Aspire Art Auctions’ inaugural sale on 31 October 2016, which took place in a new venue at The Park on 7 in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, was bursting at the seams with seasoned and new bidders, proving that the market is ripe for top quality art. Viewers complimented the curated selection of works on offer and the museum quality aesthetic of the installation. Alexis Preller’s painting, Profile Figures (Mirrored Image) of 1968, selected by the artist and Dr. Albert Werth, the then-director of the newly built Pretoria Art Museum, to be prominently displayed on Preller’s acclaimed retrospective of 1972, achieved over R7-million. The powerful yet modestly scaled William Kentridge Untitled (Colonial Landscape) achieved over R2-million. JH Pierneef’s unique and breathtaking Karoo near Hofmeyer, painted in 1930, achieved over R1,8-million. Rare gouaches by Irma Stern were snapped up by keen bidders. Her Congolese Woman, 1946, sold for just under R2-million, while young Watussi dancer was one of a series of works on paper capturing the spectacular royal celebrations of the Fête Nationale in Kigali, Ruanda in 1942 fetched just under R800 000. Edoardo Villa’s 1965 Homage to Maillol, achieved the highest price since Villa’s passing in 2011. Contemporary art achieved new records at auction. Athi-Patra Ruga’s impressive tapestry, Convention…Procession…Elevation, achieved over R477 456. Two new records were set for Peter Schütz with African Daphne and Goddess of Transformation each achieving R125 048. Diane Victor’s Abomakgereza almost broke the R200 000 mark, while David Koloane’s Dog with Green Eyes nearly tripled his previous record at R107 996. Previously neglected areas of South African art at auction, including photography, drew enthusiastic bidding. New records were set for Pieter Hugo at R204 624 and David Goldblatt at R159 152. With a lot average of R315 000 and a sell-through rate of 75%, newcomer, Aspire Art Auctions’ results exceed all expectations. . . .
Never before has there been so much information available to businesses and individuals. In January 2015, Google estimated that there were 300 exabytes (that’s 300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-made information in the world. In 2011, there were just 30 exabytes. In just 48 months, the amount of human-made information increased by 1000% and we are now at a point whereby more information has been created in the past few years than in all of human history before. The growing maturity around the Internet of Things, the massively increasing number of connected devices, the explosion of video, social media, user generated content have all resulted in exponential growth in the amount of data at our fingertips. In July 2015, YouTube reported that is was uploading 400 hours of video content every minute. So for every hour of YouTube videos you watch, you’re already 23,999 hours behind – that’s nearly three years! From a business perspective, there are two types of data that need to be analysed, understood and trawled through; structured and unstructured. Analysing the structured data is a well-established business requirement - vast amounts of data stored in well-organised databases can be interpreted and presented with relative ease. The challenge lies with analysing all the unstructured data residing in an organisation - from emails to voicemails, social media, video, contracts, letters. This unstructured information doesn’t clearly display any underlying patterns or trends. We also have to consider context. A contract, for example, is the final output. A negotiated, distilled and agreed-upon entity. But it is really just a snap-shot, a point in time. What about all the information that surrounds the contract, the email discussions the multiple revisions. What was actually meant by the parties negotiating the deal? Historically, the only way to gain insight into a big stack of reports - or see patterns in customer complaint letters or supplier payment issues – . . .
Many will say that South Africa is a strange country. Beset as we are with many interest groups requiring attention even a learn to sail programme on the most basic level is beset with 'ground rules' when money is made available from interest groups with deep enough pockets to sponsor grassroots sport. Experts say that the best way to get 'Cinderella Sports' out into the mainstream is to break into schools. Once you have the support of a school sport programme then your job becomes a whole lot easier. Consider sports that are not able to take place on school grounds - like sailing which is also not strictly a team sport then you will realise the challenges faced by sailing enthusiasts that desperately want to share their sport with younger children. Educational Specialists point to Chess as a vital support skill to learn in support of Maths. Sailing Specialists will go one step further and tell you that not only is sailing 'Chess on the Water' but that it also teaches children responsibility, the consequences of their actions and takes place in a healthy outdoor environment. During the week of 17 to 20 October the Redhouse Yacht Club embarked on a sail training initiative sponsored by Lotto through South African Sailing (SAS). Two schools form part of this pilot project - Herbert Hurd and Parsons Hill Primary - which will see 60 eager youngsters learn how to sail. All available slots have already been taken up. For the remainder of this term and on one designated day per week, each school will travel out to Redhouse with 15 pupils to take part in the training. Part of the Lotto funding goes towards transport costs for each of the two schools. The final 30 school children will complete the programme in the first term of next year. Training is done under the tutelage of Herbert Hurd Sportsmaster, Darryl Garner, who has been sailing for many years and recently completed an Instructor Developer Course which allows Garner to train other sailing . . .
Estonians Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis triumphed on a drama-filled day to win Stage 2 and close in on the overall lead of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race in George, South Africa on Tuesday. Pruus, the European marathon champion and Tarvis, the Estonian marathon champion of Team KOMO/RMW, clocked a winning time of 03 hours 45 minutes 58 seconds for the 99km leg from Mossel Bay to George. They came within 13 seconds of the overall lead, held by Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (NAD Pro), who had to stop on numerous occasions with tyre problems, but still managed to finish a somewhat desperate second in 3:46:53. There was a furious six-rider sprint for the final podium spot between Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized), Konny Looser and Daniel Gathoff (Cape Brewing Co Elite.) and James Reid and Julian Jessop (Team Spur). The Dutch pair of Groen and Boelen were awarded third after the finish-line photo was examined, their time 3:48:03. Looser and Gathoff were fourth and Reid and Jessop fifth, the former pairing still third in the overall contest. “We were going to stay in the group at the beginning, but then we thought maybe we’ll try something on the long climb. But it turned out not to be much of a climb, even going downhill sometimes, so we stayed in the group almost until the third waterpoint, then I rode away with one solo rider,” explained Tarvis. “Then later the other Peeter attacked and he caught me. So we rode together a little bit off the front, but then the NAD Pro team caught us. But they had some problems with their bike and we got away again near the end,” explained Tarvus. “One of our goals was to win a stage at the Cape Pioneer Trek. Now we have achieved that. We are very close to the lead now so we are going to go for the overall now,” said Pruus. “We had some troubles but we chased back multiple times. Each time we got back there were attacks. It was chase, chase, chase! It was one of . . .
Blades are precision made in German factory – delivered on members’ schedule What do you do if you like the shave you’re getting, but you intensely dislike the exorbitant cost of the blades? If you’re Johannesburg residents John Woollam and Chris Irwin, you start by scouring the planet for a factory that makes exceptional blades. You find one in the industrial heartland of Germany that uses high grade steel ground to exacting specifications by superb craftsmen. Then you start a business. Not a conventional business mind you – an online business that actually delivers razor blades directly to the door of South African men on their schedule. With no charge for delivery. In a nutshell, that’s how The Shave Union South Africa was born. “We both wanted the best shave possible, but felt ripped off by the high price of quality razor blades – it’s hard not to. We were determined not to compromise on quality, and because shopping for blades can be a hassle, we wanted to make it convenient for guys.” said Woollam. So what does The Shave Union actually deliver and how much does it cost? Men who sign up will receive four cartridges at a time, each made with 5 blades, for only R42.25. That’s about 40% less than other blades of comparable quality. Guys can decide if they want the blades delivered every 1, 2 or 3 months, and they can cancel anytime. Irwin adds, “You also get a free top-quality razor handle – one of those weighted, ergonomic ones that feels good in your hand. Guys will get a super close, comfortable shave for a low price and can cancel anytime. There’s a lot to like and no risk. We think the whole deal is pretty amazing.” Although razor blade delivery to men’s homes is now common elsewhere in the world, it’s new to South Africa. Will men visit The Shave Union’s website (www.ShaveUnion.co.za) and sign on? “Time will tell”, says Woollam, “We look forward to helping lots of men get a great shave at a low cost. The Shave Union is definitely an idea . . .
There’s a strong European challenge mounted for the 2016 edition of the Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race, which starts in Mossel Bay on South Africa’s Western Cape coast on Sunday. The seven-day event, which carries International Cycling Union (UCI) status, has seen the overall titles in the men’s race swing back and forth between local and European riders over the past few years. Last year’s edition was won by South Africans Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of SCOTT LCB Factory Racing. Beukes is currently out of action, recovering from a serious fall, increasing the chances of a new winning combination to top the final podium. The most likely title contenders are last year’s podium finishers – runners-up Roberto Crisi and Emanuele Crisi (Italy) and third place finishers, Bram Rood and Gerben Mos (Netherlands). However the team that could well upstage them is the Estonian pair of Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvus. The Rietumu–Delfin pair will be competing in South Africa for the first time, whereas most of their rivals will be familiar with the conditions, which can range from extremely hot and dry to torrential rain across varying terrain. Pruus is the current European marathon champion and he finished second to Tarvus at the 2016 Estonian marathon championships, which confirms the strength of both riders Pruus is hoping for a successful Cape Pioneer Trek in order to further show his ability on a mountain bike. “European Championships was my only real international race on a mountain bike. I didn’t expect to win and was aiming for a medal. But I had a really good day. I would like to do more mountain bike racing and I hope to show my ability, along with my friend Peeter, at the Cape Pioneer Trek,” said Pruus. “I am racing mostly on the road for my team, Rietumu Bank Continental team and don’t get much chance to race big mountain bike events. I did start out as a mountain biker though and I do really enjoy it,” said Pruus, . . .
South African marathon champions, Max Knox and Robyn de Groot are fired up ahead of Saturday’s seventh and final round of the 2016 Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series at Rooiberg in the Limpopo province. With four wins in the last four rounds, Knox (Lowveld Tractors) has essentially tied up the overall series win in the Elite men’s category, but the Sabie resident has never won at Rooiberg and says that it’s one race he’s eager to add to his growing list of victories. “I really like the Rooiberg course, but I’ve never been able to win there. I’m hoping that will change this weekend. I’ve haven’t raced hard in the past few weeks and I’m feeling strong and confident. It will be good to end the series off with a win, but nothing is certain in mountain biking and I need to ride a smart race,” said Knox. Knox will be up against strong contenders in the Team NAD duo of Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck, who recently won the Three Towers Stage Race in Mpumalanga. Bell and Combrinck are lying second and third respectively behind Knox in the Ashburton Investments Series standings. Combrinck, winner at Rooiberg last year, was runner-up to Knox at Round 6, with Bell runner-up at Rounds 4 and 5. Both will be eager to finish the prestigious series with a victory. Also confirmed on the start list is the SCOTT LCB Factory Racing pair of Philip Buys and Arno du Toit. The technical route on the ultra-marathon should suit them and they’ll certainly be podium contenders, as will Lourens Luus (PSG Wealth), who was fourth at Rounds 4 and 5. Konny Looser (BIXS) will also be on the start line. The Swiss racer had mechanical problems at Rooiberg last year, which pretty much cost him the National Series overall title. He’ll be eager for some redemption on Saturday. He is also on the road to recovery from illness earlier this year. “I’m finally back in South Africa and also recovered from surgery to the main artery in my right leg. I’m more excited than ever to . . .
Philip Buys and Theresa Ralph secured their first victories of the 2016 Nissan TrailSeeker Gauteng Series when they triumphed in the men and women’s categories respectively at Round 4, the Bundu Bash, held at Buffelsdrift MTB Park near Pretoria at the weekend. Buys (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing), a multiple Cape Epic stage winner, won the men’s race in a time of 02 hour 25 minutes 18 seconds. He was less than a minute ahead of runner-up, Jan Withaar (Redhub), with Arno du Toit (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) rounding out the top three places another minute-and-a-half later. The 69km marathon route was a race of two halves with fairly wide open gravel roads and jeep track in the first half and then a high volume of twisty singletrack in the second half. This helped spread out the field of almost 700 riders who were faced with hot, dusty conditions. It was evident from early on that the SCOTT LCB Factory Racing team was intent on splitting up the field with Du Toit riding aggressively and taking some ambitious early starters with him off the front. Buys was able to sit in and let his rivals chase Du Toit down. But the pace proved too fast and only Withaar and Buys were able to catch and match Du Toit, the trio taking the lead within the first 20km. The early pace saw Du Toit fade slightly later on and Buys managed to shake off Withaar on the singletrack sections that he knows so well to secure his first TrailSeeker Series win of the year. “It was a lot of fun and super fast. The first half I did yesterday as part of a training ride. But that training ride ended up being 90km so my legs were hurting today,” said a content Buys afterwards. “I had to ride a smart race. I know the trails here as I ride at Buffelsdrift a lot. Local knowledge was an advantage because I knew what was coming and made my move into the lead at the right time. “Arno sacrificed himself a bit for me in the beginning. I suppose that’s what teams are for. It worked out well that we got . . .
Cape Town, 30 September 2016: It’s hard to face our own mortality, especially the effect it will have on those we leave behind. Not only because of the emotional void, but also the financial burdens. Local experts place the costs of a funeral between R8 000 and R40 000. Just the thought of leaving our loved ones with crippling bills is stressful and frightening. As a responsible adult you need to consider funeral cover or a funeral plan, but which one? There a hundreds, maybe thousands, of funeral policies to review and they vary wildly; Providers, monthly installment costs, clauses on health, and so on. There is a service that can help you sort through this mountain of choice and select the comprehensive quotes that suits your needs, so you don’t need to worry about what happens later - FuneralBee.The service is FREE and has already provided over 30 000 South Africans with quotes. Simply visit http://funeralbee.co.za, fill in a few personal details on the website, follow the instructions, and once you’re done, you’ll instantly receive a number of different quotes to review from different policy providers. Saving you time, energy and anxiety. FuneralBee helps you choose the best afterlife (never hash tag) – easy. If you act now there’s an added bonus: FuneralBee is giving away R25 000 in cash for you to spend now, later, or on your beautiful family in the future. Simply tell us what you’d do with the money and a panel of judges will select the best answer. To enter the FuneralBee competition simply visit http://funeralbee.co.za/competitionSo what you waiting for? Let FuneralBee make the, unpleasant planning easy, then get it out of the way so you can continue to enjoy your life to the max! #BestLife YouTube: https://youtu.be/iNvW03dPzWU CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Heine Engelbrecht and Theresa Ralph will go into Saturday’s fourth round of the 2016 Nissan TrailSeeker Gauteng Series as respective leaders of the men and women’s marathon rankings. Neither Engelbrecht nor Ralph (Galileo Risk) has won any of the first three rounds, but their consistently high placings sees them topping the points standings, making Saturday’s fourth leg at Buffelsdrift Mountain Bike Park north of Pretoria a crucial one for those with Series-winning ambitions. Both will be gunning for high finishes again but they’re in for a tough battle considering the riders on the pre-entry list. Maricel Bekker, currently second in the series rankings and Adrienne Moolman, runner-up at the 2015 round at Buffelsdrift, are also likely to be in the hunt for podium positions in the women’s division. For Engelbrecht, his primary rivals are likely to be Philip Buys (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing), HB Kruger (Team Telkom), Henry Uys (Complete Cyclist), Arno du Toit (SCOTT LCB Factory Racing) and Thinus Redelinghuys. The marathon will be run over 69km with 890 metres of ascent. Only 25km of the route will incorporate regular Buffelsdrift MTB Park trails, with the rest of the route on new sections built specifically for the event and by access to neighbouring land. The drought has made it possible to build new singletrack segments along the Pienaar’s River, which are sure to be a hit with the participants. The Half marathon over 40km has 450 metres of climbing. More than 80% of the route will be different to the one used last year, while the Fun Race (20km) and Fun Ride (10km) also offer stimulating new sections, making the most of the bushveld venue, which is less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Nissan TrailSeeker Bundu Bash 2016, schedule of events: Venue: Buffelsdrift MTB Park Registration: Friday 30 September: 10h00–16h00: Cycle Lab, Fourways; 10h00–16h00: Torq Zone Cycles, Doringkloof; 10h00–16h00: Bruce Reyneke Cycles, Lynwood Ext . . .