The last day of this year’s Absa Cape Epic was filled with joy, relief, accomplishment and pride. After the 691km of the 2017 race had been conquered by the riders, we decided that the winners of our Stage 3 #ConquerAsOne moment, are the ultimate example of what Conquer as One means. 29-year-old Bruce Campbell did not only defy everything that medical doctors and textbooks say about the human body, but his story touched everyone around him - including us. Pompe disease is a neuromuscular disease that causes extreme muscle weakness and pain, because of a buildup of a complex sugar called glycogen in the body's cells. This impairs organs from functioning normally, and ultimately means that the body burns its own fat when exercising or during any other strenuous activity. Despite this Bruce has overcome this condition to complete his first Absa Cape Epic, with his partner, Anthony Daniels. “Nothing in life should hold you back from chasing your dreams,” an emotional Bruce said after crossing the finish line. Bruce’s determination and contribution to raising awareness to this rare disease inspires us - that’s why his performance at this year’s Absa Cape Epic has won our #ConquerAsOne moment for the 2017 event. On another note, there are also wedding bells in the air. Absa Pride’s very own, Nico Kotze and Yolandi Steyn entered the Absa Cape Epic together in 2015, they decided that if they managed to finish the race, they would move in together. They crossed the line 47th in the mixed teams category, so as promised, they took their relationship to the next level. This year they took part once again, but Nico wanted to make 2017 even more memorable than it was in 2015. The only way he saw fit, was to propose to Yolandi just as they crossed the finish line - and she said yes. We’re wishing them all the best and we hope to see them again next year. Throughout the 2017 race, Absa celebrated the spirit of teamwork and perseverance with the #ConquerAsOne . . .
That’s A Wrap! Billabong Junior Series Presented By All Aboard Travel event # 1 done and dusted. Competitive surfing has returned to Port Elizabeth, and it came back with a bang. The only way to describe the Billabong Junior Series event # 1 was a resounding success. From the excellent waves that were had by all competitors on the opening day at Pollock beach, to the decision to go mobile and relocate to Lochness on the wild side, it was the sort of event that people will remember. On top of that, Billabong always put on a good event, with surfers well looked after and kept warm and fed, so the vibe for the event was pretty amazing. Being the first event of a series there is always much excitement and a little bit of desperation as surfers want to set their tones for the year so to speak, to come across as fierce and strong and determined for the year. The standout girl of the event was without a doubt Kayla Nogueira from Durban who took top honours in two divisions and proved her self as a force to be reckoned with going forward. Kayla is a product of the High Performance Surfing Academy in Durban and has been hard at work for the last six months to up her game and get to a place where she is comfortable in competition and knows the way to get those two high scoring waves and maximize her chances of victory. Winning both the U14 Girls and U16 Girls is no small feat, and big congratulations must go to her. In the boys division there were so many surfers who were on fire and at the end of the day it was young Max Elkington who took top honours in the competitive U16 Boys division, catching one of the best waves of the final day with just a few minutes to go in the final. he beat fellow Capetonian surfer Eli Buekes into second place while another top cape town surfer Luke Slijpen won the VonZipper air show for a huge forehand waft. Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Dillen Hendricks as the highest placed local surfer in the U16 Boys final, where he placed . . .
Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel Event # 1 Day 1 Frothing groms is all the signs you need that there is going to be a whole lot of fun at a surf event. It’s the one indicator that shows that everyone is going to be in for a treat. It all starts off with waves though. When the ocean provides then everyone has his or her winner faces on. Down at Pollock beach that’s exactly what happened to kick off the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard. There were some lekker three-foot waves, a few bigger sets, and clean and crisp conditions to kick the whole thing off. “The waves were pretty good throughout the day,” said an enthused Chad D’Arcy, Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager. Billabong have put a lot into their Junior Series over the last 20 years, and it has proven to reap benefits for the surfing community at large. Products include the inimitable Jordy Smith, tenacious Travis Logie and the elegant Bianca Buitendag. Modern day surfers to benefit and to use the tour as a launch pad include surfers like Beyrick de Vries, Mikey February, Dale Staples and Matt McGillivray. “Apart from the four-part junior series we are also involved in the City Surf Series,” continued D’Arcy, adding “we will be back here in Port Elizabeth in two weeks time, where Billabong will present the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro, so exciting times ahead.” The waves continued to pour through throughout the day, and with a smaller forecast predicted for the second day of the event, contest organisers pushed through. Summer Sutton was one of the stand-outs of the day, comfortably winning her opening heat in the Girls U16 division. “The waves were really fun and I’m really glad that I came first,” said Summer after her heat. “It's a nice way to start the first Billabong Junior event and I’m excited for the next round. The waves are really nice for Pipe and I hope we get some good waves again tomorrow.” Sumer, who hails from Cape Town, felt at home in the . . .
The Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel gets underway at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth this weekend with the first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year. The world’s longest running junior surfing series has nurtured the competitive careers of countless local surfers including 2016 world title runner-up Jordy Smith and former CT campaigners Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie, and Rosy Hodge along with current QS standouts Beyrick de Vries, Michael February and Matt McGillivray. Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 March, this weekend’s event features 3A rated Surfing South Africa (SSA) events for U16, U14, U12 and U10 boys and girls with prize-money in all divisions and ranking points counting towards both the Billabong Junior Series and South African Surf Tour (SAST) 2017 titles. “We are excited to be launching the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series in Port Elizabeth,” said Billabong Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “It’s a great time to be a junior surfer in South Africa at the moment, and Billabong is proud of our junior surfing legacy.” All Aboard Travel, the new presenting sponsor for the series, will up the ante by providing tickets to Bali for the overall series winners of the U18 Men’s and Women’s JQS Pro Jnr divisions. BOS Ice Tea will enhance their long standing support for junior surfing by taking the title sponsorship for the second event in the series, the BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong in Cape Town in May. The U10 division, supported by Sea Harvest, makes its debut in the Billabong Junior Series and has been introduced to foster and encourage youngsters to become involved in competitive surfing as early as possible. The huge entry from the country’s top surfers aged 16 and under for this weekend is headed by Max Elkington (Kommetjie), Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) and S'Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) . . .
Perched over the lagoon, the Knysna Yacht Club will provide a spectacular new start and finish venue for the opening stage of the Garden Route 300 mountain bike race next month. Race director Patric Mosterd said the event, which takes place in and around the indigenous forests of the coastal hamlet from April 28 to 30, had settled on a choice selection of locations for each of the stages. "The venues have been chosen to upgrade the riders' experience another notch and the Knysna Yacht Club will be the only venue in town," he said. Even then, he added, day one's official finish line would be at the edge of the suburban part of Knysna, allowing riders to enjoy a cool-down section to the race village. "It will also eliminate unnecessary risks from having to race through traffic." Besides day one, he said all the venues were closer to the forest, or even in the forest, and would make for a much safer journey for the riders. Mosterd said the yacht club would be the hub of operations building up to the race as it would also be the venue for registration. He said participants would be able to collect their numbers and goodie bags from 4pm to 9pm at the venue on April 27, while supper would be available from 6pm. "Besides the spectacular environment that the yacht club offers, it is close to the Waterfront, giving riders a wide variety of entertainment options both before and after the race." The second stage will take place in the Garden Route Trail Park, with the start and finish on an adjacent dairy farm. "There will be showers and lunch at the venue for all competitors," said Mosterd. He felt one of the highlights of the race would be the prize-giving and final luncheon at the Simola Golf Estate, in front of which the third stage would start and finish. "This is a five-star venue with spectacular views over Knysna and on the doorstep of the final day's uphill finish." Mosterd said each venue would comfortably cater for the riders' . . .
A high-quality field will again be racing for a lucrative prize purse when the Liberty Winelands Encounter takes place in the Western Cape next month. Presented in partnership with STANLIB, race organisers have put together an attractive purse of R100 000 for the three-stage mountain bike race, which starts in Stellenbosch on April 21 before moving to boutique race villages at Franschhoek and Wellington. Paying tribute to the input from the title sponsors, ASG Events chief executive Wynand de Villiers said they felt it was a substantial package which had already attracted some top riders. "In terms of prize-money, very few events boast this kind of purse so we are thankful to Liberty for making this possible for the competitors," he said. "We have had a host of top riders who have entered as a result." Among the leading contenders who had entered, he said, was Sweden's Jennie Stenerhag who, with partner Esther Süss, currently leads the Cape Epic women's event. In terms of the split, De Villiers said the purse would be shared equally among the men's, women's and mixed categories. "We live in an equal society, so we believe that is the way to go." The prize-money in each category will be R18 000 for the winners, R10 000 for the runners-up and R5 500 for the third-placed teams. While De Villiers said there was naturally a focus on attracting top riders, they also acknowledged the importance of providing a race which everyone could enter and enjoy. "The Winelands Encounter is definitely a race for everyone," he said. "You obviously need to be a relatively skilled and experienced rider to complete the event comfortably, but it's by no means just shaped around the pros." He described the race as the fastest growing three-day mountain bike race in the country and felt the overall package was full value. "I have taken part in a number of three-stage offerings and the Encounter offers the best on all fronts," said De Villiers. "The . . .
Despite suffering broken bones in two separate incidents, Springbok legend Joel Stransky and former professional cyclist Andrew Mclean are still set to take part in the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth in May. Mclean is currently nursing a broken collarbone after a nasty fall that forced him to withdraw from this year's Cape Epic, while Stransky was hospitalised with a broken rib and punctured lung after crashing on the prologue of the Epic on Sunday. "I'm still planning on participating in the Great Zuurberg Trek," Mclean confirmed yesterday. "It is one of my favourite races and I should be back on my bike in a week or two." He said he had not even considered the fact that Stransky might not be able to partner him in the Eastern Cape event in which they placed third last year. "Joel would kill me if he thought I was considering trading him in for a younger model," joked Mclean, but added that he was "very confident" they would be fighting fit for the tough three-day race in the Sundays River Valley and Addo Elephant National Park. "Knowing Joel, I'd imagine that the minute he can get on the indoor trainer he'll be back into training and we should be there. We may not be in tip-top condition, but we'll certainly be good enough to race. "Our position last year wasn't too bad for two old men and this year we'll aim to do the same, if not better. "Joel and myself are very competitive and we both relish the fact that, in mountain biking, we are able to compete with some of the younger riders." Mclean said that while he planned on returning to training as soon as possible, his injury was taking longer than usual to heal. "When I've broken a collarbone in the past I've had it plated, which speeds up the recovery and rehabilitation process. "However, with this break, doctors didn't want to plate it due to various reasons, so I've had to allow it to grow back, which takes more time. "Having said that, it's . . .
The FNB NMMU-Madibaz will be determined to finish their Varsity Cup rugby campaign with a flourish when they play Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein on Monday. While the squad have faced some tough challenges this season, coach David Maidza said they remained positive and were eager to prove a point against CUT, who have lost all seven matches so far. Madibaz opened with a victory against UCT, but have been winless since then, turning Monday's clash into a key showdown between two sides at the bottom of the log. Despite CUT's record this season, Maidza said they would not make the mistake of taking anything for granted. "We want to make sure we do well in our last game, but will be up against a side also motivated to finish on a high," he said. "They are very similar to us in that they never give in and they will give it their all in front of their home crowd." The Madibaz mentor said his players had always produced their best efforts this season and praised them for their positive attitude. "Although we have not achieved the desired results, it has not been through a lack of willingness and commitment by the players. "These young men have left their last ounce of effort on the field and I am proud of them for being competitive in each outing." Maidza said they had been working hard to build for the future. "Our main focus since 2015 has been to have a stable squad of student-athletes. "I feel we can be proud to say that if all goes our way we will have no less than 15 graduates by the end of 2018, which means we will have continuity with our squad until 2019." Maidza said he was also encouraged by the backing they had received from the varsity. "There is a whole lot of support for us from the dean of students Luthando Jack, director of sport Yoliswa Lumka and from the top echelons of the university." Meanwhile, the Madibaz Young Guns failed in their bid to qualify for the Varsity Cup semifinals when they lost . . .
University of Johannesburg rugby coach Werner Janse van Rensburg has commended his players for holding their nerve under pressure to qualify for the Varsity Cup semifinals. With one round left in the first phase of the competition, FNB UJ have sealed their spot in the top four and will play their final league match against Maties on Monday. The UJ outfit, who lost their first two matches, made sure of reaching the semifinals for the fifth time since 2011 when they defeated Johannesburg rivals Wits 28-23 in a hard encounter this week. Janse van Rensburg said the mood in the camp was one of "gratitude and enjoyment" following Monday's victory. "It was a tough start to the campaign and the pressure was on more than ever before in the build-up to the Wits game," he said. "So for the guys to pull through was very satisfying." Despite their sluggish start to the competition, he said the Varsity Cup generally showed that the top four sides were only decided towards the end of the league phase. "We knew this year wouldn't be any different so the motivation was still there to make the top four. "But for us we had to break it down week by week and as the journey went along, our belief that we could do it started to strengthen." Janse van Rensburg said their positive attitude had played a big part in their success. "That and a willingness to push ourselves to the end helped us get through. A tight scrap like the one against Wits is always determined by your attitude and for us it was the key factor." With the semifinals to be played on April 3, UJ now turn their attention to the final league game against Maties in Stellenbosch. Janse van Rensburg said they would not be changing their preparations. "We will approach it the same as every Monday, but we know we have a lot to improve on in terms of our basics and in putting together a solid performance," he said. "The challenge is massive as Maties are at the peak of their powers, but we are . . .
Eastern Cape, 24 March 2017: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) would like to notify road users of controlled blasting at Shaw Park quarry, between Port Alfred and Fish River, which will commence at 3pm on Wednesday, 29 March 2017. The R72 road will be closed for approximately 30 minutes. The Shaw Park quarry is situated next to the R72, near the intersection of the R72 with the gravel road leading to Shaw Park. The quarry extends from the SANRAL kilometre markers 20,800 to 21,200. Motorists are requested to plan their trips accordingly and be cautious when making use of the road, and to comply with the directions of safety personnel. #SANRAL #R72 #ShawParkquarry #controlledblasting #PortAlfred #FishRiver #EasternCape CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .