Tongue in Cheek at SONA 2019

Well we can expect the warm weather berg wind to continue for a bit longer considering all the hot air that was spoken in parliament last night. Talk of a new city was most interesting for Cyril must have paid an unseen visit to St Francis recently for we have the start of the ‘new city’ right here on our doorstep.

 I refer of course  to the growing ‘city of China Town’ for the way it is expanding adjacent Santareme towards the tip and alongside the R330. Cyril  spoke of revitalising the building industry but somehow I don’t see our many construction companies benefitting unless thaye start new tin and boxwood divisions. The estate too cannot expect too many sales from this sector unless of course they are an ANC cadre who has a concession to sell the plots. Sadly is won’t benefit the municipality for the development of this ‘new city’ will not attract anycash flow by way of rates and taxes but rather reduce the profitability of an already stretched electricity uupply with thousands more illegal connections. And the SRA cannot expect a spinoff for this ‘new city’ fall outside the demarcated area.

Oh well Cyril did say they are going to clamp down on all those involved in state capton and corruption. Of course he omitted to say this excluded the higher echelons of his party  for they have become the ‘Untouchables’. Little doubt that the head untouchable will be Cyril’s predecessor followed by the ACE in the ANC’s stacked deck.

Ah well maybe there is a little hope that the Untouchable will indeed fall for I seem to remember a movie made called the Untouchables starring Sean Connery and Kevin Costner some years ago where the baddies finally fall in a bloodbath. An aspiring movie maker could get some colourful scenes for a local remake with cadres dragged off kicking and screaming their innocence dressed in in orange suits if Cyril really means there will be ‘No Fear – No Favour’!

Talking of suits. I see Cyril led the fashion with his beautifully tailored suit, tie and shirt all made in Suth Africa, in fact right there in Salt River. It seems he wasn’t prepared to divulge where his undies were made lest he would have to admit they were of Chines iport variet. No self respecting gentleman is going to admit something that personal.

SONA must challenge both the Durban July and JB Met when it comes to fashion. Did’t see a lot of what was on offer but is seemed a lot tamer than in previous years. A few outrageous hats, surely they can’t be comfortable for the earer nor for the poor spectator who has to sit behind the hat. That said, the way so many politicians sleep in parliament maybe the lucky ones get shilded by theses expansive hats and can catch 40 winks ignoring Cyril’s threats to lock them up if they do bad things with the state’s money.

Good to see the R230 billion to refill the coffers at Eskom should see us keep our lights on, well certainly through the winter but seems after October they are not too sure. But if you flying anywhere maybe it is a good idea not to fly SAA or SAX. Not much being said about neither SAA nor the SABC bailouts.

Cyril’s promise to make Daya cheaper won’t have pleased Multichoice for cheaper data will see even more viewers dump DSTV for much cheaper and a far better choice offered by Netflix. Wonder if Vodacom will come to the party and reduce data costs on their 24 month contracts. Somehow I doubt it.

Oh well another SONA done and dusted until next year unless Musi has his way with the Public Protector report on Cyril. Please let us pray that they don’t make Cyril step aside for that would let the ace in the hole who, with his buddies are already lining up at the ATM chomping at the bit to turn SA into another Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

Great Waves and High Scores for Opening Day of Vic Bay Classic

VICTORIA BAY, GEORGE, SOUTHERN CAPE – The inaugural Vic Bay Classic is the 7th stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Qualifying Series (QS) Tour, the final stop on the 2019 City Surf Series (CSS) and first time since 1995 that a QS rated event is being run in the fabled  waves of Victoria Bay.

The day started with rounds of the Junior Men and Women 1 in clean 2-3ft (one meter) waves. Local surfer Aya Gericke (Wilderness) was the standout in the Junior Men’s, winning his Round 1 heat with two 7-point rides finishing ahead of goofy-footer Mitch du Preez (East London) as the pair eliminated third and fourth p-laced Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) and Wulf Erhardt (Mossel Bay).

Rachel Presti (GER) looked like the surfer to beat in the first heat of the Junior Women’s, with a total of 13.25. Piper Harrison (AUS) finished in second, sending WSL Africa Junior rankings leader Ceara Knight (Cape Town) home.

South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag was right at home surfing at her local break in the Women’s QS 1000 rated event. Buitendag opened used her signature backhand attack to earn an excellent 8.00 from the judges and then backed that up with a 5.65 to comfortably her heat. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) held onto second place ahead of Australia’s Sophie Fletcher and S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban).

One of the shock losses in the first round was the departure of Hawaii’s Zoe McDougall. McDougall had plenty of success in the 2018 City Surf Series and is a threat in every heat. This time, however, she was ousted by her namesake and South African rising star Zoë Steyn. Steyn squeezed into second place ahead of McDougall in the last heat of the round and advanced to the last 16 with heat winner Piper Harrison (AUS).

The Men’s QS 1000 Round1 ended with some exciting high-performance surfing from Sandon Whittaker (AUS) who scored the highest heat total of the day. Whittaker was leading the heat with a 7.75 in the bag when he sealed the deal with an incredible 9.25 for a total of 17 points out of a possible 20, leaving his opponents in a combination situation.

Sean Holmes, a long standing Vic Bay local and former Qualifying Series event winner advanced to the next round after finishing in second place behind Germany’s Dylan Groen. Holmes holds a unique place in the history of surfing in South Africa that included beating the late three-time world champion Andy Irons (HAW) more often than not at J-Bay, where he was recognized as the most dangerous wild-card on tour.

“It was my first QS event in a very long while. It was super clean 3-foot Vic Bay, a nice warm winter’s day and a great day for the event,” said Holmes.

Alongside Holmes was fellow Vic Bay legend and good friend David Pfaff, who struggled to find waves with a decent scoring potential and was eliminated along with Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay).

“We had loads of fun. Tomorrow looks to be great as well. So stoked to be down here,” Holmes added.

The next call is for Friday, 21 June and will start with Women’s QS 1000 action.

Alongside the world-class surfing action, the City Surf Series events also embrace sustainability and transformation programs such as the Surfing South Africa (SSA) Learn To Surf outreach project in collaboration with Caltex EC, 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 and images will be available on and on the WSL App.

Victoria Bay legend Sean Holmes reveling in the waves during his opening heat of the Vic Bay Classic – Photo: WSL / Thurtell