A Road to Cape St Francis

Access Road between Port &  Cape St Francis

Is it not time that a road should be built to join St Francis Bay Drive near the port and  da Gama Road, Cape St Francis rather than having the only access via the R330?

We realise this is an extremely controversial subject but in light of the recent Cape St Francis house fire, possibly it is an appropriate time for it to be broached. The fire department took over half an hour to respond to the call last week,not because they were all fast asleep but rather because of the distance they had to travel to attend to the emergency. The fire, at the northern end of Cape St Francis, meant that the fire tender was required to travel almost a full circle, virtually doubling back on itself owing to the fact that there is no direct access from St Francis Bay to Cape St Francis other than the R330.

During the 2016 fires Cape St Francis’ only access was via the Air Park for a couple of days and had the Air Park also been ablaze, Cape St Francis would have effectively been isolated with no way in or out. Had there been a medical emergency which, considering the fire, it was highly possible that there could have been a serious injury or medical condition.

Then too consider! Townships around the country have been the scene of violent demonstrations and road blockages in recent weeks and what would the situation be if Sea Vista were to follow suit.  Again Cape St Francis would be isolated for it seems the police are reluctant to intervene as they have shown in other areas

Of course in emergencies the Air Park could open their access road but this narrow, steep access point is certainly not suitable for fully laden fire tenders or other heavy equipment that may need to access the area. Also this would compromise their privacy.

Last but certainly not least is the economic consideration. Certainly the least important consideration to some but not maybe to those struggling financially. One could say it is “the cost of living in a remote area”but consider for those struggling to survive with ever increasing cost of living, school fees and of course petrol cost that seem quite likely to reach R18 per litre in the not too distant future. To probably half of those who live in Cape St Francis, those who live south of the resort it would still pay them to use the R330 but those north of the resort, the saving in fuel costs could be significant. If an access road were built it certainly wouldn’t increase traffic along da Gama Road and would probably reduce traffic..

Now the suggestion that has reached St Francis Today is that no one is looking for a highway but rather a basic dirt access road. Possibly it could closed with booms and only opened if required. Another suggestion is that it could be opened out of season but closed in season.

This certainly is a subject that needs to be discussed by Cape St Francis Civics association, the Cape St Francis residents, St Francis Property Owners and the Kouga municipality.

Please don’t shoot the messenger but please do have your say in the COMMENTS section below. Should there be an access road or not?

Day One of Ballito Pro

Willard Beach Delivers for World’s Best Surfers on Day One of Ballito Pro

Willard Beach in KwaDukuza delivered a picture perfect day of world-class surfing in warm, windless midwinter sunshine and excellent 1.0 to 1.3 metre waves to kick off the historic 50th anniversary edition of the Ballito Pro presented Billabong, the world’s longest running professional surfing event.

The first World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event of 2018 features an outstanding field of 112 of the world’s best surfers and the day was filled with spectacular performances and heart-breaking upsets.

Oney Anwar kept the Indonesian flag flying in Ballito, following his compatriot Rio Waida’s victory in the Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event on Sunday with an impressive display of wave selection and radical manoeuvring that earned both the highest single ride score of 8.83 out of 10, and heat total of 16.76 out of 20.

“I just kept it simple, paddling out and sitting on the right . I made a few mistakes at the start, but I kept fighting for the one I was waiting for and then it came and I got that 8.83,” said Anwar of his heat strategy.

“I came last year with a really badly injured foot, and I never usually like a place when I’m injured, but I stayed until the contest finished and I loved it! This year I’m not injured and I’m enjoying it even more! But this is only the first round and I want to keep the good vibe rolling and keep enjoying my life.”

The eight Round One heats saw just two of the top seeds earn heat wins with powerhouse Australian Jackson Baker continuing the momentum he picked up from his victory in the QS 3,000 event in Port Elizabeth last Saturday to win his matchup.

And Brazilian prodigy Mateus Herdy used all of his aerial prowess to snatch victory over South African Adin Masencamp (Strand) as the pair of teenagers eliminated Timothee Bisso (FRA) and former Championship Tour (CT) member Raoni Monteiro (BRA).

The other two South African wildcards in the opening round were both ousted with Jordy Maree narrowly failing to advance when he finished third in his heat and Jake Elkington ended fourth in the first heat of the day.

The start of Round Two saw the level of competition step up to new heights with most of the heats closely contested as the competitors ripped the waves to shreds in the pristine conditions.

Rookie CT sensation Griffin Colapinto (USA) sneaked through his opening encounter by the narrowest of margins, finishing well behind winner Kalani Ball (AUS) and then hanging onto second place just three-hundredths of a point ahead of Kiron Jabour (HAW).

Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) won an exceptionally hard fought cosmopolitan clash where current QS rankings leader and 2015 Ballito Pro champion Alejo Muniz (BRA) finished fourth while former CT member Mitch Crews was pipped for second place by fellow Australian Mikey Wright, who reached the semi-finals at Ballito last year and has moved into the top 10 on the CT after stating 2018 as a wildcard.

While acknowledging that the first QS 10,000 of the year is an important event on the schedule, the Hawaiian took the victory in his stride and was just happy to be in Ballito.

“I’m not the most strategic surfer, I just want to ride a lot of waves because if I get too patient, wait too long, that’s not the surfer I am,” said Hendrickson. “So it’s all about riding a bunch of waves, the other guys don’t factor into my plans. The Ballito Pro is a big event on my schedule, it’s the first 10,000 of the year, and I’m fortunate to just keep going as a surfer. I don’t have that sponsor backing, so I’m just happy to be here.”

Umhlanga local Beyrick de Vries had the partisan hometown supporters hooting and was holding onto an advancing second place in his heat until Jacob Wilcox (AUS) found the best wave of the heat in the dying moments of the 30 minute clash and got the score he needed to earn a spot in Round Three

Soli Bailey (AUS) implemented his gameplan perfectly to ensure he progressed to the last 48 in the Ballito Pro, reading the conditions astutely and acting accordingly.

“Approaching the heat there were a few factors coming into play, it was high tide and it was always going to be quite a slow heat, so it was going to come down to a couple of good waves,” said Bailey. “I had 30 minutes, which is a long time if you can be patient, and I really wanted to consolidate with a good wave at the start and then back it up as quickly as possible.”

“I was pretty lucky I got that lefthander that gave me a good score and that was my gameplan – just to make sure I put myself a decent wave to start the heat with, to set me up for the heat – and then I built on that and it worked out. The first big event of the year is always cutthroat, it means everything in qualification process, so it was a pretty nervous heat for me. I’ve had a couple of tough heats and some bad losses, so I just wanted to get one under my belt and it will be good to keep going.”

The penultimate heat of the day saw the return of 2017 semi-finalist Mikey February (ZAF), who is now a full time member of the elite CT. Despite holding his own through most of the heat, the Capetonian was overtaken in the dying moments, much to disappointment of his legions of fans.

Organisers completed all eight heats in Round One and eight of 24 heats in Round Two on the opening day of the event. They will meet at first light and make a decision soon after 7am on when to get the action started, and when to get the QS1,000 rated Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong underway.

Full results from the opening day, along with news, images, video clips and more will be available at www.worldsurfleague.com

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa’s hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes – rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance – will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors at this coastal holiday highlight.

The Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, Capitec Bank, Casio G-Shock, Ballito Junction Regional Mall, Coco Der Mer, 5FM, SMG Rocks, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

Adin Masencamp was the only South African to advance to the next round on the opening day of the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza on Monday
Photo: WSL / Cestari

Press  Reslease issued by
WSL Africa – Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager – Tel:  021 534 5738 – Email:   cfitch@worldsurfleague.com