Just when we thought all kids spent their time texting or playing games on their smart phones, we were proved wrong for Cape St Francis was awash with teenagers this past weekend, all of them busy enjoying the great outdoors that we have to offer in this part of the Adventure Province. The reason for the inflow of youngsters, and of course their parents who certainly had a positive influence on our local economy qws the holding of two major events, the Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior surfing at Seal Point and the SA Schools Adventure Racing Championships 2019 being raced by some 150 teenagers that stared on the Kromme and finished at Full Stop Café in Cape St Francis. So great seeing youngsters doing what they should be doing, enjoying the sand, sea, sun and of course good old fresh air they don’t get to enjoy in the big cities where many came from.

Champions – Winners of SA Schools Adventure Racing Championships 2019

The Billabong surfing was blessed with superb waves even if the sun was a little absent and a driving rain and near gale force winds on Sunday made it more than a little unpleasant for the gathered spectators. Watching those youngsters was certainly an eye opener for the quality of surfing, especially among the boys, was nothing short of spectacular. From a distance and not being a surfing judge one could easily have mistaken some of these youngsters for World Surf League (WSL) pro’s. A photographers dream for the waves rolled in in perfect sets  each set perfectly timed to allow the surfers just enough time to paddle back ready and waiting as the next big set to washed in.

A young up and coming surfer in action

Photo courtesy Richard Arderne – Pam Golding Properties

But that was not the only action of course for it was the weekend of the much awaited Calamari Festival with so much on it was difficult to know quite where to go next.

Of course the golf celebrating its 22nd year is still the premier event of the weekend but their full field of golfers was certainly challenged across the road at the St Francis Bay Bowling Club celebrating their 20th Calamari event. Either greens, or are they called rinks, were ‘chokka block’ with players rolling their woods throughout the day.  And next door to the golf club the ‘fit crowd’ were raing their pulse rates and more than a little perspiration as competed in the inaugural Calamari Squash Classic that will now form part of the annual Calamari Festival.   

The Calamari Cook Off certainly attracted some innovative cooks and although reigning champion JP from Full Stop Café, previously of Joe Fish was unable to defend his crown, Pam Golding’s Chokka Girls with their rather catchy SQUID HATS and Squid Earings were worthy and popular winners of his crown. Maybe next year JP!

Photo courtesy St Francis Tourism

Congratulations to Hantie van der Westhiusen and her St Francis Tourism Committee. When one looks back to the old Nautical event that was held some four or five years back, this replacement event has certainly grown and promises to grow in years to ahead as we, SFT predicted last year, to eventually compete in success with the Knysna Oyster festival. Well done guys. The Calamari Festival that has established itself as the premier Kouga over the Heritage weekend and it is now time that the Kouga Municipality recognise the importance of this event and its benefit to the economy of St Francis. Judging by reports on the Makiti held in JBay over the same weekend things were not so rosy so come on Mr Mayor, time to back the winning ‘horse’! (How Can They Prevent The Next JBay Makiti From Being A Disaster?)

And talking of Nautical matters, Sunday saw the 2nd running of the St Francis Runners ‘Nautical Half Marathon’. We do so wish they would change the name in line with all the other Calamari events. Te benefit of a strong brand identity would do them no harm and certainly add to the bulding of a great annual event in St Francis.