Peel threw a huge air screw, sending the crowd into a frenzy. This inspired the others to up their game and the moves just got bigger and better. With the day’s events concluded, we were all a bit peckish and eagerly tucked into a tasty braai to refuel our bodies before the night’s festivities. Prize-giving is always a major hit as there are loads of fabulous prizes to be won, thanks to our amazing and very generous sponsors. Some prizes required you to win an event, whilst others were just pure luck. I think the happiest winner of all was Zoe, who walked away with a brand new Werner paddle and to top it off, she also won a 50% discount voucher on a brand new Fluid kayak in a lucky draw. Luck was also on Kobus Bresler’s side, who is now the proud owner of a brand new Ark Gecko tube. After prize-giving it was time to auction of the newly released Fluid Big Bang expedition kayak worth R7,000, which was bought by Lloyd Wallace for only R3,000. Next up was the crowning of the Blyde Xfest Mullet King. Many sported the mullet, but nobody came close to new Mullet King Dewet Michua’s inspirational mullet. Just as the party began to gain momentum, the heavens opened and rain forced everyone under the big lapa. However, the rain was unable to put a damper on the party, and soon the festive vibe just sky rocketed, with music going on into the wee hours of the morning. We gently eased into Sunday morning with a fun paddle on the Olifants River gorge. This is where everybody from beginner to pro and your non-kayaking buddies get to spend quality time on the river together. The Olifants has a great hangover cure and it’s called Double Trouble, a fast and pushy rapid that has two huge holes right at the end, thus ensuring that everyone is equally wet and awake. There was non-stop action on the river, with most of it supplied by our non-kayaking buddies attempting to tackle the rapids in Croc rafts. As the sun rose higher and the weekend drew to a close, we headed back to the festival grounds to shower and pack before setting off in various directions towards home. Without a doubt, the 2011 Blyde Xfest was truly our best event ever. What was especially pleasing to see in terms of growing numbers was the increase in new and young kayakers. To everyone who took part, were involved and supported the event, I say a very, very big thank you. But this event would not have been possible or as big without our headline sponsors DO IT NOW, Fluid Kayaks and First Ascent, as well as all the other sponsors, namely Ark Inflatables, Whitewater Training, Vibram Fivefingers, Werner Paddles, Africa Safe-T, Lb and Spar – you all rock! So add this not-to-be-missed weekend to your calendar because no matter what your skill level is or even if you’ve never paddled before, you just have to join us on the Blyde on Friday, 24 February 2012. We look forward to seeing you there! •
Kayak Ramp Freestyle. Olifants River Start, Photo by Lelani Boshof
by Patrick Cruywagen DO IT NOW | inACTION: Words Photos by Alison Cole & Karin Schermbrucker
CA2C Ride the Wind MTB Race
heat hills sssssssssand Any of the 124 riders who lined up for the inaugural Cape Town to Sea (CA2C) Ride the Wind MTB race, held on 26 and 27 February, will agree that it was one of the toughest rides ever! In fact, it was so difficult that the second and final day was shortened to ensure there were enough riders to cross the finish line.
This is what happens when you combine 250km of cycling and 3,500m of climbing, with sweltering temperatures and the harsh, unforgiving elements of the West Coast. The morning of Day 1 began so innocently as we prepared to ride 106km from Clara Anna Fontein, situated on the outskirts of Durbanville and one of Cape Town’s prettier northern suburbs, to Darling. However, we were delayed by half an hour waiting for the TV and helicopter crews to arrive before we could finally set off. During the first couple of kilometres, as riders settled into bunches and the field slowly spread out, I enjoyed the sight of galloping wildebeest and other more sedate wildlife, curiously watching us go by. As we made our way over Odendaal Hill we met our first big climb of the day, the very steep Bloemendal climb. With legs pumping furiously and hearts pounding we slowly progressed up and over, to be rewarded with some great single track through Hillcrest and Kliprug, one of the fastest growing MTB areas and tracks in our country. I was loving this race as we continued on more winding, single track through Contermanskloof. At this stage we had been going for 25km, yet the start was a mere two kilometres away from us. This was mountain biking at its best! But all good things must come to an end and it was time to climb again. My liquid supplies were still good, so I whizzed passed the first water point toward Meerendal Hill, which was not the easiest and seemed to go on and on. Once at the top, a long rocky descent ensued that required the perfect mix of speed and bravado. Entering the quarry at speed, I overheard one of the riders mumble that we had already climbed 1,200 metres and were only 30km into the race. The wind had picked up and it was not always coming from behind, as promised in the race brochure, and the intense heat was starting to take its toll. From Klipheuwel we tackled a section along the railway line that was followed by the first of many sand sections. The track was right next to a high barbed wire fence, so staying on your bike here was a high priority. Not wanting to take a chance, I decided that walking was a better option. Most of the riders resorted to pushing their bikes across the deep sand, even on the downhill sections, because when it’s so hot the sand becomes finer and looser, thus making it much harder to negotiate. The Spur refreshment station was the last place to stock up on water, burgers and wine gums before a gruelling five kilometre section of sand. Thankfully a tractor was available to transport us, and saved us from having to attempt this on our bikes. We passed some riders who had opted to rather walk this section and one of them had even removed his shoes to make life a little easier for himself. I later found out that this was not such a hot idea, as his feet got burnt and blistered, plus he ran out of water putting a swift end to his race. Once off the tractor we hit the track hard, only to find ourselves greeted by more sand just a few minutes later. Some of it was rideable, but for the most part there was more pushing to be done. We passed the Kloof wine estate and faced one more big climb, Orange Kloof. For some this was just too much and they ended up pushing their bikes up this monster. A large percentage of the riders had run out of water by now and had to stop at one of the nearby farms to fill up. The last few kilometres were along another railway track towards the mirage of Darling in the distance. But no matter how hard I rode, it did not seem to get any closer. After more than seven hours and 120km of riding, I crossed the finish line in 20th place. Only 94 of the 124 starters crossed this line, and not all of the 94 made it to the start on Day 2. Local lad Louis-Bresler Knipe was first across the line in under five hours, the only rider to do so, and just six riders made it in less than six hours. Leading this bunch was Jock Green, who was about five minutes behind Louis-Bresler. It was comforting to know that even the top guys suffered a little today. Said Louis-Bresler, “I thought that I was good on sand, but the stuff we went through today was just impossible. You use so much energy when powering
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through the sand.” Jock shared these sentiments, “Today was very tough and for social riders this was maybe too much. But if you’re using it for Epic training, then it was perfect; except you have to do this for eight days in a row!” The ladies race was not as tight, as the ever-green Hannele Steyn held an hour’s lead over Hanlie Booyens. In Hanlie’s defence she had not taken the tractor, a decision she was to rue as she picked up a couple of blisters and ran out of water. Those that walked this section were awarded with a time credit, but the damage caused by the heat and sand would definitely affect these brave competitors. The Darling Country Club, where we spent the night, resembled a war zone with broken bodies lying everywhere. Some were attached to drips while others called ‘liefie’ to come fetch them, as they did not want to experience another day like this. It was at this point that the organisers wisely decided to shorten the second day to less than 100km and take out one of the big climbs. The final day began with a climb out of Darling to Ormonde before moving on to the sleepy town of Mamre. Thankfully, the climbs over the first 30km were not as brutal as those at the start of the first day. However, this all changed after the water point at Groote Post and it was time to engage the granny gears. All the thorn beds we had to ride across had decimated my rear tyre and it was burping at every turn. I bombed it back into shape so that I could tackle the biggest climb of the day. From here, we zigzagged through several lush vineyards before the landscape gave way to the brown, dusty and dry Renosterveld; one of the most endangered habitats in the world. In the Western Cape only four percent of this unique landscape remains, which is seriously bad news for the Geometric Tortoise and Cape Dwarf Chameleon that call this place home. Race founder, Justin Basson, donates 20% of the race entry fee to the Renosterveld Trust so they can rehabilitate the area. And so my suffering in the race was helping a tortoise and chameleon, something I was totally comfortable with. A personal race highlight for me was when we turned west. It was like opening a fridge door as the west coast wind brought relief and cooled us down. Soon we reached the San cultural centre called !Kwa Ttu for the last water point. We could see and smell the sea, and with less than 20km to go and lots of downhill to the finish line, I cranked it up. In no time I reached the southern most part of the holiday town of Yzerfontein and the end was almost in sight. Reaching the main beach, we descended onto the sand for the last time and raced through the finish banner. This event was a momentous occasion for me, as I have now surpassed the longest time I’d ever spent on a bicycle saddle, and I finished the race. Despite Louis-Bresler keeping Jock in his sights throughout the second day, Jock managed to pip him to the finish line by a minute. Overall CA2C winner Louis-Bresler was very pleased with his performance, but it was not all plain sailing. “I made a few silly mistakes today when it came to eating and drinking, but I always knew where Jock was. I was pap at the end, but happy to have won,” beamed Louis-Bresler. In the ladies race, Hannele Steyn finished 20 minutes ahead of Hanlie Booyens to give her overall victory by an hour. The CA2C had delivered on its pre-race promises; to provide riders with a tough pre-Cape Epic workout. For some it had been too tough, succumbing to the severe heat and endless sand. But more importantly, as the race grows it will start to make a noticeable difference to the severely under-threat Renosterveld. When it comes to the CA2C it’s definitely not about the bike, it’s about the tortoises and chameleons! •
For details on next year’s race, visit www.CA2C.co.za or e-mail them on email@example.com
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DO IT NOW | inACTION:
Words by Chloe Torr Photos by Greg Beadle
For the third time in four years, 25-year-old Dan Hugo blazed his way through a 1.5km swim, 28km mountain bike and an 11km trail run at the 2011 XTERRA South Africa Championship, to cross the finish line in a winning time of 02:15:30, nearly four minutes ahead of runner-up Kent Horner. www.doitnow.co.za
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“I wanted this one more than I needed it,” said a jubilant Hugo. In addition to Hugo’s three wins on home turf, the sport’s rising star now has six championships to his credit. A great deal of the race was a head-to-head contest between Hugo and four-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz. Commented Hugo, “The only way to widen the slight gap was through an aggressive swim. So I pushed hard to ensure a smooth transition into the mountain bike discipline, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before Conrad closed in. When I sadly heard that Conrad had withdrawn from the race due to illness, I no longer had to push myself to the limit and just maintained a steady pace. Crossing the finish line surrounded by the largest crowd ever at Grabouw, made it an even more memorable experience.” In the ladies race, it was Austrian Carina Wasle who claimed her second XTERRA South Africa Championship in three years, and her seventh XTERRA Championship title. Her sights are now set on the inaugural XTERRA Philippines Championship and XTERRA Saipan Championship in March. For the second straight year it was Michelle Lombardi who came second and Carla van Huyssteen third. The hotly contested XTERRA South Africa Championship race, which took place on 26 February 2011 in Grabouw, in the Western Cape, was the first event to qualify amateur athletes into the XTERRA World Championship to be held in Maui, Hawaii on October 23, 2011. A total of 34 slots were awarded to the top finishers in each age division. This event also marked the eighth year of XTERRA racing in South Africa, and its growth has been nothing short of remarkable. From a single event in 2004, XTERRA has become a lifestyle sporting culture that consists of six major events worldwide that attract thousands of competitors, including some of the sport’s biggest stars, and receives major media coverage.
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I spoke to Dan to find out what his winning strategy was when preparing for this race, and what he had to say is great advice for anyone wanting to participate in future XTERRA SA events. In my preparation for this iconic race, my training wasn’t solely focused on the race format, it was specifically tweaked for the course and potential race conditions. The bike course is usually very technical, so the best bike preparation I could do was to ride the route prior to the event. This allowed me to get to know it intimately in terms of when to shift, what momentum to maintain through a blind corner, what pressure and tyre choice is optimal and numerous other small but vital details. By knowing what to expect and when enabled me to be better prepared, both mentally and physically. The same applied for the swim. I swam open water because I can’t flip turn in a pool and so I became more familiar with race conditions, thus giving me an edge over most of the competitors.
Mental and physical preparation Mentally I love the challenge when the stakes are high. Often my mind drifts while training to a possible race scenario; the vibe, tactics to be used and the competitors. So when I’m racing it feels like I’ve been there already, which mentally I have. The art of visualisation helps me to prepare for the race, so I know what to expect. As this was a home race, some 45 minutes drive from my base in Stellenbosch, my family and friends were able to be there to cheer me on, which is rare for such a significant event. This alone made the day emotionally special for me. Sport for me is a shared passion and each person plays an important role in my support structure, and shares in my success and failures. Even though it’s a solo sport, I am wholly dependent on this support in many ways.
Benefits of fitness equipment I train for a living and have three personal trainers; one is my coach, the other my Garmin 310XT and the third is an Edge 705. I use these devices to gauge my progress and log my mileage and times. Using the Garmin Fitness unit’s seamless online integration, I upload all my work to a coaching-based site called Training Peaks. Perhaps the greatest feature I use is the wireless Powertap feed on my Edge 705. This allows me to get so much more specific about training and energy zones. I used the Garmin 310XT for this race as it is totally waterproof and designed specifically for multisport. Racing relies more on feel and intuition, but the data afterwards is crucial for future adjustments to my training plan.
Event challenges The challenge is personal and different for each competitor. I immensely admire someone who enters their first triathlon. I love seeing them awaken to an XTERRA adventure! For me the challenge of this race was to compete against one of triathlon’s finest competitors and one of my best friends, Conrad Stoltz. He won the XTERRA world title for the fourth time last year. He was the bar, the man to beat. The swim is more strategic than race winning. The old saying of, ‘A race can’t be won in the water, but it can be lost in the water’, is so true. There is a 15-20% drafting effect when swimming behind someone, so it pays to conserve energy and stay within the lead pack. In the bike section, I didn’t want company as being alone from the start is a lot more effective than trying to shake off a competitor on your wheel. Therefore, a good swim and fast swim-bike transition was important.
Upcoming events I will be training through March and April in Stellenbosch before travelling to the USA at the end of April to participate in the Wildflower Triathlon Festival in May and thereafter, to a newly scheduled XTERRA in Santa Cruz in mid-May. Both races include open road and mountain bike races in California. It is a different game abroad. I’ve been racing abroad for the past four years and it takes some getting used to as your resources are not readily available. But the international racing scene offers a much bigger financial incentive and greater prestige. One of the differences between international and local XTERRA races is that in South Africa we believe that anyone can take part in endurance sports; a culture that is unique and very special. Both the XTERRA Lite and Full races in Grabouw this year were over subscribed, with a long waiting list. No other XTERRA event in the world is as popular and I am exceptionally proud to be a part of this momentum. I honestly believe that in the next year or two we will see an XTERRA weekend, which will make it easier for more people to participate.
My thoughts I love racing and my motto is, ‘To care less for risk and more for success’. Any person who manages to survive and finish a full XTERRA race is a champion … and congrats to you! •
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by Heidie Muller DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION: Words Photos courtesy of Heidie Muller
N O I T I EXPED A C I R AF A 500km ADVENTURE
Expedition Africa is one of many multi-day adventure races held worldwide, and culminates in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Tasmania, Australia, from 31 October to 11 November 2011.
This year, Expedition Africa is scheduled to take place from 7 to 14 May in Hermanus, the world's foremost land-based whale watching destination. Just 30 teams of four athletes, of which a minimum of one member must be female, will race day and night, deciding if, when and where to rest, over an expedition-length 500km course. Disciplines to be tackled are mountain biking (329km - 62% of the total distance), trekking (133km - 25% of the total distance) and kayaking (67km - 13% of the total distance), as well as rope work and orienteering, in under 120 hours. Teams are required to complete the entire race distance together and the first mixed team to complete all the race legs and visit all checkpoints, will receive a cash prize of R12,000. The second team will take R4,000 home and third place R2,000.
using a map, landmarks and compass. There will also be some interesting rope work to test the competitors. The very nature of this race means that team dynamics are essential. A good understanding of your teammates and your own capabilities is crucial to finishing. Furthermore, the team’s ability to operate in harsh remote environments and in all weather conditions, will play a big role in their overall performance. The entry fee includes kayaks, paddles, all rope work equipment, waterproof gear boxes, bike boxes and accommodation in the tented camp. Spots are expected to sell out fast, so don’t delay and miss the opportunity to take part in one of Africa’s most iconic adventure races. •
In the mountain biking leg, teams should be prepared for a range of riding conditions, including single track, steep hills, gravel and sealed roads. Trekking will be over diverse terrain and will involve travelling by foot through rugged terrain. The kayaking leg will be on inland rivers, lakes and the ocean. But don’t under estimate the navigation, as this is an extremely important part of the race. The course is not marked and teams will be required to navigate
To enter this multi-discipline endurance race, visit www.kineticgear.co.za.
RACE PREREQUISITES Race Gear Boxes One of the best aspects of this expedition is the unsupported element of the race. Teams will need to meticulously plan all their equipment and sustenance so that it fits into their race gear boxes and bike boxes. Race organisers will move these boxes to various points on the course, making it easier for teams to compete on an even playing field.
Race Maps The route will be revealed at registration and at the midway camp along the route, and will be 1:50 000 topographical maps.
Competency checks: Competitor safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance. Therefore, to participate, teams will need to comply with the following:
• Sufficient food for the duration of the race. • Space/safety blanket. • Thermal layer consisting of a long
sleeve top and long pants.
• Waterproof jacket and fleece top. • Buff, balaclava or beanie. • Knife
• At least two members of the team must be capable of navigating by compass and map during the day and night. The team must be able to orientate a map, identify grid references on a map, take a bearing between two points on a map, and understand the impact of magnetic declination. • At least one member of the team must hold a minimum qualification of Level One First Aid. • Kayaking skills required are managing a capsized craft in deep water, righting and emptying the craft in deep water, getting back in and continuing paddling. • All team members must be able to swim 100m in any stroke.
Equipment to be carried on your person during the specific discipline:
Compulsory competitor equipment:
• 1 x shelter
• • • • • •
Sufficient trekking, cycling and kayaking clothing and footwear Approved cycling helmet Backpack Whistle Headlight or torch At least a two-litre hydration system (water bottles or bladder).
• Mountain bike. • PFD (personal flotation device). • Lighting system for your bicycle. • Mountain bike repair kit. • Glow sticks to be attached onto your life jacket during night paddling.
Compulsory team equipment Each team must be equipped with the following minimum equipment, which is to be with the team at all times: • Compass • Cell phone • First aid kit • 2 x sleeping bags • Water purification tablets. • Kayak bag that is to remain in the boat at all times. • Matches or lighter. • Money • Pencil and notebook.
Restricted equipment: • Maps other than those provided by the organisers. • Satellite navigation equipment. • Sails, kites or rudders for kayaks.
EVENT RULES AND REGULATIONS Team • The event must be started and completed by the entire team. • All members of the team must be within visual and hearing distance of all other members of their team at all times i.e. spread over no more than 100m. • No substitutions will be allowed. • The team is to complete the entire event without any assistance. • Teams receiving any form of assistance, including medical assistance, whilst not in a transition area, will be penalised. • Teams are required to pass through all transitions and checkpoints in the order designated by the Organiser. • Teams will visit designated transitions areas to change racing disciplines, refill their supplies, change clothing and gear and sleep if necessary.
Support Crew • No team support members will be required. Volunteers The best way to be a part of the race if you can’t participate yourself is to become a volunteer marshal. If you are interested, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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"...329km mountainbiking, 133km trekking and 67km Kayaking in 120 hours."
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DO IT NOW | inPREPARATION: Words & photos by Mandy Hartlett
O’Brien WaterSports started the first of a series of national wakeboarding clinics with the arrival of international men’s pro wakeboarder and coach Sean O’Brien on 14 January 2011.
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Sean has been conducting training for wakeboarding internationally and visited South Africa, for the first time, as part of his world tour. The South African leg consisted of training clinics held nationwide to assist all levels of riders with their riding skills.
on the shallow banks of the lake, before giving a demonstration on how to ramp an obstacle. With more than 15 students attending the weekend training, some even driving from as far as East London, the Sedgefield clinic was an immense success.
The first wakeboarding clinic was at Victoria Lake on the East Rand, Germiston. Wakeboarding enthusiasts flocked en mass to the venue to get their first peek of the star and experience some free hands on training to enable them to better their wakeboarding skills. Despite the overcast and wet conditions, a full weekend of training ensued and all the wakeboarding enthusiasts in attendance had the chance to get some personalised training with Sean and were then treated to the coach strutting his stuff behind the boat.
Travelling further inland, the tour party hit the road to Misverstand Dam where they teamed up with Axis owner and Team O’Brien team member Andrew Bourne to conduct the next training clinic. Misverstand Dam is situated in the heart of the Swartland mountain range and provided yet another ideal location for a clinic. Sprawled out in a valley in the mountains and temperatures soaring over 39˚C, the luke warm water was perfect for a weekend of wakeboarding. Andrew Bourne supplied an Axis A22 335hp V8, which performed exceptionally well and provided a clean wake and plenty of space on-board for spectators to enjoy the talent on display.
The O’Brien Pro Tour Stop 1 competition held at Victoria Lake was next on the agenda, with Sean going head-to-head with SA’s top riders and Josh Palma from the States. Competition on the final day was tough, but Sean took top honours in the Pro Mens division by matching Josh’s pace and then adding his own style and intensity to the wake, with a grab heelside 720 and a massive heelside indy roll to blind landing far in the flats. Team O’Brien members then took to the road with O’Brien WaterSports and Sean on a road trip across the country to conduct more training clinics for the public. Stop two of the trip was the scenic little town of Sedgefield in the Eastern Cape. Swartvlei Lake provided the ideal setting for the clinic, with warm water and very little wind to interfere with lessons. This clinic was run in conjunction with Liquid Grace, which provided a Moomba boat for learners to train behind. A winch supplied by Thomas Kellerman was attached to the jetty and whilst Sean conducted training on the boat, Team O’Brien members chipped in and coached beginners and novices
The last clinic saw the team pairing up with Vaal Nautiques at the Vaal River. Vaal Nautiques provided a 23ft Super Air Nautique that produced a nice clean wake and was a very comfortable ride for the spectators. The weekend ended on a high note, and upheld the already high standards set in previous clinics, by running an efficient and well coordinated clinic to end of the entire tour. Despite all the training going on throughout the tour, Sean was shown a good South African time with ostrich riding, surfing at some of our beautiful beaches and playing with the lion cubs at the Lion Park. Overall, more than 70 students attended the various training clinics held and enjoyed the experience with O’Brien WaterSports. Sean has a great coaching mentality and was very well received by the public.
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Says Sean from O’Brien WaterSports, “The clinics were a great success and we would like to thank our co-sponsors Germiston Aquatic Club, Manex Power and Marine, Liquid Grace, Axis and Vaal Nautiques for their participation, effort and dedication to making the events the success they were. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to our team members Kevin Goosen, Deidre van Niekerk and Cameron Graham for joining us on the trip and assisting with the coaching throughout. O’Brien WaterSports looks forward to future tours.”
O’Brien WaterSports would like to extend a special thank you to Sean O’Brien for coming out here and conducting the training. O’Brien SA is very proud to have had you represent us and we hope to see you on our shores again soon. It was awesome to see so many people, from all over, willing to help with this programme and shows the high level of interest and commitment to the brand and sport as a whole. We look forward to bigger and better clinics in future! •
by Danie Kriek DO IT NOW | inSHAPE: Words Photos by SXC
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Sport >> 89
DO IT NOW | inSHAPE:
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Extensor Muscles Humerus Lateral Epicondyle Common Extensor Tendon Olecranon
by Michael Scholz DO IT NOW | inTHE HOLE: Words Photos by courtesy of Michael Scholz
. . . H T I W W E I V R E T N GOLF I
O O D I A N L I BAS OLD ROOKIE'S SHOW EAR-
Y 0 4 E H T IN R E T C A R - LEAD CHA
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Crocs Papwa Sewgolum Michael
Golf nuts are commonplace in our rainbow nation, but none more passionate about the game than Basil Naidoo! Basil is an Indian descendent whose life revolves around bringing the game to its knees with wacky theories, fancy equipment and general sharp wit. We caught up with him over a 'mild' chicken vindaloo to find out what makes him tick. Q: Jeez Basil, this vindaloo is rather hot! What type of chillies did you put in here?
Q: You have invented a few golf training aids. Tell us about them and how they came about?
A: Not chillies brother! That is commercial paint stripper. It can be bought at any good hardware store.
A: My swing is rather unique! I have a hook slice and my swing is a combination of Ernie Els’ backswing, Jim Furyk’s downswing, Arnold Palmer’s impact position and my very own ‘drie hoekie koekie’ follow through. Beautiful, but very sensitive to small changes.
Q: Most golfers will know you from the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s trick shot shows as the guy who makes a bunny chow whilst playing golf. How did you think of that? A: Anytime is a good time for bunny chow man. Also, when the golf ball passes through the loaf of bread, it gives the bunny a unique ‘musty golf towel’ flavour that is distinctive and which golfers who have left a wet towel in their car boot for a couple of days will know well.
With that, I have had to design my own training aids, which include Croc-o-Shot (Crocs pegged into the ground to keep the feet from moving), String-my-Bling (a golf cap with strings pegged into the ground to keep the head still), Balan-Singh (skateboard and plank combo to improve balance) and a few others that are still on the design table.
Q: You made your television debut on Super Golf last month. Is this going to be a regular slot?
Q: Who would make up your dream four ball?
A: It was a toss up between Bollywood and Super Golf, but I felt that Super Golf has more growth potential. We haven’t discussed my fees yet, but I expect my earnings will be in line with that of Bollywood greats like Shahrukh Khan, Arjun Rampal and Emraan Hashmi. I am not at liberty to disclose the figures, but I expect between R1,657,298 and R1,657,300 per show. I am open to their feedback though.
Q: What is your favourite course and why?
Q: What’s your handicap? A: Well it ranges. I’m a very erratic golfer depending on which competitions I am playing, at which courses and against whom I have a game. I play off anything from an 8 to a 26. Q: You have a very interesting driver. Tell us about it. A: Well, it’s a little beaut! It is a customised conversion of what was once a common Briggs & Stratton 200 lawnmower. Now it’s the only driver in the world with free flow! My motto is that if you are driving anything, it better have free flow!
A: Definitely Papwa Sewgolum (professional golf legend from the apartheid era), Ernie Els and Tiger Woods. I want those two (Ernie and Tiger) to use a few of my swing aids!
A: Durban Golf Club, also known as Papwa Sewgolum Golf Club. I know every single blade of grass by name and they serve the best bunny at the 9-hole turn. Your stomach will turn too! Woohooo! Q: What lies ahead for Basil Naidoo? A: I have nine years to get my game in shape and then I’m going to take the Champions Tour in the States by storm! I’m looking for a caddie and I think Tiger will do! I’ll let him carry for free! •
Well, we wish you much success and good golfing going forward, and we’ll be sure to follow your progress. • www.doitnow.co.za Lifestyle >> 95
by Michael Scholz DO IT NOW | inTHEHOLE: Words Photos courtesy of Michael Scholz
The 40 Year - Old Rookie
The Dreaded Snap Hook!
Snap hook - A golf shot that turns abruptly in the air from right to left (for a right-hander), typically resulting in profuse cursing, club throwing, violent behaviour and extreme nausea.
My second season on the Sunshine Tour started off poorly. Failing to pre-qualify for both the Africa and Jo’burg Opens left my bank manager reeling backwards at the sight of me entering his ‘interrogation room’, knowing full well that he wasn’t going to hear any good news, but rather a mouthful of teeth, promises and the fact that he would have to endure 15 minutes of golfing stories of fantastic potential and how, in a space of four days, life can change from rags to riches. The next tournament on the schedule was my favourite event of the Sunshine Tour calendar; the Dimension-Data Pro-Am at Fancourt. The 40 Year-Old Rookie was ready to take on Montagu, Outeniqua and the much-feared Links … or was he? Nah! The tournament started with a poised moment on the first tee at Montagu. A deathly silence prevailed as I lined up my opening tee shot. My amateur partner, Kaya Ncqula, eagerly waiting to see how his professional partner tackled the gripping moment. A quick look down the fairway and eyes tracking back to the Titleist Pro V1x resting gently on the tee peg. A nice turn of the shoulders to get the club smoothly back. Swoosh! There she goes! Starting quickly down the left side of the fairway and veering sharply left, over the bunker, over the rough and straight into one of the luxury residential
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properties on the left. Out of bounds! Nice start big guy! Well, from there it didn’t get any better. Fancourt had never before experienced such a devastating barrage of golf ball fire! Roof tiles, windows, pets and motor vehicles were maliciously damaged as golf balls, with the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s prominent mark, littered the war-scathed terrain that was once so safe, beautiful and pristine! Homeowners and holidaymakers took refuge indoors for the next three days to avoid the possibility of falling victim to one of the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s dreaded snap hooks. Some of these missiles were even reported to be found on the nearby beaches, about five kilometres away! Oh, the lowest of the low! It’s hard to describe the gut wrenching feeling of standing over a shot as a professional with a massive swing problem that seems to get worse the harder you try. It is by far the worst golfing experience I’ve ever had to endure, especially when there was a prominent businessman who reluctantly had to call himself your partner for the duration of the tournament. You are probably all thinking that it couldn’t have been
that bad? Surely a professional golfer with over 20 years of competitive golfing experience is probably just exaggerating? Well the truth be told, rounds of 86, 78 and 80 just aren’t very satisfying! It was by far the worst performance I have ever strung together in the past 27 years (and I only started 27 years ago)! Now that you have returned from the bathroom and the bitter taste of your recycled lunch is starting to lift, there is some good news behind this article, so read further. A professional golfer is a strange creature, with habits that are often questioned by the common gardenvariety human on this planet. Most people will take their car in for a check up if there is a strange ‘katoing, gatata, shprif’ sound coming from their engine. They won’t wait for the thing to blow up and then take it in. The pro golfer on the other hand is a reactive beast. Wait for it to blow up and then try and have it fixed! So, upon staggering off the Links with a sterling 80, I made my way over to the appointed Dimension-Data coach for the week, Grant Hepburn. Being one of
South Africa’s finest coaches and available to all of the DimensionData golfing guests made it even more obvious that the 40 YearOld Rookie should have sought his expertise early in the week after one of the first ‘near death experience’ escapades of one of the Fancourt residents. Within five minutes, he had imparted two very simple suggestions and the 40 Year-Old Rookie was miraculously cured! It can’t be that simple … surely? Well it was! The next tournament on the schedule was the Telkom PGA, and armed with those five minutes of guidance from a qualified PGA professional, the 40 Year-Old Rookie shot 69, 71, 75 (we won’t go there!) and 72. Not a winning total, but respectable nonetheless! Furthermore, no spectators were in any immediate danger and the residential estates neighbouring Country Club Johannesburg were safe from the mayhem that devastated the southern Cape coastline only two weeks before. Finally, there is a moral to one of the 40 Year-Old Rookie’s articles! The moral: When playing the first hole at Montagu, aim further right! Till the next issue, keep your head down and don’t look up … at all costs! •
www.doitnow.co.za Lifestyle >> 97
by Alan Hobson DO IT NOW | inNATURE: Words Photos courtesy of Angler & Antelope Guesthouse
Fly Fishing for
- a World-class Experience at Sterkfontein
We all have wish lists, but how many remain just that - wish lists? Early in 2010, as I was reflecting over a glass of the amber liquid amongst friends, all enthusiastic fly fishermen, someone piped up, “What about organising a fly fishing trip to Sterkfontein Dam to catch the reputed slabs of gold?” Having fished there a few times over the last decade, I had an appreciation of the quarry, Smallmouth Yellowfish (labeobarbus aeneius), and the challenge of catching them. Agreement was unanimous and we began planning our trip in earnest. It started by researching various articles published in the fly fishing magazines, visiting internet sites and consulting the ‘Favoured Flies of the Guides’, a Federation of South African Fly Fishers (FOSAF) publication that provided good insight into guides, their personal fly selections and tactics. FOSAF’s new rendition of ‘Fly Fishing Destinations in Southern Africa’ also proved invaluable, as it features a detailed map of the dam and priceless information on Yellowfish. Over the following months we planned the 800km journey and started to gear up. We booked into Qwantani Resort, which is perfectly situated on the south western side of the Sterkfontein Dam. The hour glass of 2010 had narrowed our group from six people to three; Al, Tim and I. Finally our journey had begun, and five glorious days of fishing beckoned. With the boat in tandem, our excited banter allowed the countryside to flash past and the speed bumps in the Golden Gate National Park brought our wish to reality. Arriving at Qwantani we were greeted by a double rainbow, which left us feeling like we had already found our pot of gold!
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Armed with breathable UV protective clothing, a rucksack with a waterproof jacket, lots of water, factor 30 plus sunscreen, Polaroid glasses and a hat, we certainly looked the part. Our rod of choice was a #5 weight rod, floating line and good quality tippet material with the thinnest possible diameter from 0X down to 7X in fluorocarbon. Sound like a gadget from a James Bond movie? Well it is your secret weapon, as it’s invisible in the water (and so thin that I suddenly became conscious of my age and the natural inabilities that go with maturing ... eyesight)! We had heard and read of the Sterkfontein ‘wonder fly’, the good doctor’s beetle. The good doctor practices in Harrismith and is obsessed with insect behaviour and fly fishing, and has developed a phenomenal realistic beetle fly pattern. Somewhat entomologically twisted myself, I had spent many hours prior to the trip tying my own beetle imitations for myself, and my mates of course. The nuances of fly fishing are exactly what make it such a stimulating pursuit; some may argue that it is also those challenges that make it so frustrating. With over two thousand flies in hand, we felt well prepared. When determining where and how you should be fishing, factors such as barometric pressure, cloud cover, water temperature, wind strength and direction all influence insect and fish behaviour. Furthermore, find the food and you’ll find the fish! Sterkfontein Dam is all about sight fishing and positioning yourself either from the bank or boat so you can see the fish. The water is usually blue and crystal clear, and when the wind blows and waves rise you would swear that you were somewhere out at sea. It can
get nasty, so one really needs to respect the weather. Yellowfish tend to swim in shoals or small groups and patrol the edges as they scout for food, unless the wind has frothed up a scum line where insects are trapped in the deeper water. If there is very little wind and you are positioned up on a cliff, you can see anything coming or going on either side of you. To camouflage your pulpit profile, use a shrub, bush or tree so that you blend in with the surroundings, or stand just back of the cliff edge. Either way, get comfortable so that you can see the water’s edge below. Two fly fishermen fishing in a boat is comfortable, but three really pushes the boundaries of confidence, trust and levels of friendship, as well as fly fishing abilities. So it was agreed that I would try my luck from the cliffs of Boschkloof, while Al and Tim cruised slowly around the bays searching for fish from the boat. They quietly manoeuvred the boat in and out of the bays along the weed banks, and drifted next to the cliffs casting towards the bank, inbetween the structures. Shrieks of delight and curses echoed across the water as they caught and lost fish, their performance being judged by the occasional call of a pair of Fish Eagles. My performance thus far was unsuccessful. As the sun sets, it’s the norm for anglers to share their successes whilst mooring their boat. Here we met a gregarious family, Chris, Sue and Tim Babich. Tim is one of our current Protea fly fisherman. After swopping the day’s fly fishing stories, I managed to bribe Tim into taking myself and my friend Gary fishing with him the next day. Gary had come to spend the day fishing with me, and celebrate my birthday. We met Tim at his boat at sunrise.
What an awesome experience it is to be able to soak up knowledge from someone at the top of their game! Now don’t assume this meant that I automatically qualified to catch fish. I observed, asked questions and realised the enormity of the skills required. Our leader was 7-9 foot long, 4X to 5X, to which we attached a very buoyant dry fly (a beetle that is clearly visible to you even if you are five metres above it) and strike indicator, to which we tied a metre length of 6X tippet and attached a small (#16-#20) hot spot nymph. Having observed the cruising lane of the fish (how far off the bank and how deep they are cruising), we presented our flies into that zone when the fish were still a good five metres away, thus allowing the nymphs a chance to sink. My heart began to pound as the fish approached, then stopped to examine the menu on offer. The tell tale signs of the take are crucial. The beetle floating on the surface is easy to see and often the fish mosey up to the beetle and gulp it down. However, the nymph or dropper is so small that you battle to see it and therefore need to watch the fish’s body language, as most of the time they can sample your nymph without your indicator moving. This is where your skills need to be fine tuned. The fish will lift its head, tilt its body or move its lips for a split second ... and that is when you must strike! All hell breaks loose; the fish explodes into the deep water, usually where there are submerged trees. This is the next skill level; to play the fish without putting too much pressure on it and avoid your 6X tippet snapping and shooting straight back at you. So you need to apply just enough pressure on the fish to keep it away from the submerged structures. Having becalmed the fish, you can then lead it to an area where you are able to climb down to the water’s edge - thank goodness I am a Capricorn! The elation of achievement gives you a HUGE adrenalin rush, as the battle challenges every element of your being. Even Tim was not able to win every round fought with those slabs of gold, and that made me feel a whole lot better. The Sterkfontein Yellow fishing experience is world-class and should be at the top of every fly fisherman’s wish list! •
DO IT NOW | inCREDIBLE PLACES: Words & Photos by Steven Yates
Red Colobus Monkey
Spice Up Your Island Break
The island holiday of Zanzibar has become a firm favourite of many South African tourists in the past few years, and it is not hard to understand why. It’s paradise on earth; lined with deluxe resorts that offer fantastic diving, great beaches and colourful cocktails on the east coast. So what, pray tell, is so fantastic about this well known and travelled holiday destination? www.doitnow.co.za Lifestyle >> 101
"It was just the most gorgeous day, and upon reaching the west coast of the island, we spent our time here enjoying the amazing blue waters with mask and snorkel." The answer is simple. There is more to Zanzibar than the resortridden east coast and although it might cost a bit more than the packages that promise the world plus free drinks, it’s a different side of Zanzibar that is definitely worth experiencing!
nature’s diversity. Finally the nocturnal crabs arrived and they were truly gargantuan, crushing sticks and foliage as they searched for food ... definitely not something you want to get your hand too close to.
First off, I would like to clear up something. The island that everyone visits is actually called Unguja, and together with Pemba and a number of smaller islands they make up the Zanzibar archipelago. The archipelago is held in the grasp of the Indian Ocean, and is surrounded by her calm azure depths just a stone’s throw from mainland Tanzania. And this was where our trip began, as we boarded a beautiful 40 foot catamaran, Moondust, gently bobbing in Dar es Salaam Yacht Club’s bay.
We continued sailing up the west coast, stopping for a day in Zanzibar’s cultural heart and capital, Stone Town. Visiting this old town was an incredible experience, with its narrow, winding alleys that are roofed with electrical cables and telephone lines. The streets are home to vibrant bazaars filled with colourful cloth, beautiful oil painted canvases and foods of all denominations, from stingrays to cow heads, to saffron and cardamom. The Arabian and Indian influences are hard to miss as most of the houses that lead off the labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways boast the most magnificent carved wooden doors, with intricately sculpted patterns and brass-studded ornamentation. It was while wandering through these intriguing streets that I managed to bargain myself into purchasing a stunning oil painting that depicted the very place I stood. A souvenir I will treasure always and one that has a place of honour in my home today. We also visited the food markets and returned to Moondust laden with fresh seafood for a mouth-watering island feast of prawns, rock lobster, squid and fresh dorado.
Sailing around an island is by far the best way to experience what’s on offer and so we set off early in the morning for the tropical shores of Unguja and all its delights. The wind was very light and the sails where up more for show than any real propulsion. It was just the most gorgeous day, and upon reaching the west coast of the island, we spent our time here enjoying the amazing blue waters with mask and snorkel. The next few days where much the same as we traversed between Unguja’s west cost and the plethora of smaller islands that litter the channel to the mainland. One of these islands is home to the world’s largest crab, the Coconut Crab, which uses its massive pincers to crack open coconuts. Waiting in the twilight for these massive crabs to emerge, a spectacle of bats came out to play and reminded us of
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The next morning we disembarked to spend the day experiencing the island’s interior, while Moondust sailed on to meet us at Ras Nungwi, a small village on Unguja’s northern coast. Other than tourism, Zanzibar is renowned for its fabulous spices and no trip to the archipelago would be complete without a spice tour. On a holiday of highlights this was definitely one that stood out.
Nutmeg with Mace drying in the sun
Moondust at rest
Giant Coconut Crab Island Beauty
Moon rising over Pemba
Iconic Stone Town
"Visiting this old town was an incredible experience with its narrow, winding alleys that are roofed with electrical cables and telephone lines." Not only did we get to taste ice cold water flavoured with cardamom, fresh liquorish, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves and many other exotic flavours, we also got to experiment with a plant originally used to make make-up, and were shown how to make fun masks with coconut leaves. Our tour of the island ended off with a visit to Jozani, one of the protected reserves in Chwaka Bay. Here we saw the endangered Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, endemic to Unguja. Later that evening we arrived at Ras Nungwi, an island village that is only partially consumed by tourism. The village is still very rustic, with a shambles of accommodation (I was glad to be staying on the yacht) and a variety of bars propped up on stilts over the sea, due to the land beneath them being continuously eroded away by the constant pounding of the Indian Ocean. We had a fantastic evening, indulging in far too much island rum that led to us trying some ‘class F’ wacky tabacky; crushed banana leaves that tasted terrible. Around 03:00 we called it a night, ah morning, and swam back to the yacht, which was now bobbing rather manically approximately 300m offshore, as the wind had picked up. We woke up to another spectacular day; the sky was clear and the water flat and calm. It was just perfect, except for the fact that when there is no wind, there is no sailing. Nonetheless, we pulled up our anchor and set off on a leisurely 50km course across the channel to Pemba, the green island. At the time of our trip, Lonely Planet advised that Pemba only received 365 visitors a year ... just
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one a day. So we were expecting and looking forward to a remote, untouched island experience, and that is exactly what we got when we finally made it to the island. Finding the island proved a challenge as the last, and only, time the waters around Pemba were charted was back in 1911. The accuracy of the paper charts and GPS coordinates were WAY off to put it mildly, and so we spent a good many hours searching for the correct channels that where deep enough to take Moondust into the island’s bay. However, the journey was well worth it as the island was an absolute gem. The people were warm and welcoming, selling us fruit and homemade bread from dugout canoes that raced from the shore to our yacht. Having the opportunity to visit such an untouched island was very special. As we sailed north to the top of the island we got to experience more of these wonderful people, even better snorkelling conditions and free diving that we had so enjoyed in Unguja. Reaching the northern edge of the island revealed a shallow bay that housed three permanently moored, and very pretty, old yachts. We later discovered that they were a kind of floating backpackers resort. They ran a small dive operation, which gave us the opportunity to dive into the deep blue of Pemba. A morning and night dive afforded us the chance to experience this underwater world in all its glory ... and glorious it was! The underwater landscape was spectacular, with coral walls dropping into the blue abyss and colourful plateaus home to a veritable circus of life. We simply couldn’t tear ourselves away from the magnificence of the island just yet, so we delayed our departure. To get back to Dar es Salaam, we had to sail through
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the night and this was actually a brilliant experience on its own, as each of us took turns on night watch. The sky was clear and the full moon silvered the lapping ocean as we made our way back to civilisation enjoying the last of the quiet majesty of Zanzibar, a perfect end to our perfect tour. •
• The Coconut Crab is the world’s largest land-living arthropod and can grow up to 1.8 metres across the thorax. They can weigh around four kilogrammes and live for more than 30 years. • Stone Town is also known as Mji Mkonge, which is Swahili for ‘old town’. • Stone Town is the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous singers – Freddie Mercury from Queen. • Stone Town was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Wikipedia Travel INFO • Unfortunately, with an increase in pirate activity along Africa’s east coast it is strongly advised that you check with authorities and local sailing organisations before embarking on a holiday of this nature. • Visit www.tanzaniayachts.com/ and www.zanzibarsail.com/ for opportunities to experience Zanzibar from the sea.
Nestled within the smoldering beauty of a picturesque landscape that only Africa can portray, Nambiti Plains Lodge is set on 20,000 acres of malariafree bushveld in KwaZulu-Natal. Our eco luxury bush lodge is a private Big Five bush retreat and game conservancy that offers 5 star accommodation to the executive adventurer. It is a haven where our guests can immerse themselves in pure luxury, in a relaxed and convivial environment. From within the spacious individual suites, each with full en-suite bathrooms, an outdoor bush shower, underfloor heating and private wrap-around deck, you can enjoy a 180 degree panoramic view of the spectacular Nambiti Game Reserve. Dining is a culinary journey at Nambiti Plains. It is a journey that reflects and celebrates local South African flavours and our uncompromising commitment to using only the freshest ingredients and producing as much as possible on site. Our gourmet cuisine, luxury accommodation, fantastic game viewing, a range of on- and off-site activities, superb attention to detail and highly personalised service, all combine to ensure that your stay at our eco lodge is a truly memorable one. Take a morning or afternoon guided game drive through the reserve in search of the Big Five and birds, too many to count. As the sun sets, relax with a cocktail on the deck or at the Nambiti Plains Bar, or take a dip in the swimming pool and watch the animals quietly drink and bath in the waterhole just metres away. In the evenings, indulge in a gourmet meal in the boma, around a mesmerising fire. With a star-studded sky overhead, feel the beat of Africa as it gently and rhythmically moves through the night and connects with your soul. Competition To win an unforgettable experience at Nambiti Plains Lodge that includes two nights accommodation for two people, all meals and two safaris per day; valued at an incredible R10,400, just send us your most creative or photo of yourself and your DO IT NOW magazine. Email your low resolution photograph along with your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date is 10 May 2011. This prizes does not include beverages, phone calls, purchases of personal nature, additional activities. The judges’ decision is final and the winner will be announced in the June issue of DO IT NOW magazine, as well as on the DO IT NOW Facebook page. The lucky winner will be notified via email once the June issue has been released. Terms and conditions apply.
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DO IT NOW | inDULGE:
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Words & Photos by Steve Adams www.colourscape.co.za
Whiskey Trail Ireland is considered by many to be the home of whiskey; where the whole magic of grain distillation began. Talk to any Irishman and he’ll tell you as much; talk to any Scotsman and he’ll argue vehemently. You may even hear, cynically, that while the Irish may have invented it, the Scots perfected it. Whatever your bias, it is now generally accepted that whisk(e)y distilling - the Irish and Americans use the ’e’, the Scots don’t - started in Ireland before the craft was taken over to the Scottish Isles by the monks of the time. Around two centuries ago the Irish whiskey industry flourished, with large-scale distilling operations operating around hundreds of small farm stills. Then, through a succession of bad decisions and bad luck, the tables turned in favour of Scotch and such is the status quo today. In Scotland there are around 100 active distilleries feeding the world’s thirst for the spirit, while in Ireland/Northern Ireland there are three: Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Cooley, near Dundalk in the north-east and Midleton in County Cork in the south. A fourth distillery in Kilbeggan produces whiskey distilled from Cooley’s low wines, but more on that later.
With its picture-perfect landscapes, quaint villages, hospitable inhabitants and an infinite number of village pubs, Ireland is a must on any travel list. Thanks to the economic boom of the early 2000s the infrastructure is sound, with some of the best roads I have ever seen and a profusion of upmarket housing estates. Sadly, the economy turned and Ireland now suffers from unemployment and many other ills associated with an economy growing too fast. The whiskey industry, thankfully, is less affected than other sectors and is once again growing steadily.
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The Ireland Whiskey Trail (www.irelandwhiskeytrail.com) was launched several years ago to help promote Irish whiskey to tourists, and includes some superb traditional pubs, whiskey shops and distilleries past and present. I wouldn’t necessarily advise trying to see everything on the map, but if you have the time by all means. We commenced our journey in Larne, Northern Ireland after taking a ferry from Scotland. From there the coastal route to Giant’s Causeway is spectacular, culminating in the legendary basalt formations just four miles north of Bushmills. A brisk walk in the early evening breeze was enough to build up a thirst for one of those dark Irish ales, and yes, they do taste better there! The Bushmills Distillery lays claim to being the oldest licensed distillery in the world, as a licence was issued to a distiller on the property way back in 1608. Through triple distilling in nine copper pot stills, Bushmills produces superb malt for inclusion in their Bushmills Original and Black Bush blends, as well as their 10-, 16- and 21 Year Old single malts. The distillery itself is a blend of old and new; some of the original structures, including the typical pagoda roof on the maltings, incorporate modern features such as the visitor centre with its huge inventory of branded goods.
and restaurant offering fine Irish cuisine complete the experience, one of the finest for any lover of the Celtic spirit. The Midleton Distillery in County Cork is home to the Jameson’s, Redbreast, Paddy, Powers and Midleton brands, and is an industrial scale operation run under very strict supervision. The visitor centre and museum are magnificent, the quaintness disguising the sheer enormity of the operation. The largest pot stills in the industry, along with three gigantic column stills, ensure Jameson’s place as the best selling Irish whiskey blend. The warehousing facilities are enormous, yet the attention to quality control - particularly on cask procurement – is staggering. Nothing is left to chance and although the size of the operation is daunting, the quality of the final spirit speaks for itself; and a tasting in the visitor centre confirms this. Our entire trip through Ireland took five days and in that time we fell in love with it. I have no doubt we will be visiting again in the near future, for a longer stay. •
The Cooley Distillery is located on the Cooley peninsula, just north-east of Dublin, and produces a wide range of diverse whiskies. Though not your average pretty-distillery-in-the-valley, Cooley is a great learning experience for whiskey lovers, with its combination of copper pot stills and continuous column stills. This is a large scale operation where master distiller Noel Sweeney is free to create his masterpieces from a varied palette of grain and malt whiskies, all produced at the distillery. Rather unusually for Irish whiskey, Cooley also produces peated malt and then double distils it to produce an excellent range of Connemara expressions and other peated malts. The superb Greenore aged single grain whiskey is one of the very few single grains available, and the Tyrconnell single malts are ranked very highly. The Kilbeggan blend is one of the best Irish blends available and very reasonably priced. John Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan, professing to be the oldest licensed pot still distillery in the world, is an essential stop on the whiskey trail having been lovingly restored to its former glory, and is now run by the very affable Brian Quinn. This is a fascinating working museum, with the original water wheel still turning and running much of the old machinery and a backup steam engine should the river stop flowing. The original huge copper pot stills stand exposed to the elements, as does the gleaming copper column still. The worn wooden floors of the milling and mash rooms creak under foot as the huge ancient gears of the mill hammer out a tempo slightly out of sync with the tools of the in-house cooper beating his iron rings. A small working distillery within the original distillery premises, all gleaming copper and brass, produces newmake spirit from low wines tankered in from Cooley and is then matured in warehouses on the premises. The distillery shop, bar
by Jacoline Haasbroek DO IT NOW | inDULGE: Words Photos courtesy of Jacoline Haasbroek
Strolling, jogging or cycling through vineyards is getting more popular by the day, as it’s the perfect way to really take in the breathtaking scenery, local charm and observe the passage of changing seasons on the vine. It is also educational and lots of fun, making it an ideal outing for avid wine enthusiasts and families. The summer months are the best and busiest time to venture into the vineyards because this is when the vines’ vitality are displayed in full. The leafy canopies capture the sun’s radiant energy, converting the water and elements found in the soil and air into bunches of grapes that are bursting with flavour. A full, plump bunch of grapes has long been a symbol of fertility, and it was man’s curiosity about the ripening grape that led to the discovery of how to transform the sappy sweetness contained within, into wine many centuries ago. In summer, work in the vineyard is centred on canopy management, an important aspect of viticulture due to its effect on grape yields, quality, vigour and the prevention of grape diseases. This includes managing the foliage (the leaf canopy) to ensure that most of the leaves receive their full share of sunlight so that the process of photosynthesis can take place to create the carbohydrates a
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vine needs to grow and process grape clusters. Excess growth is plucked by hand, thus thinning out the foliage to improve ventilation, maximise production of ripe grapes, prevent the growth of fungi and help ripen vine wood to protect against cold temperatures. In addition to pruning and leaf trim, the canopy is often trained on trellis systems to guide its growth and assist in access for ongoing management and harvest. Tractors, bearing an array of nozzles, crawl up and down the rows spraying the vines to keep them healthy and free of disease. Closer to harvest time, it is especially important to expose red grapes, in particular, to more light to promote the development of red pigment in the grape skins. The opposite applies to Sauvignon Blanc, where excess exposure to sunlight breaks down the characteristic green flavours. Here it is important to manage the vines in such a way that the bunches hang in the shade of the leaves.
When the vintage, the process of picking grapes, approaches in January or early February - it differs between cooler and warmer regions - the excitement mounts up. Vintners and viticulturists walk through the vineyards at dawn, tasting grapes or taking samples for analysis to determine the optimal harvesting date. Workers, who have been quietly keeping busy in the vineyards, now prepare themselves for the harvest. Tractors and trailers commute between vineyard and cellar, delivering the precious fruit for its final transformation into wine, glorious wine. In the next issue I look forward to taking you on a sensory journey of discovery that will enhance the pleasure of drinking wine, which has been an essential part of living for centuries. â€˘
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by Chef Neil Ross DO IT NOW | inDULGE: Words Photos courtesy of Inanda Club
u know your own yo ke a m u yo uantities but if ought ones, to double or triple the q w the -b p o h s n a a way better th ing, then follo lly good ide ly before us h cakes taste so tasty that it’s a rea h s g fi u e ro d o a th m e m hom his recipe is u defrost the Not only do ake sure yo s in them! T e m o t g s t ju a – h y w a y exactl nother d atches for a and freeze b tions below. aten ggs, well be truc ftened pper 2 E pe k cooking ins m cheese, so ac bl ea cr nd grou ket of eese d minced , deveined an ed el pe , ps 1 Cup of shrim ixed peppers y chopped m 1 Cup of finel in oil s of extra virg 3 Tablespoon fillets crumbs 500g Salmon wheat bread of dry whole s up C ¾ d 1 an
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1 Pac mesan ch s grated Par 5 Tablespoon
edium ed over a m partially cook til un . ture. C ps ix 0° m rim 23 e d cool th ers and sh the oven to m the heat an and stir pepp 1. Preheat fro ok e co ov n, em pa R pink. ium sized it is no longer 2. In a med salmon until e th ok co pepper, d eese, black 3. Add an ingredients. Parmesan ch ely chop the , bs fin , m ol ru co dc e ea 4. Onc wl, mix the br ium sized bo t. re. tu ix m 5. In a med e a baking shee th d arrange on yme. Add to an th d es tti an l, pa si k ba ¾ inch thic e mixture into owned. 6. Divide th until lightly br es ut in m of 25 – 20 and dollops 7. Bake for ueezing over
r sq ectly mon slices fo sh goes perf away, with le eens. This di ht gr ig p ra is st cr r. oi ve us N Ser inot delicio on a bed of rdonnay or P tartar sauce, mpagne, Cha ha C ed ill ch of with a bottled
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DO IT NOW | inSURE: Words by Peter Fairbanks
DO IT NOW APRIL - MAY 2011
Take Control of your FUTURE
I quite enjoy reading statistics from any type of analysis. It always seems so much easier to justify any problem or solution when you throw in a couple of figures. However, the biggest flaw when saving money, I realised, is statistics. One such statistic, which is doing its rounds in the insurance industry and also one that I’ve discussed in a previous article, is that you need to contribute 15% of your monthly earnings towards your pension provision. So who exactly decided that 15% is enough? My point being that the past 30 years have proven that people who stuck to this number or close to it, now spend their last days living below their comfort zone! Another statistic of interest to me is that of inflation, which is currently at 6%. If you take someone earning R50k+ per month, who purchases luxury food items, expensive clothing, bears the full brunt of Eskom and now the new toll gates tariffs, inflation of 6% is way off the mark, thus leading our yuppie further into trouble when he only adjusts his annual provision by 6-8%. Adding to this already gloomy scenario is the illusion that the return on your investment will compensate for the lack of an adequate investment. I cannot really say why, but most South Africans believe that they will receive between an 18-25% return on their investment over any given time period, and anything less just won’t do. In reality, the actual return on South African Equities over the last 100 years amounted to a real return of 7.1%! Now you don’t need to be a mathematician to realise that something is not adding up! The second flaw, especially in youths, is the psychological aspects that surround the importance of preparing for those golden years. When we’re young and life is full of promise, we convince ourselves that there’s still ample time to provide for old age, and the monthly pension fund deduction from our salary is actually too much and would be better spent on enjoying life, now. Here’s a sobering
fact. At 65, 98% of us will not have enough money to maintain our desired standard of living! It is absolutely astonishing that 98% of income-earning South Africans live in ignorance from day-to-day and year-to-year. How is it possible then that so many can remain ignorant for so long about their own, and very possible, demise later on in life? The counter argument, you might say, is that rocketing living expenses and inadequate salary increases make it impossible to save sufficiently for the future. My response to this is that too many people ignore the fact that they are living a lifestyle beyond their means because they need to keep up with the Joneses, instead of accepting their own reality and enjoying a full life; one that they can live in comfort at 70, 80 or 90. So who is at fault? Frankly, I put the blame squarely at the doorstep of financial intermediaries. Most of them are ecstatic that their client actually committed to taking something, regardless of the amount taken up. And the client is only too happy to have done something. But before the client can give himself a pat on the back on his investment, did he really look at what the intermediary put before him? And did he really understand the gravity of it all in that half-hour meeting he squeezed into his hectic schedule to discuss and prepare for his future? In the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, “You may delay, but time will not.” It’s your future, and you owe it to yourself to make sure that you not only reap the rewards when you are young, but until the day you take your last breath.
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DO IT NOW | inTERTAINMENT:
Words by Richard Flamengo
MOVIE TITLE BOOK TITLE DRIVE ANGRY Director: Patrick Lussier Starring: Cage, Amber Heard and William Fichtner
• 3D experience
Recommended for: All Cage fans. Milton is a hardened felon who has broken out of hell for one last chance at redemption. Intent on stopping a vicious cult that murdered his daughter, he has three days to stop them from sacrificing his daughter's baby beneath a full moon. Milton is joined by Piper, a young, sexy waitress who ‘borrows’ her ex-boyfriend's red muscle car to help Milton. The two set out in hot pursuit of the cult leader, Jonah King, who believes it's his destiny to unleash hell on earth by using the baby. Milton is faced with more problems as the police are after him and an enigmatic killer, known only as ‘The Accountant’, has been sent by the devil to retrieve Milton and deliver him back to hell. Nicholas Cage returns with a bang in this no holds barred, actionpacked adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat. I am pleased to say that finally a non animated 3D movie, which kept the 3D aspect in mind, delivered a truly awesome experience. This movie will keep you entertained for 104 minutes, especially in 3D. However, the movie might not be to everyone’s liking considering the dark undertone to the story, which has an age restriction of 16 LNSV.
MOVIE TITLE BOOK TITLE GREEN HORNET Director: Michel Gondry Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz and Cameron Diaz
HIGHLIGHTS • Action sequences with Jay Chou.
Recommended for: Action movie fans. Britt Reid, son and heir to Los Angeles' largest newspaper fortune, is a rich, spoiled playboy who's been happy to maintain a directionless existence. When his father, James, dies Britt meets Kato, an impressive and resourceful company employee. They realise that they have the resources to do something worthwhile with their lives and finally step out of James Reid's shadow. Kato builds the ultimate weapon, The Black Beauty – an indestructible car with every weapon imaginable – and Britt decides that in order to be heroes, they'll pose as villains. This movie had all the ingredients to be a huge success; great actors, super hero legacy and big budget, but somehow all these ingredients delivered something that doesn't make you feel all warm inside when you leave the theatre. Despite a gripping start, great action sequences and good chemistry between the actors, the plot somehow loses its flow and seems to be dragged out a bit. This movie is not bad, it's just a bit disappointing when you consider everything it had going for it. Nevertheless, the movie is entertaining, especially the scenes where Kato (Jay Chou) kicks some serious badguy ass.
Games to look out for: Mortal Kombat
Genre: Fighting Format: PS3 (rumoured to include Kratos from GOW) and XBOX Summary: The newest chapter of the iconic fight franchise marks a triumphant return to the series' mature presentation and is a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favourite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before.
Top Spin 4
Genre: Sport Format: PS3 (move), XBOX and WII Summary: The latest Tennis offering promises to be lots of fun in the comfort of your very own living room.
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Duke Nukem Forever
Genre: Shoot-em-up Format: PC, PS3 and XBOX Summary: The alien hordes are back and only Duke can save the world, again. Pig cops, alien shrink rays and enormous alien bosses won't stop our hero from accomplishing his one and only goal: to save the world, save the babes and be a bad-ass while doing it.
Tiger Woods 12
Genre: Sport Format: PS3, XBOX and WII Summary: The latest Golf offering in the series promises to take your golf experience one step closer to the real thing and includes the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club for the first time ever.
CONCERT TITLE BOOK TITLE U2 360° TOUR
Live at the FNB Stadium SA
• The local flavour in the show from the SA artists. • The entire show. • The Claw. Recommended for: All U2 fans.
In the previous issue I reviewed the 360 Degree tour DVD and promised feedback from the concert held at FNB stadium on 13 February. Well, I am pleased to report that the DVD was good, but the actual live show was awesome and beyond my wildest imagination. When walking into the stadium, the first thing you see is the massive Claw, and you can't help but sit down and marvel at this awesome structure. The opening acts for the concert were Amadou & Mariam and the Springbok Nude Girls. Local outfit, the Springbok Nude Girls, led by the energetic Arno Carstens, played an impressive and compact set, which included the songs ‘Gang Gang’, ‘I Love You’, ‘Genie’ and ‘Bubblegum’. As lead singer Bono led the legendary Irish rock band U2 leisurely up the steps of the Claw to the stage, more than 98 000 fans went wild, and you knew why they'd sold over 150 million albums worldwide. After the deafening welcoming screams, the concert kicked off with one of their biggest hits, "Beautiful Day", and the crowd got their first taste of what the Claw could actually do. U2 kept us spellbound for the next two hours with a number of favourites such as ‘I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For’, ‘Elevation’, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ and ‘One’. Two of the many highlights of the show for me was the unexpected addition of local artists Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who joined the band in their moving rendition of ‘I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For’. The second was all the great things this iconic band had to say about South Africa. I got the impression that they were just as pleased to be performing for us fans as we were to see them perform. On the whole, this show was nothing short of spectacular. The combination of hit songs from a brilliant band, the massive stage, awesome visual effects and the Irish rockers’ on-going interaction with the crowd resulted in the band feeding of the energy from the fans and creating something truly special that the almost record-breaking crowd will remember for a very long time. To see the DIN team rocking at the concert, following URL: http://www.u2.com/gigapixelfancam/110213/21755810-richard-flamengo. Unfortunately not everything at the Johannesburg concert can be deemed a success, as the organisation of this big event did leave some people disappointed and fuming before and after the show. The U2 memorabilia tent had us queuing for more than two hours for a couple of U2 shirts, and the park and ride system back to the Dome’s parking was in a state of total disarray. Let's hope the organisers learn from their mistakes and rectify them for the next BIG event. Did you know? • U2 started its world tour in South Africa on the anniversary of Mandela's first major rally after his release. • U2's 360 Degree tour stage holds the world record for the largest concert stage structure to ever tour the world. • The stage was 68 metres long from leg to leg, and 48 metres deep. Each leg of the claw was 45 metres long. • The tour was called the 360 Degree tour because of the staging and audience configuration it used for the show. Source: www.u2tours.com
Movies to look out for
(Release dates as per Sterkinekor.com):
THE MECHANIC Genre: Action Director: Simon West Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland Release date: 1 April
BATTLE LOS ANGELES Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure Director: Jonathan Liebesman Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan Release date: 11 March
LIMITLESS Genre: Action Thriller Director: Neil Burger Starring: Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro, Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish Release date: 29 April
THOR Genre: Action Adventure Director: Kenneth Branagh Starring: Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins Release date: 29 April
FAST FIVE Genre: Action Director: Justin Lin Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and Dwayne Johnson Release date: 6 May
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES Genre: Adventure Director: Rob Marshall Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush Release date: 20 May
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DO IT NOW | inFOCUS:
Words & Photos by Jacques Marais
Photographic Chronicles Shoot! The Unlimited DUSI Canoe Marathon Three days of gruelling aqua action in the Valley of a 1000 Hills offers unlimited options when it comes to gritty water sport shots. Jacques Marais shoots the breeze in the Zulu Kingdom, while the world’s top paddlers go ballistic. •
Rule number one: Check the depth of Dusi channels properly before you step into them.
Rule number two: If you are going to step into the channels to shoot the paddlers up close and personal, make sure you have your brand new Nikon D700 in a waterproof housing.
Rule number three: If you’ve ignored rules one and two, try to not scream like a girl when you and your camera disappear under water.
Fact is, sometimes things don’t go according to plan on a shoot, and in retrospect there are a dozen things you could have done differently. And I wish I had, as that would have saved me nearly R50,000 worth of quality photographic equipment from a watery death in the Dusi River. But there is an upside, believe it or not. Nikon flew a replacement camera to me by 14h00 that afternoon, enabling me to continue shooting an event rated as one of the top 10 river paddling events around the world. Service is everything, and maybe that should be your rule number one when you decide on your next set of camera equipment. With both D700 and D7000 bodies, plus a full compliment of Nikkor lenses and flashes back in my bag, it meant I could focus on Martin Dreyer and his ‘Change A Life’ development athletes. They were utterly focused on grabbing glory during this amazing race, and they did so making history in the process. Eight young paddlers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds finished in the TOP 20, bringing smiles to the faces of all the people of ‘The Valley’.
Image 1: K1s at Dawn The Stage: Day Two, view of the boat pound at 04h30. Shot: Hundreds of canoes scattered on dawn’s highway, as Jim Morrison would say … Technique: I wanted the sky red and fiery, so exposed for the sunrise and then filled in the foreground with an off-camera SB-900 Speedlite triggered by a wireless Pocket Wizard. Specifications: 1/40th sec @ f8; Nikon D700 with 16-35mm wide-angle zoom; lit from the right by a wireless SB-900 flash unit connected to a Pocket Wizard transceiver. More Info: Click on www.hi-tec.co.za
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Image 2: River Raging The Stage: Day Two, negotiating the chop just beyond Broken Bridge. Shot: Hilary Pitchford shows her class along a stretch of fast-running water; she claimed third place overall among the ladies. Technique: Exposing for the sun reflecting on the water enabled me to silhouette the paddler. I then applied a monochrome filter in Lightroom and pushed the Black clipping to accentuate the contrast. Specifications: 1/500th sec @ f5.6; Nikon D7000 with 28-300mm telephoto lens. More Information: Click on www.dusi.org.za
Image 3: Shoulder Charge The Stage: Day One, Campbell’s portage through the sugar cane fields. Shot: Kwanda Mhlope feels the burn as he shoulders his K1 along the gruelling Campbell’s ascent, approximately two hours into the first day of racing. Technique: Shooting against the sky means a huge amount of contrast on your subject, and the only way to get detail here is with a quality flash such as the Nikon SB-900 Speedlite. Specifications: 1/200th sec @ f11; Nikon D7000 with 16mm fisheye lens; fill-in flash from the Nikon SB-900 on full power … BOOM! More Info: www.martindreyeracademy.com
Image 4: Zondi on Song The Stage: Day Two, portage underneath the Dusi Bridge. Shot: Eric Zondi hammers hard through the reeds just after the start on Day Two. He managed a superb fourth place amongst some of SA’s (and the world’s) top paddlers. Technique: I wanted background blur while keeping the athlete in sharp focus, so I shot at a slow shutter speed and up close so that the flash froze the subject. Specifications: 1/30th sec @ f8; Nikon D700 with a 16-53mm wide-angle zoom; freeze-flash from the Nikon Speedlite SB900. More Info: www.jacquesmarais.co.za
Image 5: Poetry in Motion The Stage: Day Two, Inanda Dam finish. Shot: A paddler blades home across the flat water, his oars blurring like dragonfly wings in slow shutter sync. Technique: A simple shot, really … Pan with the paddler at a slow shutter speed against an even background. Horizontal movement will be in focus, while the rest blurs beautifully. Specifications: 1/60th sec @ f18; Nikon D7000 with 28300mm zoom at full extension; no flash. More Info: www.nikon.co.za
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Reader Photo Competition
Congratulations to our Winner!!! Photographer: Pierre Lombard Photograph: Brown Snake Eagle Camera: Fuji Finepix S5500 Settings: Focal length 57mm, f 3.1, 1/60 Place: Pretoria Zoo Category: Lifestyle
Competition Information This is your opportunity to showcase your photographic skills and stand a chance to WIN R500 for the best image in DO IT NOW’s inFOCUS competition, which features in every issue of the magazine. So get clicking and send us your photographs – you never know, you could just be our next WINNER! When submitting your images, please also include the following information: • Name of photographer • Name of photograph • Camera type
• Camera settings • Place where the photograph was taken • Category: Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle
Photographer: Riaan Haasbroek Photograph: Eyes on the ball(s) Camera: Nikon D3S, 70-200mm Lens Settings: F-stop: 5.6, ISO: 2000, Exposure: 1/800 sec Place: FIFA World Cup 2010 - Argentina vs Greece, Polokwane, Peter Mokaba Stadium Category: Sport
1) The closing date for the next competition is 10 May 2011 and the winning photo will be featured and credited in the June/ July 2011 issue of DO IT NOW. 2) The image entered must include the information requested above and any entry received without the requested information, will not be considered. Digitally manipulated images will not be accepted. 3) Only amateur photographers may enter. 4) Email your 1-3mb compressed .jpg image to email@example.com 5) There is a maximum of one entry per person, per issue. 6) The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 7) Please note that your images may be published in the DO IT NOW magazine and on the DO IT NOW website. 8) By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules.
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Words by Bernelle Verster Photos by Ralph Tuijn
OF BANKERS, MOVIE STARS
and an Occupational Adventurer
What do Muhammad Yunus, Matt Damon and Ralph Tuijn have in common? They think local and act global. Yes, you read that right, they think LOCAL!
Of Bankers ... Mohammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh that provides credit solutions to the poorest of the poor, has been destroying poverty one family at a time since 1976. He and Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, making a few million people in Bangladesh Nobel Prize winners too, because Grameen Bank is community owned. Since starting Grameen Bank, Muhammad has made it free of aid assistance, and by 1996 it was completely self-sustaining.
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Muhammad is now onto social business, which he pioneered, and is turning conventional capitalism on its head. Last year, Grameen Bank teamed up with Veolia Water, the world's leading operator in water services for public authorities and industrial companies, to combine two powerful forces: water and business. Their mission, to apply the principles of social business to the supply of drinking water and provide effective solutions to the poor.
"... While cruising through Africa, he noticed something strange . While aid has been streaming in to governments worldwide in support of the Millennium Development Goal - access to clean and safe drinking water - he noticed that of the thousands of hand pumps installed , only one out of three Day and night rowing
Movie Stars ... Matt Damon and Gary White co-founded the US NGO, Water. org. They use community-based solutions and microcredit as opposed to aid and handouts to assist people in developing Finishing Atlantic together Recovered
to help fightfunds this immense problem – one community at a time. to "... raise to help fight this immense help fight this immense problem – one problem – one community at community a time". at a time.
countries. Their goals are to draw attention to the world’s number one health problem; unsafe and inadequate water supplies, and raise funds to help fight this immense problem – one community at a time. They have received the Joel Siegel Award for their efforts.
And an occupational adventurer Born in 1971, occupational adventurer Ralph Tuijn has rowed over 25,000 km across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and cycled almost 100,000 km around the world through more than 50 countries. He crossed the Eurasian continent three times and has cycled over the highest roads in the world. He did various Arctic expeditions in temperatures below minus 50 degrees Celsius and is the first Dutchman to cross the Greenland icecap without the use of dogs or parasail. Through his expeditions, he has raised more than €2,000,000 for charity.
Cairo to the Cape in 80 days Ralph recently cycled across Africa from downtown Cairo to the Cape, arriving on 18 November 2010 after 80 days in the saddle and breaking the previous World Record of 119 days. The total distance covered was 11,117km, solo and unsupported. Nonchalantly, he pitched up at the Dutch Embassy in Cape Town, had an interview and then went to lunch before I gave him a lift to the airport. He only checked in his bike, the rest was hand luggage. He has a background in nursing and sometimes works night shifts to get a bit of quiet time and write some books. No big deal. While cruising through Africa, he noticed something strange. While aid has been streaming in to governments worldwide in support of the Millennium Development Goal - access to clean and safe drinking water - he noticed that of the thousands of hand pumps installed, only one out of three actually work! There are around 150,000 pumps that are useless and rusting away due to insufficient funds for maintenance, the unavailability of parts and lack of knowledge of the often oversophisticated foreign pumps. Like big credit programmes, big pump projects are also a major failure. Each pump can provide more than 300 people with safe drinking water, so this wasted exercise sees more than 45 million people suffering unnecessarily. Sadly, 10 million of these victims are children under five years, for whom safe drinking water is particularly important. Furthermore, the enormous expense to set up a place to pump, with all the trimmings, costs over €15,000. If anyone knows anything about pumping, it’s the Dutch. So Ralph decided to focus on funding more trips, and make a difference at the same time in collaboration with Amsterdam-based FairWater Foundation, the home of the BluePump. The BluePump is a new Dutch hand water pump that is virtually indestructible, durable, cheap to maintain and capable of drawing water from 100m below. After thorough testing by leading international development organisations, this innovative hand pump is now regarded as the most durable hand pump in the world. It has also been chosen by the UNDP's Millennium Villages Project as the hand pump for its demonstration projects. So if those 150,000 broken pumps could be replaced by this pump, in the holes already drilled, water supply problems in Africa could be fixed within five years.
Every 20 seconds, kids still die from unsafe water! "...HisnextgoalistheIndianOceanChallenge,scheduledfor2011. TheplannedrouteisfromAustraliatothemainlandofAfrica,with South Africa as its final destination ..." 126 >> DO IT NOW April/May 2011
Ralph Tuijn rows for water In 2006 Ralph crossed the Atlantic Ocean, nonstop in 73 days. Fifteen days later he rounded the trip off with a trip across the Caribbean Sea to the island of Curacao. This crossing of about 5,500km was in preparation for a monster trip over the Pacific Ocean in 2007. In 2007, part two of the ‘Zeeman Ocean Challenge’ took place; rowing across the Pacific at its widest point without the use of any motorised or windrelated power. Ralph went at it solo, crossing 19,500km in 281 days from Peru to Papua New Guinea. This was the longest-ever solo rowing crossing ever completed. His next goal is the Indian Ocean Challenge, scheduled for 2011. The planned route is from Australia to the mainland of Africa, with South Africa as its final destination. This trip will take around four months to complete. Ralph hopes this trip will be his Grand Slam of ocean rowing – bagging all three major oceans on earth. He also hopes to be the first to achieve this crossing between the mainlands of both continents. Says Ralph, “The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in South Africa in 1648. They seem to like doing things first, and now want to ensure that the first ocean rowers to reach the African continent are also Dutch. This fits the cultural and historical ties between South Africa and the Netherlands and is symbolic of the journey we’re on.” The Netherlands and South Africa signed an agreement in April 2010 to tackle our water challenges together, and aim to do this in every way imaginable. Children, students, the general public, industry, politics, technology, song, dance, sport - you name it.
How do you get involved? Have fun, create value, change lives! FairWater Foundation has a fairly extensive network in Africa and can use your contribution right away. FairWater is currently working in the Central African Republic in a somewhat forgotten area where more than 80% of the hand pumps are broken, and in an area in Tanzania where 70% of the pumps are broken. For just €2,500 FairWater is able to replace the broken water pump with the rugged Dutch BluePump and provide over 300 people with water for at least 20 years. The FairWater approach is not only sustainable, it’s much more efficient and effective. Once these pumps are fixed, we can then turn our attention to the broader issue of sustainable water catchment management. One lecture by Ralph Tuijn equals one pump, and you can see how your pump is making a difference by visiting www.fairwaterbikechallenge.com Ralph wants to get water pumps in Africa working and he also wants to row across the Indian Ocean. Your contribution can make both happen: go to: www.zeemanoceanchallenge.com or www.fairwaterbikechallenge.com The Dutch-South African partnership is looking at ways to use social business, through Muhammad Yunus, and provide community-based water solutions, including those of Matt Damon’s Water.org to provide the most sustainable and holistic solutions for our continent.
Social Action Groups, the Grameen Way My special passion for water is public awareness and social business through tourism and sport. For a bioprocess engineer, this is unconventional and that’s why it works. If it’s not fun and awesome, I’m not in! My favourite type of activist is the oke who proudly proclaims that we are here mainly to have fun. The important thing is that we are informed, and that having fun is a third of our manifesto: Have Fun, Create Value, Change Lives. If you have fun you are more likely to keep on doing what you are doing, and it’s waaaayyyy more likely to encourage other people to get involved too. Trust me, we know we’re in crisis, but complaining about it isn’t going to get us out of it.
So, pick a challenge , grab a friend and just do it. Help will come to you. Visit Grameen Creative Lab for more info on www.grameencreativelab. com•
For more information about the people and organisations mentioned, please have a look at these websites and books: water.org/ indiamicrofinance.com/matt-damon-david-letterman.html www.muhammadyunus.org/Social-Business/grameen-veolia-water-ltd/ www.grameencreativelab.com/ www.muhammadyunus.org/Nobel-Peace-Prize/the-nobel-prize-lecture/ www.fairwaterbikechallenge.com/ www.watsan.org/
www.fairwater.org/ www.ralphtuijn.nl Book: Muhammad Yunus, Creating a world without poverty (2007) Book: Ralph Tuijn, Zeeman Ocean Challenge (2007)
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Words by Tracy Knox Photos by James Oertel
Fall Victim to Hard Times For the Bird of Prey Centre, situated on the Inanda Club grounds in Sandton, the year has not started off well. They need help financially and if not received, the Centre could be forced to close. SANBPC cares for raptors that have been injured or human-imprinted and can’t be released back into the wild, thus making the birds totally reliant on the Centre for their continued survival. The Inanda Club would like to see the Centre stay on and succeed, and are also helping to make it possible for the Centre to continue, however further assistance is needed. The care and rehabilitation of raptors is very costly and even though the Centre relies on public funding, it has not been lax in its efforts to support itself. Says Glodel Oertel, owner, “The Bird of Prey Centre offers a range of services for weddings, conferences, parties, schools, special occasions and motivational talks. The reality is that with declining public funding and no budget to market the services available, we are no longer able to cover the overheads.” If you would like to visit the centre, find out more about how you can get involved or book one of their services to help them along their way this year.
For more information contact: Glodel 083 754 0344 or visit their website: www.sanationalbirdofpreycentreandwildlifesanctuary.com
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The SA National Bird of Prey Centre and Wildlife Sanctuary (SANBPC) is a registered Non Profit Organisation (NOP #009/768) and has been in existence for 15 years. It is dedicated to the conservation of not only South African raptors, but raptors from around the world and cheetahs by implementing four main strategies: Education, Rehabilitation, Captive Breeding and Research. There are currently five centres plus a mobile team, which visits venues throughout South Africa and has been as far afield as Botswana and Mauritius.
School children experience the magnificence of a Spotted Eagle Owl at close range and interact with them.
Help us to help the Bird of Prey Centre by including them into your planning for: Team Building events
‘Survival of the Fittest’ is a powerful, educational, entertaining and motivational programme. The codes of behaviour of the animals are examined and parallels drawn between those present and life principles. The key issues addressed during the presentation include vision, competitiveness, strengths, survival of the fittest, teamwork, empowerment and nurturing. A powerpoint presentation and live demonstration using the birds and/or cheetah are used to illustrate these points.
Let the SANBPC programme enhance environmental education at your school! Edutainment is a crucial part of the holistic education process in many schools today. With our precious resources diminishing, an awareness of conservation is imperative for our future survival. How better to illustrate this point to the students of the 21st century than to let them experience the magnificence of a Peregrine Falcon or Spotted Eagle Owl at close range and interact with them.
Parties and special occasions This Bird of Prey demonstration is both educational and entertaining, and serves to illustrate the enormous variation that exists between the different groups of raptors. Birds such as Peregrine Falcons, small owls and eagles are used in the demonstration. Get up close and personal as they swoop and feed just metres away from you. Young or old, it’s sure to delight!
Weddings This is an all time favorite! Imagine a beautiful Barn Owl, with its distinctive heart-shaped facial disks, swooping down the aisle, with a satin ribbon bearing two gold bands dangling from its beak. It approaches silently, reverently, the rings are removed and your love is sealed. It’s magical and very unique! You have declared your love and it’s now time for the photos. Let one of Africa’s most beautiful and graceful cats pose with you, a captive bred cheetah.
The birds used are wild non releasable, and can be flown at the school in a safe environment such as a gymnasium or on the field. The species represented are owls, falcons, buzzards, kites, kestrels and eagles. During the presentation, students learn about the role of raptors in our eco-system, what to do if you find an injured bird of prey, the current laws protecting these birds, basic identification and how they can personally help birds of prey.
Meet and greet Add a special touch to your next conference, party or special occasions and have two handlers and their raptors waiting to greet your guests and then entertain them later during a break or at the end of the day. Our tame cheetah is also available and the birds and cheetah make for stunning photo opportunities. •
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"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." Thomas Jefferson
Don’t miss our June /July issue that promises even more fantastic sporting, adventure and lifestyle articles . Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store.
Family Paddling on the Orange River The Orange River needs no introduction as a destination for paddlers of all ages and levels, yet Celliers Kruger gives a unique perspective on a less familiar section of the lower Orange. Read about three families and their adventures as they paddle this scenic river section for seven days in large inflatable oar rafts. Oar rafting opens a new dimension to multi-day river trips and you can do it too!
Malawi, A True African Experience Follow intrepid travellers Dawie and Catt du Plessis as they take us on another of their exciting adventures in Africa! This time Malawi is the destination and their story captures the spirit of travelling in Africa as they make their way to Mango Drift Lodge, situated on the west side of Likoma Island, a small island in Lake Malawi off the coast of Mozambique.
The Induna XFest is Back The return of this extreme lifestyle festival will see Pro paddlers race the toughest section of U1 on the Sabie River, while Beginners and Intermediates charge it at Lions Rock, aka Devils Knuckles. For the land lovers, trail runners will follow the Mac Mac River and then weave their way through lush plantations and indigenous bush. Mountain bikers are in for a real treat as the route offers lots of flowing single track and quad tracks, and various categories cater for first timers to the fast flyers. If just running or cycling isn't enough, the Off Road Duathlon combines the best sections of both worlds on a course that promises to challenge participants.
Eden to Addo
- Great Corridor Challenge
The inaugural Eden to Addo Great Corridor Challenge in October 2011 sets off from the Knysna Forest to Addo Elephant Park and is an event that will not only raise your heartbeat, but will raise funds and awareness for a conservation project in one of the world's most bio-diverse areas; a conservation corridor between Knysna and Addo. This multi-discipline adventure tour is over 550km, 250km or 350km and includes mountain biking, hiking, trail running and kloofing.
“Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.” www.101funjokes.com
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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