It has always been known that Sedgefielders pull together in a crisis - but in the last week the community more than outdid themselves, with hundreds of local volunteers building up a phenomenal effort to support fire crews, house evacuees and provide for those who have lost homes and possessions.
When Sedgefield awoke on Wednesday morning, most residents were preparing for the onslaught of stormy weather. The Education Department had declared that all schools in the Western Cape stay closed, and the hope was that along with the extreme conditions a fair amount of rain would arrive.
But things turned out way differently. Sometime in the early hours of the morning, two fires started, one in Elandskraal and one in Kruisfontein, closer to Knysna.
The alarm was raised, and local fire services deployed, but with North West berg winds pumping relentlessly, conditions were perfect for the wildfires, and it wasn’t long before they blazed out of control.
As flames spread from valley to hilltop, more and more areas were calling for assistance, and soon evacuations had to be initiated.
Sedgefield Tourism Manager Belinda Hobson had already started a collection point at her office, but when she heard that people from Elandskraal and Rheenendal had lost their homes and Belvidere and Brenton were facing evacuation, she quickly organised the Town Hall to be opened. Her next step was to meet with Ratepayers Safety & Security Member Mike Hofhuis and Community Policing leader Michael Simons, to initiate a co-ordinated effort to support the fire crews and assist in the evacuation of danger areas.
By this time the road between Knysna and Sedgefield was closed, and with homes in Brenton and Belvidere burning, residents of those suburbs had no choice but to start walking along the beach to Buffalo Bay.
As quite a number of these people were elderly, and some quite frail, Richard Meyer of Knysna Municipality’s
Disaster Management called on Mario Ferreira to assist ferrying them with his 4x4 vehicle, and he in turn contacted others for help. Soon he was co-ordinating a sizeable rescue mission.
“We ended up with 30 4x4 vehicles, even from as far off as Mossel Bay,” said Ferreira, “But we needed them. We ran from midday Wednesday to 3am the following morning, moving between 400 and 500 people AND their pets.”
As the evacuees started arriving in Buffalo Bay, restaurant owners Lourenza and Peter Grace opened their doors to give the somewhat shell-shocked folk somewhere comfortable to await transportation to Sedgefield. This, of course, was dependent on the N2 being safe.
Whilst all this was happening Families from Fairview and Elandskraal had already started arriving in Sedge, and sleeping space was set up for them at the Town Hall. Sedge Christian Church and the Sedgefield School Hall also set up in anticipation of the evacuated people.
Later that evening, when the N2 was deemed a bit safer, the Traffic Department started allowing limited vehicles through. And so the fetching and carrying commenced. The Belvidere and Brenton residents starting arriving in Sedgefield in increasing numbers.
Michael and Belinda had already put the word out that accommodation might be needed in private homes, and were more than impressed with the generous response from local residents. Special mention must be made of Pine Lake Marina Resort, where 110 people were accommodated free of charge.
“It was extremely chaotic,” said Michael, “There were families that had been separated, some very frail people with oxygen tanks, and that’s aside from the dogs, cats and birds!” He was grateful to have Dr JC Venter who generously gave of his time, offering medical assistance where necessary. Six people who were in need of frail care were put up in ‘Hug House’, Masithandane’s Care & Respite Centre.
“And we made sure everyone was fed before they went to sleep,” said Michael.
The next day some of the evacuees were able to return home, once they had been informed that their properties had not been badly affected by the fires.
The team assisted where transport was needed, and made sure those in need were given food parcels and clothing.
The Town Hall was closed on Thursday night, but when it became clear by early the following morning that the fires were continuing unabated, Belinda and Michael met with Mario and a visitor Patrick Walton, who had logistical skills to offer, to look at the way forward as far as crisis management was concerned.
As a result of their discussion, they reopened the Town Hall, this time as a storage and distribution centre for fire relief.
“Fires were still flaring up, the roads to Knysna were closed on either side most of the time, so it made sense to have this set up in Sedgefield,” said Michael.
Gary Atkinson, another COP member, was seconded onto the team, and the Town Hall also became the base from which Sedgefield residents kept in communication with the fire front and the Joint Operations Centre in Knysna. Michael started broadcasting type and voice messages via social media, to keep locals up to date on the fire situation and reassure them when it seemed the flames were on the way over the dune.
With so much false information being bandied about, often inadvertently, by members of the public, Michael soon became recognised as the only ‘voice of truth’. This did wonders to quell any mass hysteria, which would only have put more pressure on emergency services.
The steady stream of volunteers which had started arriving on Wednesday continued to grow.
With fires burning close to Fairview, the area was once again evacuated and the Sedgefield School Hall as opened up to accommodate the evacuees.
That night, after finishing at the Town Hall at 2am, Gary worked a relief shift at the fire station. At 3.45am he alerted Michael:- a huge blaze had flared up on both sides of the N2, at Goukamma Reserve on one side and Fairview on the other. Firefighters were on the scene, battling the blaze, but this was the start of a stressful day for Sedgefield - with flames and billowing smoke ever-present on the horizon.
Whilst volunteers worked tirelessly, albeit with one eye on the eastern horizon, Michael and Mario went to assess the blaze
“Things looked too close for comfort,” said Michael, “But fortunately the wind was blowing north west, - away from Sedgefield, keeping the fire at bay.”
In the evening the Knysna Incident Management Team took the strategic decision to initiate a back-burn on the Goukamma Reserve. As it was dark, the blaze looked horrifyingly close, but fortunately the plan worked well and Sedgefield was once again deemed out of danger.
Since then there have been flare-ups here and there, but the fires have been contained and controlled.
The volunteer teams continue to work tirelessly at the Town Hall relief centre, some through the night, in efforts to sort, pack and redistribute the tons and tons of relief goods arriving from all over the country. The hall is bursting with food, clothing and volunteers, as is the old African Affair building and several rooms and halls kindly offered by churches and businesses.
“It’s amazing how a community can put all differences aside to help people in need,” said Michael.
On 23 December 2016 the Sedgefield branch of Knysna & Partners, in collaboration with Sotheby’s Sedgefield, hosted the third Sedgefield Beach Festival, which proved once again to be a great success, attracting both locals and visitors eager to enjoy some beach time – and all for a worthy cause. The festival has enjoyed remarkable growth since its inception a few years ago.
All proceeds raised in this year’s Sedgefield Beach Festival will go to our our local heroes from The National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa (NSRI). Several events took place throughout the morning, including the Citta Slow Fun Run, the Sandcastle Building competition and the Sotheby’s Treasure Hunt. A total of R3545.00 was raised collectively from these events as well as from raffles tickets sold for lots of generously sponsored prizes.
The day started early with a well-attended Citta Slow Beach Fun Run organised this year by Misfit Events. The event saw 80 participants enjoying the sublime scenery that Myoli Beach has to offer. Our very own local semi-finalist in the Miss South Africa competition, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, opened the Fun Run event and then came in 3rd place in the Ladies Division. (Please support and vote for this beautiful and remarkable young lady in the upcoming Miss South Africa.)
Once again, as in previous years, both first and second place was awarded to a sibling pair, therefore definitely making it the best family fun run of the season.
Great prizes from so many generous sponsors were up for grabs for the participants of the Sandbuilding competition. The theme this year was “Christmas time and festive fun and giving”. 14 masterpieces were built on Myoli Beach comprising of a Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer, snowmen, Christmas presents and even a mermaid or two. This year judging was very tight with local kids winning by only half a point. The first five places were awarded incredible prizes along with two consolation prizes.
No one walked away empty handed and a host of additional prizes, giveaways and lucky draws were dished out. Prizes this year were sponsored by San Parks, Sotheby’s, Pine Lake Marina, Misfit Events, Knysna and Partners, Sedge Links, Beach you to it, Pick n' Pay, Hospitality and Home, Van Tonder inc, Ooba, Lizzy’s Hair and Beauty, Aquaman, Lemon and Lime, ZinkaSA sunscreen (who turned the beach goers pink with their sunscreen promotion), Eden Adventures, Tiffany’s, Just Water, Cycleworx, Blackwaters River Lodge, Brent Harris, ADT, Gordons Seafood, Nail Box and a Helicopter Flip sponsored by Christine and Francois Marititz.
The day was ended with the Sotheby’s Beach Treasure Hunt for kids as well as the very messy egg toss. A family on holiday in Sedgefield commented “This is the end of our holiday and today has definitely been the highlight”.
Be sure to note this festival on your to-do list for the 2017 December holiday – when the the Sedgefield office of Knysna & Partners and Sotheby’s Sedgefield will once again plan the 4th annual Sedgefield Beach Festival. A BIG thank you to the Garden Route San Parks for their continued support for this event.
This week the restless surface of the beautiful Swartvlei Lake was punctuated by the gleaming white sails of laser yachts during the 2016 South African Laser National Championships, which ran over four consecutive days from Saturday 1 – 4 October from Pine Lake Marina. The overall conditions were extremely conducive for sailing, with blue skies overhead and both strong westerly and south-easterly winds testing the skills of the 114 sailors competing in various classes.
Georgou Divaris, a 16 year old local sailing star from Sedgefield and a member of the George Lakes Yacht Club, had his work cut out for him on the water as he battled it out with 24-year professional yacht racer and two-time Olympian Asenathi Jim. Asenathi represented South Africa, along with his partner Roger Hudson, at the 2012 London Olympics and more recently at the 2016 Rio Olympics where they raced a two-person 470 spinnaker-trapeze yacht, placing 20th overall.
Divaris himself is no stranger to success. He began sailing when he was just 10 years old, has once won the World Championships and was placed 2nd in the African Championships last year. His dream, like that of so many athletes, is to qualify for the next Olympics Games.
When asked why these two passionate sailors are so drawn to sailing, they both said that they relished the mental and physical challenges which the sport presented. A sailor is constantly testing one’s limits against the unbridled forces of nature and it requires a lot of mental energy, physical strength and dedicated focus to succeed as a competitive sailor.
Over the four days of sailing, each of them fought hard to gain the lead. Divaris took race one but was then beaten by Jim in races two, three and five. At the end of race six, Divaris was back in the lead. At the end of race 11, however, Jim's experience and 6 years on the professional yachting circuit gave him the upper hand as he took gold ahead of Divaris. James Hellstrom came in third place taking the bronze.
In the Laser 4.7 light weight junior class, Cullen Keytel from Hermanus Yacht Club took first place, while the skilled sailors from Knysna Yacht Club Sanele Magquaza, Apenduli Maneli and JP Kriel taking second, third and fourth positions respectively.
This successful Regatta proved once again that the Swartvlei is certainly one of the best inland yachting destinations in South Africa.
Knysna Newsletter: What's on - 07/10/2016
WHAT'S ON #KNYSNA & SEDGEFIELD
Copyright 2015 Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds, All rights reserved. You are receiving this e-mail on behalf of Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds
Our mailing address is: Knysna, Sedgefield & Surrounds 40 Main Street Knysna, Western Cape 6570 South Africa
The Garden Route, in fact the world has been gripped in adventure racing fever once the international adventure race, Expedition Africa kicked off on our beautiful Knysna estuary on Sunday, May 15 at 08:00.
To add to the excitement Greater Knysna locals, Team Featherbed Co Painted Wolf led the pack of 54 teams from the very first kayaking leg of the race. Chasing them were Team Merrell Adventure Addicts, another local adventure team who have kept locals cheering them on in previous adventure races.
This gruelling 500km race, however belonged to Team 39, Darren Berry, Jeannie Bomford, Mark and John Collins as they stepped across the finish line at Pine Lake Marina last night after a mere 3 days, 12 hours and 33 minutes!
Once the first paddle struck the water at the start of the race the Expedition Africa’s live tracking website started and fans could track there teams 27 / 7. Each team was represented by a red marker and their GPS reading was updated every three minutes.
Very soon Red Dot Fever (the compulsion to follow the team) gripped the world. “By Wednesday over 65 000 people were watching the event online. Statistics showed that by Wednesday just over 5.5 million people had been reached worldwide,” said Knysna & Partners CEO, Greg Vogt.
“Thanks to most of the 54 teams own media teams, the world has been shown the unbelievable beauty of our area. Visit Kinetic Event Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/kineticeventsafrica/?fref=ts and take a look for yourself. These are just examples of one Facebook page that has over 9 000 followers worldwide. Now multiply this by the many other teams that are posting their experiences on their social media and you’ll see what unbelievable exposure or area has received,” expressed Vogt.
Although the top teams would have crossed the finished line by the time you read this blog, there are still many that the race organisers refer to as “heroes” heading on the last leg of this amazing race. Continue to follow them on the live-tracking Website http://www.kineticgear.org/gps-tracking/
Greg invites all to pop into the race base camp, Pine Lake Marina to cheer on these heroes as they complete their race. Teams are expected to be in by Saturday at noon.
The Greater Knysna area is blessed with some of the most beautiful signature 18-hole golf courses to be found anywhere in the world. It is also home to the Sedgefield Links Golf Course - a little gem of a par 3, 9-hole course situated in the beautiful coastal town of Sedgefield.
In a number of traditional sports we are finding that original playing structures are having to compete with shorter formats of the game. This has happened to rugby as well as cricket, for example, where the Sevens and T20 tournaments are raking in the spectators and profits as well. There are a number of reasons for this, but intensity and time are key factors.
The game of golf has not been immune to this migration. Both the time spent playing an average 18-hole course, coupled with the high green fees, has meant that shorter courses are fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. This may not appeal to the golf purist out there, but to those players who only have limited time and money, but still want to knock a little white ball around, there is certainly a lot of merit in the short game.
The rolling fairways and testing greens of the Sedgefield Links Golf Course boast a most sublime natural setting: the vast liquid landscape of the Swartvlei Lake edged by the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance. This alone gives it massive appeal.
It has also recently undergone a change of management, and is now overseen by Owen O'Reilly and his team from Pine Lake Marina's Recreational Activities Department. “We have been working hard over the past few months to improve not only the greens but also the clubhouse”, explained O'Reilly, “we want the Sedgefield Links to be something our members can be proud of”.
Under the guidance of consultants from Nanturf they have considerably improved the overall condition of the greens. They have also received a lot of direction from the Isle of Man pro golfer, Jonny Evans, and the course is gradually taking on an aspect that will most certainly satisfy both our local members and visiting golfers alike. This short course also provides an ideal training ground for beginners and young players seeking to improve their game.
The clubhouse has been tastefully redecorated by Alma Vermeulen, the upstairs section of which is now being hired out as a venue for functions.
Golfers will soon be able to order wood-fired pizza to complement their post game beverages and the kiddies play area makes this destination ideal for the whole family.
Membership: R795 per year/ R45 green fee
Junior Membership: Free / R35 green fee.
Non Members: R90 green fee
For more information contact: 044 349 2200
The Garden Route, known locally as the "Home of Adventure" will host Expedition Africa 2016. Teams from all over the world will arrive in less than six weeks to take on this team challenge of mountain biking, trekking, orienteering, kloofing, kayaking and abseiling in the picturesque Garden Route.
Organisers; Heidi and Stephan Muller have always ensured the local community benefits from their Expedition Africa events, and this year the Bursary Fund for Children of the local Non-Profit Organisation Masithandane has been chosen. Masithandane is a registered Non-Profit Organisation No. 052-253 & Public Benefit Organisation No. 930025275 and has been working in the area for 10 years. The Bursary Fund is used to assist families in need with transport costs to school, school fees and uniforms.
According to Jacky Weaver of the Masithandane Fund, "there are no High Schools in the area, and no public transport systems in place for children living in Sedgefield and its outlying rural area." The majority of the Greater Sedgefield Area's population is located in formal and informal settlements away from infrastructure, services and employment opportunities.
"The Bursary fund is a preventative measure needed to prevent high school drop-outs, teenage pregnancy, crime, drug abuse and the dangers associated with hitch-hiking" shares Weaver.
"Expedition Africa is more than just an adventure race; it's about changing lives!! This type of event will change the lives of not only the competitor; but also affect every person who is part of this event and ultimately give back to the Community. It's about making amazing memories and leaving a legacy behind" expresses Heidi Muller of Kinetic Events. Kinetic Events have aligned this year’s Expedition Africa with the Masithandane organisation to create a Mosaic Landmark showcasing this year's exciting event.
“Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market is proud to host the Expedition Africa 2016 participants. We are honoured to be chosen to provide the backdrop for the mosaic masterpiece that will be crafted as a memory for the community project” shares Cliff Elion, owner of the Mosaic Village and Outdoor Market.
According to Greg Vogt of Knysna & Partners, "one of the goals of hosting the event in the Garden Route was to establish and cement the claim that this region is the Home of Adventure within the Western Cape. "
The 53 participating teams will unite the day before their Expedition Africa adventure begins; creating a master piece that will feature the legacy of each individual taking part in this year's Expedition Africa and their representing countries. Teams will be given the necessary tools and equipment to develop a mosaic creation on a tile that will feature for years to come at the famous Sedgefield market, celebrating Expedition Africa 2016.
"We are delighted that the local community will benefit from this international event taking place within the true home of adventure, and look forward to witnessing the organisations success in reaching their fundraising objectives" shares Greg Vogt of Knysna & Partners.
The contribution towards the project required is a minimum of R1500.00 per tile. Local children and artists be a part on the interactive team experience on the 14th May 2016 creating 53 unique tiles that will form this master piece. Moreover this project will contribute to the Masithandane Bursary Fund for children and help generate income for ten local mosaic'ists and their families, and further support economic opportunities for local business.
Teams participating in this year's Expedition Africa are encouraged to spread the word to families, supporters and sponsors to support this worthy cause. Contributors will have their names engraved into the mosaic master piece, meaning their names will also live forever in Sedgefield, Western Cape, South Africa for years and years to come; celebrating 2016's Expedition Africa's Adventure Race.
The Garden Route is rich with resources when it comes to the natural beauty of the Knysna Heads, the tranquil forests and still lakes and rivers leading to the rolling ocean. This is the perfect opportunity to appreciate and uplift the local communities of this beautiful land by investing in their education, culture, fellowship and upliftment.
Help change lives with this year's Expedition Africa, make your contribution, make your change!
Expedition Africa Mosaic for Change Community Project 2016:
Expedition Africa teams will cycle from their Host Venue; Pine Lake Marina to the Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market, Sedgefield. Family and friends are welcome to witness and experience this project at the Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market.
Date: Saturday, 14 May 2016
Venue: Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market, Sedgefield
Beneficiary: Masithandane Bursary Fund for Children
Certificate to RSA Businesses will be given for Tax benefit.
Expedition Africa 500km Adventure Race 2016
Date: Sunday, 15 May 2016
Start Time: 08h00
Venue: To be announced at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, 13 May 2016
Live Tracking: www.expafrica.live
Host Venue: Pine Lake Marina www.pinelakemarina.co.za
Note: All local families and supporters are welcome to attend the start of the event.
Pine Lake Marina is the ideal family holiday destination. Practical self-catering accommodation, extensive facilities and diverse activities will keep young and old entertained. Our Resort facilities include pedallos, water skiing, SUP tubing, 5 swimming pools, 1 heated pool, putt putt, tennis, squash, games room, canoeing, jacuzzis, Pine Vibe Gym, Pine Express Convenience Shop, Pine Vibe Sports Bar and Restaurant and much more!
This year, the Sedgefield Striders' 19th Tortoise Tuff Challenge saw a record number of 710 athletes taking to the streets of Sedgefield on Saturday, March 12.
Ettiene Plaatjies from the Nedbank SWD (South Western Districts) had spectators on their feet as he smashed the Tortoise Tuff 10km race record on.
Plaatjies finished the 10km run in an impressive 31.02, breaking Gershwill Jacobs' 2014 time of 31.10 by eight seconds.
The rain let up for Saturday, March 12 allowing the record Tortoise Tuff 2016 challenge's 710 entrants to enjoy the tough, undulating, spectacular routes in and around Sedgefield. This 19th Tortoise Tuff, hosted by Sedgefield Striders, included a 10km walk and run, the 21km Goukamma Trail run and possibly the most challenging 30km run and 30km walk on the Garden Route.
The event has certainly come a long way since it started way back in September 1997 as an elite 30km race-walking event.
Knysna & Partners CEO, Greg Vogt said that he was pleased with the increase in participating athletes. He added that his aim of recognising the Greater Knysna as the Trail Town of South Africa makes the Tortoise Tuff Challenge an important event. “We have worked very hard to ensure that the marketing of the Tortoise Tuff and other similar events reach the entire South Africa. We live in paradise and it is our duty to share this piece of paradise with the rest of the world.”
Male - Ettiene Plaatjies, (31:02) new record)
Female - Cecelia Nell, (39:32)
Male - Hannes van Rooyen (01:01:07)
Female - Sinead Hattingh, (01:08:32)
Goukamma 21km Trail
Male - Gerwill Jacobs (01:24:31)
Female - Nancy Cloete (01:57:11)
Male - Lindile Tokota (1:51:02)
Female - Anel van Wyk (002:18:30)
Male - Ishmael Molahlehi (03:29:39)
Female - Hettie Fourie (04:43:43)
Sarie Exton, Sedgefield Striders chairperson, expressed her gratitude to the event sponsors Naturally Knysna, Wesgro, Cape Nature, Pine Lake Marina, Brenton Haven and said, "We are certainly pleased with how this year's event turned out and have only received positive comments from entrants and spectators alike."
She added that the race would not be the same without the enthusiastic water tables manned throughout the event. "Thank you so much to the many volunteers, which include my committee. Without you we just couldn't pull off such a popular and successful event."
Now in its 19th year, the Tortoise Tuff kicks off under starter’s orders on Saturday, March 12 from the Laerskool Sedgefield Primary School sports fields
This much-loved race once again incorporates a 10km walk and run, a 30km walk and run, 21km Goukamma Trail and 2,5km fun run/walk. The Athletics South Western District (ASWD) 10km Race Walking Trial will be incorporated in this year’s race.
“The flat 10km course has always been popular amongst the ‘speedsters’ of both the running and walking sectors, but the one and a half hours allocated for the event also attracted those just looking for a gentle run or stroll through the Village, around the island and back again,” said Sarie Exton, race hosts, Sedgefield Striders’ chairperson. She added that this official ASWD Race Walking Trial will serve to select a team for the SA Race Walking Champs later this year.
Although the rest of the Tortoise Tuff races are tough, the undulating routes reward participants with spectacular scenery throughout, leaving them with a feeling of peace while pushing their bodies to new heights.
The 30km route is run on both tar and gravel roads and has been described as possibly the most challenging 30km on the Garden Route. According to Exton this race is an ideal training run for the Two Oceans and a great target distance for those who normally stick to half marathons. “Walkers are also welcome, but should take note of the four hour cut-off time.”
The 21km Goukamma Trail run is now in its sixth year and still presents a challenging course that includes sections along the beach, through the Goukamma Nature Reserve, and some challenging dune climbs. “Cape Nature’s co-operation makes it possible for runners to enjoy stunning views and almost untouched trails as a reward for the hard work-out this event will provide for the ever-increasing market of adventure racers,” smiled Exton.
She added that the gentle 2.5km fun run always attracts a great number of younger athletes and the not-so-fit.
“The generosity of our sponsors, Wesgro (thanks to the facilitation of Knysna & Partners), Brenton Haven, Pine Lake Marina, Knysna & Partners and CapeNature has allowed for an extra marketing push, ensuring that the event will once again attract large numbers of both SWD and those from around the country.”
Knysna & Partners CEO, Greg Vogt said that he would be thrilled if this year the entries would reach the 1 000 mark. “Last year this beautiful race attracted 673 entries, this year I am sure that with our push we can break the record.” He added that his aim of recognising the Greater Knysna as the Trail Town of South Africa makes this Tortoise Tuff an important event. “We have worked very hard to ensure that the marketing of the Tortoise Tuff reaches the entire South Africa. We live in paradise and it is our duty to share this piece of paradise with the rest of the world.”
Because athletes will have their time electronically recorded via a RFID chip as they cross the finishing mat, this event is strictly a pre-entry event. The cut-off time for entries is strictly Monday, March 7 at 10:00.
Female runners will be delighted to know that equal prize money is on offer for both male and female winners. The winner for the 30km race will receive R500; the winning walker in the 30km distance - R200. Winners of the 10km (run and walk) and the 21km Trail Run will each receive R300.
Besides the category prizes, medals will be awarded to all finishers. “Six lucky runners will walk away with extraordinary prizes ranging from Sport shop vouchers, running shoes and luxury weekend holidays. The winner must be present at the draw to quality for the lucky prize,” reminded Exton.
Starting times: 30km: Walk - 06:00, Run - 07:00; 10km Run/Walk - 07:15; 21.1km Trail Run - 07:10 and the 2.5km Fun Run – 08:00..
Pre-entries, already available at www.aswd.co.za, will close on Monday March 7 at 10:00. There will be no late entries.
Registration takes place at Laerskool Sedgefield Primary School sports field from 17:00 to 19:00 on Friday, March 11 and from 05:30 on race day.
The sixth world-renowned Expedition Africa Adventure Race taking place on the Garden Route this year promises to be the best thus far, with teams and contestants from more than 15 countries already having booked their place for the adventure of all adventures.
The Expedition Africa Adventure Race is organised by Kenetic Events’ Heidi and Stephan Muller and hosted by Pine Lake Marina, Sedgefield.
In October last year, at a gala evening at Pine Lake Marina in Sedgefield, the announcement was made that the event would be hosted in the Garden Route this year. Alan Neville, Pine
Lake Marina waterfront resort function manager, said at the time: “We are honoured and delighted to host this event. The owner of the resort, Phillip Vermeulen, has instructed all of us to ‘take hands and make this a success’.” The Mullers explained to the several stakeholders, media and team members present that the 500km adventure race would see mixed teams of four avigate their way over the rough terrain of the Garden Route by using a map and a compass to find various checkpoints and transitions. “The race route is only made public when it is handed to the teams the day before the actual race,” said Stephan.
Race disciplines include mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, canyoning and orienteering.
“We will support the racing teams logistically by transporting their cycles, kayaks and resupplies from transition to transition,” he added. He further explained that nine international adventure racing events are to be hosted during 2016, with the winner of each event receiving a free entry into the Adventure Race World Championship. “Belize will host an event in February, Ecuador in March. New Zeeland has its turn in April as does Chile. Spain hosts an event in May like the Garden Route, South Africa.
A race then takes place in the United States in June and in August both the United Kingdom and France host a race. The Adventure Race World Champs will be held in November [venue to be announced].”
The Merrell Adventure Addicts who won the 2015 Swaziland Expedition Africa, consisting of Graham Bird (a Knysna resident), Donovan Sims, Robyn Kime and Grant Ross, will be aiming for the podium position again. This year they will lead the way for the Mentored Merrells, Fiona McIntosh, Shaen Adey and Sarah Hearn, a trio of novices joined by an additional seasoned Merrell Addict team member Hanno Smit (also a Knysna resident), who will guide them through their first adventure race experience from packing gear, decoding the briefing, turning the maps the right way around and figuring out when to sleep and when to sleepwalk.
As all three are journalists, the natural instinct is for them to write about their escapades. Normally mobile phones are prohibited during races, but it is proposed to allow this team to use theirs to send photographs from the field as live updates for the followers, documenting their story and that of those around them as it happens, throughout the entire event.
The teams that entered thus far (as on Tuesday, January 12), are as follows:
1. Dar Dingle (Ireland and England)
2. Head over Hills (South Africa)
3. Raid Gallaecia Fridama (Spain and Chile)
4. Penny Pinchers (South Africa)
5. Royal Air Force (United Kingdom)
6. Issy Aventure Absolu Raid (France andItaly)
7. After Works Athletics (Australia, New Zeelandand United Kingdom)
8. Checkpoint Zero (New Zeeland and USA).
9. Wizards of Oz (New Zeeland and Australia)
10. Geotropic (Australia)
11. Psychosis (South Africa)
12. Koalas and a Kangaroo (Australia)
13. Athletes and a Slave (South Africa)
14. Black Diamond (South Africa)
15. Lunar Chicks (South Africa)
16. Never Stop Performing Sports (South Africa)
17. Jabberwock (South Africa)
18. G-Frogz (South Africa)
19. Rustproof (South Africa)
20. Addicted 2 Adventure (South Africa)
21. Castle Lite (South Africa)
22. Lickety Split (South Africa)
23. Powerbar Swiss Explorers (Switzerland)
24. Ducks in a Row (South Africa)
25. Runstopshopdash (Australia)
26. Kuwait Extreme Team (Kuwait)
27. Soeknognaam (South Africa)
28. 24H Meals Adventure (Sweden)
29. Sweco Adventure (Sweden)
30. Plett Adventure Racing (South Africa)
31. Cyanosis Adventure Racing (South Africa)
32. Olympus (South Africa)
33. Thrash Pigs (Israel)
34. Averne Outdoor (France)
35. OK! Lets Go (Australia)
36. Raidlight - Naturex (France)
37. Namaqua (South Africa)
38. Cameltoes (Australia, UK and New Zeeland)
39. Sportson Skovde Adventure (Sweden)
40. Merrell Adventure Addicts (South Africa)
41. Antimatter (South Africa)
42. Merrell Mentors (South Africa)
1. Atlas (South Africa)
Greg Vogt, chief executive of Knysna & Partners, on Monday, January 11 said, “The event is more than an ‘adventure race’ to our area. It has become a marketing tool. This fits with our strategy of using events to reach target markets. SA Tourism offices engaging with us are very excited about the prospect of promoting adventure tourism.”
Along the magnificent Garden route of the Western Cape lies a land where mystical elephants reign. A place where heritage and nature meets, creating a phenomenal atmosphere that is both empowering as it is indulging.
This wondrous land is home to not only beautiful Outeniqua Trail; but also to the stunning Knysna Loerie, regal Knysna Heads, the rich Afromontane forest, and now the official playground for Expedition Africa 2016.
This grand Expedition adventure race is set to kick off on the 13 May 2016; where teams will descend from all parts of the world to take on the mighty 500km plus event. The power duo from Kinetic have hectares of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) land to play with when it comes to creating a dynamic route featuring various trekking legs, cycling legs, epic rope work sections and a flat water and sea paddle.
“The GRNP motto; ‘Adventure is in our nature’ is a fitting choice for the Expedition Africa 2016 event” shares Nandi Mgwadlamba of SANparks.
Expedition Africa’s phenomenal Race Village and home for the week will take shape at the perfect venue nearest Sedgefield; Pine Lake Marina surrounded by beauty and found within a valley of water and light.
“Pine Lake Marina is extremely excited and proud to be associated with Expedition Africa and part of this International Adventure Racing event. We look forward to hosting and looking after the teams, family members, sponsors, media crews and supporters associated with this world class event at our beautiful resort on the bank of the Swartvlei Lake” says Alan Neville.
40 “Teams of 5” will take on the gruelling challenge; as for the first time in Adventure Racing history the organisers are making it possible for all teams of 4 to bring along a 5th team member, their own media relations practitioner. This will give team’s maximum exposure as they traverse this epic course.
Entries are officially open; visit http://www.kinetic-events.co.za/Adventure-Races/Expedition-Africa to book your spot in an expedition of a life time. The first 22 teams to secure their booking, will enjoy the luxurious views of the water facing cabanas Pine Lake Marina has to offer.
Those teams looking for a hassle-free travel will receive free transfers from the George Airport, ensuring your ‘expedition’ is a phenomenal experience. This is the perfect venue for families and supporters alike to enjoy a trip from Cape Town or other parts of our exquisite country, indulging in the beauty of the Garden Route, while keeping tabs on the exciting and gruelling challenge of 2016’s
• Name: Expedition Africa
• Dates: 13 May 2016 – 22 May 2016
• Province: Western Cape, Knysna Tourism
• Host Venue: Pine Lake Marina
• Total Teams: 40
View http://www.visitknysna.co.za/explore/knysna.html for interesting information on Knysna and the phenomenal tourism within and around the town.