Cell Phone Mast furore

A furore has finally erupted with regard a number of applications to have 4G (cell phone) masts erected at several places both in St Francis Bay and further south at Cape St Francis. As we watched them dig up our road verges burying metre after metre of fibre-optic cable, those amongst us who are more technically inclined would have known this was not being done to improve our Telkom telephone service for in fact the installation had nothing to do with Telkom to start  with.

Without getting into the pro’s or cons of having a 30metre + high mast planted next door it would be suffice to say it was never going to happen without a huge outcry. Rather than having every ‘expert’ voice their pounds worth some of our village leaders met on Wednesday to discuss the matter. Chaired by Councillor Ben Rheeder to the group have formed a body that includes the municipal representatives to look at a way forward and ensure whatever finally transpires will be the best solution appeasing the needs of those who require good voice and data services and those with health /  aesthetic concerns.

St Francis Property Owners chairman Wayne Furphy had this to say on the matter.

Wayne Furphy Chairman St Francis Property Woners Ass

Wayne Furphy Chairman St Francis Property Owners Ass

“We met with the Municipality yesterday at our request to understand what is happening with these tower applications. We recognise that the town requires good cell phone coverage but we need oversight on the location of these towers. We are putting a plan and a small team together to address these issues and are looking for anyone who has experience with telecom tower infrastructure to assist us.

These are 4G towers, but we need to get into a proactive position (as opposed to reactive) and prepare for the rollout of 5G towers which are inevitable. We have asked the Municipality to put a hold on the 4G tower installation for a few months to allow us to work with them to identify the best sites for towers, ie. least invasive, provide the necessary coverage, sharing of masts, type of mast, etc. The  Municipal officials attending our meeting do gave a good understanding of the issues, and will take our request back to the Municipality for consideration.”

There is little doubt that communication services in the region need to be improved. One network will work well in one area but will be unable to establish a stable connection around the corner. We are being held to ransom by the established networks and forced to sign 24 month contracts at outrages rates for data. Data rates are falling as already there are several new networks (RAIN is one) offering uncapped 4G from R250 a month on a month to month basis but coverage limited to a few areas in St Francis Bay and no coverage in Cape St Francis.

Government is threatening to pass legislation that will allow them to plant masts, and no doubt other equipment, wherever they want so best we are ahead of the system and as Furphy so succinctly puts is be ‘proactive not reactive’.

Rip Curl E-Pro 2020 Online Surf Contest Finalists Announced

E-Pro Surfing

In an absolute flurry of ridiculously good waves and incredible surfing, the finalists of the inaugural Rip Curl E-Pro were decided.

In the first women’s semifinal, the two goofy-footers Zoe Steyn from East London and Faye Zoetmulder from Cape St Francis battled it out on their backhands, entering two excellent east coast rights. Zoetmulder was looking smooth and powerful but Steyn’s explosive turns saw her get the nod and advance to the final.

The second semifinal saw Salt Rock surfer Sophie Bell face off against Scarborough’s Ceara Knight, and it was a victory for the Durban girl against her Capetonian counterpart.

The Rip Curl E-Pro Women event has support from VUM Insurance – emerging business insurance.  

Men’s semifinal 1 was close, with Shane Sykes from Salt Rock coming up against Durban’s surfer Josh Redman. Syke’s wave comprised a massive power gouge, a long and deep tube, and two hard cracks off the top, while Redman’s offer was a deep and draining double-barrel. The judges unanimously awarded the win to Sykes, making him the first finalist.

In the second semi, Dale Staples from St Francis Bay came up against Chad Du Toit from Durban. It was another close one, with Staples throwing in a long and smooth wave with turns and barrels, against an epic late drop into a throaty barrel from Du Toit. Once again the judges awarded the win to multiple turns, and Staples advanced into the men’s final.

Both Du Toit and Redman’s barrels are in a good position to be in contention for the Red Bull Best Tube award of R10,000.

Men’s Final: Shane Sykes V Dale Staples

Women’s Final: Sophie Bell V Zoe Steyn

First prize in both men and women’s finals is R10,000, and runner-up position is R5,000. There is a pair of Oakley Sunglasses going to each winner, as well as to the two winning videographers.


One of the presenting sponsors, Shaka Surf Store, makers of awesome fins from recycled bottle tops, has a 10% discount going across the whole store right now, so go in and check it out.

Details of the full tour can be found on https://www.surfwebseries.com/

The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). 

Results can also be found on the event Facebook page.
Event website – https://www.surfwebseries.com/

Rip Curl, the Ultimate Surfing Company

The Rip Curl E-Pro is presented by Shaka Surf

Shaka Surf is an eco surf store specialising in 100% sustainable surf products, including surf fins made from recycled plastics. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste and create awesome eco surf fins.

Oakley is an event partner
Wavescape is the Rip Curl E-Pro media partner
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa.
The Rip Curl E-Pro is powered by TCS-WiFi
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by the Kouga Municipality
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by The Travel Collective

 

Voting Open For Rip Curl E-Pro Surf Event Semi-Finalists

E-Pro Surfing

The voting is open for the Rip Curl E-Pro semi-finalists, and there are some incredible rides to vote on.

In the women’s competition, Zoe Steyn from East London is facing off against fellow goofy-footer Faye Zoetmulder from Cape St Francis in the first semifinal. Both surfers have submitted solid rides and it’s going to be a close call.

The second semifinal sees Sophie Bell from Salt Rock surf off against Ceara Knight from Scarborough in the Cape in what appears to be another close encounter.

The women’s event is sponsored by VUM, a specialist insurer, backed by Santam. The VUM CEO, David Gould, came in as a last-minute sponsor and believes in giving back to the sport that we all get so much out of.

In the men’s semifinal one, Shane Sykes from Salt Rock is up against Durban’s Josh Redman. Syke’s wave is solid, and combines some powerful turns with a big barrel, while Josh Redman has one of the best barrels of the competition so far.

Dale Staples from St Francis Bay entered a JBay bomb, and it comes up against throaty barrel from Chad Du Toit from Durban in the second semifinal.

Dale Staples

Dales Staples © Jarret

Talking of barrels, the big specialty prize in this inaugural online surf event is the Red Bull Best Tube award of R10,000. Both Redman and Du Toit’s rides could be in the running for this prize.

It looks like close calls all around, so climb in and throw down a few votes for your favourite surfers in the public vote on Instagram at @surfwebseries


One of the presenting sponsors, Shaka Surf Store, makers of awesome fins from recycled bottle tops, has a 10% discount going across the whole store right now, so go in and check it out.

Details of the full tour can be found on https://www.surfwebseries.com/

The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). 

Results can also be found on the event Facebook page.
Event website – https://www.surfwebseries.com/

Rip Curl, the Ultimate Surfing Company

The Rip Curl E-Pro is presented by Shaka Surf

Shaka Surf is an eco surf store specialising in 100% sustainable surf products, including surf fins made from recycled plastics. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste and create awesome eco surf fins.

Oakley is an event partner
Wavescape is the Rip Curl E-Pro media partner
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa.
The Rip Curl E-Pro is powered by TCS-WiFi
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by the Kouga Municipality
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by The Travel Collective

 

Some Phenomenal Surfing As Rip Curl E-Pro Men and Women Semi-Finalists Decided

E-Pro Surfing

It was an action-packed quarter-final showdown in the inaugural Rip Curl E-Pro, as the surfers started dropping some of their best clips to advance.

Shane Sykes from Salt Rock was the winner against Luke Slijpen from Llandudno in the first encounter, with power moves against power moves. Sykes emerged just ahead to go to the semifinals.

In a close heat, it was Dale Staples up against Steven Sawyer, battling it out on the right-hand point breaks of their respective hometowns. Their heat was full of barrels and carves, and it was the natural footer Staples who won against the former world longboarding champion goofy-footer Sawyer.

Josh Redman’s barrels got the nod over Gavin Roberts carves, and Chad Du Toit’s barrel just outpointed Davey Van Zyl’s entry. 

In the women’s quarters, it was also a very close round of heats. In the first heat, it was Zoe Steyn and Sophie Bell who advanced, along with Faye Zoetmulder and Ceara Knight from their heat, with the four girls making up the semifinals.


One of the presenting sponsors, Shaka Surf Store, makers of awesome fins from recycled bottle tops, has a 10% discount going across the whole store right now, so go in and check it out.

Details of the full tour can be found on https://www.surfwebseries.com/

The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). 

Results can also be found on the event Facebook page.
Event website – https://www.surfwebseries.com/

Rip Curl, the Ultimate Surfing Company

The Rip Curl E-Pro is presented by Shaka Surf

Shaka Surf is an eco surf store specialising in 100% sustainable surf products, including surf fins made from recycled plastics. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste and create awesome eco surf fins.

Oakley is an event partner
Wavescape is the Rip Curl E-Pro media partner
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa.
The Rip Curl E-Pro is powered by TCS-WiFi
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by the Kouga Municipality
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by The Travel Collective

 

St Francis all a-buzz at last

What a wonderful site to see St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis bustling with visitors again. The lifting of travel and accommodation restrictions certainly brought visitors flocking back to their favourite get-away spot.

Cape St Francis Resort which has been somewhat of a ghost village since lockdown was again teeming with kids on bikes and electric scooters. The smell of braai permeated the air and across the road Full Stop Café, abiding by all the social distancing and mask protocols, once again enjoyed the support of both locals and visitors who flock to what has become an iconic part of Cape St Francis.

And town was no different with queues at SPA, not quite at long as they are over the season but certainly a lot longer than they have been for the four months. With the closing of Pedal & Spoke Rambling Rose had it all to themselves  and just to find parking nearby was a challenge.

Those who haven’t been to St Francis Bay since lockdown must have been pleasantly surprised with our ‘NEW Roads’ for wow they truly have uplifted the profile of the village. I had occasion to travel almost the length of the redone St Francis. The trip from Seaglades on the canals to the Tarragona intersection was reminiscent of travelling on the roads of the old South Africa. Nary a pothole to shake you awake, just the sound of rubber sailing gently over tar almost enticing one to do a return trip just for the glorious experience not enjoyed for many a year.

But one small complaint is the turn into the old village shopping centre from Lyme Road South needs attention. He contractors made no effort to interface the new strip into the old and the potholes that developed since the rain are almost a challenge to a 4×4 if not for a smaller hatchback sedan.

Whilst the peace and quiet of lockdown has been a somewhat wonderful if different experience, it really is nice to see people interacting and enjoying being out and about again especially as the weather really came to the party with Saturday and Sunday being almost as good as any day in mid-summer. 

Saturday Street Food at Full Stop Cape St Francis

Street Food at Full Stop in Cape St Francis has become a popular Saturday stop so be sure to pop by this Saturday (weather permitting and grab a boerie roll, tuna burger or what other braai choice than have on offer.