Tag Archives: sport

Let’s all ride on a yellow MTB

Let's all ride on a yellow MTB
It may not be obvious from the photo alone, but that bike indicates the start of an MTB trail on the Paul Cluver estate in Elgin. Having the bike high up on a tree stump is a pretty neat idea to mitigate it being stolen or vandalised... not that MBT enthusiasts are thieves or vandals... I'm just saying. :)

Volleyball on the beach

Volleyball on the beach
I think I probably suck at volleyball, but still (and even if you do also), don't you think this would be a hell of a lot of fun?

For interest sake, and not that I have any affiliation with them, the Virgin Active health club in Green Point has outdoor beach volleyball courts. Not that the courts are on the beach - they've filled huge sandpits with beach sand and voilà, miracled up an awesome addition to their facilities.

Kite surfing at Big Bay

Kite surfing at Big Bay
Big Bay, west of Cape Town, is a popular kite surfing spot. I'm not a kite surfer, but I'd guess that the patch of shallow water just below the Eden on the Bay complex makes learning a little easier.

I wonder how regular beach-goers feel about having surfers wiz past with pointy boards at break-neck speeds. I'd probably rather find an alternative spot to swim. :)

The Red Bulletin and the iPad app

Extreme Red Bull
Let's face it, companies like Red Bull don't sponsor awesome events for fun - they don't spend their money for nothing - it's all about advertising and brand building. That said; that out of the way, we're flippin' glad that they do and that's why we don't mind calling them awesome.

Red Bull sponsor dozens of events in South Africa, including music, BMX, freestyle motocross, surf, skate and even b-boying! Without sponsorship there would be far fewer (perhaps no) whole-day music concerts and extreme sport events... in fact I'd risk saying that most (if not all) large sporting events would simply not exist.

If you have an iPad - check out the Red Bulletin iPad app. I don't have an iPad, so leave a comment here and tell me what it's like.

From teenager to dad – once a skater…

Graffiti at Son Skate Park
Once a skater always a skater - even if only at heart. It feels like it's been forever since I last touched a skateboard, and going along to Red Bull Manny Mania really got me excited about skating again - it's awesome.

If you missed my previous two posts about Red Bull Manny Mania - click here to read a little more about the event, and hey, you may even decide to dust of your old board and compete in Durban or Johannesburg. :D

Notice how the dad in the photo is keeping his young-one focused on the ramps? I'm sure he's going to be a champion some day!

Reach for what life is all about – Red Bull Manny Mania!

Skateboarders relaxing
Aren't skaters just awesome? I took this photo just before the start of Red Bull Manny Mania got underway - clearly the guy on the left had worked hard on his tricks and was taking a well-deserved rest before the competition started.

If you're in Durban, try to make it through to the competition on Saturday; it's going to be awesome!

Isn't that a great piece of wall art?

Red Bull Manny Mania 2011

Skateboard in flight
I recently went along to the international Red Bull Manny Mania skateboarding competition at Son Skate Park in Stellenbosch.

Red Bull Manny Mania is an international skateboarding competition that focuses on skateboarders performing tricks (vs. downhill, or street luge). The competition started in Cape Town and is working its way up to Johannesburg through Jefferys Bay and Durban. Durban will, in fact, be this coming Saturday (18 June) at the Wave House Skate Park and the last SA leg will be held at Revolution Skate Park in Johannesburg on Saturday 25 June.

The tree best skaters from all four cities will contend in the SA finals in Johannesburg (on 26 June), and the winner of that event will find themselves competing against the rest of the world in New York in August. Imagine that. New York in August! :)

Boxing at The Armoury

Boxing at The Armoury
We went along to watch one of Kerry-Anne's online friends fight at The Armoury Boxing Club in Woodstock. That's her, Nechama, in the black. This was the first boxing match that we'd ever attended, so it was pretty exciting - we weren't sure of exactly what the setup would be, and I guess we weren't really ready for the sheer brutality of the sport. That said, it was pretty awesome.

There were nine fights on the night, and even though we only had time to stay and watch two of them - I have to say that it was very entertaining. The interesting thing about the fights were that the contestants weren't boxing for points, or to decide a winner... which I guess does away with some of the complexity associated with the sport and makes it just a little more fun and perhaps less fierce.

This type of boxing (ie. non-competitive boxing) is referred to as "White Collar boxing" because the fighters are regular people - not professional athletes - and generally do boxing as a replacement for going to gym (which, don't you think, is an excellent idea!?).

If you're interested in going along to see a fight, take R50 and some extra cash for drinks to The Armoury in Woodstock on 29 July 2011. It's guaranteed to be a whole lot of fun. Below are a couple of photos that show a little more of the evening, but if you'd like to see a whole lot more, click through to our complete Boxing Night at The Armoury album.

Racing at the 2011 J&B Met

The 2011 J&B Met

Even though J&B have been sponsoring the J&B Met for only 34 years, as mentioned in a previous post the event's history goes back to the 1800s, when the Cape was still under British rule. Each year sees dozens of horse racing events taking place at tracks like Kenilworth, Royal Ascot and Durbanville, but this, the J&B Met, is the premier of all races - the crème de la crème!

Despite being aware of horse racing for many years, I've never really known how betting takes place, and I've never really understood the different types of betting. Included with our ticket for the day was a small betting voucher and a guide that explained the three most popular bet types:

  1. Win : I guess this one is obvious; you place an amount of money (at least R6) on a particular horse to win the race.
  2. Place : You place money on a bet that a particular horse will finish in the first three places (or four if there are more than 7 horses in the race).
  3. Swinger: Your fate rests on two horses both ending in the first three places.

Unfortunately for us, we didn't win any money this time around. But after the main race at 16h30 there seemed to be several very happy faces in our vicinity, which I took to mean that a lucky (or clever) few actually did win some money. :)

Click here to see an album with a few more photos of the horses and the track. And check back during the week - we'll be posting another album or two with photos of the celebrities, the food, and the stylish outfits we spotted in the J&B hospitality marquee.

Fun at the beach

Fun at the beach
The Big Bay area always use to be a little bit rugged. Besides for the unspectacular grassy area and life-saving club building, all that this area use to have a small shop where one could buy ice cream, cooldrinks and crisps.

Development on Eden on the Bay (map) started a couple of years ago and today the area looks completely different to how it did before. This grassy area stretches out between the long sandy beach and the shopping area called Eden on the Bay. Today you'll find several lovely restaurants looking out over this lawn, as well as a few shops and fast-food outlets in the small mall.

However lovely Eden on the Bay is, Big Bay is still a terrible place on windy days. However, on days with only a slight breeze (or no wind at all) it's an awesome place to visit.

Cape Town Stadium at night

Cape Town Stadium at night
Isn't she pretty? A few years before the stadium was built many people living in this area complained bitterly, wrote petitions and threatened legal action - all to prevent the stadium from being built. They said it would be a blight on the landscape, that it would damage the environment.

To the contrary - Cape Town Stadium turned out to be a remarkable feature sporting a large greenbelt with beautiful lakes.

I took this photo on the night of a double-header between four South African football teams. The teams and the fans are so lucky have the privilege of a world-class stadium.

Surfing wipeout at Mouille Point

Mouille Point surfer wipeout
Isn't that just a beautiful wipeout? I guess it's times like these that surfers are glad that they're not sand-boarders!

I think this guy was fine - but it's not always the case. Although one falls into water, the amount of danger you're in when coming off your board depends on the depth of water the possibility of collision with immovable or hard objects - like the seabed, rocks, a surfboard, large marine life, and other surfers. If you're starting off with surfing, I suggest you read this commonsense guide to surviving a wipeout.

Perhaps on the lighter side - I found a post in the Surfing Waves forum suggests the following to be the greatest losses surfers experience:

You spend all your money.
You lose your job because your looking at charts all day.
You lose all your friends 'cos you'll never commit to doing anything at the weekend.
You lose your girl/boy friend cos you smell all the time.
You become obsessed and irrational.
You turn into a miserable git when you dont get your swell fix.

This is perhaps an exaggeration, but surfers, how accurate would you say the quote is?

Take a look here at a few more surfing photos taken on this outing to Mouille Point (map).

Trepidatious boogie-boarder

Trepidatious boogie boarder

Our boogie-boarder friend stood observing the water for a while before venturing in. It's good to have a healthy dose of respect for the ocean - it's able to turn nasty fast!

This particular part of Mouille Point is right next to large concrete breakwater walls against which the ocean waves relentlessly thud, sending sprays of water and foam flying into the air. The boogie-boarder carefully watched the way the ocean was moving to find the most efficient route by which he could reach his surfer-friends who were about 100m away at the time (map).

Microlight trips in Cape Town

Microlight over the ocean

Besides for experiencing the weather yourself, you know it's a great day in Cape Town when you hear the buzz of microlights in the air. The winds in Cape Town get so strong, gusty and difficult to predict that I've never seen a microlight or hang-glider out except on beautiful, clear and mostly-windless days.

If you'd like to take a microlight flip in Cape Town take a look at Aquila Microlight Safaris - from their site it looks like it'll cost you between R500 and R1000. I've never taken a trip with them, so I can't vouch for the experience, but I can only imagine that you'd get some great photos from the open-air cockpit of a microlight!

I did some hunting around and I can't seem to find anywhere that one's able to hire a microlight in Cape Town, so for the moment taking a flip as a passenger may be your only option. If you do know of a place, please be so kind as to leave a comment on this post.

Springbok rugby

Springbok rugby
After our provincial sides, the Bulls and Stormers respectively finished first and second in the Super 14 rugby, our national squad (for some inexplicable reason) performed perfectly poorly in the recent series of Tri-Nations games.

This poster stating "White will Bokke weer vat" translated means that Jake White (Springbok coach when South Africa won the 2007 world cup) has indicated that he'd like his old job as coach back. Given that the current coach, Peter de Villiers, has come under some heavy criticism lately for tactics and statements made to the media, I'd be mightily surprised if he ends up being the Springbok coach next year again!

Our magnificent glass roof

Cape Town Stadium
I have to admit that when I first heard that Cape Town Stadium would have a glass roof - I couldn't work out how they would construct a piece of glass to fit over such a huge expanse. I guess however I was being a little silly, and it all made sense when I saw it for the first time.

The glass roof is more of a glass trimming around the stadium's open top. The glass allows light in, makes the stadium feel more spacious, and keeps those in the stands dry in the event of rain. Players on the other hand don't have it quite as comfortable and most certainly won't benefit too much from the covering!

The first day of the Football World Cup

Celebrating the first match

I left work at about lunchtime, collected Kerry-Anne from home and headed into Cape Town to join thousands of football fans at the V&A Waterfront to watch the 2010 Football World Cup opening ceremony.

The Waterfront was alive with people excitedly preparing to watch the ceremony and first match. We watched the ceremony at the amphitheatre, very proudly reflecting on what our little country at the tip of the large African continent has achieved in so little time. I don't think any of us really comprehend the amount of effort, planning and expertise that went into organising every detail of this event. From the stadiums and the roadworks to the planning of dance routines, coaching of kids, and preparing to receive thousands of foreign visitors... it's all been executed pretty darn awesomely!

From our restaurant table at Wang Thai, Kerry-Anne and I proudly watched our team, Bafana Bafana (ranked 83rd in the world), play a great game against Mexico (ranked 17th), drawing 1-1 after 93 minutes. We left the packed restaurant after the match, had some coffee at a nearby coffee shop, and then slowly walked over to the Cape Town Stadium for the match between France and Uruguay.

This was the first time that we'd visited the stadium, and I have to say to the team who put it together: wow, you did good! I didn't realise that a stadium could be so beautiful!

Cyclist cycling

Cyclist cycling
Did I ever mention that I was moderately into cycling towards the end of high school and while I was studying? While I never actually took part in any races (it's not my thing), but my cousin and I enjoyed taking rides out towards Stellenbosch or to the Big Bay and around to Melkbos. They were fun times, and I was far fitter then than what I'm now. The irony is that it would be far better for me to be fitter now than back then, and while I've been saying it for a while now - I really have to do something about whippin' myself into shape again!

This photo was taken on Wellington Road, as it leaves suburban Durbanville and enters the farming district.

The way up Signal Hill

The top of Kloof Nek Road
In this photo (map), did you notice the three cyclists coming down the road from Signal Hill? I imagine that they'd been for a morning ride up to the lookout point at the top of Signal Hill.

The ride up the hill is really very beautiful at sunrise. From the road you're able to see the bright glow ascending in the distance over the Boland Mountain Range and the low-lying mist over the city and suburbs that slowly clears as the sun heats the air. The city looks so peaceful from the hill that it's hard to imagine that there is anything but friendly happy people waking up from their slumber.

Sunday afternoon cricket

A baby statue

A while back we spent the afternoon with friends playing a Sunday afternoon round of cricket. Since that sounds ambiguous, let me clarify that Kerry-Anne and I certainly weren't playing. Andre and I spent the afternoon shooting photos, while Kerry-Anne became the eyes to those not able to attend by live-tweeting the game.

While taking a break from photographing ball after ball, I took this picture. I have to admit that I've always found statues of babies just a smidgen weird. Am I the only one who thinks this or do you feel the same?

(Oh please say I'm not the only one. ;) )

Hire a bike and cycle around Table Mountain


Now before you get any ideas about cycling around Table Mountain, or even around and about the city, I'd have to warn you that you'd be insane. Cape Town city and the surrounding areas are extremely hilly, and while cycling about in the very early morning really is the best thing since sliced bread, I'd suggest that you hire a proper bike (with plenty of gears) from guys like Cape Town Cycle Hire or Rent a Bicycle.

Now that it's Argus Cycle Tour time again, you'll see dozens of cyclists practising and getting fit in the morning, generally before work. If you're a cyclist here on holiday, then you may even be able to hook up with a few riders taking a morning trip out past Camps Bay, and through to Llandudno - one of the most beautiful rides along the coast.

Disclaimer: I've never hired anything from either company, so while I suggest that you check them out, I can't vouch for them. :)

2010 Football World Cup – loads to get done

Cape Town Stadium

So, in my previous photo I showed a view of the Cape Town Stadium in all its majesty. I zoomed in from the same vantage point (just above the highest road in Green Point) to capture this photo (and this one) of workmen furiously putting the final touches on the 68,000-seater grand structure.

There were many South Africans (around the time of the announcement that the 2010 Football World Cup was to be hosted here) that were negative and said things like there's no way that we'd be ready to host the World Cup. They said that there was no way that we'd be able to build the stadiums required to host such a large event.

Since the announcement we've seen several new roads, bridges and stadiums spring up out of the earth. With the World Cup only a few months away, there's still a lot to get done and time will tell whether or not our country was able to host such a large event successfully, and whether or not we'll end the month proud to be African.

If I were to put my money on it, I'd say June's going to be a good one.

The Cape Town Stadium – a prime location

Cape Town Stadium

The predecessor to the Cape Town Stadium was known as Green Point Stadium. The old stadium was somewhat underwhelming when compared to the new one that you can see in this picture.

I remember a few years back going to watch bands like Metallica and singers like Robbie Williams performing at Green Point Stadium. I even remember having a school athletics competition there many years ago. The old Green Point Stadium holds many memories for many South Africans, but even so, I can't say that I'm sad to see it replaced with a sparkling-white shiny new stadium. :)

Let the party begin!

2010 football sign

Tomorrow is a beeeeg day in Cape Town. Just in case you didn't know, South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup next year. Yes... of course you knew that. :) Have a look at the banner on the building to the left - it's one of a number of banners put up by Cape Town Tourism to promote Cape Town as one of the 2010 World Cup host cities.

Anyhow, tomorrow is when we'll have our first glimpse of what we can expect come June next year. The final draw to determine the tournament groupings is taking place tomorrow in Cape Town, and the city is gearing up for quite a party. People have been hearing helicopters and fighter jets overhead for a few days now; someone spotted David Beckham having dinner at the One & Only Hotel this evening; and apparently Charlize Theron is in town. I don't think it would be melodramatic to say that there's a real sense of excitement and expectation hanging in the air.

Tomorrow evening a whole lot of VIPs and media will be gathering at the Convention Centre for the official draw, while the rest of the plebs party it up at the special party venue being prepared in Long Street. An estimated 700 million people are expected to watch the draw live on television tomorrow, in 200 countries all across the world. If you're one of them, keep an eye out for us. We'll be in Long Street with all the other plebs. :D

Almost F1-racing at Killarney – you can do it too!

Reynard single-seater racing at Killarney

In my previous article I spoke about my outing to the Killarney racing circuit, arranged by Cape Town Tourism and Fantastic Racing. The plan was to show me (and you) what fun can be had taking a few laps in these Reynard racing cars. (See a few more photos from the day in our album over here).

We were given overalls, boots and gloves similar to the ones that you may have seen Formula1 drivers parading around in, and then we sat down while one of the instructors explained everything that we needed to know about driving one of these beasts.

After the briefing, we all jumped on the back of a bakkie (a small utility vehicle) that took us on a slow ride around the circuit. As we drove, the instructor explained where we should drive and what we should be cautious about - like braking before entering a corner, and staying off the grass. :)

On our return to the garage we grabbed our helmets and headed off to the Reynards. Getting into the car was a little tricky (it's a fairly tight fit) but once in I felt pretty snug, and with the 5-point harness, pretty well secured. I quickly tested all the controls to make sure that everything was within reach, fired up the engine, and waited for the marshals to indicate that it was my turn to pull the car forward.

Getting going was pretty easy - the speed-machine worked much like any other manual car, except that the gearbox was sequential. This means that you keep pulling backwards on the stick to go from first to second, through to sixth gear and then push forward to go from sixth to fifth, through to first - easy-peasy.

The instructor took the lead around the circuit, with everyone following in single-file. I have to say that it was pretty easy and within two laps I felt fully in control, gunning it as fast as the car could go down the straights, but being just a little cautious on the bends. ;) After about 6 laps the chequered flag came out and I finished the final lap as fast as I possibly could. :)

We had a little break with some refreshments and a little more instruction from our teacher and then headed off for our second set. This time was even better since I felt in control right from the start and the tips given in the break helped me to know better where to drive and how to get the most out of the Reynard.

All in all, it was fantastically awesome and I find myself fighting a motor-racing addition. :) The cost ranges from R2,500 to about R4,400, depending on the package you choose, and if you have a need for speed, it's definitely something to add to your to-do list!

Thanks to Bianca, Julie, and the rest of the Fantastic Racing team for the rocking morning. If you'd like to enquire about learning to race one of these cars, check out the contact details on this page, and if you'd like a map to Killarney, see the Google Map with the route that I've plotted from the N1 right to Fantastic Racing's doorstep.

Reynard single-seater racing at Killarney

Reynard single-seater racing cars
Who would refuse an invitation from the guys at Cape Town Tourism to experience a little more of what Cape Town has to offer? Who would refuse an invitation to visit Fantastic Racing (at the Killarney race track) to race around the circuit at up to 240km/h? Certainly not me. :)

From the photo you'll notice two things: 1) My name is on the coolest of the six racing cars, and 2) these ain't no go-karts! The machines are fitted with 3.5-litre Dodge V6 engines that produce around 450BHP/t (brake horsepower per tonne) or 335KW.

Just before these numbers bore you, let me explain the significance. The Reynard single-seater racing car produces marginally less power than a new Porsche 911 Turbo, which generates around 460BHP/t (350KW). What makes the acceleration on this beast even more awesome is that it weighs a fraction of what a Porsche does and sits really (really) low on the ground.

The cars are exceptionally easy to drive and the gear shifts are actually easier than a normal car. As far as acceleration is concerned, when you squeeze the pedal to the floor the grunt of raw power is all you hear as your helmet is forced back into the seat behind you. The only thing that makes driving the Reynard not quite a walk in the park is the lack of power steering - so you have to be prepared to whip up some elbow-grease and teach the racer who's boss. I'll post a little more info in my next article, but for now, visit Fantastic Racing's website for more info.

Robby Kojetin: 17th South African to summit Mount Everest

Robby Kojetin, talking about his Climb of Hope

What's the most challenging thing you've ever attempted? I'm half ashamed to say that the most daunting thing I've ever done (voluntarily, anyway) is probably going on a kloofing expedition down Suicide Gorge. I've never run a marathon, or done the Argus, or been on a hike that lasted for longer than a day, or climbed anything higher than Table Mountain.

So you can imagine that I felt mildly inadequate having a conversation with Robby Kojetin (pictured above). Because, like, HE'S CLIMBED EVEREST. Right to the top. Just three years after breaking both ankles and spending eight months in a wheelchair. And apparently he plans to do it again. (Everest, that is, not the wheelchair thing.)

I met Robby at a World Lymphoma Awareness Day event at the Mount Nelson last month, where he told us about his experiences and about what motivated him to do the climb. Robby lost a friend and mentor to lymphoma several years ago, and a number of other people close to him have been diagnosed with cancer through the years; so he undertook the Climb of Hope in order to raise funds for CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation), and to raise awareness around cancer, and lymphoma in particular.

Lymphoma is frequently misdiagnosed, because its symptoms are similar to those of illnesses like influenza and tuberculosis. The sad thing, of course, is that it's very treatable if diagnosed early. Take two minutes to read about the symptoms and treatment of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

When Robby was telling us what it was like up on Everest, he said something that really stuck with me: "You're there. You can't hit 'Escape'. It's a lot easier to face something if you know there's a way to back out when the going gets tougher than you thought it would, but it's quite different when you have no chance of escape, and no option of stopping for a rest either. And that's exactly how it is for those living with cancer, isn't it?

Tennis courts

Tennis court

I took this photo at Stellenberg High School, but shhh... don't tell anyone - there was a sign to say that trespassers will be prosecuted!

Kerry-Anne mentioned in a previous post that she was relegated to the "social tennis" team - because she wasn't good enough to make the 12th team. :P In grade 6 I started playing tennis... and well... I didn't ever make a team either. In fact, my teacher was so mean that I was simply never kept in the loop about practice. :( Clearly my tennis career (lol) ended there, but still over school holidays I'd play around on the courts with friends who never really cared whether or not I could play properly.

In case you're really keen on tennis, or just want to fool around on a tennis court while on holiday, visit the Green Point Lawn Tennis Club. I believe they allow casual visitors to play - at a fee, I'm sure. You can find their telephone number on this page.