Twelve teams competing in the unique Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, including many interesting South Africans, will arrive into the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, this week, from 19 October, after completing the second of thirteen global stages in this 40,000nm epic endurance challenge. One of the planet’s toughest challenges, the eleven-month Clipper Race is the only event on the planet which trains everyday people to take on one of Mother Nature’s toughest tests. 40% of crew have had no previous sailing experience before signing up and include one competitor from a South African township who had never seen the sea before he started his training just a month ago. South Africa is one of only two countries to feature as a stopover in all eleven editions of the Clipper Race. This will be the fleet’s ninth visit to Cape Town, and it twice visited Durban. 712 non-professional crew, representing more than 40 different nationalities (including 17 South African crew and one team Skipper) will take part in the overall Clipper 2017-18 Race, making it our biggest edition ever. This is where CEOs join train drivers, nurses, dairy farmers, students, join together to take on some of the planet’s most remote and harshest conditions. Since leaving Liverpool, UK, on 20th August, the twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts have raced to Punta del Este, Uruguay, and are now heading to Cape Town where they will be berthed at the V&A Waterfront until 31st October. From Cape Town the teams will race onwards through the Southern Ocean to Fremantle, Western Australia, and then Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry-Londonderry, before finally completing the circumnavigation in Liverpool on July 28, 2018. The Clipper Race fleet can be tracked 24/7 using the Race Viewer: www.clipperroundtheworld.com/raceviewer CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The Warrior Race is about to take over the Western Cape, and with an unexpected twist… Adventure-seekers are in for a treat as the penultimate round of South Africa’s largest obstacle course racing (OCR) series comes to Meerendal this weekend. The Meerendal Wine Estate will host the event, one of South Africa’s leading wine farms that boasts over 300 years of history. Situated on the slopes of Tygerberg Hills, the esteemed venue offers spectacular vineyard views and glimpses of the Boland mountains. Some exciting additions have shaken the Black Ops Elite category to the core. To complete the testing course, athletes are usually only required to conquer every obstacle unassisted or their DQ band is cut. But the Warrior Race has taken things up a notch – not only will the challenge be to finish the race with a DQ band that is fully intact, but earn the DQ by successfully completing a specific obstacle. The Black Ops Elite route will also incorporate the popular sprint obstacle course for the first time. This will make for nothing less than spectating heaven as onlookers sit back and enjoy the action-packed loop. The category now boasts 38 obstacles, more than it ever has before. In the Rookie event, the best and most challenging obstacle will be saved for last. The never seen before ‘Rookie Rig’ will be the final obstacle of the course. As the series starts to draw to a close, all eyes will be on Thomas van Tonder in Meerendal, who is a mere 400 points behind Claude Eksteen on the series standings. It has been a busy few weeks for the elite athlete who recently competed in OCR World Championships in Canada. Van Tonder will be confident after his official 9th place in the pro elite category, the first time he managed to break the top ten in two years. Van Tonder had not intended to participate in the Meerendal event after a testing international season. He has gone out of his way to attend the race, however, with the Warrior Race championship . . .
Honoured to be part of the national hockey set-up, Nelson Mandela University members Cheslyn Gie and Ignatius Malgraff will be flying the Madibaz flag high when the Africa Cup begins in Ismailia, Egypt, on Sunday. The 24-year-old Malgraff, a striker with a healthy appetite for scoring, will extend his career in South African colours, while Gie will be assistant coach to interim national mentor Sheldon Rostron. Malgraff has turned out for the national team on a number of occasions, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but said it remained an extremely proud moment to play in the green and gold. "Being able to say that you are one of South Africa's best hockey players is always good, but it keeps me humble and keeps me going," said the East London-born player. "There are many youngsters coming through the ranks with exceptional talent and that keeps us fairly older players on our toes. So receiving this recognition once again shows I'm still performing to the selectors' standards." After going through a goal drought earlier this year, Malgraff said he had rediscovered his scoring touch and was determined to carry that form into the Africa Cup. He has competed in the tournament previously and said it was never easy playing against African teams. "The players are naturally physical and some tend to be aggressive on the field. "Hosting the tournament a few years back gave us an advantage which certainly made things easier, but with the Africa Cup being held on foreign soil, we will have to be prepared for a few challenges." Long-serving Madibaz coach Gie has been on the management team several times this year and is delighted to continue that association. "It is always a privilege to represent your country and I am excited to learn from Sheldon, who has a wealth of international experience," he said. He added that he planned to put the knowledge gained from previous tournaments to good use in Ismailia. "Luckily I have been to a . . .
(Mdantsane) – Through sheer hard work and determination, Mdantsane has built a proud reputation of being South Africa’s boxing mecca – and now, thanks to a new initiative, more young pugilists have the chance of being thrust into the spotlight. Over the years, the urban township, 15 kilometres from East London, has spawned numerous national and international boxing champions, including former IBF super bantamweight champion Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu and retired IBF world bantamweight champion Welcome Ncita. Hoping to build on that status, and possibly uncover future superstars, Mdantsane City Shopping Centre is hosting a boxing competition which takes place on Saturday, October 21, and concludes with the finals on October 28. According to organisers, the tournament has already generated immense interest among boxing clubs in Mdantsane, and even further afield in Buffalo City. “The contest contributes towards sports development in South Africa, which is a vital aspect in instilling discipline amongst the youth,” said Mdantsane City marketing manager Wendy Zitha. “Most importantly, it drives youngsters away from a life of crime. The upliftment of the standard of living in our community really matters to us,” said Zitha. The competition is open to all boxing clubs, schools and sports lovers, who stand a chance of winning prizes, including medals and trophies worth R10 000, sponsored by Mdantsane City. In each of the age groups – juniors, youth and senior amateurs – there will be gold medals for the winner and silver for the runner-up. There are also miniature trophies for the best bout, male and female. Each bout will consist of three rounds, lasting three minutes for seniors and two minutes for junior and youth boxers. The club that collects the most points becomes the overall winner across all age groups. Spectators are welcome at the event, which is free to the public and takes place in the mall parking lot opposite Entrance 1. The . . .
After seven days of challenging mountain bike trails, participants in the TransCape mountain bike race can again look forward to a sea of tranquillity when the beautiful La Couronne Wine Farm welcome them home next year. The annual 614km journey, which starts in Knysna on February 4, will finish in Franschhoek a week later and La Couronne are again planning a memorable occasion as the official finish venue. The wine farm, several centuries old, will be extending their close association with the TransCape, having been involved with the event as a venue and wine sponsor from its inception. La Couronne general manager Eldorette Carinus said they had no hesitation in coming on board when approached by race founder Lenore Collett in 2015. "When Lenore contacted us we agreed to make available our wine farm as the finishing venue and to be the event's wine sponsor," said Carinus, who has also ridden the race. "I got very involved with the planning with Lenore and it was exciting to be part of this very special mountain bike race right from the start." She added they were proud to be involved with such an elite event, which presented them with the perfect opportunity to showcase their brand. "The TransCape gives us a lot of exposure and introduces our wines to the riders and everybody else involved. This has led to a strong brand loyalty between La Couronne and the event's crew and riders." Carinus said wine-lovers among the riders would again be able to enjoy a variety of options at the end of each stage. In addition, she said they would be adding a few new ideas for the fourth edition of the internationally renowned race. "We will have a number of new vintages for riders to taste throughout the week and plans are also in place to make the finish venue a lot bigger." In a change from this year when the race ended at the top of Franschhoek Pass, Carinus said the competitors' adventure would end with a scenic section through the farm's . . .
Entries are still open for the second Torpedo SwimRun, which takes place on 19 November in Cape Town. Extreme open water and ice swimmer Ryan Stramrood has entered the race with fellow extreme swimmer Mark de Klerk as his teammate. Ryan has never worn a wetsuit for open water swimming before, and he does not own a pair of running shoes, but has decided to step far out of his comfort zone to take up the challenge. The Torpedo SwimRun is a two-person team race where teams swim and run together from start to finish across Cape Town’s most iconic beaches and bays, with Llandudno, Oudekraal, Camps Bay and Clifton forming part of the 16km route. Based on the popular overseas format, SwimRun attracts athletes from all spectrums of the sporting community, from surfers to trail runners, triathletes to paddlers – athletes with one common thread – the love of being in nature and challenging their bodies. SwimRun will see these athletes compete against each other over terrain that is both foreign and familiar to them, with short beach-to-beach swims and bursts of running, scrambling and rock-hopping. Ryan is a well-recognized inspirational speaker, and spends significant time pushing all his audiences to remove themselves from anything that resembles a comfort zone. The mental process and toughness needed to overcome and greatly extend time in extreme cold water conditions will inform his training, but when it comes to Torpedo SwimRun, Ryan considers himself a novice: “Torpedo SwimRun is a great opportunity to do just what I say – to my push personal boundaries and go into territory unfamiliar to me. I have never run an official race before, and participating wearing a wetsuit and running shoes will certainly be a whole new ballgame for me and my teammate Mark. With only five weeks left before the race, we are getting stuck into learning how to run and experimenting with swimming in a wetsuit and shoes! I am not used to competing with anyone but myself, so this race . . .
Talented Nelson Mandela University cricketers Tian Koekemoer and Lutho Sipamla will be aiming to use their recognition at a national varsity level as a springboard to higher honours this season. The Madibaz pair were named in the University Sport South Africa squad after standout performances during the recent tournament in Pretoria. While their top priority at the event was to clinch the title, Koekemoer said their selection did make up somewhat for the disappointment of losing to Pretoria University by five runs in the final. "As a team, we were really focused on trying to win the final and that is what motivated me as a player," the 24-year-old allrounder said. "When you look back, there were some things that just did not go our way, but that's how it happens in cricket sometimes." Instead Koekemoer and Sipamla, a 19-year-old fast bowler, will be looking to continue their upward curve when they play for the USSA team next year. "As far as I know we will be playing in the CSA Future Cup in Kimberley in April, which includes the SA Rural and SA Colts teams," said Koekemoer. In the meantime, the pair will be hoping to make an impact for the Eastern Province team who compete in the Sunfoil three-day and one-day domestic competitions. Koekemoer, who is in his final year of a media and communications degree, hails from Tzaneen where he attended Merensky High, the same school that produced Proteas fast bowling icon Dale Steyn. He sees the current season as one of major opportunities, with his initial goal being to establish himself in the EP team. "This is going to be a big season and there are going to be some openings for young players," he said. "My big goal is to do well for EP. We have set ourselves team goals and I will be focused on those and just try to get recognition through good performances." Koekemoer, who will continue to study next year, said one area he would be aiming to improve was his strike rate as a . . .
Something brand new is about to shake up the South African world of obstacle course racing (OCR). The Multiply Adventure Challenge, in partnership with the Warrior Race, is the first of its kind to appeal to sports fanatics, gym enthusiasts and non-athletic adventurous spirits alike. The challenge is simple: conquer the same number of obstacles as the Warrior Race, but in only two kilometres. Think all the excitement of the popular OCR series, but in a new and compressed way! Multiply encourages South Africans to pursue the fullest, healthiest and most active lifestyle that they possibly can… and obstacle course racing gives them the perfect platform to do that. That’s why they have teamed up with The Warrior Company to host the ideal family-friendly adventure. “Family-orientated events are important to us and we want people to know that,” says Zureida Ebrahim, CEO of Multiply. “This is an incredible opportunity to do something exciting with the people you love.” With three categories on offer, the Multiply Adventure Challenge caters for the individual – ‘Extremist’, with 30 physically-demanding obstacles; ‘Brave’, 22 challenging obstacles; and ‘Apprentice’, 15 obstacles for those new to OCR. “The two-kilometre route will be nothing short of spectating heaven,” says Hennie Scheepers, obstacle course director. “Can you imagine taking something as epic as Black Ops and putting it into a stadium, for everyone to see? That’s exactly what the Multiply Adventure Challenge is going for.” The event will take place at GOG Lifestyle Park in Krugersdorp, boasting South Africa’s longest sprint obstacle course. The venue also doubles up as an epic adventure park, so the fun doesn’t stop once the race is over. Experience seven unique rides, tackle an outdoor trampoline area, and conquer the country’s highest man-made climbing wall. Qualified child minders will keep little adventurers entertained at no extra cost with a wide selection of age-appropriate activities . . .
For the first time in mountain biking history, the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series is about to take over Kaapsehoop, a quaint town situated in Mpumalanga. Spectators are in for a treat as Team Pyga Euro Steel's Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes gear up for battle. Less than 200 points separate the mountain biking giants, who are equally determined to take the series title in an epic sibling showdown. Buys made his intentions clear: “The main goal is obviously to have Pyga Euro Steel on the top of the podium. So the plan is to race as a team initially, and sort out our competition first. But once that’s out the way… it’s race on for the overall win!” Beukes will certainly be a tough competitor to beat, especially after the form he displayed at Berg & Bush recently when he completely annihilated his competitors on the climbing challenge. He will have ample opportunity to maximise his strengths this weekend as both stages have about a 1600m elevation gain! “Matthys is a mentally strong rider and a really good climber, and that’s probably going to be the greatest challenge for me. I’ll give it my best though - I like to think of him as ‘friendly competition’,” said Buys. Beukes admits that the technical skills of his teammate will be the greatest obstacle to overcome. He looks forward to the challenge, however, and has already thought out his race strategy: "This is very exciting! I know a lot about Philip, from the way trains right down to his strengths and weaknesses. I've planned my race strategy around that, and I'm pretty sure he's done the same," said Beukes. With marathon champion Nico Bell and his Team NAD Pro teammate, Gawie Combrinck out of the mix, Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health) will present the next greatest threat. This race will also mark the return of dark horse Max Knox, who has fully recovered from an injury and has the potential to cause a major upset. Another potential podium contender confirmed to start is Wessel . . .
Waylon Woolcock and Carmen Buchacher are the 2017 Nissan Trailseeker Western Cape Series champions. The final points standings for the popular series were confirmed after the fourth and final round was completed at Hemel & Aarde, Hermanus last weekend. Despite going off the course at Sunday’s event, where he ended up finishing fifth, Woolcock’s top three performances in the Series see him conclude with a total of 11 402 points. The Team BCX rider won Round 1 at Tulbagh in April, finished second at Round 2 in Grabouw in June and third in Wellington in August. Port Elizabeth-based Marco Joubert (Momsen Bikes) finished the series in second place on 10 942 points with Dominic Calitz claiming third place on 10 653. “I’m super happy with the series win. It’s nice to have won both the Nissan Trailseeker Gauteng Series, back in 2012, and now the Western Cape Series,” said Woolcock. He added, “I’ve never been much of an overall series contender because I usually take a bit of a break from racing in the winter and miss one or two of the Trailseeker Series events or arrive to race under conditioned. This year my racing schedule was different and I was in good form at three of the four events." The women’s series saw Buchacher conquer with consistency. Although the Velocity Sports rider never won any of the three rounds she competed in, she got two second places and a third to give her a total of 10 779 points. “I didn’t win any of the events but the racing standard was always quite high. I had a problem with my shock at Wellington, which definitely cost me time, but fortunately I had steady results at the other events to give me enough points to win the series,” said Buchacher. Reflecting on the season, she added: “I have loved racing the Nissan Trailseeker Series. The organisers chose some of the best local mountain biking locations for the events and the organisation was always of a very high standard.” Courteney Webb claimed second place in the Series . . .