The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World will be pulling out all the stops as it prepares to become the official home of cycling in Port Elizabeth for the weekend of The Herald VW Cycle Tour. With just under a month to go, general manager Brett Hoppé said everything was in place to ensure that the facilities would be ready for the influx of riders and supporters from January 31 to February 2. "We were happy to welcome the tour in 2013 as one of the first major events to be hosted in our new international convention centre," said Hoppé. "In 2014 we will be in top gear to help the organisers make it the best event in the 29-year history of the cycle tour." He said all Saturday and Sunday's road races would start and finish across the road at the Hobie Beach race village, with many of the activities spilling over onto the lawns at The Boardwalk. Event organiser Linda Harwood said the international convention centre's exhibition level would once again host the registration and expo on Friday (9am to 7pm) and Saturday (9am to 3pm). She said riders could look forward to an interactive family experience with a coffee and snack bar, complementary physiotherapy massage service and kids' play area. "At registration, the emcee will be conducting live interviews with top riders who will be giving their insights on the race as well as tips for participants." Harwood said more than 30 exhibitors would showcase their cycling related products and services at the expo. Exhibitors include sporting apparel and eyewear brands, cycle shops, nutritional products, cycling accessories, fitness and medical services, as well as tourism and trail ride entities. One of the major highlights of the weekend will be multiple South African mountain bike trials champion Dylan Victor, who is set to entertain the crowds with a heart-stopping display of stunt riding. "Dylan will showcase his skills throughout the day in a specially demarcated demonstration area . . .
A bumper field of almost 350 participants took to the waters in windy conditions for the second annual SPAR Kowie River Mile in Port Alfred on Sunday afternoon. The open-water event, with its line-up of five races, raised R30 000 for the Sunshine Coast Hospice, which provides home-based care for terminally ill residents of the Ndlambe municipal area. The feature race in the 14 to 29 age category saw a convincing win by 18-year-old Edward Johannisen of East London in a time of 16:47. Port Elizabeth-based Dylan Smith (15) finished a distant second in 17:22, followed by Craig Emslie (18) of Wellington in 17:53. Capetonian Jessica Ashley-Cooper (21) took the women's title in 17:39, just six seconds clear of PE's Jessica Canter (14) in 17:45, with fellow Port Elizabethan Tarryn Els (16) third in 17:49. Johannisen, who swims for the Aquanova Aquatics Club, led the field for most of the 1.6km upriver course from the Kowie River Mouth. "The conditions today were pretty tough," said Johannisen. "Luckily the wind was at our backs, so we had that help, and the current was with us. I thought to myself, let me just give it my all, and I came out with a win." Nelson Mandela Bay's Miles Rosser (41) took the win in the 30-plus category in 19:52, while his Aquabear Swimming Club team-mate Tracy Gous (37) claimed victory in the women's race in 20:09. Another PE resident and provincial swimmer Hannah Haswell (13) was the first junior girl out of the water in 18:02, while David Greene (13) won the boys' title in 19:45. Haswell said it was lovely to see the support from holidaymakers and locals, who cheered the swimmers on from the west bank of the river. For those who could not manage the full distance, there were also the quarter mile (400m) and half mile (800m) options. PE's Kyle de Lange (4:21) and Johannesburg resident Caryn Love (4:25), both aged 12, took the quarter-mile title in the male and female category respectively. The half-mile . . .
Organisers of The Herald VW Cycle Tour have upped the ante by taking technical assistance to the next level at both the mountain bike and road events on February 1 and 2. Official technical support partners Cyclo Pro-GT will host a neutral support zone near the start/finish venues at the Addo Polo Club on the Saturday and at Port Elizabeth's Hobie Beach on the Sunday. According to GT regional manager Stephen Craddock, their technicians would be on hand to assist with any last-minute issues or problems a rider could encounter. "Neutral support means that anyone with any bike can come to us and we'll assist them with any complaints or problems they may have." Craddock said his crew would be available at Addo from the Friday evening. "So we'll be there for any mountain bikers who are staying over and need some help. The next morning we'll be open from very early to make any necessary adjustments to people's bikes." He said the same would apply to Sunday's road races. "We'll put up some supporters' gazebos next to the tech zone so that riders can come and chill in the shade, enjoy a free beverage and chat to us about the GT brand and what it's all about." Craddock said the most common pre-race problems they encountered related to the gears and setting them correctly. However, he said there were a few essentials that riders needed to bring with them to minimise any problems out on the route. "The rough and thorny terrain out at Addo definitely requires some kind of sealant in the tyres. I would tell people to bring CO2 bombs and possibly even a small pocket pump in case they run out." Craddock said multi and chain tools were also essential items for en route repairs. "On the road side there are obviously fewer obstacles and your chances of puncturing are far less, but I'd still pack these tools along with a spare tube." He also advised riders to have their bicycles properly serviced at least three to four weeks prior to the event to . . .
Organisers of the SPAR Kowie River Mile are anticipating a bumper field of more than 500 swimmers for the second edition of the open-water event on December 29. The latest addition to the River Mile family takes place in Port Alfred and is expected to draw crowds of swimmers and spectators from holiday towns along the Sunshine Coast. Participants will be taking to the water for a good cause as the proceeds from their entry fees will go to the local Sunshine Coast Hospice, which provides home-based care for terminally ill patients in the area. According to hospice fundraiser Karen Long, just over 200 swimmers took part in the inaugural event last year, which was won by Port Elizabeth's Olympic 10km swimmer Jessica Roux. "The event is quite unusual for an open-water swim because it starts at the mouth of the Kowie and heads upriver." Long said the day's line-up offered something for everyone, with races for swimmers of all ages and fitness levels. She said the quarter (400m) and half-mile (800m) events would be open to anyone, with three separate mile (1.6km) feature races for the 13 and under, 14 to 30 and 30-plus age groups. "There will be prize money and trophies for the serious competitors and stacks of lucky draw prizes. "The emphasis is on family fun and entertainment, with lots of food and craft stalls, good music and a great vibe." She said the support of new title sponsor SPAR Eastern Cape would help to grow the event in line with their vision to become a major summer season event. The first 500 entrants will receive goodie bags and t-shirts courtesy of the title sponsor. Racing starts at noon under the watchful eye of the Port Alfred branch of the National Sea Rescue Institute. Zports Event Management, which runs the successful SPAR River Mile on the Sundays River, will be responsible for the race timing. Enter online at www.kowierivermile.co.za. Alternatively, get an entry form from Nemato SPAR and Rosehill SUPERSPAR . . .
The Minister of Sport & Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, recently announced; "In honouring the mourning period of Madiba, all our sports competitions that have been scheduled for 15 December will be cancelled to honour and mourn the death of Tata. Teams will also wear the black band and sing the national anthem and dedicate coming games in honour of Mandela." Accordingly there will be no competitive sailing at the Algoa Bay Yacht club on Sunday 15 December 2013. In recognition of the late former President, the Chartroom Restaurant at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club will also be closed on Sunday. The club will be open to members and their guests who wish to gather in fellowship to watch on the big screen the funeral proceedings in Qunu that will take place from from 9:00 am to 12:00 midday. Members and guests will be able to continue sharing their remembrances after the proceedings at a traditional braai. ABYC Commodore, Sean Wiseman, said; "We view Sunday as an appropriate day to gather as a club to commemorate the late Nelson Mandela. Madiba viewed sport as a medium which has the power to inspire and unite people. The life and name of this great man touched our club and Nelson Mandela Bay in many positive ways. Our annual prestige sailing regatta is tangible proof of the legend of Nelson Mandela as in 2004 we saw the biggest fleet ever to sail offshore in Port Elizabeth with a total of 98 boats sailing in the Nelson Mandela Bay Isuzu week which was sponsored by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole and GMSA." The club and restaurant will be open on Monday the Day of Reconciliation. A percentage of takings from both Sunday and Monday will be donated to an appropriate children's charity and ABYC extend an invite to clubs and restaurants to do the same in honour of the late Dr Nelson Rolihlala Mandela. Author: Alan Straton from ABYC. No of Images Uploaded: One More Info link: http://abyc.co.za Twitter: http://twitter.com/ABYCpe Facebook: Images: For high . . .
Following the success of the inaugural Kowie River Mile in Port Alfred last year, SPAR Eastern Cape has announced that it will dive in as title sponsor of the event on December 29. The retailer will wrap up its 20th anniversary celebrations in the province by expanding its footprint in open-water swimming. According to SPAR Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart, the event perfectly complemented the group's long-standing sponsorship of South Africa's oldest open-water event, the Redhouse River Mile. The latter race, which is now known as the SPAR River Mile, has found a new home on the Sundays River just outside Port Elizabeth, while the retailer assists with anti-pollution efforts in the Swartkops River. "Based on the success of that race, we were looking to expand our sponsorship in the region and the Kowie River Mile proved to be the perfect opportunity," said Swart. He said the race "ticked all the boxes" in terms of promoting healthy living and family-oriented fun in aid of a good cause. "We would love it to become an annual highlight on the Sunshine Coast calendar." With the annual influx of holidaymakers to the seaside town, over 500 swimmers are expected to take part this year. This is more than twice the number for the 2012 event, which was won by Olympic open-water swimmer Jessica Roux. Swart said proceeds from the entry fees would go to the local Sunshine Coast Hospice, which offers home-based care for terminally ill people throughout the Ndlambe municipal area. The organisation currently serves over 300 patients from Kleinemonde to Alexandria, with palliative care provided at Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown where necessary. Hospice fundraiser Karen Long said they were delighted to have SPAR on board as it was becoming increasingly difficult to raise funds for the organisation. "With the inaugural race last year, we did the best we could with the money we had. "When we saw the interest from far and wide, we knew . . .
Organisers of the 29th edition of The Herald VW Cycle Tour are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to the safety of participants on February 1 and 2. Gardmed private ambulance service will once again do duty on the streets of Port Elizabeth and on the mountain bike trails at Addo, while the trauma unit staff at Life St George's Hospital will also be on standby to deal with any emergency situation. According to race director Julie Briggs, organisers would also be setting up a joint operations centre at both the road and mountain bike events, which would be the first point of contact in case of a crisis. "Although we are not anticipating any problems, good communication is essential when emergencies arise," said Briggs. She said the PE Amateur Radio Society would handle the radio communications and also head up the control centre. "Their dedicated team members will be stationed at strategic points along the routes, which enables us to keep in constant communication. "They've been working on the mountain bike side for two years now, so we're confident that they'll do an excellent job and that our riders are in good hands." Briggs said emergency contact details would be printed on all participants' race numbers so that they could contact the joint operations centre should they need to. "The emergency services personnel are thoroughly briefed beforehand and work hand in hand with Life St George's. They'll be in communication should a participant need to be transported to hospital." Life St George's offers a 24-hour level-one emergency unit, with helicopter landing pad, which equipped it to handle any form of medical or surgical emergency. The hospital's new cardiac centre will also be on alert in case of any cardiac-related emergencies. Hospital manager André Bothma said the cardiac centre was fully supported by leading specialists and highly trained personnel within the hospital. "This puts us in an excellent position to offer . . .
Entries to the fourth annual Garden Route 300 powered by Trek are selling out at breakneck speed. The race is limited to 600 riders, so if you haven’t booked yours yet, be sure to do so without delay. The race will take place from 21 to 23 February 2014. Already one of the most anticipated events on the biking calendar, this three day, 300km stage race is renowned for its technical challenges and incredible scenery. “You’ll be hard pressed to keep your eyes on the single track as you pedal through kilometres of indigenous forest and fynbos with views over valleys, mountains and the ocean,” said route director Pax Mosterd. And with each day’s racing starting with a rusk and hot coffee at the Thesen Island Harbour Town lagoon-side race village of Knysna’s Quay Four, except for day two, which starts in Rheenedal, you’ll be ready to tackle what is arguably the best 300km of mountain biking in South Africa. All three days also finish at Quay Four where all your meals are included in your race entry. Also included – if you enter before 15 January 2013, is your race specific, limited edition CRAFT kit. Paramedic backup, all land access permits and, most importantly, oysters and beer as you cross the finish line are also included and sponsored by SAB. Discovery Vitality members will also earn 5 000 vitality points upon completion of the GR300. “Riders doing the GR300 in 2014 will ride the best route since the race’s inception in 2011,” said Pax. “Day one allows for a lot of time spent on the beautiful routes of the Garden Route National Park, including the world famous Red Route. Day two introduces a brand new route, starting in the beautiful settlement of Rheenendal at the foot of the old Millwood Gold mines. Day two now swaps the sandy trails of previous years for cool indigenous forests, beautiful views, many stream crossings and the 2,5km downhill single track at Phantom Pass.” “Day three will be a blast from the past for those who participated in the Cape . . .
With a full line-up of children's and family events to choose from, young and fledgling cyclists will share in the excitement of The Herald VW Cycle Tour on Saturday, February 1. These various Powerade-sponsored road and mountain bike races will roll out from Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth and Addo Polo Club in Addo respectively. Event organiser Linda Harwood said the main beachfront race village was traditionally abuzz with excitement on race day as hundreds of juniors turned out for the rides. "There really is an event for everyone." She said all proceeds from the events would once again benefit long-standing beneficiary Reach for a Dream, which helps to make the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true. "It's a great opportunity for kids to help other kids while having loads of fun at the same time." Harwood said the little ones could take part in the 500m Toddlers' Dash or 2km Kiddies' Ride at Hobie Beach on Saturday morning, while parents and older children could ride as a family in the more demanding 10km Sprint and 21km Leisure Ride that follow. "All the children who take part will receive medals, goodie bags and bottled water," she said. "Plus there'll be a photo booth, where you can have your photo taken and printed on the spot to remember your special day." Harwood said one lucky participant would also pedal away with an age-appropriate new bicycle, courtesy of bike and technical support partner Cyclo Pro. Out at Addo, young mountain bikers can sign up for the 500m Toddlers' Dash and 5km Kiddies' Challenge, or team up with their moms and dads for the 30km Leisure Challenge. As official drinks sponsor of the cycle tour, Coca-Cola Fortune will not only be sponsoring the kiddies' races under the Powerade brand but is also bringing the "Share a Coke" campaign to the race village. The worldwide campaign, which sees consumers getting a personalised can of Coke, was launched nationally on November 1 and is . . .
Cycling legend Martin Nefdt has reassembled his 1967 Springbok track team as well as a host of local celebrities to partake in The Herald VW Cycle Tour in aid of abused and abandoned animals on Sunday, February 2. Nefdt and his cohort will be "cycling for the love of animals" in the 55km Pursuit road race through the streets of Port Elizabeth. The group of 30 sponsored riders will use the event as a fundraiser for the Uitenhage-based SPCA, which serves the entire Nelson Mandela Bay area, including Kirkwood and Addo. "Everyone I've spoken to has been so responsive and really wants to do this," said Nefdt, who was inspired to cycle for a cause by his brother Louis, who is chairman of the East London SPCA. "They're battling with their vehicle and the state funding is pretty poor." Nefdt said it broke his heart to see all the kittens and puppies, as well as the donkeys and cows in the kraal. The group hope to raise awareness and at least R15 000 for the non-profit organisation and will be highly visible on race day in their matching team shirts. "Unfortunately we've had to make a lot of double extra larges because there are a lot of big guys riding," quipped Nefdt, who runs the local Puma agency. Leading the bunch on a tandem will be Nefdt, 65, and seven-time South African sprint champion Willie Marx, 70. In their glory days, the former SA champions and rivals played to capacity crowds at the Westbourne Oval, breaking numerous individual records between them. Nefdt and Marx were also the last Springbok pair to race the tandem event at the world track championships before South Africa was isolated from international competition. They will be joined by team-mates Johan Nicol, who was the first SA rider to break the five-minute barrier in the 4 000m pursuit, and former national sprint and road champion Jack Lester. Both are 66. "Willie runs a bike shop in George and is pretty fit. Johan rides every day down in Wilderness and Jackie, who . . .