It is almost time to crown a new King

Who will be the 2019 King of the Kromme

The St Francis Canals and adjoining Kromme River truly do lend themselves as a wonderful leisure and sporting facility. Our canals have become hugely popular with not only sunset cruises sipping a glass of wine but also for the energetic who plough up and down the canals in their canoes and paddle skis. And every Wednesday, winter and summer you will see those committed to their training regimes paddling madly to record the best possible times in the weekly time trials held by the St Francis Paddling Club.

Paddling has become a major sport in St Francis and attracts top class paddlers, including from around the country including a few world champions  for races in the recent past that have included both the Eastern Province and South African Canoeing championships.

The canals and river also play host to the Annual Pam Golding Properties King of the Kromme and is being held for the 14th consecutive year. This year the race is being held on Saturday  20th April and is set to start at 2:00pm from in front of Quaysyde Restaurant. With high tide at 4:30 on that day the organisers are hoping for perfect wind and tide conditions for an epic event..

The event is being held on Easter Saturday afternoon for the second year running rather than on Easter Monday as it was in the past. This should help attract an even bigger and better field and Richard Ardenne of Pam Golding  is hoping for a field of 100 paddlers or more..

2018 King of the Kromme Jasper Mocke 2nd from Left

Last year the event was won by Jasper Mocke a world renowned paddler with several international accolade on his CV. Other winners include Port Elizabeth’s Greg Louw who has won it twice, Luke McNish, Scott Johnson, Calvin Zeelie Jordan Zeelie Juan Maree (Cradock) and Dave Hamilton-Brown (Joburg) as well as paddling legend, Matt Bouman of Durban. Great things are expected of local paddler Phill Smith who we interviewed about his chances a few weeks back.

The 20km route is from Quaysyde restaurant, through the canals for 1km and then up the beautiful Kromme River for about 8km until the Geelhout tributary for a further 2km to the turn. This is a particularly special stretch, with indigenous bush right up to the banks, and the river becoming ever narrower, until it is only about 8m wide at the turn. Many St Francis residents have never been up the Geelhout, and paddlers cherish this once-a-year opportunity.

Then a race back the same way, against the tide! And a sprint finish at Quaysyde in front of hundreds of spectators, enjoying their refreshments.

It is a singles race, but doubles are very welcome (and there are also prizes for doubles). The main prizes are R2000 for the long course (20km) singles winner, R1000 for 2nd, R500 for third, and R500 for the first lady.

There is also a 12km short course, also with plenty of prizes.

There is the usual main lucky draw, a split-shaft Carbonology paddle valued at R2500, kindly sponsored by Carbonology.

The entry fee includes a sumptuous meal from Quaysyde and a St Francis Brewing Company Beach Blonde

It’s clear that the quality and size of the field is ever increasing.that day it promises to be an epic contest this year.

Help protect the beautiful Brunsvigia gregaria

The beautiful Brunsvigia gregaria currently flowering needs your protection or it will be lost forever

These striking plants are flowering along some verges and gardens in the St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis areas. Now is the time to make sure that they do not disappear for good, as they need to be protected, even after flowering.

These Brunsvigia gregaria have a large bulb with a particularly striking inflorescence. The latter consists of about 20 to 30 pink, deep pink, or crimson flowers on a stalk rising straight out of the ground, without any leaves being visible. The flowers usually appear above ground in autumn. After flowering, the dried inflorescence breaks loose in one piece and blows around like tumbleweed, but the leaves that come out after that are building up growth for the next flowering period. The two flat leaves (close to the ground) look just like weeds to those not familiar with the plant. Gardeners often dig them up, not knowing what they are, so a wonderful treasure is lost.

The flower should be left to dry naturally so that the seed can set and then be dispersed by wind. Gardeners should to mow around the flower (and leaves) to let it dry naturally. Good news is that the plant can be propagated by planting the seeds but it is not advisable to pick them as they cause health issues when indoors. According to Wessel Rossouw, its Afrikaans name is “Kopseer plant” as it is not good for your health when brought indoors.

If you need to transplant the plants be sure to dig a square hole about the width of your spade and you will need to dig at least 30cm deep to get to the base of the root without damaging it when you lift it.

Questions regarding these plants may be directed to Caryl Logie on 042 294 0588.

Photos: Individual Brunsvigia Gregaria alongside the local St Francis Bay Golf course. and several plants in the temporary parking area adjacent Spar.


Win a Giant Choc Bunny

A chance to win this giant Belgian Chocolate bunny.

The Grade 7 class are raising money for their tour at the end of the year. They are selling tickets for the chance to win this giant Belgian Chocolate bunny. Tickets are R10 each and if you buy 5 tickets, you get one FREE. If you are interested in buying tickets, the Grade 7’s will be taking turns to sell their tickets in front of the office every morning before school.  Alternatively contact the office for EFT details. 
Please support them.

Giant Belgium Chocolate Bunny