The first major World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event of the year, the QS10,000 Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, ran through the Round 1 and first four heats of Round 2 in choppy one metre waves at Willard Beach on Monday. With 112 of the world’s best surfers chasing a share of the US $260,000 (approx. R3.3 million) and the biggest ranking points haul available on the QS, the action was fast and furious as the short-period swell provided plenty of waves. “For that heat my strategy was to get two average scores really quick in order just to start the heat. But there were so many waves coming and I didn’t know which one to take so I couldn’t find those waves in the beginning,” said 2014 Ballito champion Alejo Muniz (BRA), who finished runner-up in the last heat of the day to advance to the last 48. “It was really stressful and I was needing a very small score, just a 4, so when there was 5 minutes left I told myself to just wait for a wave with two turns, and I’m happy that I got it!” Jeremy Flores (FRA) has been coming to South Africa for many years and despite contemplating withdrawing from the event due to a recent leg injury, he won the final heat of the day. “The conditions are pretty hard so I think it’s anyone’s game and the one who catches the best wave is going to make the difference,” said Flores. “I’ve injured my leg so I wasn’t even sure if I was going to surf my heat But I told myself it’s only 30 minutes so I toughened up for two waves and I got through, so I’m stoked. It’s good to be back in Ballito, I feel good here, the food is good and the people are amazing and the waves are fun, so why not.” Current runaway QS rankings leader Jesse Mendes (BRA) stayed busy throughout his Round 2 heat, riding 13 waves in the 30 minute encounter. The 23-year-old from Guaruja led throughout but only posted his best two rides, an 8.0 for a pair of vertical backhand bashes and an 8.50 for a high-flying 360 aerial rotation, in the last . . .
In the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel, Samuel Pupo and Zoe McDougall took the honours. Samuel Pupo and Zoe McDougall surfed to victory at Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel in Ballito on Thursday, claiming the premier JQS1,000-rated men's and women's event titles, respectively. The opening event in the 13-day Ballito Pro Surf Festival featured the country's best 18-and-under surfers alongside a contingent of highly rated international competitors as they battled for trophies, prize money and points on the WSL Africa rankings lists. Pupo, 17, was the standout performer throughout the three-day event, consistently delivering the highest scores in each round and demonstrating an outstanding ability to perform gravity-defying aerial manoeuvres high above the lip. He faced his toughest test in the final when his opponent, former South African U16 champion Ethan Fletcher, took the lead at the halfway point of the 25 minute encounter with a ride the length of Willard Beach that earned 7.83. But with an excellent 8.67 in his score-line for a huge air-reverse, the Brazilian needed just 5.80 for victory and posted a 6.30 at the five minute mark to establish a lead that Fletcher ultimately could not match. "My strategy really worked for me. Five minutes into the heat I had two scores already and that made me comfortable for the rest of the heat and I'm super-happy to have this win," said Pupo. "I've been trying airs my whole life so now I'm doing them in heats and I can get a nine, or I can get a two, but it worked for me in this final. This win for me is so important as I've been in a couple of Junior finals but I've never had a win. I've turned 17, so I'm really happy to have my first win." The JQS women's final was an all international encounter between McDougall and Pacha Luque-Light of Australia that see-sawed back and forth with the lead changing hands after virtually every ride. McDougall, winner of the . . .
Vibescout, an innovative start-up that provides event listings and city guides, is now listing movies showing on 690 screens in 94 cinemas across South Africa. Vibescout is now officially the largest movie aggregator in South Africa and continues to take the country’s entertainment scene to new heights. Cape Town, South Africa, July 5, 2017 – Co-founded in 2015 by brothers’ Paul and Jonathan Myburgh, Vibescout’s vision is to provide an easy-to-use platform used to smartly curate the best things to do near you. This is done through event listings, comprehensive go-to guides and now, movie listings. The idea behind Vibescout was first born when Paul was travelling in Saigon, Vietnam in January 2014. After visiting all the regular tourist destinations, he scoured the hostel notice boards for more unique things to do and began to wonder how he could get better insight into truly local events and activities. After realizing there was definitely a void that needed to be filled in this space, Paul brought the idea back home to South Africa later that year and soon began work on Vibescout’s first version. Vibescout officially launched out of beta and started providing event listing in October 2016; by April 2017 they reached over 100 000 users for the month! As of 27 June 2017, Vibescout became the largest movie aggregator in South Africa, listing movies showing on 688 screens in 94 cinemas throughout the country. “It took roughly 6 weeks to get a MVP release and from it we have had amazing user feedback. We are currently getting nearly 10 000 users weekly using our movie section to find the latest movies and locate cinemas around them. We didn't realize it at the time and such a goal wasn't even on our radar, but we are now officially the largest movie aggregator in South Africa.” JONATHAN MYBURGH, CO-FOUNDER OF VIBESCOUT Connect with or contact with us: Jonathan Myburgh - . . .
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. . . .
Surfing: BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong - Elkington and Nogueira Head Rankings Kommetjie the Venue for Fourth Stop in 2017 WSL Africa Junior Series Kommetjie local Jake Elkington and Kayla Nogueira of uMhlanga head the rankings for the second annual BOS Cape Crown pres. by Billabong that will be run at Long Beach in Kommetjie this weekend (20 & 21 May). The fourth World Surf League (WLS) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event of 2017, the BOS Cape Crown comprises JQS1,000 rated events for Men and Women and has attracted the cream of the country’s 18-and-under competitors who will competing for the prestigious titles and a total of R30,000 in prize money. The rankings points earned at the event will count towards the crowning of the 2017 WSL Africa Junior champions and also the selection of the top four men and top two women to represent the region at the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January 2018. Elkington, who has reached the final of all three junior men’s events this year (winning in Port Elizabeth and finishing third in East London and Durban), holds a slender 70 point rankings lead over reigning WSL Africa junior men’s champion Adin Masencamp of the Stand, who clinched the event title in Durban last month. They will be hard pressed to maintain their current standings on the leaderboard by East London event champ, Koby Oberholzer of Warner Beach and Elkington’s younger brother Max, who has contested two finals this year. Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay), Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) and Luke Malherbe (East London) fill the balance of the spots in the top eight and will be going all-out to move up the rankings with a good result on the weekend. Nogueira has been the form surfer in this year’s junior women’s events, clinching two event victories and building up a solid rankings lead over Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Tayla de Coning (East London). But Bell . . .
Cape Town, May 20 and 21, 2017 BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong - Venue and Swell Forecast. Cape Town – this year the BOS Cape Crown will once again return to Long Beach in Kommetjie, one of the most consistent surf spots in the deep south and a popular venue for the local contest organisers. Local surfers will get a big head-start on their peers from up country, with the Durban-based crew at a disadvantage due to the extreme cold water that is prevalent around Kommetjie. To be surfing in boardshorts or bikinis all year and to then climb into a 4’3 rubber wetsuit is obviously going to be restrictive, and this will most definitely play a part in the visitors performances. On top of this, a wetsuit that is holding water will weigh in at about 4 kg, also making a noticeable difference to surfboard performances. Slight adaptations to surfers’ craft might have to be made in order for the upcountry surfers to be able to adapt easily. Local surfers will already have all of this covered. The Elkington brothers have been on form of late, and will no doubt be ready for a big result at this venue. They will be joined by Eli Beukes, a Long Beach local who can kill it out there on any given day. Luke Slijpen from Llandudno is another surfer who will have no trouble if the water gets cold and the wind gets strong. Similarly Summer Sutton will undoubtedly put on a strong performance at this event as she is attuned to the conditions already. According to the noted surf forecaster Spike from www.wavescape.co.za there will be great waves on tap for the weekend. “There is some swell in the area, mainly from the west,’ said Spike. “This will be combined with southerly breezes, so the competitors are going to get good waves all weekend.” The 2017 Cape Crown presented by Billabong is already a step up from last year’s event with the addition of QS1000 Pro Junior Divisions for Girls and Boys and forms part of the Billabong Junior Series that along with other . . .
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong Day One – Pollock Beach Small, light onshore but highly contestable conditions met the competitors in the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) World Qualifying Series (WSL) event this morning. After a slight delay, while waiting for the conditions to settle, it was straight into the QS event. Comprising World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for men and women, plus Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 plus points counting towards international and regional rankings lists. Billabong South Africa is the presenting sponsor, and they were in attendance as the best surfers in the country, as well as a contingent of international surfers, gathered for the start. "Billabong is really proud to be kicking off the inaugural Surf City Series in our backyard of Port Elizabeth. It is a fantastic initiative and an awesome opportunity for our local surfers to finally have their own domestic tour. Well done to everyone who made it possible and the best of luck to all the surfers competing," said Chad D'Arcy, Billabong South Africa's Marketing Manager. The QS1,000 rated men’s event features a 64 man field including the cream of South Africa’s surfers. The top seed is Michael February (Kommetjie), currently the country’s highest QS ranked surfer at No. 65, followed by 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Braden Jones (USA). The QS1,000 women’s seeding is headed by Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and Fay Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) with Tayla Hanak (AUS) the only international among the 24 competitors. Reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jake Elkington and Ford van Jaarsveldt are the top four in the JQS1,000 junior . . .
Riders can look forward to some interesting, fast-paced descents and several short, sharp climbs when they tackle stage two of the Garden Route 300 mountain bike race next month. Race director Patric Mosterd said participants would be "in for a treat" on the shortest stage of the 200km, three-day event that gets under way at the Knysna Yacht Club on April 28. With the start on the Dormehl dairy farm some 40km outside Knysna on the Sedgefield road, he said much of the 50km course would be on the manicured trails of the trail park. However, he warned that the day's riding could "prove taxing to many of the riders". "The trail park consists of purpose-built tracks which have been constructed to international standards," he said. "This means the trails are always kept in good condition, making them fast. There are many berms that increase the riding experience as they allow participants to keep the speed up." Mosterd said the idea was to provide fast descents into the valley, followed by a climb out. "Fast single-track takes you down into the valley with a lot of zig-zagging to generate a thrill for the riders." However, Mosterd added that there were enough short, sharp climbs to keep the attention of everyone. "It's not mountainous, but the route is demanding because it is busy and there is never a dull moment." He said the degree of difficulty was linked to the speed at which you rode and that the route provided a chance for everyone to comfortably complete the stage. "Technically anybody can ride the trails. It's not dangerous because you can do it slowly and safely at no risk. "The course is designed for speed, so there is greater risk attached for the guys who are a bit quicker. "But the trails often attract whole families so they are really for everyone." Mosterd said after leaving the start at Dormehl Farm, there was an open stretch of dirt road which would assist in spreading the field to a degree. "This is quite . . .
eCommerce is set to increase in popularity and buy-in consumers in South Africa in 2017. This is due to a number of supporting trends of greater variety offered by online shopping sites, the evolution of eCommerce websites offer Android and ISO shopping app's. South African consumers are increasingly turning to compare e-commerce shops when looking for, and purchase a variety of items. 26% of respondents of a recent survey do their first online purchase in June 2015 - a massive recent survey compared to the total number of new online shopping for the period July 2015 - June 2016 (14%). "According to Kevin Tucker, founder of Price Check" The use of mobile devices - such as the smartphones is an important consideration for online retailers in terms of ensuring mobile-friendly online display settings, in presenting the development of mobile applications and the introduction of new payment options. While the majority of the mobile online shopping transactions tend to take place on desktops, shopping programs that are easy and convenient to use on mobile devices is likely to increase in popularity in South Africa this year. In today's app-centric world, research suggests that customers prefer using the mobile web as a place to shop when compared to eCommerce apps. This means that having a high-performing, responsive site is just as important as investing in an app. This data also suggests that: 31% of consumers prefer shopping on the mobile web against the use of a smartphone app. 52% of mobile phone retail turnover is expected to come from the Web in 2017. 62% of smartphone shoppers use to find their mobile for products in online store. 47% of shoppers say they have a mobile website directly against 21% who say they use app a dealer in online shopping. The majority of online retailers under-utilise their chance to sell through a responsive eCommerce website. The big advantage now is that the latest App Technology has the ability to . . .
Senior Landscape Architect, Lizelle Wolmarans at GIBB, one of South Africa’s leading black-owned engineering consulting firms, presented a paper on child safety in playgrounds at the three-day Congress for the Institute of World Urban Parks (WUP) and Environment and Recreation Management (IERM) in Cape Town last month. Leading parks professionals and parks agencies from around the world resolving to protect and enhance the world’s urban parks and green spaces in the face of looming global challenges was present at this Congress. The paper, titled Risky Play and Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities for Optimal Child Development focused on the construction of playgrounds, safety and safety standards of equipment used in playgrounds as well as the influence it has on physical and mental child development. Play experts such as Environmental Psychologists, Child Development Specialists, Landscape Architects and Educators are advocating a re-assessment of the play environment. While the safety of children should never be neglected, Wolmarans explained the dangers of being over-protective as potentially detrimental to a child’s development. “Our environment is not without risk and therefore, we need to learn how to manage risk continuously as a survival skill. However, where risk is eliminated from playgrounds, challenge is eliminated leading to boredom where children may potentially feel the need to take excessive risk using equipment inappropriately that can cause unintentional injury,” said Wolmarans. South Africa has adopted the international playground safety standards, these standards are not legalised but serve as a guideline to prevent hazardous risks. Locally, our decisions need to be influenced by security, economy and future sustainability. In the case of security, it is a fact that children are living in dangerous environments in their homes and neighbourhoods. Some of the dangers are traffic, kidnapping, crime and drugs. Supervision and . . .