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 - . . .
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 . . .
If you think that dagga is a dangerous narcotic, then you have been duped through propaganda. Dagga is as traditional to SA as biltong, boerebeskuit and witblits. It fascinated JV Riebeeck and missionaries extolled its virtues. It grows like a weed, is medicinal in its natural form with a lower potential for harm to self and society than sugar. Supported by science (endocannabinoid system), legal in 24 USA states with 200 million US citizens having access to it as medicine (endocannabinoid system) + populations of 11 other countries. Deaths from opioid overdoses has also dropped by up to 25% in states with legal dagga. The current 'war on drugs' is a broken system. It's a war on people and does little to protect anyone from substance abuse. It's the same mentality that was used to justify enforcing the mixed marriages act, where the offender is also the victim. A perverse incentive to put people into prison. From physical prison to social prison with a subsequent criminal record. You will find plenty of peer reviewed studies, medical professionals (Joycelyn Elders, Andrew Weil, Lester Grinspoon, Deborah Malka, Sanjay Gupta, Abrams, Suzanne Sisley, Denis Petro, Ethan Russo, Uma Dhanabalan, Jeffrey Block, Bonni Goldstein, Juan Sanchez-Ramos..) who support dagga as a therapeutic plant. In SA, the Bobby Greenhash foundation PTY is supplying dagga oil to people suffering with terminal diseases. Their testimonials to the healing power of dagga is worth a read. The SA central drug authority (CDA) has also called for the decriminalization of dagga and a recent study they commissioned, concluded that dagga kills cervical cancer. Vilifying dagga and then using that stance to 'protect our children' is pointless. Rather fact based solutions (science) focusing on harm reduction through healthcare and education, as recommended by the SA substance abuse experts, S Kelley and Quintin Van Kerken. Better that control of dagga is removed from the streets and regulated . . .
Kenya’s economy has been growing consistently at the rate of 5.1% over the past 10 years. Inspite of this fact, power sector of the country is facing several hindrances in fulfilling the power generation needs which in turn is impacting the country’s economy and investing opportunities for other countries. To understand the challenges and prospects in power sector of Kenya, Bricsa Consulting in association with Kenya Renewable Energy Association, Alliance for Rural Electrification, East Africa Venture Capital Association and Green Africa Foundation are hosting: Power Tech Africa 2017 Conference, at Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th-31st January 2017. Julius Korir, Principal Secretary of State Department of Industry and Enterprise Development at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives will join the prestigious speaker panel at the conference. Robert Pavel Oimeke, Director of Renewable Energy representing the Energy Regulatory Commission, Zulandi Van Der Westhuizen, Deputy Director Scenarios and Resources from World Energy Council and Jonathan Lodompui, Director of Enablers and Macro Directorate at Kenya Vision 2030 will update the attendees on the latest development on power technologies in Africa . Identifying the effects on African economies due to the current scenario and an insight of the Institutional framework of the power sector will be some of the key topics open to discussion. In addition, the role of FDI policies in operating the power system in eastern African region, along with Solar Energy v/s Wind Energy as renewable source of energy will be explored. Discussion on the above topic will not only help in better understanding of the power sector in the sub-Saharan region, it will also provide the best platform to the solution providers who can showcase their products and services at the conference. It will also interest all the stake holders who are willing to invest in the power sector of Africa as the market industry is . . .
On-The-Ground Activations in Rio Highlight Meaningful Innovation and Accessibility for Everyone JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 7 September, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Worldwide Partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in the Wireless Communications Equipment category, announced its global Rio 2016 Paralympic Games campaign. This is a continuation of the brand’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games programme, which celebrates how meaningful progress comes from daring to defy barriers. The campaign kicks off with the announcement of several on-the-ground activations, including the transformation of Samsung Galaxy Studios in Rio, the Samsung Paralympic Blogger programme, official application and the Whang Youn Dai Award. “The Paralympic Games is a global movement that inspires and celebrates the spirit of perseverance and the human challenge,” says Michelle Potgieter, Director: Brand & Communications at Samsung South Africa. “Samsung strives to create breakthrough mobile technologies that help make the digital world more accessible for those with disabilities. We hope our Rio 2016 Paralympic Games campaign will help spark a global conversation around seeing ability over disability and enable everyone to participate in the Paralympic movement.” Accessible Experiences at Samsung Galaxy Studios In the lead-up to the Paralympic Games, Samsung has revamped its Galaxy Studios in Rio, including its flagship studio in Olympic Park. The revamp includes several accessibility features, ensuring all consumers, athletes and fans are able to take part in a variety of interactive experiences. Wheelchair accessible ramps and lifts enable visitors to reach the Gear VR 4D Experience Zone, where they will experience exhilarating Olympic Sports, roller coaster rides and kayaking through water rapids via Samsung Gear VR, paired with Galaxy mobile devices. Samsung also offers unique, hands-on opportunities for visitors to experience how Samsung . . .
Samsung underlines its commitment to Europe and unveils new products and partnerships for the European home appliance, visual display and home entertainment markets JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 1 September, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. used its IFA 2016 press conference today in Berlin to demonstrate how it is redefining the consumer experience, showcasing a range of new products and partnerships for the home appliance, visual display and home entertainment markets. “At IFA 2016, we want to show delegates how we are continually striving to revolutionise the Samsung experience for all our customers and partners - and across all our product lines, from television and home audio to home appliances. Everything Samsung creates is borne out of our determination to enrich peoples’ daily lives with innovative technology, based on a deep understanding of what consumers really want and need,” said Matthew Thackrah, Deputy Managing Director Samsung South Africa. Committed to Europe’s Potential During the press conference, held in the CityCube at Messe Berlin, Samsung reiterated its commitment to Europe, employing 14 000 people in 34 countries. Samsung’s products are infused with European flair, fashion, design and the finest traditions of manufacturing excellence. With Q2 revenue up five percent year on year, seven out of 10 European households owning a Samsung mobile phone, as well as one in three families watching their favorite shows and films on Samsung TVs, the company believes now is the right time to invest even further in Europe’s potential. In keeping with this commitment, Samsung announced a new partnership with MakerBot, the global leader in 3D printing, which will equip schools, colleges and museums in five European markets with 3D printers, as well as train teachers and students alike in the use of the technology. With more than 100 000 MakerBot printers around the world, it represents the world’s largest 3D printing community and an . . .