Tag Archives: sport

School with a view

Stellenberg High School

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I used to have a great view of the R300 fly-overs from my high-school classroom window. Well, here's another rather pretty view from my old school, Stellenberg High.

I can't say that I spent much time on the field in the picture, except for when some sort of non-sporting special event was being held there - I was not particularly strong in the hand-eye co-ordination department, so sport was not my thing. I do remember spending many a spring afternoon playing "social tennis" on the tennis courts from which this photo was taken, though. (I played "social netball" for a while as well, and even "social squash" - basically, that's what they called it when you weren't good enough to be on an actual team.)

To be honest, I think my friends and I got more exercise from laughing at one another's incompetence with the racquet than from actually hitting the ball. Good times. :)

Flying high

Paragliding over Table Bay

Although this photo was taken on Sunday, today's weather was pretty much the same; I thought it appropriate to share this photo because it gives two clues as to something fun I'll be doing early tomorrow morning... before heading off to work. Have a guess, and remember, I did say two clues. :)

Today is Kerry-Anne's birthday and at this stage she's received so many messages from people on Facebook, Twitter, on her cell phone, and in her mailbox that she's spent the whole day just getting through them all. I never knew that she knew so many people! So, believe me, if she hasn't yet responded to your message, it's not because she's ignoring you.

Thanks to the people who've contributed to the "Drummer-girl project" that I started for Kerry-Anne; we're up to R700 already! One of the contributors even offered to let her use his electronic drumkit every now and again! Why didn't I think of that!? An electronic kit with headphones! ;)

A safe way to hire a Jet Ski

Jet Skiing in Melkbos

Jet Skiing is one of those sports that I think many people would love to try, but either it's too expensive, or they live too far away from the ocean and its waves to make one of these water bikes a worthwhile investment.

I'm sure many people know that you can hire a Jet Ski for the odd bit of fooling around, but what's always bothered me with this is that jet skis are dangerous and I don't know how to read the ocean - I do know that it's not something to toy with, though. A colleague of mine, who rides his jet ski regularly, told me of an incident where he helped someone who had paralysed themselves by landing incorrectly after jumping the ski... that's not a place I'd like to be!

But there is another option if you're visiting Cape Town and would like to take a tour of the coastline on a jet ski (and want to drive the machine yourself). Bugaloo Adventures have a Seafari jet ski package for R600 that puts you on a jet ski with a guide on a separate ski. The guide rides alongside you, keeping one eye on the ocean and one eye on you to make sure you're staying safe, and helps you learn how to ride the ski. It's a pretty cool idea, don't you think? I'm just waiting for Bugaloo to offer us a free ride, so that we can review the actual experience! :D

To help us out while we're on vacation, today's photo was taken by Bennie Vivier - the guy who, when I started getting into photography, was kind enough teach me about the subtle technical aspects of the art.

A tale of contrasts

Girl in the water

Some of our suburbs have beautiful dams such as this one dotted around. To be fair, the beauty of this dam is a little out of the ordinary as it's located on the Bellville Golf Course! Generally the dams kept in shape by the municipality receive only the bare essential maintenance, and to be honest, they've been deteriorating over the past few years - presumably due to a lack of funds as well as the water shortages our province experienced a few years ago.

If you look carefully at the people in the photo you'll see that the little girl, dressed in red, fell down into the dam! She'd been playing at the water's edge, trying to get close to the ducks, when I guess she lost her balance and plopped over. Don't worry, she was fine - her dad picked her up and the family sat quietly in a little huddle comforting her for a few minutes.

The only crying that I could hear was that of some other annoying (very annoying) kid breaking the silence, screaming something at his grandparents that sounded like "No, I don't want to...!" I guessed that they wanted to leave and he wanted to stay at the dam.

The scene was one of such contrast - a peaceful dam and a quiet family versus a rowdy and rude kid. :-/

Biking and Cycling around Cape Town

Biking and Cycling around Cape Town

Many years ago I got into cycling in a small way. I never rode in any fun rides or cycle tours, and never trained with friends. I bought a racing bike and started cycling around Cape Town, up to Melkbos (along our west coast), and around to Stellenbosch (the heart of wine country). It was awesome. Then Kerry-Anne came along and there was no more time left for riding my bike. :) In fact, I haven't ridden a bike in several years.

I discovered a company called Downhill Adventures that looks really cool, perhaps more so for visitors to Cape Town than locals. I haven't tried them out (so don't take this as a recommendation, please), but it seems as though one can hire proper, hardcore, mountain bikes from them and join trips on the slopes of Table Mountain, in Tokai Forest, and plenty of other places. It's always safer to cycle in a group when out in the middle of nowhere (which is exactly what it's like in the forests of Table Mountain), so I think it's great for people visiting Cape Town to be able to join others on a trip.

We should give this a bash some time... it would be fun cycling in the forest. The only concern that I have is regarding our fitness levels... I fear it would be insanely embarrassing. :D


GeekCricket action

Regular readers will know that I've been to quite a lot of cricket lately. This particular game was a little different, though. This wasn't a test match, or an ODI, or even a Pro20 game.

No, this was GeekCricket - a glorious opportunity for those of us not playing to spend a whole morning laughing at our friends. Actually, these guys did surprisingly well for a bunch of amateurs, and I got the feeling that this might just become a more regular event. I hope so, anyway.

I got bullied gently coaxed into keeping score for part of the match, with a real scoring book and all. *excitement* Given that this is GEEKCricket, though, I sincerely hope someone will write a little piece of software to make scoring simpler next time around. ;-)

You can read a few updates on the game here, and see a whole lot of photos here.



Don't you find that you spend far too much time behind your computer screen? Ah, perhaps not you, but I certainly do. Many years ago (as mentioned yesterday) I was painting the town red on my skateboard, with the result that I had pretty okay leg muscles. I've found that over the subsequent years, with plenty of time spent sitting at my computer, these have atrophied and shortened to a point where I now regularly suffer knee and lower-back pain.

I stand in awe of guys like AB De Villers (the cricketer in the photo) - how does a man possibly flex like that? Well, I guess that the answer to my problem is to get off my butt and exercise those muscles. So, although I know that it's not enough, I've begun stretching and strengthening my leg muscles in the mornings as part of my start-of-day routine, and I've also decided to walk up the five flights of stairs to my office instead of taking the elevator.

The challenge now is to keep on doing this. :-/

This coming weekend is jam-packed with things to do. On Saturday we celebrate our wedding anniversary, and Cape Town hosts the Two Oceans Marathon. Sunday we'll be covering what will hopefully be an entertainingly inept group of "cricketers" at our first GeekCricket event, and then on Monday we'll be joining thousands of people at the Coke Zero Fest, which is essentially 10 hours of live music.

Kite surfer on Blouberg beach

Kite surfer

Kite surfing is one of those sports that looks so awesome and appears to be so much fun, but can in fact be deceptively dangerous - especially for the foolishly brave noobies who think that it's okay to go out on their own. It really isn't okay for the inexperienced to kite-surf on their own, even if the wind is calm.

The Cape Town wind has a nasty way of arriving suddenly and changing unpredictably. A friend of mine was once lifted several metres into the air, and then thumped down on the sand, severely injuring his back. It took months for the feeling in his lower back to return... and he was lucky. More than once have I heard of kite surfers being dragged around on the beach, slammed into barricades and even dragged across roads. A little while ago I heard a report of a kite surfer flying across the beach, then flying across the road, and finally being slammed against a building.

If you do plan on taking up kite surfing, make sure that you take proper lessons and get in a good few hours of surfing before going out alone. Also, take a look at the safety tips on this kite-surfing school's site. And, just before you're ready to go out and buy your first kite, do take a look at this video. (Warning: The video contains no blood, or visible damage to any person, but could be classed as horrific in nature.)

Paragliding off Lion’s Head

Lion's Head

Lion's Head is a very popular launch spot for paragliders in Cape Town. That's not at all surprising, of course - can you imagine what the view must be like from up there? Actually, as it turns out, you can do more than just imagine it. There is, in fact, a way for you to paraglide from Lion's Head without leaving your chair.

This post has taken a little longer to write than it should have, because in the course of my research I discovered an awesome-beyond-words paragliding simulator on the Paragliding Earth website. And I've been paragliding all around Lion's Head for the past half an hour.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, go to the listing for Lion's Head, and click on "Fly on this site: PG simulator in GoogleEarth!". You'll need to have the Google Earth Plugin installed. And while you wait for the landscape to load up, you can prepare for your flight by reading everything you need to know about paragliding from Lion's Head.

Have fun, and happy landings!

Not everyone gets excited about cricket

Reading the news

I can so relate to Mr Newspaper Reader in this photo (taken at Newlands yesterday). The vibe at Newlands is energetic. Cricket is interesting once very few hours. Still, I can't say that you would ever find me at the edge of my seat whilst watching a match - especially a test-match - painfully unfolding.

As I'm sure you gathered from yesterday's post, Kerry-Anne visited Newlands to watch South Africa battle it out with Australia. I, on the other hand, took the opportunity to stay home and catch up on an ever-growing and unrelenting task-list. I believe that the weather was perfect - although it could have been storming and raining for all I knew. I spent the day hidden behind this same screen I'm looking at now. How sad. :(

Bakers Mini Cricket at Newlands

Bakers Mini Cricket at Newlands

Bakers Mini Cricket is a development programme aimed at introducing South African boys and girls of all races and economic groups to the game of cricket at a very young age (as you can see in today's photo - look at the size of some of those shirts compared to the size of their occupants!).

Bakers Mini Cricket is apparently the longest-running sports development sponsorship in South Africa - they celebrated a quarter-century last year. Cricket South Africa says that over two million children have been involved in the Bakers Mini Cricket programme so far, including some of our top professional players, like Mark Boucher and Makhaya Ntini. You can read more about the history of the programme on the Bakers Mini Cricket website.

I spent a few hours at Newlands today, watching the Australian cricketers taking a bit of a pounding from the Proteas. During the lunch break the field was occupied by a whole bunch of Bakers Mini Cricketers, who entertained us with some of the most adorable cricket I've seen in a long time. We'll be uploading more photos just as soon as we can finish processing them - and there'll be a few of the bigger cricketers too, not just these teeny-tiny ones. (In the meantime, our photos of The Dirty Skirts in concert at Kirstenbosch are up - have a look and let us know if you spot yourself in the crowd!)

In case, you missed yesterday's post, Cape Town Daily Photo has been selected as a finalist in the SA Blog Awards in three categories. If you think that CTDP is the best contender in any of its nominated categories, please do cast a vote for us: just click the big gold tag in the sidebar - it will take you straight to the voting page, where you can have a look at all the other finalists and submit your vote.

Green Point Stadium construction site

Green Point stadium construction

I must be honest, I'm not too sure how you'd enter if you wanted to - the holes in that fence look pretty tiny to me. But still, nice of them to warn us that it's a construction area... because I'm not sure that the cranes there in the background were quite enough of a clue on their own. :)

By the way, if you're in Cape Town and you'd like to get a closer look at the stadium, visit the Green Point Stadium Visitors' Centre website to find out about the tours and experiences that are available. Paul and I will definitely be making a turn there ourselves very soon...

Dirtopia – hiking and biking

Dirtopia Trail Centre
Since our last two posts were about the Argus Cycle Tour I hope that you're just itching to get out into nature, away from all the traditional tourist spots. If you're keen, then read on.

Dirtopia is a mountain bike event and hiking trail construction company. While we haven't yet attended one of their hiking or biking events, I've known about them for ages. I happened to notice that they've organised a full-moon hike from DelVera (near Stellenbosch) for tomorrow night, 11 March! We'd love to go, but unfortunately won't be able to make it tomorrow - but if you're free and want to get out, meet people, and experience hiking at night, I'm certain that you'll have a truck-load of fun.

The cost is R40 per person, they leave the Delvera Trail Centre at 18h00, and you can call 021 884 4752 to make a booking.

We haven't been in contact with the Dirtopia guys yet, so if you do go, please be sure to report back on the experience. Kerry-Anne and I will tag along on a hike some time and let you know what it's like. Heading in the direction of Stellenbosch, DelVera is located about 10KM from the N1 highway, along the R44 towards Stellenbosch.

Matt Damon riding in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour!

Matt Damon riding in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour
As I was working through my photos from yesterday's Cape Argus Cycle Tour, I discovered that I'd quite unwittingly managed to snap a photo of Matt Damon! That's him, on the back of the tandem, just to the right of the motorbike. (His brother Kyle, an experienced athlete, was apparently occupying the front saddle of the tandem.)

Matt is here in Cape Town to film The Human Factor, a Clint Eastwood film about the 1995 Rugby World Cup. And it turns out he's a brave guy - he took part in the race despite having suffered a sprained ankle during a rugby practice session on Thursday. (He'll be playing the role of former Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar in the film, by the way.)

In case you missed yesterday's post, you can see more photos of the Cycle Tour in our 2009 Cape Argus Cycle Tour album.

Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2009

Western Province Rugby Cyclist

Given the look on this cyclist's face, you'd never guess that today's Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour was one of the most challenging (possibly THE most challenging) races ever. Winds of 60 to 90km/hour, of which 70% were apparently headwinds, made race conditions incredibly difficult, and resulted in delayed start times for most groups, and longer race times for pretty much everyone.

Well done to all those who braved the gale-force winds (which were so strong near the start that they knocked a number of cyclists off their bikes), and congratulations to 23-year-old Arran Brown, who crossed the line just before Robbie Hunter to claim his first Cape Argus title. You can see more photos of all these determined and resilient cyclists in our 2009 Cape Argus Cycle Tour album.

Cape Cobras: 2009 Standard Bank Pro20 champions!

Cape Cobras win the Pro20 Cricket Series

Yes, it's true! The Cape Cobras are the Standard Bank Pro20 cricketing champions at last! More than 16,000 Capetonians packed Sahara Park Newlands this evening to cheer their team to victory as they played the Gestetner Diamond Eagles (that's Bloemfontein's team) in the Pro20 final. As one of the Standard Bank live-bloggers, I got to watch the final from the very swanky Achiever Box at Newlands - think chic decor, beautiful waitresses, a full bar, comfy couches, a party atmosphere, and a perfect view of the cricket...

More Pro20 goodies:

It was quite a weekend for Cape Town sports fans, by the way. Not only did the Cobras take the Pro20 series, but our local rugby team, the Stormers, managed to eke out a very welcome victory over the Queensland Reds on Friday night, in their Super14 match played at Newlands Rugby Stadium.

The progress on Greenpoint Stadium

Greenpoint Stadium

Paul took this photo on Friday while we were visiting with friends at their apartment in Granger Bay. What we didn't realise at the time was that the glass roof that will cover the stands (but not the actual pitch, apparently) is now on its way up, supported by a massive network of cables that are slowly being tightened. The roof weighs around 4,500 tons - that's a whole lot of elephants.

You can read more about the process involved in getting this roof up to where it needs to be on the Shine 2010 site, and you can see a whole bunch of great pictures from inside the stadium on the official City of Cape Town website.

Can you believe that we are just over a year away from the 2010 World Cup? The first round of ticket sales starts on Friday, and I must say, the reality of the awesome party that awaits us is starting to set in for me. If you're keen to get your hands on some tickets (and I can't see why anyone wouldn't be!), then read this official FIFA information on how tickets will be allocated.

Cricket fans – the post-match stampede

Cricket fans at Sahara Park Newlands

The past weekend saw our province's cricket team, the Cape Cobras, play two matches against KwaZulu-Natal's Nashua Dolphins, with each side winning one of the matches.

I can't say that I'm the hugest cricket fan, but there is something to be said for the atmosphere generated at cricket and rugby games held at Newlands. If you're ever in Cape Town around the time of a cricket or rugby match it's a worthwhile outing to attend one - even if only for an hour. Tickets are pretty cheap and can be bought online at Computicket - although you'll have to collect them beforehand at one of the Computicket outlets (see the website for details).

Tickets can also be bought at the gates, but depending on the particular match tickets might get sold out quickly - so online is generally the best option.

Not quite the J&B Met

Horse racing

At the end of last week I mentioned that we were going to visit friends in Royal Ascot for breakfast today and were hoping to get some photos of horses training outside the Gold Circle stables.

On the way to their apartment this morning we heard the radio DJ mention that the J&B Met - only the largest horse racing event in Cape Town - was on today! It had completely slipped our minds. This meant that there were very few horses training this morning, and the photo above is one of the few that I managed to snap of horses working off a little excess energy before presumably being transported to the Met at Kenilworth.

Thanks guys, the breakfast was awesome - but it does seem as though we'll have to do it again some time soon. :)

Pro20 cricket at Newlands

Newlands Cricket Ground

Kerry-Anne was asked to live-blog for the local Standard Bank Pro20 cricket matches at Sahara Park in Newlands. She asked me to tag along to... well, drive her, carry her bags, and take photos.

Today's photo was taken from "The Oaks" lawn area - possibly the best seats in the grounds when it comes to atmosphere. It was so packed tonight that we ended up on the (also packed) far lawn, just to the right of the scoreboard (which can be seen heralding the latest 6 to have been batted).

The Cape Cobras managed to beat the Warriors by just 5 runs tonight. The Warriors needed 6 runs off the last ball, after losing a wicket on the previous ball. However, it wasn't to be, and the Nashua Cape Cobras went home victorious.

Graeme Smith arrives in Cape Town

Graeme Smith arriving at Cape Town International Airport

If you follow cricket, then you'll know that South Africa made history recently by winning a test series against Australia IN Australia. You'll probably also know that Graeme Smith, the captain of the South African side, got hit by a ball on the second day of the third test (South Africa having won the first two tests), breaking his left hand. Despite being in obvious pain, he came out to bat at number 11 on the final day of the match, in an effort to stop Australia from winning the final test. (I'm not ashamed to say that I cried when the radio commentator announced that he was walking onto the field.) He scored three runs, amazingly, but was unfortunately bowled out when there were just ten balls left in the game.

We went through to the airport this evening to join other fans in welcoming our Captain Courageous back home. Unfortunately, it seems that ACSA's online real-time flight info is not quite as real-time as one might have hoped. Graeme's flight landed a full thirty minutes early, but the "expected arrival time" was only updated AFTER the flight had already landed. So, sadly, we arrived too late and missed him.

Fortunately we came across four really friendly and helpful policemen and -women, one of whom agreed to let us post the photos he had taken of Graeme with his cellphone. Thanks, Albert; you are indeed an officer and a gentleman. :)

You can see the other photos on Cape Town Daily Photo Extras.