Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger of BCX left their breakaway companions in the dust as they climbed to victory on stage one of the three-day PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth today. The duo's finishing power on the final ascent was too much for their rivals and, after dislodging them, they were able to cruise home in 2:40:07 after 67km of undulating racing. Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit of Ascendis-LCB, who clocked 2:41:36, was next to reach the finish at the Zuurberg Mountain Village with Marco Joubert and Andrew Hill of TIB Insurance-Momsen third in 2:42:02. Woolcock, who won the three-day Winelands Encounter in the Western Cape alongside the 26-year-old Kruger last month, said the race was far from finished. "The lead we have means very little in mountain biking terms and we will go into tomorrow knowing that we have to be cautious while also trying to maintain the pressure on our rivals," said the 34-year-old from Stellenbosch. He said all the favourites were together as they hit the first major descent and their sole focus was on making sure they didn't have any mechanicals. "We went into the first single-track and all the cross-country boys were very excited, but all I could think of was safety first - look after your tyres, look after your bike and yourself," he said. "Arno and Gert went screaming down the single-track and had gapped us quite a bit, but when we came around a corner, we saw that Arno had a puncture." The two teams joined forces as they headed towards the day's first major test. "On the climb just before the waterpoint, about 20km in, we saw Arno was taking a bit of strain, so we gapped them quite a bit," explained Woolcock. "But we knew it was too early to ride alone from there as there are a lot of flat sections before the final climb." After the waterpoint, two teams - Hill and Joubert and Chris Wolhuter and Craig Boyes of Imbuko Wines - rode up to the leaders and Woolcock said the . . .
This weekend sees multiple World Champion, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team) defend his Molokai Challenge hattrick title against the best surfski paddlers in the world. Originally named Kanaka Ikaika, the Molokai Challenge is a true test of paddling skill, endurance and knowledge of ocean surfing. It tests a paddler’s ability to manoeuvre against unpredictable weather conditions in the Kaiwi Channel. The Kaiwi Channel, more often called the “Molokai Channel” is an expanse of ocean between the island of Molokai and Oahu. It is considered one of the roughest ocean channels in the world when the ocean is angry. The start is off the west end of Molokai near Kaluakoi, and finishes 51-km away in the Marina off Hawaii Kai. ‘The Molokai’, the former World Championships of Open Ocean Surfski, is one of the toughest races on the surfski calendar, and the 2016 race was no exception. With flat conditions and a very strong race contingent, the 2016 race was brutally tough up front with Clint Robinson, Jasper Mocke, Sean Rice, Hank McGregor and Cory Hill all trading places throughout the 53-km crossing. In the end, it was McGregor who crossed the line in 1st place, paddling past a very frustrated Cory Hill who, with only 2-km left to the finish, had gone too close to the infamous China Wall reefs, consequently smashing his rudder. The defending champion had to relinquish his lead to give McGregor a Molokai hattrick. Sean Rice and Jasper Mocke, who are both still searching for that elusive Molokai victory, capitalized on a step up the podium, while 3 x former winner Clint Robinson finished in 4th place. 2016 Men’s Rankings - Pos First Name Last Name Title Non-Title Total points 1 Hank McGregor 3000 500 3500 2 Cory Hill 2996 500 3496 3 Dawid Mocke 2990 500 3490 4 Matthew Bouman 2980 499 3479 5 Jasper Mocke 2978 500 3478 6 Mark Anderson 2974 498 3472 7 Kenneth Rice 2968 498 3466 8 Mackenzie Hynard 2946 498 3444 9 Barry Lewin 2942 496 3438 10 Shaun Austin . . .
The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund, a charity that supports rugby players who have sustained catastrophic head, neck or spinal cord injuries is proud to announce that they will be hosting the inaugural ‘Ride 4 Rugby’ mountain bike experience in Caledon in the Western Cape from 8 to 10 October 2017. This unique two day stage ride will see a number of SA's most recognisable rugby legends hitting the trails in an effort to raise funds for Rugby’s Caring Hands and is a great opportunity for cycling and rugby enthusiasts to ride alongside them. This MTB experience will see all logistics managed by Chris Willemse Cycles, while Tsogo Sun has been confirmed as the official hospitality partner. A limited number of teams will be in action, with Players’ Fund Chairman and Founder Morné du Plessis as well as Springbok legends John Smit and Joel Stransky all confirmed to participate. The format of the two stage ride promises to build camaraderie and see teams crossing the finish line together with memorable stories to be shared in the pub at the end of the day. ‘Ride 4 Rugby’ is so much more than just a mountain bike ride and boasts a number of great perks, from magnificent limited-access trails, to professional mechanical services and great accommodation at Tsogo Sun’s, the Caledon Hotel and Spa. Funds raised through the ‘Ride 4 Rugby’ experience will be used to assist seriously injured rugby players who need support as they adjust to living life with a disability. This includes mobility equipment, renovations to homes, as well as psychological and emotional support for both the players and their families. In order to keep the cause standing strong for another 37 years, funds need to be raised annually. The aim is for this to be an experience like no other, with the view to growing the event nationally over the next three years. “We are really excited about this event and very proud to be working with some extremely creditable organisations. The rationale . . .
The Noordhoek Dive Festival broke all records and established itself as South Africa’s top Dive Festival Happening with 850 Dives Sold. 2017 will be the 21st Noordhoek Dive Festival since its inception in 1996. The strength of the Noordhoek Dive Festival is based on the extent of its history & coverage package including: Goal 900 Dives for the three days An outstanding safety record The objectives of the dive festival include building the national and International element of the festival, making it the “WINTER DIVE FESTIVAL” happening in Southern Africa. To build the National element allowing growth, as well as a cultural exchange programme. To involve the local community and businesses in attracting friends and relatives to the festival and to build community pride. To produce an exciting 3 day diving programme that will attract divers from all over the world to our City as well as give those participating an amazing experience - with the goal of 900 dives To create an opportunity for tourism to promote events in the Nelson Mandela Bay area The main Beneficiary of the Wildside Dive festival will be the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
One of South Africa’s top multi-sport events, the BIG5 CHALLENGE has become a bucket list item on the international endurance and adventure race calendar. Athletes compete in five pre-determined events and a points system is used to determine the winners. Entrants to the BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE enjoy a one-stop registration process, preferred seeding for all five events, and awards ceremonies for each stage and overall. The 2017 event will have a limited field, with 125 entries. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Five-time winner Gary Wheadon will be aiming to keep his lengthy streak alive when the NMMU Madibaz Open squash championships take place at the Port Elizabeth campus this weekend. Starting on Friday, the organisers have again attracted a quality field for the tournament, including the Cape Town-based Wheadon who has won the men's title each year since the event was reinstated on the calendar in 2012. The left-handed 36-year-old, who lives in Milnerton, said he had always enjoyed competing in the Eastern Cape. "The guys in Port Elizabeth have always been so friendly and enthusiastic so it's always been good to play there," he said. "Although I am from out of town, I have always had great support in PE and I have had a lot of fun playing in all those events." Even at the relatively advanced age of the mid-thirties, Wheadon said he was still looking forward to competing at a high level. "Thankfully the body is holding together at this stage and I've had some good years recently after going through a bit of a dip between 2008 and 2011." He has already competed in Port Elizabeth this year, suffering a rare loss when PE star Rudi van Niekerk defeated him in the final of the Londt Park Open. "Yes, that was a good match, depending on your point of view, and there is a bit of a score to settle. "I would love to keep going at the NMMU Open to try for 10 titles in a row, but at this stage I am just taking it one year at a time." Tournament organiser Sarah O'Grady said Wheadon, along with Van Niekerk, would be the strongest contenders for the title. "But we also have NMMU number one Jason le Roux, and Sean Bailey in the top four, so there should be some really good squash over the weekend," she said. Among the women, O'Grady said Lizelle Goosen would be back to defend her title, with her main challengers being Jacqui Ryder, Janet Byrnes and NMMU's Bianca Brown. Madibaz Sport squash manager Melissa Awu said the NMMU Open was a highlight on . . .
A spot in the provincial finals is at stake when the South Western Districts schools clash in the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in George on Saturday. The tournament at York High is the penultimate in the series of events to decide the provincial winners, with three schools having already sealed their berths in the main finals at Woodridge, near Port Elizabeth, on August 12. The qualifiers, so far, are Union High (PE Inland), Kingsridge (Border Inland) and Clarendon (Border Coastal). Now five SWD schools will put their reputations on the line in the next qualifying event as hosts York aim to defend the title they won last year. York director of sport Jason Slater said they were looking forward to another well-contested tournament with some of the top sides in the region targeting the title. "York will definitely be among the favourites, but I have no doubt there will be good competition on the day because all the teams will be motivated to reach the finals," he said. "You cannot write off teams like Outeniqua and Point, while Oudtshoorn High and Glenwood House will also be in the reckoning." Slater said they were ready to provide a memorable occasion for the players. "We have a top-class hockey astro facility at York and everything is set for another good day of schoolgirls' competition." He added that the teams would play a round-robin format to decide the play-off contestants. "The two teams with the most points will contest the final, while there will also be a play-off between the third and fourth-placed sides." Registration is at 8am and play will get under way at 9am. The final is scheduled to take place at 1.30pm. SPAR Eastern Cape promotions and advertising manager Alan Stapleton said they were pleased to take this challenge to the South Western Districts. "It is really good to have these schools on board and we look forward to this chance to interact with the local community," he said. "This is a . . .
Durban – Hyundai has become the Official Car Partner of the 2017 Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk. Hyundai used the sponsorship to demonstrate and promote their vehicle range, including the new Creta and Tuscon models as well a to reach new audiences. East Coast Radio General Manager, Trish Taylor said, “This is a great partnership for the Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk. We are keen to promote the supreme quality and cutting edge designs that Hyundai offers in its vehicle range, and we look forward to working with Hyundai to do that in a fun and engaging way.” “Hyundai is happy to be part of this great walk and is proud to be part of the individuals and families that were there to have fun”- said Oscar Makola, Hyundai South Africa Marketing Director. Now in its thirteenth year, the Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk is one of the most anticipated family fun events on the KZN social calendar! It sees families and friends; professionals and casual walkers; corporates and colleagues; veterans and first-timers cheerfully walking from uShaka Marine World to the finish line at People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo together with the Hollard JURA & JUMA team have put in some serious work to ensure the Braamfontein Spruit is nice and clean before the race. Taking all the feedback from previous years the Hollard JURA & Hollard JUMA team, together with Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, have taken steps to improve the sections of the route that were a little less than fragrant. “Our aim is to maximize the participants experience and together with Johannesburg City Parks we came up with using Effective Microbes (EM) as a water cleaning and odour busting solution to the problem. Now riders and riders can enjoy everything the route has to offer and have fresh, clean fun along the way,” explains Event Organiser Mark Castel. Ben Masalesa, Senior Training Facilitator, Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, hails the Bokashi balls as an excellent water cleaning solution. “The balls are created from a mixture that includes bran, wheat bran, molasses and a combination of various bacteria endemic to South Africa. The balls sink to the riverbed, where they slowly release effective microbes (EM) for up to a month, improving water quality as the ‘good bacteria’ eats away the ‘bad bacteria’.” Over 1 000 EM Bokashi Balls were released into waterways along Killarney Golf Course, Wynberg, Emmarentia, Alberts Farm and Innesfree Park. Each Bokashi Ball can clean approximately 1000 cubic metres of water over its lifespan. The naturally beneficial microbes in EM act to biologically consume odour-causing toxins and break down waste and they are 100% eco-friendly. Louis Gordon, General Manager: New Business Development for Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo comments: “The Johannesburg City Parks team of Region E and Region B assisted in cleaning some of the areas that the race runs through, collecting over 150 bags of litter along the way. The team were also tasked with releasing the Effective Microbe (EM) based Bokashi Balls as part of their entry fee, . . .
A number of the University of Johannesburg's top athletes will be heading to Europe in June to compete against the world's best in various track and field disciplines. "Competing in Europe gives our athletes an opportunity to measure themselves against the world's best and they are not just taking part, they are competitive as they rank among the best," said UJ athletics head coach, Emmarie Fouché. "This is a great opportunity for our athletes to represent UJ on a global stage and they have been doing a phenomenal job." One of the athletes going overseas is Zarck Visser, who will be looking to make a comeback in the long jump after having battled with injury last season. Visser had a tibia stress fracture that did not heal properly and he had an operation on his leg in December. "For me this is a great opportunity following my recovery," he said. "Long jump is my life and it felt that a part of me had been taken away, but now I am top of the world." The long jumper said he would be travelling to Europe on June 4 and was hoping to stay in Europe for the next three months, where he already had four events lined up. "I'm feeling 100 per cent after the operation, the recovery has been good and I have my confidence back. "My plan is to use the two meetings in June, in the Netherlands and Germany, to qualify for the World Championships, which take place in London in August," he said. Visser won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as securing silver in 2012 and gold in the 2014 African Championships. In 2015 he placed 19th overall at the world championships in Beijing, China. Other UJ athletes who will be travelling overseas include long jumpers Rushwahl Samaai and Lynique Prinsloo and sprinter Alyssa Conley. Fouché said it was vital for up and coming athletes to be able to compete in the European competitions and gain exposure on the international stage. "The challenge is that these opportunities are often expensive, which . . .