From bike to a pan and back to a bike

Unemployed and bored whilst spending time in London during a gap year, local chef Daniel Hoffman borrowed a friends BMX bike to get around rather than spending money on bus and tube fares. Motivated by the experience he purchased his own BMX, soon upgraded to a mountain bike. On his travels around London he became aware of the ‘bike messenger’ geeks with punk hairdo’s and torn jeans riding their bicycles delivering their message packages. To Daniel is seemed the perfect job and so he approached a messenger company, secured a job and set off on his mountain bike delivering messages. He soon realised that a mountain bike was not the right tool for the job for all the messenger geeks rode fixed when bikes. So he traded his mountain bike for a fixed wheel version and thus a passion was born.

Owning and riding a fixed wheel bike is an experience one needs to appreciate for it is very different from riding one of the multi-geared engineering marvels that most ride these days. The Experience? Well fixed wheel bikes have no breaks, have no gears and if you want to rest your legs you have to lift them high off the pedals lest a pedal catches an ankle with disastrous results. But they do have their advantages and they are the bikes mostly used in track events so are more popular than one would imagine. Fixed wheel bikes are instantly responsive and extremely well suited to city cycling.

But back to our Chef Dan who regularly cooks up a storm at his day, and night job, creating exciting and exotic cuisine at St Francis Brewing Company. He is often spotted around St Francis Bay on his bike riding to and from work and about but he occasionally now uses his latest passion and creation, a wooden framed bike he has developed and manufactured from scratch.

A first reaction is how heavy it must be but nothing could be further from the reality. The initial prototype that Dan showed SFT weighs in at just a little over 3 kilograms placing it not far off carbon fibre competitors and it is still just a prototype. Explaining the technology in building the frame it truly is high tech with the actual wood components making up the frame honed down to a thickness of just 3mm. As Dan so succinctly explains, wood is made up of carbon thus wood fibres are a natural form of closely knit fibres not dissimilar to carbon fibres and so no reason why, using technology they are not as strong and as durable as carbon fibre.

Daniel, his wife Jasmin-Lee and his brother Pierce (an absent partner as he skippers boats on faraway oceans) have teamed up to form a business to build these wooden framed bikes. Daniel has showcased is prototype at cycle events in Cape Town and there is growing interest from the cycling community. Whilst the prototype is a fixed wheel version Daniel explains the frame is adaptable to any to road or mountain bike requirement and to individual rider preferences, within reason.As petrol prices rocket there is no doubt the cycling industry will grow. Sure some will buy the R1000 ‘gedonk’ from a chain store but as many will buy quality. With the wood construction set to cost around half that of a carbon frame equivalent, there certainly is a market for Dan’s bike out there.

Short term goals are to develop a manufacturing process locally whilst establishing a market for the technology. Obviously funding such a process is costly and Daniel is in the process of securing crowd funding so if there are investors in the area looking to get in on the ground floor of what could be a winning formula, maybe give Dan a call. Who knows such wooden construction may even have a place in the boat building industry.

More information is available from the VOLK BIKES Website

NOTE: The wood used in the construction of the bikes is all sourced from sustainable wood forest suppliers so Dan’s enviro friendly bikes are not destroying our forests.




Rotary raises needed funds for educational projects in Sea Vista

The annual Rotary golf day Betterball competition at the St Francis Bay Golf Club on 27 April fielded over 90 players and raised over R50 000 for Rotary educational projects in Sea Vista. Our grateful thanks to our title sponsors SBS (Specialised Broker Services) and Discovery Insure who were amazingly supportive. We hope this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship!

Thanks too for the wonderful support we received from all the hole sponsors and prize donors which included a generous contribution from last year’s title sponsor Makro Port Elizabeth. There were some truly fabulous prizes available and plenty of fun spot prizes to add to the fun including a lucky draw for a weekend away drawn by the great team from SBS.

Scored first on the day were Clive de Witt and Hein Nauhaus, with Rob Andrews and Neil Jones second and Tim Seaman and Dave Truter third.

Congratulations also go to the lucky winners of the raffle which ran alongside the competition. Mrs Lauren Stewart won an amazing 2 nights B&B at the lovely Zuurberg Mountain Village with a 4 course Sunday lunch for two. Ken McGreggor was drawn second for the weekend B&B at Die Tuishuisie and Victorian Manor in Craddock with Ash Sodha taking third prize for the 4 course Sunday lunch for 2 at Zuurberg Mountain Village.

A final thank you must go the wonderful staff at St Francis Bay Golf Club for their hard work and support. This was a particularly special day as it was the last charity golf day at the club under the management of Janine van der Merwe who leaves the club on 30 April. Thank you very much Janine for your support and assistance over the years! And best of luck to Justin Roux who will be taking over the reigns.

Winners on the day were Clive de Witt and Hein Nauhaus see here accepting their prize from Rotary St Francis chairman Ivan Beaumont

Getting to know business in St Francis  – Scribbels

Scribbles Interiors

We would like to take the opportunity to introduce to you our company and services.

Scribbels Interiors has been around for more than 31 years.

We provide services to help each customer determine and achieve their own unique style and functionality.  We handle every part of the process, from the planning to the completed project. We can turn your dream space into a reality while sticking to your budget.

Scribbels Interiors aims to satisfy all client needs by ensuring functional, stylish and practical designs that will accomplish business or personal goals.

We offer you a free interior design consultation along with the finest selection of fabrics and wallpaper designs to choose from.

Our experienced designers will be happy to meet with you either in your house or at our showroom to discuss your interior décor or design needs.

Please feel free to either drop in or make an appointment with one of our interior designers at anytime.


If you would like to feature your business on “Getting to know business in St Francis” give Colin a call on 082 554 0796 or mail


Dylan Lightfoot and Ariane Ochoa Take QS Titles at Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic

Thomas Lindhorst and Ceara Knight Crowned Junior Champions

South Africa’s Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Ariane Ochoa from the Basque region of Spain took out the Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic in Port Alfred on Wednesday, with Thomas Lindhorst (East London) and Ceara Knight (Kommetjie) crowned the Junior Men’s Junior Women’s champions respectively.

After two days of horrendous conditions in the Eastern Cape, the weather was calmer for the final day of Stop No 3 of seven on the 2019 WSL Africa Tour, while overhead waves continued to reel down the sandbank at the mouth of the Kowie River.

Lightfoot, ranked No 88 on the QS coming into the event, revelled in the powerful surf and won his quarter-final, semi-final and final encounters with high performance surfing and canny contest strategy to clinch his first QS event title.

The final was a see-saw encounter with all four competitors delivering great scores before Lightfoot posted a 6.55 (out of 10) that saw him overtake eventual runner-up Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) to secure victory, with Durbanites Chad du Toit and Slade Prestwich having to settle for third and fourth places.

The 1,000 points for the win moved Lightfoot into the lead in the WSL Africa regional rankings after three events and the Jeffreys Bay surfer will also improve his position on the international QS leaderboard when the latest ranking are published tomorrow.

The Japanese women have been on a tear in South Africa and the Women’s final at Port Alfred was stacked with the trio of Shino Matsudo, Ren Hashimoto and Julia Nishimoto. Ariane Ochoa (ESP) was the dark horse in the lineup, but she did not let that deter her from putting on an impressive performance.

Ochoa opened her encounter with an excellent ride of 8.50 out of 10 which immediately put pressure on her competitors. She steadily built her score, backing it up with a 5.80 to walk away with her first QS win in South Africa and the second of her career

The Junior Men’s final featured four of the country’s top 18-and-under surfers with the spoils going to Thomas Lindhorst from nearby East London who was chased all the way to the heat-ending siren by Capetonian Luke Slijpen, the reigning WSL Africa Junior Men’s champion, who ended second.

Luke Thompson (Durban) repeated his third place result at the previous event in PE last weekend and Eli Beukes (Kommetjie), last weekend’s winner, finished fourth this time around.

In the Junior Women’s final, the South African duo of Ceara Knight (Kommetjie) and Zoe Steyn (East London) dominated the 25-minute match-up while Japan’s Shino Matsuda and Minami Nonaka, who have been the inform surfers in the 18-and-under women’s events, struggled to find their rhythm.

Knight surfed incredibly well throughout the contest and carried the momentum from PE all the way to her second consecutive final. She found the best wave of the heat for a 7-point ride and backed it up with a 3.75 for a total of 10.75 out of 20. It was just enough to edge out Steyn by the closest of margins to take her first QS1,000 win in her career.

Knight holds the top spot on the WSL Africa Junior Women ranking heading into the third junior event on the WSL Africa Tour, the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro from May 10-12.

Along with its WSL Africa rating, the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic is also the second of four stops on the City Surf Series (CSS). The CSS events embrace sustainability and transformation programs such as the Surfing South Africa Learn To Surf outreach project in collaboration with Caltex, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Ocean Pledge.

Ocean Pledge will assist in creating ‘Blue Events,’ while the NSRI will be educating members of the public, competitors, local schools and surf outreach programs about ocean safety and ocean awareness.

More information, results, images and video footage will be available from and on the free WSL App.

The next event on the WSL Africa Tour is the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro from 10-12 May, which is also Stop No. 3 of four on the City Surf Series (CSS).

Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Men’s Final Results

  1. Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF, Jeffreys Bay) 13.55 points
  2. Luke Slijpen (ZAF, Hout Bay) 12.75
  3. Chad du Toit (ZAF, Durban) 10.50
  4. Slade Prestwich (ZAF, Durban) 10.35

Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Women’s Final Results

  1. Ariane Ochoa (ESP) 14.30 points
  2. Shino Matsuda (JPN) 12.75
  3. Ren Hashimoto (JPN) 9.35
  4. Julie Nishimoto (JPN) 7.50

Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Junior Men’s Final Results

  1. Thomas Lindhorst (ZAF, East London) 11.75points
  2. Luke Slijpen (ZAF, Hout Bay) 10.70
  3. Luke Thompson (ZAF, Durban) 10.25
  4. Eli Beukes (ZAF, Kommetjie) 9.50

Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic Junior Women’s Final Results

  1. Ceara Knight (ZAF, Kommetjie) 10.75 points
  2. Zoe Steyn (ZAF, East London) 10.65
  3. Shino Matsuda (JPN) 6.60
  4. Minami Nonaka (JPN) 3.15

WSL Africa Rankings (After event #3 – Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic)


  1. Lightfoot,Dylan                     Jeffreys Bay              1840 points
  2. Faulkner,Joshe                    Jeffreys Bay              1420
  3. Du Toit,Chad                         Durban                     1310
  4. Slijpen,Luke                          Hout Bay                   1145
  5. Prestwich,Slade                   Durban                      805


  1. Teal Hogg                          uMhlanga                805 points
  2. Tanika Hoffman                 Cape Town             780
  3. S’nenhlanhla Makhubu      Durban                    765 
  4. Zoe Steyn                          East London            720
  5. Sophie Bell                        Salt Rock                 680

WSL Africa Junior Rankings (After event #2 –Royal St Andrew Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic)

Junior Men:

  1. Eli Beukes                              Kommetjie              1525 points
  2. Thomas Lindhorst                 East London            1420
  3. Luke Thompson                     Durban            1310
  4. Luke Slijpen                           Hout Bay             1170
  5. Karl Steen                               Durban                    880

Junior Women

  1. Ceara Knight                       Kommetjie                 1750 points
  2. Zoe Steyn                              East London             1170
  3. Kayla Nogueira                    uMhlanga                  815
  4. Sarah Scott                           Kommetjie                 695
  5. Tayla De Coning                  East London             695

Sponsors deserve payback!

Other than an advert placed by Cape St Francis Resort the South African Longboard Surf Championship kicking off today the event could have past unheralded and unnoticed by most. Certainly the surfing community would be aware for their playground at Seal Point will be largely off-limits whilst the event is in progress but for the rest of us this event has been extremely poorly promoted by the organisers.

Sponsorship is the lifeblood of modern sport and without it sportsmen and women would enjoy little of the benefit and privilege they do today. Individual sponsorship is the most visible with superstars like Tiger Woods earning millions of dollars for wearing his main sponsors ‘tick’. Certainly he is at the pinnacle of sport sponsorship but every professional, even some amateur sportsmen receive sponsorship in one form or other and most would be unable to a standard required of them without sponsors assistance.

But it is not only the sportsmen and women that need sponsorship to survive. Sporting events and indeed sporting bodies also need the support of sponsors to assist them in staging events, cover administration and organisational expenses , offer prize money, medals, tee-shirts and publicity. In fact a portion of any sponsors money should be spent on the promotion and reporting of an event for this is where the sponsors get their payback.

Sponsorship is not for ‘free’ and both athletes and administrators owe it to their sponsors to give them payback be it in the standard of their performances, the clothing they wear, the interaction with fans and public at large, lifestyle, and so much more, not least the positive publicity they are able to generate through all forms of media trhough performance.

In a word the sponsor’s biggest ally is the media for without media there would be little or no point in business spending hard earned shareholders money on sponsorship.

So when the run-up to a  major event such as the South African Longboard Championship being held on our shores receives virtually no local media coverage it is somewhat concerning and disappointing to say the least. Were it not for the advertising placed by one of the sponsors,  Cape St Francis Resort in various media there has been no organiser’s information available, not even a program of events. We are led to believe that St Francis Brewing Company is also one of the event sponsors and this too seems have been kept a secret. Possibly there are there others and if there are maybe too deserve they deserve a mention?

The organisers of this event owe their sponsors media coverage, the event needs spectators and so we do hope they tell us more of what is going on in the same way that the World Surf League (WSL) feeds the media – for the sponsors and competitors sake!