Mick Fanning plans to return to scene of 2015 shark attack

Caption: Mick Fanning (AUS), 3X WSL Champion, has called 2016 a 'personal year' in which he will surf in select events. He will, however, return to the J-Bay Open at South Africa's Jeffreys Bay, the scene of his 2015 shark attack. Image: WSL / Cestari

Caption: Mick Fanning (AUS), 3X WSL Champion, has called 2016 a ‘personal year’ in which he will surf in select events. He will, however, return to the J-Bay Open at South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay, the scene of his 2015 shark attack.
Image: WSL / Cestari

Mick Fanning (AUS), 3x WSL Champion and 2015 World Runner-Up, today announced that he is viewing 2016 as a ‘personal year’ in which he will take time off from full-time competition.

The Australian sporting icon endured an intense 2015 in which he was thrust into the international spotlight following an on-air battle with a Great White Shark during July’s J-Bay Open. Despite the incident, Fanning rallied to battle for the WSL Title throughout the back half of the season, pushing the race to the final event of the year. Suffering the tragic and unexpected loss of older brother Peter during the event window, Fanning’s performance at Pipeline was emotionally charged, but ultimately short of the world surfing crown.

“Last year was definitely intense – what happened at J-Bay, being in a title race and the unfortunate passing of my brother,” Fanning said. “There was so much build up with everything happening. I got to a point at the end of the year where I felt empty. I didn’t feel like I had much to give back.”

“This year, I’m going to take some time off and have a bit of a personal year,” Fanning continued. “Just to regroup and re-stoke the fire. At this stage, I’m going to compete at Snapper and I’m going to compete at Bells and then I’m going to take some time off from there. They (Snapper and Bells) are two events that I love and I’d go crazy if I were sitting at home and couldn’t go surf Snapper. Bells is like a second home as well. From then on, I feel like I have to take some time away from the tour to get out of that sort of zone to see where my head is at.”

The decision to surf in select events in 2016 came after lengthy discussion with family, friends, sponsors and the WSL.

“When I first came to this decision, I rang up Kieren (Perrow) and Paul Speaker and gave them an idea of what I was thinking and seeing if it was okay with them,” Fanning said. “Between those two and the whole WSL being supportive, it’s been really incredible. Even last year, with all the things happening, they were the first people that would reach out to support and make sure everything was okay. I’m really thankful that they’re giving me this opportunity to be selective with events and see where I’m at.”

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of accomplished people across a variety of mediums and Mick Fanning is certainly one of the most inspiring,” Paul Speaker, WSL CEO, said. “His class and character, even in the face of multiple scenarios that would undo most people, are tremendous. He is a truly special person and we’re here to support him in whatever way we can.”

The shark incident at Jeffreys Bay in July became a top international news story, vaulting Fanning into a level of public recognition never before seen in the sport. While his 2016 season remains in flux, Fanning has indicated plans to return to Jeffreys Bay this year.

“I want to go back to J-Bay,” Fanning said. “I feel like there’s something there that I want to go and face. I want to make sure that I scratch that off the list. I think the main thing will be that first surf. I probably won’t be getting up at dark and getting out there before the sun gets up anymore. I think it’s more about jumping in and surfing once or twice and then I’ll be fine. It’s the same thing as when I came back and surfed Snapper for the first time. You’re a little bit wary and it’s in the back of your mind, but you get to a point where you start to feel comfortable again. If I go and do that event, there are going to be a lot of eyes on me. A lot of people will be seeing what reaction I’ll have. I don’t think I’ll be paddling out early for heats, but I think after a surf or two, I’ll feel fine.”

A 15-year veteran of the elite WSL Championship Tour, Fanning has amassed an impressive 21 event wins and three world titles.

“Mick Fanning is one of the most committed and inspiring figures our sport has been fortunate enough to have,” Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner, said. “He’s been up front and open about his feelings following the 2015 season and the Commissioner’s Office wholeheartedly supports him taking time for himself this year. We look forward to seeing him at the opening event on the Gold Coast and at select events throughout the year.”

The 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will commence with the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast from March 10 – 21, 2016.

Press release from Dave Prodan, VP of Communications. World Surf League
For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com

Spreading the love

Valentins at St Francis College – Spreading The Love!

By Roxanne Litherland and Beth Cooper Howell

Valentines at St Francis College

Valentines-Day Market-Nadine,Duncan,Lexera-Castle and Layla Reynolds

Mathematics is fun! And what better way to learn about the value of money than to sell your wares at a Valentine’s Day Market?

After being back at school for just over a month, the Grade 2 class was ready to put into practice what they’d learned about numbers. All school pupils were encouraged to wear red, white or pink in celebration of the annual Grade 2 market day, which has become a much-loved event.

The young hosts had spent hours preparing delightful stalls packed with love-inspired goodies and treats. More importantly, they were learning, on the job, how to run a business, handle money – and keep their customers satisfied!

‘Our annual Valentine’s Day Market, after deducting all overheads and counting up their profit, was a record-breaker in rands earned for the Grade 2 class. I was astounded by their professionalism and ability to show what they have learned during class. I am proud to call each one of them, a great entrepreneur!’ said Grade 2 teacher Nadine Duncan.

Valenties at St Francis College

Valentines Day Team: Ethan Hurley, Layla De Bruyn, Jac Duval and Mikhulu Nkwalase

St Francis College Grade-0 Valentine's Day

Grade-0 Valentine’s Day

PHOTOGRAPHS: Janet Duval, Daniela Reynolds and Elizabeth Carpenter

DA Fundraising Drive and Golf Day launched

Kouga Alliance Golf Day and Fundraiser

DA Fundraiser and Golf Day

Click for larger view of poster

The date is set and it is all systems set for the 2016 Kouga Alliance Fund Raising and Golf Day to be held at St Francis Bay Golf Club on 26th March 2016. The competition will be a 4-Ball Alliance with two scores to count and the organisers are hoping for a full field and have allocated both morning and afternoon tee-off times to maximise the number of entries for this, one of the most important events on the golfing calendar.

So as to make it easier for golfers to access an entry form St Francis Today has made this task a little easier by putting the entry form online. To get your team entry in simply download the ENTRY FORM, complete tour teams details and fax, e-mail or deliver it to St Francis Bay Golf Club. But do it now for the organisers expect a full field. Oh…. and while you are about it, why not send this page to as many of your fellow golfers as you can to spread the word. Players from all over the province and indeed the country are welcome to enter and as it is being held over the Easter weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to bring the family down to spend a few days in our wonderful village.

Even if you are not a golfer there are opportunities for you to participate in the fund raising effort by taking up one of several sponsorship opportunities on the tees and greens of the beautiful “old course” layout. And if you do not want to sponsor a tee or green you can still participate by simply donating to the cause. The sponsorship and donation form can also be downloaded from the St Francis Today website so do it now and make sure your voice gets heard in the upcoming municipal elections.

Below is a letter from the organising committee spelling out the importance of this event.

You may already be aware of the initiative started several years ago by a small group of concerned St Francis residents and property owners to raise funds to assist the DA in their efforts to fight various local, national and provincial elections and by-elections. This initiative raised some R228 000 in 2013 and R353 000 in 2014, which certainly helped the DA to increase its support, most recently to an overall DA majority of some 2500 votes in the Kouga area in the 2014 elections.

As you know, however, the major battle is yet to come – the 2016 local government elections. There is a very real prospect of the DA gaining control of the Kouga Council in these elections (the DA currently holds 14 seats versus the 15 of the ANC). Given the importance of the task at hand and to give the DA a really good chance of achieving this, we are aiming to re-set the record books in this year’s fundraising drive. You will be interested to know that some of the monies previously raised are already being used to fight the 2016 election by funding a new Kouga telecanvassing centre, a social media marketing campaign and the remuneration of activists seen as critical to securing DA support in the non-traditional areas.

We firmly believe that victory in these elections will give us real hope of seeing much-needed longer term sustainable improvements in service delivery, infrastructure, employment and governance in the Kouga region. We are therefore sincerely requesting you to support us in achieving our 2016 fundraising objective and, if you are a golfer, to support this year’s golf day which will be held on 26th March 2016 during the Easter long weekend, again at the St Francis Bay Golf Course.

In tomorrow’s edition of St Francis Today we will we will feature a letter of appeal from Elza van Lingen, the local MP for the DA, together and the Entry and Sponsorship forms will be available online until day before the event but don’t delay, DO IT NOW!

The Kouga Organizing Committee members are John Wilson (convenor), Andrew Bowren, Evan Dold, Norman Dyer, Tim Elliott, Barry Jepson, Charles Laird, Rex Macgregor, Peter Maskew, Norman Newcombe, Michael Pearton, Barry Phillips, George Stegmann

To get both the the Golf entry and Sponsorship form CLICK HERE or on the graphic below

DA Fundraiser and Golf Day

Click on graphic to download entry and sponsorship and donation forms

Prime Timers excursion to Addo Elephant National Park

Prime Timers visit Addo’s elephants

Prime Timers visit Addo's elephants

Left to Right: Alan Ryalls, Jenny Dale, Paulene Hardy, Colleen Mutch, Chrystal Collins, Corrie Strab.. Sandy Hansen – Kneeling: George Lubberson & Jan Gultcher

Well it seems the Prime Timers inaugural event was a huge success according to organiser Paulene Hardy. Paulene came up with the idea of a club, for lack of a better word, where retired and semi-retired St Francis residents could enjoy organised outings and events. With rising fuel costs Prime Timer members are encouraged to car pool which not only saves fuel but also makes for a far more social event and gives the group time to better know each other and share their experience.

A Sunday stroll in Addo Elephant National ParkLeaving Pedal & Spoke Café in the Tennant Centre on St Francis Drive the group set out for Addo at around 8:30 arriving at the park mid-morning for according to Paulene, some great game viewing with some a number of elephant sightings amongst other smaller game. Lunch was a casual picnic affair at one of the park’s picnic sites before the group set off for an afternoon of entertainment at nearby Hopefield Country House.

Situated close in the heart of the Sundays River Valley a stone throw from the Park and close toCello and Piano duet Port Elizabeth this four star country house is set in a beautiful garden home to a magnificent rose garden home to over 50 rose varieties providing wonderful splashes of colour throughout the year. Filled with a myriad of bird species, the property also has an extensive citrus orchard as it is also a working farm. Accommodation is provided in seven individually decorated spacious en-suite bedrooms each with a private entrance off the gardens and with all the facilities one would expect from a four star establishment.

Arriving at Hopefield the happy group were welcomed with pink champagne before being entertained to a piano and cello duet of classical music. After the private concert a short stroll around the garden was followed by tea served with canapes before the weary travellers took to the road for the return trip to St Francis.

Paulene puts together great discounted packages and the Addo trip cost each traveller just R148.00 all in.Now that’s a bargain for a day’s outing.

For more information on Prime Timers, how to join and other information call Paulene on 084 7897801 or 042 2940301.

Morning refreshmant for the family

Zebra at Addo Elephant National Park

Good morning Prime Timers, welcome to Addo

“Open your Eyes – Sterilize “ – SPCA INDABA

Mike Stark to present his ‘Brilliant Greenland Adventure”

Visiting the Sea Vista Pet Clinic run by Stephanie Ernsten every Thursday on the Sea Vista playing field certainly opens one’s eyes to the need for the more dogs in the township to be sterilized. Well in excess of 40 new born puppies have been treated at the clinic since it reopened just three weeks ago and no doubt a lot more will be treated in the coming weeks.  Treating and inoculating these puppies is essential to prevent the spread of canine diseases but the real remedy is to have every puppy sterilized before they reach maturity and start the cycle over and over again.

Although there is a certain resistance by many of the township folk to have their dogs sterilized, Stephanie quietly goes about her work by gently persuading dog owners that it is the right thing to do. But sterilisations require funding as vets cannot be expected to donate their time, skills, facilities and treatments for free and thus the need to raise funds and to this end, Susan Rae-Fox created the “Open your Eyes – Sterilize” initiative.

The Open your Eyes –Sterilize has held many a fine event, always well supported, but usually with an all-woman audience. But things are about to change for the next event and men are encouraged to join in for what promises to be an interesting talk by Mike Stark on his ‘brilliant adventure’  in Greenland, illustrated with a sequence of amazing photographs. Those who have already listened to Mike’s talk enjoyed listening to his exploits immensely so it really is an event you won’t want to miss.

The event is to be held at Dune Ridge Country House on Thursday 17th March at 11.00 am so bring your partners and friends. Sarah Swanepoel of Dune Ride always puts on a lovely spread for these occasions and will be serving, as always, a super spread of sweet and savoury treats with tea and coffee after the talk by Mike.

Tickets are R150.00 each so why not complete the form below  indicating how many tickets you would like and Sue will arrange for the tickets  to be left with Jennie or Debbi at Kouga print for you to collect.

All the money raised from our SPCA Indaba is used to support our ‘Open Your Eyes and Sterilize’ campaign to sterilize as many township dogs as possible and help prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens and the cruelty that stems from this..

Sign up for you ticket here

St Francis Animal Rescue