A new partnership between the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and the Mandela Bay Development Agency brings benefits to artists from Port Elizabeth and surrounds. Artists from Port Elizabeth and its surrounding areas are set to walk under a bigger spotlight at this year’s National Arts Festival, the result of an exciting partnership that has been brokered between the Festival and the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), an entity of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NMBM). Central to the partnership is a strategic relationship that will offer increased visibility and capacity-building opportunities for Port Elizabeth artists participating at the Festival. The recently revamped Little Theatre at the Athenaeum will also be one of the beneficiaries of the project, which will consider ways in which Fringe productions visiting the Festival can also present their work at the small intimate venue in the Athenaeum. The partnership between the Festival and the MBDA will enable fifty musicians from the Port Elizabeth Youth Violin Project a dynamic opportunity of participating in a “Festival Encounter”. The young violinists will be scheduled for a performance at the Festival and be given the opportunity of attending other Festival concerts. They will also attend a workshop led by leading Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner Samson Diamond (2010) and other musicians. The workshops will offer guidance on playing techniques and life-skills that are essential for young people who intend to pursue a career in the music sector. In addition, at least one major arts project from Port Elizabeth will be presented on the Festival’s Main programme. Details about this production will be released when the Festival officially announces its programme in April. “With so many on-going inspiring cultural developments in the Mandela Bay, this partnership is crucial to profile the creative economies of Port Elizabeth and its surrounding areas to a captive audience . . .
Professional road team Tasol-GT will be fighting for more than just the win at The Herald VW Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, they will be fighting for survival. The 28th edition of the 106km Classic marks the start of the riders’ campaign to save their squad, following the announcement that headline sponsor Tasol will only fund them until the end of the current financial year. Team principal Dean Edwards said the race now had extra meaning for the team, which boasts former winner Nolan Hoffman and defending champion James Perry in the line-up, and his riders were determined to make it count. Although Tasol-GT is currently without the services of Hoffman as he prepares for the world track championships in Europe, Edwards said the recent signing of former Bonitas danger man and Amashova Durban Classic winner Johann Rabie would strengthen their attack. “We will now be looking to Rabie and David Maree as our primary go-to men. With the route change this year, the harder first half could well split up the race, which would suit these two guys. “However, in saying that, we thought it was going to be a bunch sprint last year and James rode away in the final 2km, so we will make sure we have all our bases covered.” Among the arrows in Edwards’ quiver is talented local youngster Kellan Gouveris, who made his professional debut in front of his home crowd last year. Since then, Gouveris has gone on to finish seventh at the junior world track championships and also achieved a good matric result. Edwards said he now played an integral part in the team along with fellow juniors Myles van Musschenbroek and Jevandre Pauls. “I don't think he’s quite ready to win the race just yet but then again with Kellan you never know. That's what I like about him – he is a fighter and a huge talent.” He said the eight-man Bonitas squad, which is spearheaded by sprinters Christoff van Heerden and Herman Fouche, would be the team to beat on the day. “One . . .
Multiple former winner Kevin Evans will be in a different outfit when he defends his title in The Herald VW Cycle Tour’s 80km Extreme mountain bike challenge at Addo on Saturday. Evans, who started his mountain biking career in Port Elizabeth, has joined FedGroup-Itec Connect in the wake of the much-publicised demise of his former team and will bring teammates Brandon Stewart, who won in 2011, and Bridgette Minnaar-Stewart along for the ride. “It’s very early in the season for us but it will be great preparation for the racing to come later in the season.” The Plettenberg Bay-based rider said his training was going well despite recovering from abdominal surgery in early December. “I’m about a month behind but should be back to full strength by mid-February.” He said he was looking forward to competing on the uncharted territory of the new course, after torrential downpours forced a last-minute route change last year. “It will be nice to race over some new terrain.” The four-time national marathon champion said he was expecting strong opposition from the likes of Team Blend Properties’ Charles Keey and possibly former Tour de France rider John-Lee Augustyn, who has made a return to racing following an extended injury-induced layoff. He will also be facing ex-teammate James Reid, former national road champion Darren Lill and cross-country racer Oliver Munnik. Evans will also take part in the 106km Classic road race in PE on the Sunday, which will put the 34-year-old in contention for the newly introduced Ultimate Quest category, which rewards riders with the shortest combined time across both events. Evans, who finished fifth in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour last year, said the super-category gave mountain bikers like himself and Stewart a distinct advantage over their road counterparts. “It will most certainly favour the mountain bikers, as the time gaps are always much bigger off-road than on.” Evans said he was looking forward . . .
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) specialists, DATASCOPE, recently realigned their corporate image and identify to build synergy with business partners SYSPRO ERP. The aim of the realignment was to build an integrated relationship between these two complimentary software solutions. In a collaborative effort between the DATASCOPE directors, SYSPRO and the appointed agency Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency, a logo was created to symbolize synergy as well as the optimisation of the businesses’ entire supply chain. “We are taking a collaborative approach to working with clients and business partners to ensure that they reap the maximum benefits of our products and we wanted to make this tangible through our new corporate identity,” said Anton Jurgens, DATASCOPE Director. DATASCOPE will also be launching new offices in Midrand in February this year due to the demand within the area. The DATASCOPE WMS can give clients bar-coded Inventory Control, Accuracy and Optimisation through their entire supply chain. “Our aim is to help clients streamline their business’ supply chain which essentially leads to improving their bottom line. We have realised over the years that through collaboration we are able to offer our clients more benefits, we are also able to manage our own competitive edge as well as that of our partners,” added Ben Jurgens, DATASCOPE Director. END Editors Note: The DATASCOPE WMS is a plug and play software solution integrating seamlessly via the e.net API business objects into SYSPRO. DATASCOPE WMS is one hundred percent real time using mobile scanners, Vocollect voice directed talkman and headset devices and PC front ends. Its functionality covers purchase order receipting, landed cost tracking, EDI, job picking and receipting, sales order stock reservation and picking (including Voice picking), lot traceability, checkout audits, stock taking, cycle counting, customer returns, container management, asset management, quality module, pickface . . .
Organisers of The Herald VW Cycle Tour have promised to deliver yet another action-packed, family-oriented festival of cycling and entertainment when the 28th edition of the event rolls out in Nelson Mandela Bay from February 1 to 3. The programme starts on the Friday with an all-day expo and registration (9am to 9pm) on the exhibition level of The Boardwalk International Convention Centre opposite Hobie Beach. Then, on the Saturday morning, the racing kicks off with the mountain bike events in Addo and family road events in Port Elizabeth. The weekend culminates with the feature races and prize-giving at the beachfront on the Sunday. According to event coordinator Linda Harwood riders may collect their goodie bags and comprehensive race booklet at registration. “We’ve gone all out to add value to our riders with a bumper goodie bag full of products and vouchers, and there are more than a dozen cycling-related stalls for those last-minute purchases. “Late entries will also be accepted at registration for all races except the Ultimate Quest.” Harwood said a 50% penalty fee would apply to the 55km Pursuit and 106km Classic road races, as well as for the 60km Adventure and 80km Extreme mountain bike events. She said visitors to the expo could also catch a glimpse of some of the lucky draw prizes on offer, which are worth around R300 000. These include the VW Polo 1.4 Trendline valued at R170 000, courtesy of Volkswagen Group South Africa. “One fortunate rider will become the proud new owner of the vehicle at the prize-giving, which takes place at 1pm on Sunday.” She reminded riders that the car and other lucky draws were attendance prizes. Harwood said the race village near the start/finish at Hobie Beach would host the weekend’s festivities, with various food and refreshment vendors, a spectator tent and the Coca-Cola Waya-Waya mobile music truck adding to the atmosphere. “On the Saturday, we’ve got a kiddies’ action arena, complete with . . .
As the total prize purse for The Herald VW Cycle Tour surpasses the R400 000 mark, participants in next weekend’s event will walk away with more than smiles on their faces. Officially the Eastern Cape’s richest race, the cycle tour kicks off with the mountain bike events in Addo on the Saturday and culminates with the road races in Port Elizabeth on the Sunday. According to event coordinator Linda Harwood, the lucky draw prize value currently stands at R290 000 and counting, with a further R114 000 in prize money for the top finishers. Harwood said the prize giving for the 28th edition of the race would take place at 1pm on the Sunday at the new Boardwalk Convention Centre. “It is attendance only, so you must be there to claim your prize.” She said one lucky participant could drive away in a brand-new Volkswagen Polo 1.4 Trendline courtesy of the title sponsor. Riders also stand a chance to win a road and mountain bike with a combined value of R40 000 courtesy of GT/Cyclo Pro. “Our other big prize is household goods valued at over R50 000 from Tony’s Furniture, Appliances & Beds.” Store owner Tony De La Mare, who has sponsored the event since 2008, said he was proud to be involved for the sixth consecutive year. “The cycling community supports us throughout the year because they see us supporting cycling in PE. It’s a very reciprocal relationship.” Other prizes include a luxury weekend getaway for two worth R10 000 at Kuzuko Lodge plus R6 000 in Swarovski crystal jewellery from Jenni Collections. Local cycling shops Action Cycles and Wayne Pheiffer Cycles have also shown their support by giving away a Silverback mountain bike and Scott hamper respectively. Sponsor of the family and children’s events, Powerade, has donated 10 hampers of the popular sports drink and there are also 10 subscriptions to The Herald to be won. Game drives from Addo Elephant National Park and gift vouchers from The Boardwalk retail tenants and . . .
Longstanding partners Life Healthcare and Gardmed Ambulance Service have reconfirmed their commitment to providing full medical support for The Herald VW Cycle Tour in Addo and Port Elizabeth on February 2 and 3. Life St George’s hospital manager André Bothma said the group was once again proud to be associated with the event. “We have an excellent working relationship with Gardmed and participants can rest assured that they will receive the best possible medical care should they require it.” Bothma said trauma-trained nursing staff from Life St George’s and Life Mercantile hospitals would be on duty in the medical tents at both the mountain bike and road events. “And Gardmed will provide the paramedic support on the routes. In the unfortunate event of an accident or incident, they will assist and bring the rider to our nearest hospital.” According to Gardmed marketing manager Shawn Hartzenberg, the 2013 edition would mark the 10th anniversary of the ambulance service’s involvement with the event. “Immediate and efficient medical treatment is always important when dealing with illness and injuries. We provide a holistic emergency service according to best practice and industry standards.” Hartzenberg said emergency services personnel – qualified in basic, intermediate and advanced life support – would be on duty throughout the weekend festival of cycling. “On the Saturday, two ambulances, an off-road emergency vehicle and quad bikes will cover the mountain bike course.” He said the vehicles would be stationed at high-risk hotspots, such as the top and bottom of the Zuurberg Pass, with the quad bikes providing access to the more remote single-track sections. “We’ll also have a roaming medic who will assist in the medical tent at the Addo Polo Club race village if needed.” Hartzenberg said an additional ambulance crew would be on standby at the family road events on the PE beachfront. “For the Sunday’s feature races, there will be . . .
Following its successful launch last year, the Cyclo Pro/GT mobile repair unit will once again provide neutral technical support at The Herald VWSA Cycle Tour on February 2 and 3. According to GT regional manager Stephen Craddock, the service proved to be extremely popular among participants at both the mountain bike and road events in Addo and Port Elizabeth respectively. “It was unbelievable and the response was amazing. Hopefully people will be just as impressed this time round as they were last year.” Craddock said the unit, which will be situated at the start/finish area at each event, was fully equipped as a mobile workshop. “We’ll be able to sort out most problems on any bike that comes to us.” In addition, tour co-founder Rob Rudman’s mobile mechanics will provide back-up and do basic repairs en route. Rudman, who owns Cyclo Pro, said Cycling South Africa rules prevented them from offering assistance on the 80km Extreme and 60km Adventure mountain bike routes but that the roaming mechanics would be able to assist fun riders in the 30km Powerade Leisure Challenge on the Saturday. “Addo is full of thorns, so you must make sure that you have sealant in your tyres. If you go without, you will get stuck.” He said repair vehicles would also be out on the road for the 106km Classic and 55km Pursuit events in Port Elizabeth on the Sunday. “It’s a free service but if some major parts are required, the rider will have to purchase these.” Rudman advised participants to have their bicycles serviced at least two weeks prior to the event as cycle shops tended to get busy in the run-up to the race. Aside from the mechanical support, he said Cyclo Pro would host a stall at the expo on the Friday for any last-minute equipment and accessory purchases. The expo will take place at the new registration venue on the exhibition level of The Boardwalk Convention Centre opposite Hobie Beach. This will also be the site of the prize-giving at 1pm on . . .
With everything from camping facilities to five-star accommodation available, participants in The Herald VW Cycle Tour will be able to rest easy during their stay in Nelson Mandela Bay. The annual weekend festival of cycling, which includes the road events in Port Elizabeth and the mountain bike races at Addo, is set for February 1 to 3 this year. Official accommodation sponsors Town Lodge PE, on the city’s beachfront, and Zuurberg Mountain Village, at Addo, are offering special rates for participants in both disciplines. According to Town Lodge general manager Glenn Pappin, riders would be able to choose from options across the City Lodge Group of Hotels. These include the one-star Road Lodge, two-star Town Lodge, three-star City Lodge and four-star Courtyard Hotel. “The road events begin and end on the beachfront very close to Town Lodge and our three other properties, so it’s excellent exposure for us.” Pappin said he expected occupancy rates to surge over that weekend and that the hotel would further accommodate riders by offering secure bicycle storage and other assistance. Event coordinator Linda Harwood said the newly built Boardwalk Hotel and Spa, which is dubbed the “home of cycling” for the weekend, would round out participants’ hotel options in five-star luxury. On the other end of the scale, Harwood said there would be camping facilities for mountain bikers at the Addo Polo Club race village on the Friday evening. “Instead of rushing to the start early on Saturday morning, bring your tent and family and enjoy an evening out in the country.” In addition, she said, Rennies Travel would coordinate cycle tour-specific travel packages for out-of-town riders. These include special rates on accommodation, flights and car hire where possible. “Depending on your budget and schedule, they’ll create an individual itinerary and take the hassle out of making all those travel arrangements.” Harwood said the official accommodation . . .
With 25 finishes to his credit, former Port Elizabeth mayor Charles Garai leads the bunch when it comes to The Herald VW Cycle Tour’s exclusive green number club, which is reserved for participants who have done 10 or more editions of the 106km Classic. Veteran cyclist Garai has come a long way since his rather inelegant finish as part of the Saddle Bums social club in the inaugural event back in 1986. "I forgot to undo my toe straps and, upon stopping, keeled over in the middle of the road," he recalls. The 71-year-old now counts breaking the three-hour barrier, earning his first green number and winning his age category on several occasions as some of his standout memories. On the downside, he remembers being brought down by a fun rider in a fall within sight of the Hobie Beach finish and missing the 2:59 bunch time by three minutes. Having clocked a personal best of two hours 47 minutes, Garai says another sub-three-hour time is not impossible with enough training and effort but that these days his sole ambition is "to finish upright". "However, that is not the master plan for 2013. We’ve formed a large group under the banner of Atlas Security and will try to bring everyone home in under four hours in memory of Clem Morris, whose ambition it was to break that barrier." Morris was killed in a hit-and-run accident while riding his bicycle on Kragga Kamma Road in October. Garai, who has won championship medals in his age group at national, provincial and club level, is looking forward to the 28th edition of the national classic but has some mixed feelings about the new Slanghoogte climb. The Walmer resident and lawyer, who races under lucky number 13, says the permanent green numbers will from now on differ slightly in design to distinguish between those riders who have completed 10 and 20 races. "A minute’s deduction off your time for every Herald completed would also be nice . . ." He has only missed two outings, in 1997 and 2008, . . .