History being made

Nail-biting golf, world’s fastest 400 metres and  bolt of lightning

Somewhat distracted last evening when I usually  set up the newsletter but the golf went on  until close to 9:00pm and there was no way I was going to miss the exciting duel that it turned out to be between Rose and Stenson.

And then what a way to wake up at 4:00 this morning, turn on the TV and watch Wayde van Niekerk obliterate not only the 400 metre field but also smash the world record. And this was no ordinary world record for he broke the 17-year old record set by the great Michael Johnson that many thought would stand for at least another decade.  If you haven’t seen it make a point of watching the Olympic highlights, it was incredible and the spectators responded appropriately.

With van Niekerk’s achievement it rather overshadowed the mighty Usian Bolt winning the 100 metres Gold for the third time, something no other athlete in history has achieved. What an Athlete the Bolt of Lightning is.

Despair was starting to set in that South Africa was going to go home from the 2016 Rio Olympics without a GOLD medal. With Justin Rose snatching the Gold medal on the final hole of the men’s golf maybe we could have claimed a tiny piece of gold for Rose was born in Johannesburg although in all fairness  he did move with his parents to the UK as a little lad. But hey, desperation calls for desperate measures and had van Niekerk not won Gold, more than a few press reports would have claimed a small piece of Rose’s Gold.

Not a great Olympics for South African athletes but they can now at least return with one gold after the  high expectations we had for our swimmers, rugby 7’s and rowers. But sport is filled with disappointments and possibly SASCOC has to look at the support our athletes get by way of psychological support. The Blitzbokke looked like a bunch of deer in the headlights in the semi-final against England who they should have easily beaten.

Not sure how many got to see the Olympic golf last night but WOW, who said golf wasn’t exciting. The tussle between Justin Rose and Hendrik Stenson was a nail biting and emotional few hours as they swapped the lead as they closed in on the final hole. Having watched a fair amount of the Olympic events during the first week, particularly the swimming, none, not even the amazing Michael Phelps’ exploits can claim the drawn out intensity of the closing holes of the golf. When Stenson left his chip into the 18th green well short, one waited with bated breath as to what Rose would do. And he nailed it. Stenson missed a long putt that simply had to go in but missed by a long way and it was over.  Almost an anti-climax after what for two hours was spellbinding viewing.

And so what to watch out for other than the track events this week?

Undoubtedly the Synchronised Swimming. Of all the athletes competing in the Olympics surely none have to train to the extent that the Synchro girls do with most putting in 10 hours a day. If you have never watched Synchro do yourself a favour, it is incredible to watch.

And yes we do still have another chance for gold with Caster Semenya

New Speed reduction sign on R330

60 Km per hour from bridge to Cape St Francis?

New 60k sign

Driving on the R330 from St Francis Bay towards Cape St Francis you may notice that a new 60Km signboard has replaced the 100km sign just after the de Bruyn boatyard. The combination of speed and farm animals straying across the road create an ever present danger so it is good to know that the Provincial Roads Department has heeded requests for reduced traffic speed signs to be erected opposite Sea Vista.

Now this is the good news and hopefully will reduce the chances of a terrible accident in the future, but then again only if drivers abide by the law which one can almost guarantee the majority of us will not, especially if the following is not changed.

After the new 60Km signboard there is no sign thereafter advising motorists travelling south that they can increase their speed to 100Km. In fact the very next speed sign drivers will see is the 60Km sign just before entering Cape St Francis followed after a short distance later by a 40Km sign at the first speed hump. In essence this means the legal speed limit from just after the temporary bridge, past the circle at the Links,  right up to the speed hump at the entrance to Cape St Francis, is 60Km and thereafter it drops to 40Km. Hopefully this will be corrected soon or those living in Cape St Francis but working in St Francis Bay or further, will have a long slow drive home each evening if they stick to the letter of the law.

Ironically travelling from Cape St Francis northwards, nothing has changed and the first 60Km zone is only posted just before the Tarragona Road turnoff to Sea Vista so the dangers of speed, straying animals and pedestrians remain. Surely reducing the speed limit a little way before the township is as critical from this direction.

According to Nigel Aitken who motivated the Roads Department to a relatively quick response to the request for the change of speed signs, this may be an oversight and hopefully they will be returning to complete the job. Let’s hope this is the case for if not, this section of road could boost traffic fine income significantly should they decide to carry out a few speed traps in the coming days or weeks.

Now the following won’t please all readers and no doubt will attract a few comments but some things need to stated. If we all followed the law to a tee, a la the majority of Australian citizens, South Africa would be a far better place to live. We all know this is not about to happen and unlikely to change in the next 100 years or more. But where possible, surely responsible citizens should at all times try and respect the laws of the road particularly with regard to speed and particularly the speed opposite Sea Vista if nowhere else.

We will shake our fists (or maybe ZAP signs) and curse an errant mini taxi cab driver or other road user for breaking the road laws but will then go on and break those self-same laws ourselves with nary a thought. We are all guilty, watch how many people stop at stop street in St Francis Bay. How many people ignore the NO Stopping signs on the R330 adjacent Sea Vista and how many of us drive without seat belts. Possibly we can be forgiven for breaking these these in our tiny enclave but the big one and possibly the very worst indiscretion, talking or texting on a cell phone whilst driving. This should be a no-no no matter where we live. It is downright dangerous!