BLOG: Have we lost our reality?

Have we lost our reality and our sense of humour?

This whole Mallett / Williemse saga has really been blown out of proportion and sadly made into a racial issue which it is not. Three men, all testosterone filled, ex rugby players, all with minds of their own; all with their own views, have a disagreement. One we know from watching him all these years always tries to dominate and so chooses ‘FIGHT’. The other who would also normally choose fight has had a bad day and for reasons of his own on this occasion, chooses ‘FLIGHT’.

No doubt similar scenarios are replayed in pubs, clubs, family dining room tables and even board room tables on an almost daily basis. Disagreement amongst family members, spouses, team mates, business partners is a given, And given time, everyone cools down, shake hands and are best of mates again. As kids (boys) growing up who didn’t e have an altercation with a pal or sibling, some that even turned to fisticuffs to resolve.

In the heat of a scrum or lineout, the odd punch so often erupted into opposing teams swinging handbags and hurling insults as colourful as any sailor but all is forgotten by the time they all get  into the pub after the game.

Mallett is abrasive, that is his nature, Naas waffles on (intelligently in rugby terms) and Ashwin stands at the replay analysis board commenting on visual replays. If that is not a recipe for disagreement what is?  And surely that is why we have these panels in rugby, soccer, cricket. Are all the panellists meant to agree with each other? If that is the case rather they should save money and employ only one person to commentate for that way there could be no disagreement.  And no viewers to listen to their one sided views.

As a nation we need to get our sense of humour back for in reality, Williemse storming off (which he did not in spite of the press saying he did) was actually funny. Reality TV!

There is hardly a channel that doesn’t have a reality program these days and what happened in the Supersport studio on Saturday would be what the makers of Survivor strive for and what  that horrible ‘Big Brother’  was all about.

NOTE: My spell check felt it necessary to rename Williemse, Williams and it was only noticed afer posting

Dagga bust on near Storms River

Humansdorp Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit arrest four

Police arrested four men and seized 17 bags of dagga with a total weight of 500 kilograms valued around R 500 000 early on Saturday morning when they stopped a vehicle between Storms River and Plettenberg Bay.

Earlier the Humansdorp Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit had received information of possible rhino poachers travelling in a white Nissan bakkie and a white Volkswagen Polo, and they followed up on the information.

The Volkswagen Polo was spotted and stopped on N2 near Storms River whilst the Nissan bakkie was spotted and stopped near a fuel station in Plettenberg Bay.

17 bags of dagga were seized and four men all aged in their 30’s were arrested and due to appear in court dealing in dagga. The two vehicles were impounded for further investigation.

Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok said the information leading to the arrests came from residents and the members of the  Humansdorp Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit  “are to be commended for their efforts and commitment, as the information required them to spend long hours on the road”.

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Kirsten goes Rambling

Our roving Foodie goes Rambling (Rose)

Kirsten Doyle

Kirsten Doyle

Rambling Rose Coffee Shop – 165 St Francis Drive, St Francis Bay

I’m not sure why it has taken me so many months to try out Rambling Rose, but I wish I had done so sooner.

The venue is lovely – cosy and quaint inside, with splashes of colour and bright, comfy cushions, as well as a spacious outside seating section, with a play area for the kiddies.

They have a wide range of light meals, including burgers, wraps, salads and toasted sandwiches, as well as a truly delicious selection of breakfasts.  From salmon with scrambled egg and avocado, and a variety of delicious omelettes, to healthier options such as fruit salad and carbless choices, there is something here to suit every palate and diet.

Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased with the selection of delicious looking cakes, as well as several choices of pancakes (think Bar One, or banana).

There is also a kiddies’ menu, with the expected chicken nuggets, smaller breakfasts, calamari and chips, and suchlike.

They have an excellent range of hot beverages, from teas and coffees, to hot chocolate and lattes, either chai or red. Even better, each drink comes with a mouthwatering homemade shortbread cookie. Yum. There is also the full range of cold beverages – sodas, juices and milkshakes, as well as a selection of alcoholic beverages.

In my opinion, one way in which Rambling Rose really sets itself apart, is the service. From front of house, to the kitchen, the place seems to run like a well-oiled machine. The wait staff are in perfect synch, taking care of their tables, and helping others when needed. They seem to magically appear whenever you need something, without ever getting feeling they are hovering around or rushing you.

Now to my meal. I absolutely love eggs Benedict, but they are often a bit hit and miss for me. But I decided to chance it, and as I was battling to decide between the bacon and the creamed spinach, I decided to go for both. I also opted for ciabatta instead of the muffin. I ordered my eggs ‘runny yolks but no snotty whites’ and they were spot on. The yolk ran over the toast, and the whites were firm. The bacon was crispy and generous, and the spinach simply sublime.  A sprinkling of spring onions added flavour and crunch, and a few roast cherry tomatoes on the plate lent colour and sweetness. It was perfect, and so delicious, I went back for the identical breakfast the next day.

It’s not often I cannot find any fault with a place, but with Rambling I simply can’t. Both the food and the service were on point, the experience for me, was flawless.

RATING: 5 / 5
ATMOSPHERE: Cosy, comfortable and fun.
SOUND LEVEL: Conversation level background music, general restaurant bustle.
RECOMMENDED: The eggs Benedict, although everything that came out of the kitchen looked delicious. The coffee – Lavazza – is always a winner.
RICE RANGE: Ridiculously reasonable, from R30 to R95 for meals, with massive portions.
HOURS: Open every day from 7.30 am till around 4 pm.
RESERVATIONS: First come first served. Get there before 9am for breakfast if you don’t want to queue, although the queue does seem to move fairly quickly.
CREDIT CARDS: All major.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: Ratings range from zero to five stars and reflect the reviewer’s opinion on the food, ambience and service, with pricing taken into consideration.

Facebook – The good, bad and maybe…

Facebook – The good, bad and maybe …  ugly

Those readers who have never had a Facebook profile or have deleted their profile will no doubt feel justified in their decision not to be part of the social media phenomena that has some 2-billion plus followers worldwide (some 14-million of whom are in South Africa). Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been under the cosh recently with revelations on how Facebook harvest personal information and how this information was used by Cambridge Analytica to create psychographics which used personal data farmed off Facebook.

Psychograhics entails building a detailed psychological profile of a user that will allow a campaign to predict exactly what kind of appeal will be most likely to convince any particular user in a particular way. Whilst Cambridge Analytica was been fingered for using this for nefarious political influencing who is to say Facebook isn’t using it against to influence millions of users thus manipulating advertising income.

Zuckerberg has been summoned to give evidence in both Congress and Britain’s Parliament although he has refused the latter. But Zuckerberg is not alone in being called to testify for both Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitters Jack Dorsey have also been summoned by the Senate Judiciary chairman to attend a hearing on data privacy. Facebook stocks have taken a beating as have  Twitter with both stocks recently shedding over 10%. Added to this are some high profile individuals, none more so than Elon Musk who have deleted not only their personal profiles but also their business accounts. Maybe a knee-jerk reaction but it does indicate that there are those who it seems do not appreciate what Facebook has allowed to happen.

As one CNN commentator so aptly commented “there is no such thing as a free lunch” so don’t for a moment believe that Facebook or that free G-Mail account is being offered out of the goodness of Zuckerberg or Pinchai’s heart. There payback in terms of personal data and so it is up to individual users to decide how much they are prepared to share of their everyday lives.

Now there is no need to rush off and cancel your Facebook profile or G-Mail address but pay attention to what is private and what is not and make sure your kids understand the pitfalls. Take a little time to read more about what how you can set up your profile and maybe help your kids to ensure they too are protected. There is much research available online so ask Google for help and use it. Even Facebook will help you protect yourself if you take the time to do the research.

Of course not is all bad with Facebook, Twitter and the many other social media platforms that now abound on the Internet. As a means keeping in touch and up to date with friends and family Facebook and other social media offer a wonderful platform. Facebook also has a benefit for business to promote themselves and their products to say nothing of the huge benefits to charitable causes.

Sadly some Facebookers cannot help themselves and it has become a hobby to see how many posts they can put on the web daily. The marketing pundits recommend that ideally more than two to three posts a day but most agree each must find what works best for them. A local Facebook page that has it right is Cape St Francis Resort. Cape St Francis Resort post once a day and at a time that sees it head your own page each morning. St Francis Animal Rescue is a ‘cause’ related page that has through effective content, grown not only a good following but a following that willingly reposts thus spreading their reach.

Of course, there are others who don’t enjoy knitting blankets for the poor preferring to expend their energy posting and reposting throughout the day, even late into the night lest we forget them. Sadly these posts clutter one’s profile and are the first to be ‘unfriended’ when the amount of posts filling one’s profile becomes so overwhelming that deleting one’s entire profile becomes a sensible option. But they are not the ultimate pariahs of Social Media for this is reserved for those who repost FAKE NEWS. Whether they repost what is so obviously FAKE News simply because they are too stupid to understand the difference or do it for a chuckle one will never know but it leaves a question as to their intelligence.

With the 2019 General elections just 18 months away one wonders if any of our political parties will find ways to manipulate Social Media.

Interesting article in Huffington Post this morning

Facebook App Data Mining May Affect Up To 60,000 South Africans – Cambridge Analytica may have harvested and shared data from even more Facebook users than was originally thought.

PE Divers found alive

Two Port Elizabeth divers found alive and well after three-hour search

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

Ian Gray‚ station commander of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), Port Elizabeth reports the Port Elizabeth duty crew was activated on Sunday morning following reports from the Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club that two scuba divers were missing.

A group of recreational divers aboard a Marine Training Centre (MTC) commercial dive boat had gone on a recreational dive some .two kilometres off-shore south of Cape Recife led by a dive master. Also on the dive were a student diver accompanied by dive instructor for deep-sea dive. Because of poor visibility, the dive master called for the dive to be abandoned and all the recreational divers boarded the dive boat. The student diver and his instructor had surfaced some distance away from the boat and because of the glare of the morning sea off the sea they were not seen. Whilst they could see the boat they were unable to catch draw attention and drifted further away from the dive boat.

Fearing the two divers had not surfaced the dive boat started a search and contacted Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club who in turn alerted NSRI Port Elizabeth. The Ski-Boat Club activated a ski-boat to go to the scene and an additional MTC commercial boat and two CDC commercial boats in the area went to the scene to join the original MTC dive boat. The dive boat had deployed a flotation buoy to mark the initial position of where the dive was taking place and attached two life-jackets to increase the buoy’s visibility.

NSRI Port Elizabeth in the meantime launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft and the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 4 was towed to the Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club where it was launched from the club slipway.

EC Government Health EMS, a Police Dive Unit, the NMB (Nelson Mandela Bay) Beach Office and Water Rescue Committee, Coastal Water Rescue and an EMS helicopter, Aeromed 3, were also all activated.

The two sea rescue craft joined the five boats that were on the scene south of Cape Recife.and EMS ambulances stood by at Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club whilst Coastal Water Rescue were deployed on a shoreline search.

A search pattern was given to the Aeromed 3 EMS helicopter and they flew a search operation with those given instructions whilst Police divers prepared to begin a dive search at the initial dive site.

NSRI took all seven boats (two NSRI craft, the initial MTC dive boat, the sister MTC boat, the Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club ski boat, and both CDC commercial boats) 100 meters apart and a sweeping line search was initiated following the direction of the currents and wind direction with NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft in the middle of that sweeping line search with three boats on each side of Spirit of Toft and taking into account the wind speed and direction and taking into account the sea currents and the initial location of where the divers were meant to be – if they had surfaced and had drifted away then the middle boat of the sweeping line search (NSRI’s Spirit of Toft) should come across the divers on that track.

During the sweeping line search three hours later the search party came across the two divers floating approximately some 8 kilometres northeast from the initial area where they had been diving and they were approximately 4 nautical miles off-shore.

An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the surf and the 2 divers were recovered onto the sea rescue craft.They were both in good spirits and they were treated for mild hypothermia but otherwise, they were only a bit tired and obviously happy to be rescued.

They were brought to shore at the Noordhoek Ski-Boat club where EMS paramedics checked them out and they were released requiring no further medical attention.

They confirmed that with the sun behind them, they could see the dive boat but the dive boat could not see them after they had surfaced and they drifted further away until they could no longer see their dive boat but they could see that a search had been started.

While drifting they made themselves comfortable, they stayed together and drifted. At one stage they could hear the helicopter and knowing a search was underway, they later heard the motors of the boats searching for them before Spirit of Toft came across them during that first leg of the sweeping line search.

Both local adult males, diving instructor Jean Snyman, 45, and his student diver Rezano Damoense, 36.

NSRI commended all services and the private and the commercial boats involved and Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club, in particular, the MTC commercial dive boat that raised the alarm without any hesitation and marking the initial site.

And‚ to add to the tale‚ the NSRI discovered that Damoense had applied to join the NSRI in Port Elizabeth as a volunteer and his application had been accepted to weeks ago.

Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic

Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres by Quiksilver

Jordy Maree and Josefina Ane Clinch Titles
Veteran Matthew Moir Crowned Men’s Longboard Champion

Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) were crowned the men’s and women’s champions at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver on Sunday – Photo: WSL / Thurtell

Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) earned the biggest wins of their professional surfing careers today when they clinched the men’s and women’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver.

Veteran former two-time ISA World Longboard Champion Matthew Moir (Cape Town) celebrated his first victory in a WSL rated event by defeating former WSL No. 2 Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in a high-performance final that highlighted the talent of local longboard surfers.

The inaugural Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver, Stop No 2 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour, enjoyed great waves and conditions at East Beach in Port Alfred, bringing WSL competition back to the Kowie Rivermouth for the first time since the 1990’s.

On a day when goofy foot surfers (those who ride with their right foot in front) dominated proceedings by filling all six spots in the three finals, Jody Maree led the charge with an outstanding win over red-hot Australian Jordan Lawler.

Maree opened his account in the final with two massive backhand turns and then safely completed the close-out re-entry to earn 7.25 out of 10, which ultimately was the highest score of the encounter. He continued to build his heat total with mid-range scores, but Lawler blasted back into contention with a 6.0 and then took the lead with a 6.90 with seven minutes still on the clock.

Holding his nerves in check and using the priority system intelligently, Maree waited for a wave that peeled down the sandbar and hooked into two huge backhand blasts that were rewarded with a 6.45 to regain the lead. Needing a 6.81 with just two minutes remaining, Lawler went for broke on a high flying aerial manoeuvre but couldn’t land it and Maree claimed the win.

“I’m really happy to win my first QS event and want to thank all the people that made the event possible,” said Maree on the podium. “I also want to thank all those who have supported me – my coach, my sponsors, my family and my girlfriend. Thank you so much for helping me get this win.”

Maree was very fortunate to advance from his first heat in the event when he was penalised for a priority interference but managed to progress with a single ride score of 6.75. On finals day he outpointed established QS surfer Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in the semi-finals and scored a narrow win over another seasoned traveler in Slade Prestwich (Durban) in the quarter-finals.

His victory earned Maree R12,000 and 1,000 points on the QS and regional rankings which, combined with his haul of 560 points for a third-place finish in Port Elizabeth last week, sees him jump to the top of the WSL Africa leaderboard.

Lawler started his finals day by eliminating Cape Town based junior Max Elkington (Kommetjie) in the quarters and then delivered the only perfect 10 point ride of the event in his semi-final win over Greg Emslie (East London), one of South Africa’s most celebrated surf stars. The Australian had already posted an excellent 8.0 score and finished with a heat tally of 18.0 out of 20, the highest in the entire men’s event.

Josefina Ane arrived in South Africa last week fresh off a career-best runner-up finish in a QS1,000 event in her hometown of Mar del Plata. The 19-year-old was elated to secure her first title by defeating 14-year-old standout Zoe Steyn (East London) today.

The highest QS ranked woman in the event at No. 56, the Argentinean ousted reigning WSL Africa Junior and QS champions Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) in the quarters and semis respectively. In the final she selected great waves and used her exciting backhand attack to build what became an insurmountable 13.75 point total that her younger rival could not match.

“This is my first QS win and I’m really happy and thankful for all the people who have this event,” said Ane in her heavy Spanish accent. “My English is a little bit bad but I’m really happy and thank you to all the people for coming to this event.”

Steyn usually competes in the junior events but was unfazed by her older opponents in Port Alfred and consistently produced high heat totals throughout the event. She ousted women’s longboard winner Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) from the event in their quarter-final match-up and then reached the final by eliminating Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) in the semis.

The result saw the youngster leapfrog into joint first place on the WSL Africa women’s rankings after two events.

The introduction of Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events to the WSL Africa schedule added an exciting new dimension to the contest and the performances produced by the top men and women proved that there is a hotbed of talent in the country The highest heat total of the entire event – a near perfect 18.50 out of 20 – was delivered by Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in his semi-final win over Michael Hill.

Matthew Moir has been at the top of the worldwide longboard scene for two decades and put on a master class to capture the LQS men’s title by defeating Sawyer by 15.25 vs. 13.90 in a pulsating final that saw both men effortlessly combine traditional and new school manoeuvres on their nearly three metre long surfboards.

“It’s amazing that the sponsors let longboarding be part of a shortboard contest,” said Moir. “It is also so good that the World Surf League recognises longboarding again in South Africa. The contest was extremely well and I’m just stoked to win it.”

The final of the LQS1,000 women’s event was run on Saturday with Crystal Hulett taking the win over Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay).

The event also hosted activities designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background. These were coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, and run by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis.

Full results, news, photos and video footage from the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver can be found at:

QS1,000 Men:  https://bit.ly/2q99Kfd
QS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2qcAw6G   
LQS1,000 Men:  https://bit.ly/2H2i8H4   
LQS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2HhKbQD

Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver

Results 

QS 1,000 Men’s Final

  1. Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 13.70
  2. Jordan Lawler (Australia) 12.90

QS 1,000 Men’s Semi-Finals

SF1: Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 14.40 def. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 13.25
SF2: Jordan Lawler (Australia) 18.00 def. Greg Emslie (East London) 12.50

QS 1,000 Women’s Final

  1. Josefina Ane (Argentina) 13.75
  2. Zoe Steyn (East London) 7.50

QS 1,000 Women’s Semi-Finals

SF1: Josefina Ane (Argentina) 11.25 def. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 3.70
SF2: Zoe Steyn (East London) 9.75 def. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 5.05

LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Final

  1. Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 15.25
  2. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 13.90

LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Semi-Finals

SF1: Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 18.50 def. Michael Hill 14.50
SF2: Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 17.85 def. Thomas King (Cape Town) 11.75

LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Final

  1. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 11.25
  2. Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50

LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Semi-Finals

SF1: Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 10.0 def. Mia Baard 4.15
SF2: Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 10.75 def. Tarryn King (Cape Town) 9.25

WSL Africa – Men’s QS Rankings (after event #2 – Port Alfred Classic)

1          Maree,Jordan (Cape Town)           1560
2          Van Zyl, David (Glenashley)         1420
3          Masencamp,Adin (Strand)             1050
4          Lightfoot,Dylan (Jeffreys Bay)         980

5          Kidd,Richard (Ballito)                        745

WSL Africa – Women’s QS Rankings (after event #2 – Port Alfred Classic)

1          Pallet,Nicole (La Lucia)                  1310
1          Steyn,Zoe      (East London)           1310
3          Woolf,Kai       (Jeffreys Bay)           1300
4          Smith,Emma (Jeffreys Bay)           955
5          Hogg,Teal      (uMhlanga)               860

Next weekend sees the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits at Nahoon Reef in East London, Stop No. 3 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour and the second of five events in the City Surf Series.

2018 WSL Africa Schedule of Events

Completed     Port Elizabeth         *Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Completed     Port Alfred               Royal St Andrews Port Alfred Classic  pres. by Quiksilver
Apr 13-15         East London           *Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits
May 18-20       Durban                   *ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres. by G-Force Surfboards
Jun 1-3            Lamberts Bay          Vans Surf Pro Classic
Jun 14-17        Cape Town             *Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Jun 19-24        Port Elizabeth         *Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Jun 22-24        Ballito                       Billabong Junior Series #1
Jun 25-1 Jul    Ballito                       Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong
Aug 29-2 Sep  Dakar, Senegal     Senegal Pro (Tentative)
Sep 4-9            Casablanca                        Anfaplace Pro Casablanca
Sep 27-30        Cape St Francis     Billabong Junior Series #2
Jan 1-31 Dec  Durban                    Cell C Good Wave