The Kimberley Diamond Cup Grand Slam presented by Kumba Iron Ore, a business unit of Anglo American, is taking skateboarding to a completely new level. The regional qualifiers in Johannesburg will form part of The Clarkson, Hammond & May LIVE show at The Dome from 12-14 June and promise skateboarding fans non-stop, hi-octane entertainment. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are back in this action-packed 90 minute arena show with new, never before seen sequences and a world-leading stunt team. However, this year top South African skateboarders will join in the action at a custom-built skate facility adjacent to the arena to wow the crowds with jaw-dropping skating sequences. According to Tim McFerran from World Skateboarding Grand Prix, this is yet another way of introducing the sport of skateboarding to a broader audience. “Our mission is to promote skateboarding as an alternative sport to the youth of South Africa. By aligning the Kimberley Diamond Cup with this live action motoring theatre show, which draws capacity crowds around the globe, as well as partner sponsors such as Red Bull, we create a new platform to showcase the sport of skateboarding. Once again, we’re taking the Grand Slam into a new venue and introducing a different audience to the magic of skateboarding,” says McFerran. South Africa’s top skateboarders are expected to turn up for this adrenaline-packed performance. On Friday, 12 June, skaters can participate in an open practice session from 14h00 - 17h00. The KDC Grand Slam Regional Qualifier contest will take place on Saturday, 13 June, between 11h00 - 16h00, while the contest finals will go down on Sunday between 12h00 and 16h00. According to John Block, MEC for the Department of Economic Development and Tourism of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, the inclusion of the Grand Slam in this mega-event is an indication of where the Kimberley Diamond Cup is positioned internationally. “Kimberley Diamond Cup is . . .
The Berg and Bush mountain bike event marks a "decade of dirt" with major celebrations and extensive route changes planned for the 10th edition of the Central Drakensberg stage race later this year. Race founder Gary Green said one of the new additions would be the "Race up Spioenkop" – a 1.5km hill climb on the Descent feature route – with prize money for the fastest rider to the summit. "Because Spioenkop formed part of a famous battle in the Anglo-Boer War, there will be equal prize money for English and Afrikaans speakers," he laughed. "We are also making some radical changes to the route and planning some exciting competitions and other surprises." Green, who farms near Winterton in the shadow of Spioenkop, said the idea to start a race had first come to him while enjoying another KwaZulu-Natal event 11 years ago. "I was riding with my brother Andrew when I realised that being an extensive cattle farmer and living in the foothills of the Drakensberg created the perfect environment for proper mountain biking." As it turned out, he was entirely correct. The original two-day race attracted just 56 participants but word quickly spread and the numbers swelled. Today the event boasts more than 2 500 participants across three racing options, which include the three-day Descent and Great Trek. "We would never have imagined that we would need three separate races to cater for the demand. We are totally overwhelmed and happy with what we've achieved," said Green. The two weekend events – the Descent and two-dayer – were fully subscribed by August last year, he said. "Our mid-week race, the Great Trek, is growing every year. It's a more relaxed and scenic option for less competitive teams and solo riders." Green said the major highlights over the past decade were finding routes down Spioenkop and off the Drakensberg Mountains to create a tradition of true mountain biking. "Cycling through Spioenkop Game Reserve is also just . . .
Mountain bikers in this year's RECM Knysna 200 stage race will have a chance to enrich themselves and the lives of underprivileged local children when they roll through the Garden Route town from June 13. Organisers of the three-day race are raffling off a R50 000 unit trust prize courtesy of the title sponsor RECM, R20 000 of which will be donated directly to the Knysna Sport School. One of the 350 riders will walk away with the balance of the investment and the knowledge that he or she has given disadvantaged children a chance at a better life through the school's sports development programme. The programme, which introduces children from previously disadvantaged communities to a variety of sporting codes, has already paid dividends in the field of cycling. Alumnus and former cycling coach Vernon Moos is the race beneficiary's biggest success story to date, after rising through the ranks and finishing second in the solo category at last year's RECM Knysna 200. According to school director Jan van Wageningen, Moos's passion for the sport has had a huge impact on many other youngsters, such as up-and-coming talent Ian Jantjies, who first joined the school's safe cycling programme at the age of 11. Now 18, the Rheenendal resident has progressed from competing in shorter 10km to 15km events to long-distance races under the guidance of Moos and local coach Willem Pompies. Pompies noticed the youngster's determination to succeed when he showed up for training every day from the farm on which he lived regardless of the fact that he did not have cycling shoes and rode barefoot for the first three or four years. "That's where I realised I wanted to be a cyclist," said Jantjies. "I didn't even have a bike then but when the school opened I saw it was offering cycling. "I proved myself." Jantjies took on his first stage race, the Garden Route 300, alongside current coach Paulus Sigonyela in February this year. He will be a solo entry for the . . .
Pro golfers raise R45 000 for Vodacom supported charities Forming part of the winter swing on the Sunshine Tour, this twelve year old tournament is unparalleled in its playing format in the sense that two pre-qualified professionals team up with two invited amateurs for the three day event. The six-leg series has always been synonymous with giving, and today was no different with three pro golfers and three amateurs challenging each other in the Power2You Challenge. Forming part of the Vodacom Origins of Golf brought to you by Samsung series, the hard hitting challenge required each player to hit the ball as straight as he could – in line with a series of pegs set down the first fairway. With money to be raised for the selected Vodacom charities Women and Men Against Child Abuse and Memeza, the event was not to be taken lightly. First off the tee was the experienced Doug McGuigan. The six time winner on the Sunshine Tour hit merely meters away from the pegs, with his fellow counterparts suggesting they all go home after such a magnificent shot. Striking it equally as impressively was the 31 year old Neil Schietekat, resulting in each golfer raising R5000 for the charities. Last to go was the Kwa-Zulu Natal local Colin Nel who struck so sweetly that he landed within 1 meter of the peg – a perfect drive of over nearly 300m. With R20 000 raised by the pro’s it was the turn of the amateurs. It was former pro rugby player Robbie Kempson who tried his hand at the accuracy challenge. As current Academy Manager at the Southern Kings Rugby Team, Kempson is an occasional golfer who struggled with the windy conditions out on the first tee. The consolation to his poor hitting was that even the last placed player would raise a much valued R5000. Following him was Samsung’s Warren Jennings who too struggled with his straight hitting equalling Robbie’s contribution. Vodacom’s Alberts Breed was the out and out winner of the amateur section, securing his R10 000 for . . .
South Africa’s multiple world champion paddler Hank McGregor (Jeep Team) fought fiercely against a world-class field of paddlers at the 40th annual Molokai Surfski World Championships in Hawaii on Saturday, finishing the 53-km race in 3rd place, just minutes behind Australians Cory Hill (1st) and Clint Robinson (2nd). McGregor, who won the race in 2014, was a dominant force throughout, leading the field until the final 2 km when Hill took an inside line at the Portlock Point that saw him pull ahead of McGregor and Robinson to finish in a time of 3h22m17s. McGregor completed the race across the Kaiwi, one of the world’s roughest ocean channels, in 3h26m13s – nine minutes faster than his 2014 winning time of 3h35m17s. Fellow South African and current I.C.F Surfski World Champion, Sean Rice, finished in 4th, with Australia’s Michael Booth in 5th and South Africa’s former World Series Champion Dawid Mocke in 6th. McGregor is now on his way back to South Africa to compete in the 2015 South African Canoe Marathon Championships, which take place in Pietermaritzburg on 6 June. Other Jeep Team news… MTB Back in South Africa, Jeep Team’s Pierre Smith stood his ground against some of the country’s top MTB riders to finish 8th at Race#1 of the Gauteng Nissan Trailseeker Series, which took place at Buffelsdrift near Pretoria on Saturday. Nico Bell claimed podium top step with Ben Melt Swanepoel in 2nd and Neil Robinson 3rd. Trail Running On Saturday, Jeep Team’s Claudia Richard placed 6th in the 20-km Van Gaalens Trail Run at the Van Gaalens Cheese Farm in the North West Province. Author: Nissin Laby from Max Cluer Sports Marketing. More Info link: http://www.jeepteam.co.za Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeepteamsa Facebook: https://facebook.com/jeepteamsa Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please contact: Max Cluer Sports Marketing. Hank McGregor CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
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Nedbank Madibaz swimmers and identical twin brothers Alard and Alaric Basson will represent South Africa in the pool at the World Student Games in Gwanju, South Korea, from July 3 to 14. The Basson brothers made the cut after qualifying at the SA National Aquatic Championships in Durban last month. "The selection was a very exciting moment for both of us. Knowing that all your hard work and sacrifices are paying off is an amazing feeling," said Alard. The siblings said that participating against the best in the world would give them the opportunity to benchmark their progress. "I have been training well and I'm eager to see what I can do when I'm up against the best," said Alaric. He will participate in the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events, while Alaric will take part in the breaststroke events. The twins said they were expecting a high performance standard and fast times from their rivals. "Going into the tournament I am aware that it will be challenging but I will learn a lot about racing and international competition," said Alard. "I am aiming to swim my personal best so I can make myself and my country proud," added his brother. Although it will be the first time that the 19-year-olds will be competing at the student games, it is not the first time that they will be representing their country. They participated in the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai in 2013 and last year travelled to Botswana for the Youth African Championships. "Wearing the green and gold has always been my dream since I started swimming, so achieving this is an emotional experience for me," said Alard. "It's always humbling to know that people look up to you for your achievements and see you as a representative of the country," commented Alaric. The first-year building students have been putting in long hours in the water and gym in the run-up to the competition in a bid for performances that will catch the eye of selectors for next . . .
Kevin Evans sealed what could be one of the last wins of his professional career when he and teammate Pieter Seyffert claimed the overall victory in the second edition of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race near Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Evans and Seyffert (Biogen Volcan-Altech Autopage) were one second behind defending champion Andrew Hill and partner Chris Wolhuter (TIB Insurance) in the 50km final stage that finished at Zuurberg Mountain Village. The duo, who hail from Plettenberg Bay and Johannesburg respectively, clocked 2:26:52 to secure the title in 8:50:21. Despite taking their second stage win, Hill and Wolhuter could not erase the deficit of more than a minute created by the overnight leaders on the opening day. They retained their runner-up spot in the general classification throughout to finish in 8:51:38. The rising Isostar pairing of Jurgens Uys and Jason Meaton rounded out the daily podium in 2:29:36 to remain third in the standings in 9:22:00. Multiple South African marathon champion Evans said the win in the three-day Eastern Cape race was a special one for him. "It's possibly one of my last ones, so it's nice to tick off the Zuurberg Trek as one of the races that I've won." Seyffert said it was an honour to race alongside Evans in his final season as a pro. "And then to take the win just tops it off." Seyffert, who finished second with Hanco Kachelhoffer in the Old Mutual joBerg2c earlier this month, said he and Evans had been climbing well since taking the opening stage. "So with our lead and knowing the pass was coming, we decided not to take any unnecessary risks on the descents today. Chris and Andrew pushed very hard on the technical single-track sections but we kept our cool and luckily had no mechanicals." The foursome rolled together with Meaton and Uys for most of the day. However, on the final climb, Evans and Seyffert upped the tempo to drop the youngsters. Then it was left to the top two . . .
Chris Wolhuter and Andrew Hill took one back from overnight leaders Kevin Evans and Pieter Seyffert as they sprinted to the stage win on day two of the three-day PwC Great Zuurberg Trek near Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Wolhuter and Hill, riding in the colours of TIB Insurance, finished in 3:43:01 to hold the Biogen Volcan-Altech Autopage duo at bay by a single second and claim the 78km queen stage that took in remote portions of the Addo Elephant National Park. Cycle Lab's Andrew Mclean and Bruce Diesel finished a distant third in 4:03:00 on the tough stage that featured almost 2 000m of climbing. Evans and Seyffert retain their positions at the top of the leaderboard with an aggregate time of 6:23:29 and will take a 1:18 lead into the final day. The young Isostar team of Jurgens Uys and Jason Meaton finished fourth in 4:03:25 to remain third in the general classification in 6:52:24. The stage is now set for an interesting showdown on the fast-paced 50km final stage. While Wolhuter and Hill may have the technical advantage on the Hayterdale cross-country trails, the race could come down to the final climb up Zuurberg Pass, where Evans and Seyffert asserted their authority on the opening stage. "I think a minute's enough to win this race if you don't have any bad luck or mechanicals," said Evans. "Andrew and Chris were stronger today than yesterday, so our goal was just to ride with them, not lose time and defend our lead." The race started at a brisk pace as the riders descended into the valley from Camp Figtree towards Slagboom Dam, with the foursome going clear on the technical Monty's Python climb just before the first waterpoint. "Then we climbed up and out of the Addo Park grasslands, where I just sat at the front and rode a nice consistent pace," said defending champion Hill. On one of the recommended portage sections after the second waterpoint, the Isostar youngsters caught the leaders but the elastic snapped once more when . . .
Three University of Johannesburg hockey stars will play a critical role in South Africa's bid to qualify for next year's Olympic Games at the World League semi-final tournament in Valencia, Spain, from June 10 to 21. Striker Lilian du Plessis, forward Bernadette Coston and defender Lisa Deetlefs, who are all regulars in the national women's squad, were once again on the team sheet released earlier this week. According to the criteria set by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the team must finish in the top six at the tournament to stand a chance of competing in Rio. South Africa, who are currently ranked 11th in the world, will face a tough draw against some of the top hockey-playing nations, including Argentina, the United States of America, Germany and Great Britain. Their male counterparts are already out of Olympic contention. UJ hockey manager Elize le Roux said Du Plessis, Coston and Deetlefs were all invaluable members of the university's team and would play a key role in their country's ambitions. The youngest of the trio, Du Plessis, impressed as an impact player in the recent Varsity Hockey competition, which saw UJ win the title for the second year in a row. The first-year education student was named player of the match against Maties and Wits and also claimed the star striker award in the semi-final against Tuks. Le Roux said Du Plessis had returned from a stint with the Belgium-based KHC Dragons shortly before the Varsity Hockey competition. "We're certain her time with this European Hockey League team will also stand her in good stead for South Africa's campaign in Spain." She said the experienced Deetlefs and Coston were not eligible for Varsity Hockey, having exceeded the 25-year age limit, but would be part of the university's side for the annual University Sport South Africa championship, which follows the World League semi-finals at the end of the month. Le Roux said chiropractic masters . . .