Two South African sailing teams completed a one-two finish at the recent Hobie 16 World Championships held in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia sailed between 31 January and 10 February 2014. William and Lucinda Edwards finished in first place and 4 points ahead of second placed Blaine and Roxanne Dodds also from Plettenberg Bay. Both teams will be returning to Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth to sail in the Boardwalk Hobie 16 National Championships from 20 to 23 March 2014. The keen rivalry between these two champion teams is expected to continue as they finished the 2013 Hobie Nationals also in the same one-two placings. Local sailor, Andrew Ward has been puting in time on the water and slimming down as he and his crew, Angela Ward look to improve their 3rd place in last year's event. Racing starts not before 11:00 am on Thursday 20 March and the Hobies will launch from Hobie Beach to sail offshore yet visible from the Shark Rock Pier and beachfront in front of The Boardwalk. Racing will continue each day thereafter - weather dependent - until Sunday when the new champions will be crowned. The Boardwalk Hobie 16 Nationals Regatta is organized by the Hobie 16 Class in conjunction with the Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) under the auspices of South African Sailing (SAS). Notes: Any media wishing to take advantage of being on the water can confirm daily with Paula Archibald on 0823736901 or report to the regatta office on Hobie Beach and ask for Paula who will organise a trip out for them. Alan Straton will be putting out a daily report with images. 2012 results: http://hobie16nationals.co.za/2012-boardwalk-hobie-16-results/#more-89 2013 results: http://hobie16nationals.co.za/category/2013/results-2013/ The 505 Worlds practise regatta is taking place at the same time - on a different course - and will feature some World Champions ahead of the staging of the 505 World Championships in Algoa Bay in 2015. Author: Alan Straton from MyPE. No . . .
High-jumper Morita Botha will be aiming to raise the bar for the Madibaz team when she competes against the country's best in the first Varsity Athletics meeting at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday night. Botha will be one of 27 track and field stars that will represent the university in the prestigious four-part national series, which will be televised live on SuperSport. The 21-year-old, who also took part in the inaugural competition last year, said she had her sights set on medalling in front of her home crowd. "This competition is on my turf so I'll stand to benefit because I'm used to jumping in the windy conditions." Botha said her major goal for the overall competition would be to clear a mark of 1.70m. The first-year arts student appears to be on track after jumping 1.65m at the opening meet of EPA Track and Field League in February. The result was just two centimetres shy of her personal best, which she set in Durban in 2011. "It was the first competition of the year and I worked really hard because I knew I needed to start preparing for Varsity Athletics and SA champs." Botha said the provincial meet had been the perfect opportunity to build on the successes of last season and that she had qualified for the junior national championships in the process. The former KwaZulu-Natal resident said she would use Varsity Athletics to push herself to new heights in a bid to make the senior national champs again. "I like the fast-paced nature of the competition. It forces us to train harder and keep up with the standards." Botha said she was expecting strong opposition from the likes of NWU-Pukke and the University of Johannesburg. Athletes from eight leading universities will compete in the two-hour track and field programme at the South Campus in Summerstrand. The event kicks off with the curtain-raiser relay races at 5.30pm and finishes at 8pm. The series continues at North-West University in Potchefstroom on . . .
University of Johannesburg sport science manager and hockey coach Robin van Ginkel played a vital role in guiding the Delhi Waveriders to the Hockey India League (HIL) title. The recently completed HIL is based on cricket's hugely successful Indian Premier League (IPL). "Hockey players around the world are auctioned off to Indian teams to compete against each other on an international platform," said Van Ginkel, who was part of the conditioning staff. "Six teams compete in the competition, each from a different region in India with their own individuality." Van Ginkel was part of the Delhi Waveriders, which was based in New Delhi and owned by the Wave Group. "The league was structured with all teams playing five home games and five away games in a round-robin format. Once pools had concluded, a semi-final and final were played in Ranchi. "The final was between the Jaypee Punjab Warriors and us." After finishing on three goals apiece in a competitive final, the Delhi Waveriders won the title in a shootout. Van Ginkel's main responsibility was to monitor player recovery and conditioning. "The games were monitored live with the use of the Zephyr heart rate system." With this system, he could monitor player recovery and ensure that the most suitable player took to the field at exactly the right moment and play with optimum intensity throughout the competition. "The experience in India was life-changing. I was privileged to work among the world's top hockey coaches and players. "The travelling was a challenge for many of the teams but worth the victory in the end." Although his involvement in the HIL was a feather in his cap, it also gave him knowledge and new skills he could plough back into UJ Sport. "These international experiences increase knowledge which is brought back to the university and shared to assist sport science development and overall growth of our codes." Among other roles, Van Ginkel coaches the university's women's . . .
FNB NMMU will be looking to secure their semifinal berth in the FNB Varsity Cup rugby tournament when they take to the field against the FNB Shimlas in Bloemfontein on Monday night. With four wins and two losses under their belts, the Madibaz will aim to finish the round-robin part of the competition on a high note. "For us this is where our knockout stages begin and our performance needs to be of the highest quality for us to progress," said head coach David Maidza. "Our approach will not differ from when we started the competition." Maidza said team management had made just three changes to the side that claimed a rain-soaked 19-9 win over defending champions FNB Tuks in Pretoria this week. "Monday night's performance and result was a step in the right direction and I'm pleased with the fight the players showed against Tuks. "The boys have certainly been buoyed by the result but they're also fully aware of what has happened earlier in the competition when we did not focus for the next game." He said ever-dependable eighthman Timothy Agaba would rejoin the starting line-up with Marcel Groenewald moving back into familiar territory on the right flank. "Louis Fourie shifts onto the bench to cover the locks, while Stefan Willemse puts on the number four jersey." Maidza said his Port Elizabeth-based outfit was well aware of the quality and depth in the Free State side, which featured players such as Lions lock Franco van der Merwe and Griquas fullback Gouws Prinsloo. "We will respect Shimlas but will ensure that we are clinical in what we do on the field and that we control as much of the game as possible – with ball in hand or without." The Madibaz were eliminated in last year's play-offs with a one-point loss to FNB Maties. "We are excited to know that we have the backing of the university and thank everyone who is behind the team throughout this beautiful city of ours," said Maidza. Visit www.sport.nmmu.ac.za or find Madibaz4U . . .
Non-profit community organisations will have an opportunity to raise funds for their institution simply by attending the action-packed Varsity Athletics meeting at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on March 21. Madibaz athletics manager Nellis Bothma said schools, clubs, churches and charities would receive a R10 contribution for every spectator who attended the first instalment of the national four-meet series on their behalf. "It's a fantastic initiative that allows the community to see some of the country's most exciting athletes in action, while giving their own sports development funds a welcome boost." The two-hour event – which showcases the best student athletes from the top eight universities in South Africa – starts at 5.30pm and will be televised live on SuperSport. Bothma said qualifying groups should register before Thursday, March 20, to receive their allocated number of free barcoded tickets. "All their spectators have to do is fill in their name, cellphone number and e-mail address on the back of the ticket to gain entry into the stadium. "For every person who presents one of these tickets at the gate before 6.30pm, Varsity Athletics will make the promised contribution to the relevant group's development fund." He said organisers were expecting a capacity crowd at the 10 000-seater stadium on the South Campus in Summerstrand. Olympic pole-vaulter Okkert Brits will be the official flag bearer, while local entertainer Donna Africa will deliver her rendition of the national anthem. "This is the first time that NMMU is hosting a Varsity Athletics event, so we really want to make a splash." The remaining track and field meets will take place at North-West University in Potchefstroom (April 14), Stellenbosch University (April 21) and the University of Pretoria (April 28). Bothma said free advance tickets would also be available to individual members of the public via the Varsity Sports Facebook page and website. "All . . .
Organisers of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek have unveiled a route that promises equal parts effort and reward for participants in the three-day mountain bike race, which starts in Addo on May 30. Speaking at the recent launch event in Port Elizabeth, route designer Rob Hayter said each of the three stages had been specifically created to offer a completely different riding experience. "The diversity of these three days is going to be incredible. I don't think you'll see the variety of nature and tracks in any other race in the Eastern Cape." The race, which covers more than 200km, traverses the Sundays River Valley, the Karoo and Hayterdale Trails at the foot of the Zuurberg Pass. Race director Brad Jackson, of Mountain Events, said the clover route would use the Zuurberg Mountain Village at the top of the pass as its daily rendezvous point. "Our number one objective was to deliver something unique each day and this location in the heart of the mountains allows us to do just that. "It's one of the very few places where so many biomes converge." On day one, riders head south on a 76km route into the picturesque Sundays River Valley and world-renowned Addo Elephant National Park. The following day, they take on the 78km queen stage, climbing more than 1 970m over the northern ridge of the pass and overlooking the plains of the Karoo near the historical Ann's Villa. "There are places where the mountain views are so spectacular, you'll feel like you're at one of those tourist lookout points for several kilometres at a time," said Jackson. On the final stage, riders hug the southern slopes of the mountains, as they test their technical skills on a 58km route that includes some of Hayterdale's national cross-country championship track. "We end the race in single-track heaven on some of the best purpose-built mountain bike trails in the country," said Jackson. He said last year's two-day inaugural event had been constructed around existing . . .
FNB NMMU continued their march towards the FNB Varsity Cup semifinals in a water-logged 19-9 win over defending champions FNB Tuks in Pretoria on Monday evening. The Madibaz did well to maintain control of the game in foul weather conditions that caused play to break down on several occasions. "The playing conditions were even worse than last week's game against Wits," said Madibaz head coach David Maidza. "Having said that, there weren't many handling errors from either team. It was actually a high quality game." Maidza said he was very happy with the cohesive and determined performance from his players. "I think the boys did very well to stick to the systems and structures and really played together as a team." He said he was heartened by the improvement shown in various facets of their game that had been lacking in previous weeks. "Every week it's a case of improving those facets that we're not great at. I thought our defensive effort was brilliant and our game management was also spot on." Maidza said where there had been handling errors, these had been on the attack rather than in their key defensive aspects. The men from Port Elizabeth have now jumped two places in the standings and currently lie third overall behind FNB Ikeys and log leaders FNB NWU-Pukke. They face FNB Shimlas in their final must-win match of the round-robin section next week. "There's no other way of us getting into the semis apart from winning. We know what we have to do when we get to Bloem on Monday." Although sixth-placed Shimlas have trailed Madibaz throughout the tournament, Maidza said they still posed a serious challenge. "I think Shimlas have been a bit unfortunate in a lot of their games this season and they will definitely have an eye on the semis." He said every team was a potential threat; therefore his side would have to ensure that their energy and concentration levels were high and their tactics correct. "It's going to be a tough . . .
The 2014 Spur Masidlale Soccer League kicks off at the King Zwelethini stadium in KZN tomorrow, 13 March as part of a national launch in key urban areas across South Africa with more than 800 learners and nearly 80 coaches all set for another thrilling soccer season. Launched in 2005, the Spur Masidlale Soccer League has touched the lives of more than 30 000 children by teaching them both soccer and life skills, developed and groomed more than 700 coaches and visited over 100 stadia in South Africa. To ensure quality control and effective mentorship, Spur has invested in additional coaches training leading up to the official launch day events in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Durban. During the regional launch day events, these coaches will lead the youngsters through the one-day activations and effectively put the young soccer players through their paces and teach them important soccer skills. Only local community coaches were selected in each region with the assistance of the local Departments of Sport and Recreation. Most of these coaches already work within the area school structures. The training courses are run by Mathias Himmelreicher, who holds an UEFA coaching licence awarded to him in Germany and also possesses a post graduate degree in coaching science and football. This inspirational soccer experience is designed to integrate children from all walks of life in a one-day, fun-filled, interactive-learning clinic. Himmelreicher said that the Spur Masidlale Soccer Programme was certainly achieving its key objective to empower both coaches and players. “I’ve been involved in quite a few development projects over the years, but these projects were normally only one day events. The Spur Masidlale League is special to me as the programme runs over a 12-week period and it is not only a normal soccer league with weekly matches, but a development programme that includes teaching soccer skills and even more importantly life skills. In . . .
One of the University of Johannesburg's newest and youngest hockey recruits has been selected to play for the South African men's indoor hockey team during the Indoor World Cup next year. First-year corporate communication student Keegan Kieck's performance at the recent interprovincial tournament in Durban convinced selectors he deserved a place on the team. "This is a huge dream come true for me. I have been training very hard and it's an honour for me to have the opportunity to play alongside the best players in the country, especially with me being younger and less experienced," the 19-year-old said. The side will first have to show their mettle however at the Indoor Hockey World Cup Africa Qualifier tournament in Windhoek, Namibia, from April 9 to 13. Should they qualify, they will be heading to Germany in February next year to join the top hockey-playing nations at the World Cup. "This is one step closer to realising my ultimate goal," said Kieck. "I would love to one day make the SA men's outdoor side, then play overseas and ultimately become one of the best hockey players in the world." The young sporting star is more than an overnight success, after first taking up the sport at the age of three. He shares his love for the game with his parents, who both played hockey in their youth. "It's always been a part of me." Although he enjoys other sports like tennis, golf, soccer and cricket, Kieck said he knew at a young age that hockey was the sport that he would pursue. The former St Stithians College pupil started playing provincial outdoor hockey at the age of 10 when he made the Gauteng U13 team. Since then he has represented his province in every age group throughout his school career. Last year he also made the SA U21 men's outdoor team. Kieck explained that indoor hockey differed vastly from the outdoor version of the sport. Aside from being played indoors, the field is a quarter of the size and the game is much . . .
High-speed criterium circuit racing returns to Johannesburg this autumn with the seventh edition of the Emperors Palace Classic. The annual cycling spectacular, which is presented by ASG, starts with the popular mountain bike component on Saturday, April 12, and continues with the road and criterium races the following day. Traditionally held in jam-packed February, the bumper weekend was successfully moved to a less congested time slot last year, attracting more than 6 000 riders across all events. Race director Wynand de Villiers said organisers were once again expecting a capacity turnout for the Gauteng event. "This event fills an important niche on the racing calendar and gives riders in all disciplines something to train for before the winter chill sets in." De Villiers said mountain bikers in the 20km and 40km races would once again experience a little jet propulsion, as the routes crossed the grounds of the OR Tambo International Airport. "They ride parallel to, but at a safe distance from, the runways. The thrill of hearing those powerful aircraft engines is one of the major attractions of this event." On the road side, he said the 102km feature route would remain unchanged for the fifth consecutive year. "We've had lots of positive feedback from riders, so we decided not to mess with a winning formula." Last year, David Maree claimed the victory for Team Abantu (formerly Tasol-GT) in a nail-biting three-man sprint to the line. De Villiers described the route as "fast, flat and exciting but very manageable". With more than 100 metro police officers and 200 marshals on duty, he said it would also be one of the safest in the province. For those not up to tackling the full distance, De Villiers said there would be a 50km short course option. He said the feature races would be followed by the ever-popular Kids Classic for children between the ages of two and eight years. The racing action culminates with the Circuit . . .