WORLD AR CHAMPS UNDERWAY – WATCH OUT FOR LOCAL TEAMS

Mark and John Collins of Team Sanlam Painted Wolf going steady on the first day. Picture by Terence Vrugtman (@tvrugtman)

The Adventure Racing (AR) World Series championship got underway today (10 November) .  Two SA teams – both with local members – our very own Merrell Adventure Addicts (Tatum Prins, Hanno Smit, Donovan Sims and Graham Bird) who are ranked 5th in the world, and winners of this year’s Expedition Africa, Sanlam Painted Wolf (Robyn Kime, John Collins, Mark Collins and Andre Gie), are amongst 97 teams of the world’s best, coming from 20 different countries and every continent.  

The race started at 3am (SA time) in Jervis Bay, near Ulladulla in the county of Shoalhaven, which is 230km south of Sydney, Australia.

The AR World Series Championship is a grueling nonstop course, that  will see competitors trekking, mountain biking, ocean and river kayaking, pack rafting, navigating and caving for 600 kilometres around the Shoalhaven and surrounds for up to 8 days.

‘Dot watchers’ can keep abreast of their progress by at this link live.arworldseries.com.  At the moment both teams are going exceptionally well and have been in the top 10, but anything can happen in adventure racing – so keep on watching!

According to website arworldseries.com, the top teams from nine AR World Series qualification races this year will be the favourites, bringing race winners to the start line from events which have taken place in Belize, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Paraguay, USA, Colombia, Ireland and France.  The European and U.S. national champions are also in the start list, as are the top 7 teams in the AR World Series rankings so there is no doubt this will be one of the most competitive races ever held.

What better place for the a magnificent adventure racing course:- a staggering 70% of Shoalhaven is designated National Park and there are dozens of rivers, lakes and bays, and 109 beautiful beaches, including Jervis Bay, with the whitest beach in the world. Wildlife is abundant, and the huge Morton National Park is renowned for its sandstone cliffs, canyons and forests. Host town Ulladulla is a beach and surf Mecca and nearby Nowra is a renowned climbing destination.

The 600km route was only revealed just before the race start with teams given their maps in ‘Lock Down’ (i.e. without access to phones/internet) and the course will be open for 8 days – which is shorter than previous XPD’s. 

The event is described as “a straight out linear race, no mandatory stops, no dark zones, no optional controls – pure adventure racing at its best!”  This is very much in the XPD ethos of ‘as much an expedition as a race’, giving all the teams time to finish the route and have their own adventure regardless of their position in the rankings. The leaders are expected to take 4.5 days to complete the route, sleeping only for a few hours at the time and place of their choosing.   (As always in adventure racing, tactics, navigation and team work will be as important as endurance and speed in the final outcome.)

The question is who will be the leaders?  It’s a very hard question to answer as there are so many experienced and elite teams in this race and any team getting into the top 20 will have had an exceptional race. Let’s hold thumbs for our local lads and lasses.

 

 

500th EDITION

It’s not often that a newspaper can make its own front page headlines, but we thought that this ‘five century’ milestone is one worth shouting about, especially as the growth (and indeed survival) of this community newspaper really has been a community effort.
Some locals may well be able to cast their minds back to November 1998 when The EDGE title was first launched, but if the truth be told the newspaper was officially started in February 1997 by Dee Bernard, under the ‘Sedgefield Advertiser & Wilderness Ways’ banner-head. It had a print run of 1500 copies.
Kelly and Bomber Webb bought the business in February 1998, and it was run by Kelly’s brave sister Kirsty Hayward whilst the Webb family finalised their immigration. At the time it was an A4 publication printed on bond, which normally ran to 10 pages, mostly as an advertising platform.
The new owners felt that in order to sustain the paper (there was a flood of ‘only advertising’ publications at the time) it would be better, and definitely more fulfilling, to steer it in the direction of ‘Community News’. The decision to change its name was made, and a competition launched to get the community involved in the process. Mrs Kruger, a retiree from Plett, suggested it be called The EDGE (she said that’s what the paper had on its competition) and so Sedgefield’s new community newspaper was born.
It seemed that the decision to include as much local news as possible paid off as the community soon adopted The EDGE as its own – even popping in to the offices on occasion to remonstrate with staff members about the odd spelling mistake. (“But what about the 25000 words I spelt right?” the editor would ask.)
With readership numbers growing year on year, the newspaper acquired a single-colour printing machine early in 2006, and in April that year, when it had reached a regular 32 pages per edition, the owners took the next bold step and increased the page size to ‘tabloid’ (A3).
“It’s like a real, grown up newspaper,” the staff told the elderly reader who came in to enquire why it no longer fitted into her handbag.
At that stage the printing process was lengthy, and the black and white publication, which was by then at a print run of 5000, took the best part of five days to print. A team of ladies would come in to fold and collate each edition.
By 2009 there were more and more advertisers asking for the inclusion of colour in The EDGE, so enquiries were made to a large print company in Port Elizabeth to see if going the full colour route would be a sustainable option. As it turned out the costs were not prohibitive, and the real clincher came when the company’s production manager was asked how long it would take for their high-speed web press to print, fold and collate The EDGE.
“About forty five minutes,” was the answer.
This meant, of course, that the newspaper could report on the latest news right up until the night before publication – which would obviously be far more satisfying for the editorial team and their readership.
And so, on 11 March 2009, edition 306 of The EDGE ‘hit the streets’ in glorious full colour.
From its humble beginnings of being run from a small corner of a lounge by a solitary, except-ionally stressed person, The EDGE is now designed and produced in its own dedicated building by a happy team of six. Still stressed, but cheerfully so.
This phenomenal 18 year ride would not have been possible without the wonderful support of our staff (paid and volunteer), advertisers, editorial contributors and, of course, our readers. So to you all we raise our grateful glasses (champagne, not reading) and say a heartfelt Cheers! Here’s to the next 500 editions!

 

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A COMEDY OF ALL THINGS… WELL… MISCHIEVOUS AND MUSICAL

This Saturday (22 October) at 19:00 performing artist Daniel Geddes will be doing a Musical Theatre / One-Man show at the Sedgefield Community Hall in aid of Busy-Bugz Early Childhood Development Centre. Music & Mischief is a celebration of all things musical and funny.

Featuring some old favourites, some new ones, and some not-so-favourites, it promises to be a laugh for anyone who’s ever loved musical theatre. And anyone who hasn’t. Entertaining from both in front of and behind the piano, Geddes takes you on a journey through some of the best contemporary tunes, and worst old classics. From Gilbert & Sullivan, to Avenue Q and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – show tunes as you know them, and others as you’d probably like to forget them – Music & Mischief promises great entertainment, sharp wit, and musical virtuosity. A must-see for anyone with ears. And eyes. Everyone really.

Daniel Geddes is an actor, dancer, musician and composer, based in Johannesburg. He completed his Honours Degree in Performing and Visual Arts at Wits University in 2014. Daniel has worked in various capacities in several theatre productions, performing in front of audiences around the world including Iceland, Norway and Greece. His most recent performances include the hilarious musical comedy Naked Knitting and Other Contradictory Acts, directed by Greg Homann, and Devil’s Wood, a piece commissioned by the French Institute and directed by SA theatre giant Sylvaine Strike. Daniel co-heads the theatre production company Liquid Fusion, whose current running production, Burn, won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival 2016. In 2015 he was employed as Associate Musical Director for UJ Arts and Culture, and premiered his first collection of solo piano works at their Con Cowan Theatre in Auckland Park in September this year. His television credits include the upcoming Madiba series to premiere in 2017.

The show has an age restriction of PG13L. Tickets are available from Busy-Bugz, Sedgefield Tourism Office or Deo Gratia book lounge in the Pick n Pay Centre. Email busybugzevents@gmail.com if you prefer to buy an eTicket. Tickets cost R80 per person or you may choose a package deal that includes your entrance ticket, curry & rice and a glass of wine / beer or soft drink of your choice for only R120.

SEDGEFIELD MEETS WITH SAPS

Last night’s public meeting with Knysna’s SAPS leadership representatives and those of Knysna CPF, held at the Smutsville Community Hall, could only be described as frustrating. Both because of the low turnout of community members, and because Sedgefield is still no closer to getting an answer to the burning question – when will it be getting the long-promised fully fledged police station?
With such a topical and important issue up for discussion, one would have thought that the hall would have been packed full of concerned citizens, but this certainly wasn’t the case as only a smattering of people trickled in.
Some of those present pointed out that the meeting could have been started at 7pm so that people had time to get home from work, whilst another suggestion was the use of a loud-haler in the streets of Smutsville / Sizamile, to alert people about the meeting.
But the low attendance did not mean an easy ride for the panel, made up of Station Commander, Colonel Metu, Lieutenant Colonel Detective Commander Khan and Captain Kidd of Knysna SAPS, as well as Sedgefield Sector Commander Sonja Stander, Jessica Trail and Cheryl Brits of Knysna CPF and Juanita of Sedgefield CPF.
They heard tale after tale of poor service from the under-manned Sedgefield Station, from finding the doors locked and the lights off, to waiting hours and hours for response, to actually watching criminals escape because due to lack of SAPS members available to arrest them. There certainly was no shortage of frustration, and some of those present even suggested that mass-action protests might be necessary to get the village’s concerns heard.
Gary Atkinson, whose restaurant suffered a break-in only last weekend, asked how smaller towns such as Dusseldorp could have their own full-on police stations.
But whilst the SAPS members at least acknowledged that the lack of resources in the Sedgefield Sector was a big problem, asking those present to report the individual cases of bad service to the commander for investigation, they were unable to provide any solid answers as to when, if ever, a proper police station would become a reality.
Indeed one particularly shocking revelation came from Captain Kidd who pointed out that Sedgefield Station isn’t even a satellite station, but actually a lesser entity called a ‘contact point’.
“Satellite stations have designated staff who report there for duty, whilst ‘contact points’ have their staff deployed from the larger station,” he explained.
He quickly added that in discussion with Cluster Commander General Reddy, the problems in Sedgefield had been raised, and that they are certainly being given attention.
“I can’t say what or how, but it’s definitely looking up,” he said.
The meeting continued along the same vein for almost two hours, but in the end many of those attending left more frustrated than ever.
Said Mike Hoffhuis, head of Community Orientated Policing (COP) “It was very disappointing to see such poor attendance by the community as a whole. Residents are quick to take to social media and be keyboard warriors, yet when we need them to voice their opinion in person to officials, they are nowhere to be seen.”

DEMI-LEIGH, OUR MISS SA SEMI FINALIST

Our very own Demi-Leigh Nel Peters has been selected as one of the 26 Miss South Africa 2017 semi-finalists. This was announced at at an event hosted at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton City, Jo’burg.

This former (2009) Head Girl of Laerskool Sedgefield Primary has gone from strength to strength in her modelling career over the last few years, having been featured in a number of national magazines – often on the cover – as well as various fashion bill boards and promotional material.

Still in her final year of studying towards a BCom, Demi-Leigh is one of an impressive group of SA’s most beautiful women, representing six of the country’s nine provinces: Six women are from the Western Cape, 14 from Gauteng, three from Kwa-Zulu Natal and one each from the EasternCape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
She and the other ladies will compete for the prestigious Miss SA title at the Sun City Resort Superbowl on 25 March 2017 in an event which will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.

ANOTHER FIRE IN WILDERNESS

Many local residents will be wondering about the noise of emergency vehicles and helicopters heading in the Wilderness direction earlier today. It seems that only weeks after the fire in the Lakes area destroyed several homes, another was started there – once again in the exceptionally dry reeds at the water’s edge, this time towards Ebb and Flow. The ground crew for George Fire Brigade were quickly on scene and a fire-fighting chopper  deployed.

As of lunchtime the George Municipality reported the fire as being under control and by 3pm it was all but done and clean up operations were underway.  A case of arson is being investigated by SAPS, who are also looking into where the original point of ignition took place.

According to Nandi Mgwadlamba – Communications Officer for SANParks, that entity  also deployed resources to assist the George FireBrigade. She says says today’s fire was better managed due to institutional arrangements strengthened after the first incident two months ago after which fire authorities refreshed MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding agreements).

In these agreements the authorities (George Municipality, Eden District Municipality, the SCFPA and SANParks) undertook to:

  • Devise a proactive plan to respond to unforeseen changing weather conditions
  • To revisit emergency procedures and the better integration of resources

It is hoped that there will be no more flare-ups, but residents are advised to keep watch and act with precaution.

OCEANS 11 TAKES THE CUP

Congratulations to local soccer lads from the Oceans 11 team who outplayed George All-Stars yesterday afternoon to win the Sedgefield Soccer Tournament, facilitated by Bongani Dyani and sponsored by Engen Garage.

The highly contested tournament, played at the Smutsville Sportsgrounds, attracted teams from throughout the Garden Route and even as far afield as Cape Town. Local supporters who have been cheering their lads on for the last few weekends were delighted to see them reach the finals on Sunday afternoon, and when the 2-0 victory over the George team came about the stadium erupted in celebration. Both goals were scored by strikers in the first half, the first by Bennet and the second by Mlite Junior.

Dyani is exceptionally impressed with how the tournament has grown since its inception two years ago, and has welcomed the input of Sedgefield’s Engen One Stop this year.

“They have been very good to us – it has been a pleasure to have them on board,” he said, “I know that with their assistance in future this will become one of the best tournaments in this area.”

SEDGEFIELDERS WALK FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

In the true community spirit that has become the hallmark for Sedgefield, the turnout for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Walk was brilliant – in fact brilliantly pink if the truth be told.

We are still awaiting for the total tally of entries to come from the CANSA crew, but any passers-by will surely attest to the veritable ‘river of pink’ that wound its way along The Island roads.  The cheerful participants had certainly gone that extra mile in dressing for the cause, and some of the more wild and whacky outfits drew titters from the walking crowd as they made their way along. The 5km event was organised by Sedgefield Striders and enthusiastically promoted far and wide by Belinda Hobson of our local tourism office.

The start and finish lines were outside the bowls club premises, where the prize-giving took place afterwards. Whilst there was no award for first place (it certainly wasn’t a race!), prizes for best dressed were handed out as well as numerous ‘spot’ prizes donated by local businesses.

A well-organised, happy event, which certainly leaves no doubt that the Sedgefield community is serious about cancer awareness. Congrats to all who were involved in any way.

LIONS BEERFEST & BRAAI A GREAT SUCCESS

The inaugural Sedgefield Lions  Beer and Braaifest took place on Heritage Day (Saturday 24 September) and certainly was a roaring success!

Thirty teams competed for the fantastic first prize – a state of the art stainless steel gas-braai with enough bells and whistles for even the most passionate ‘braai-master’, whilst others chose to come down to the village green venue to enjoy all the stalls and entertainment laid on, and sample the craft beers and wines that Mitchells Breweries, Sedgefield Breweries, Delheim wines, Bramon Wines, N2RS wines and Brand Republic had on offer, not to mention the potjies.

Congratulations to the winning team Slow Go-go Girls (Team leader Joanne Scholtz), the runner up : Hair at Monroe’s (Team leader Savannah), and third placers SEA – Real Estate (Team leader Andre Scheepers).  Other results were:- Best Main : Mount Noah Lodge (Oudtshoorn) – Smoked yellow tail – Hugh Warrington;  Best Dessert : SEA – Sedgefield Estate Agents -apple crumble.  Best Traditional pot : Twee buffels met een skoot mors dood geskiet Rugby Club (team leader Pieter Nel) Best Gees : Sotheby’s International Realty 1 (Kandy & Marianne) Best Stand : SEA – Sedgefield Estate Agents.  Wild Card : Skal Garden Route. Innovation award – Dish: Karoobian Lamb on flatbread.

“We are very pleased with the turnout of this event,” said organiser Lion Jurgens van der Walt. He and the Sedgefield Lions Team are hoping that this event will become an annual fundraiser for them, and judging by the enthusiastic turnout – it will surely grow from strength to strength.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE

It was an emotional time at Die Gaatjie, Smutsville earlier today (22 September), when some households got to experience electricity for the first time. Resident John Hardnick was brought to tears as he flicked the switch on and his small home was bathed in light, with Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies and Ward 1 Councillor Levael Davis applauding excitedly as they recognised his joy.

The Knysna Municipality and the Department of Energy have provided this spark of hope, and indeed dignity, to 120 families living in Sedgefield’s poorest suburb.
These residents have lived without electricity for many years and joined in the official switch-on with great excitement and enthusiasm.
The Knysna Municipality’s Integrated Human Settlements Department applied to the national Department of Energy for electrification of Die Gaatjie. The Department approved the application and agreed to providing electricity to these families at a cost of R900 000.
The Municipality has faced several challenges regarding the formalising of this area as it is established on an old dump site, which meant it failed to meet the requirements of the Environmental Planning Department. Despite this the area has been provided with basic services such as taps and temporary toilets.
Knysna Executive Mayor Councillor Eleanore Bouw-Spies was thrilled to attend the second switch on since her recent inauguration and said: “Just two weeks ago I stood in Lapland in Rheenendal and witnessed the joy of residents as they received electricity. Today I am over-the-moon that these 120 dwellings in Die Gaatjie have joined the millions who, at the flip of a switch literally have light.”

The Mayor said that she would be able to sleep much better at night knowing that the families in Die Gaatjie would have simple things that many take for granted, such as light for children to do their homework, or  power to charge cell phones. She did point out to the residents that having electricity also brings responsibility.

“Use it wisely as the cost of this power is determined by government and does not come cheap. I hope to come back in a few months and see just what positive affect electricity has had on your lives.”

Bouw-Spies concluded, “I am pleased with the progress that our Integrated Human Settlement Department has made in providing our people in the Greater Knysna with basic services. I would like to thank the Manager of the Department, Mawethu Penxa and a big thank you to the Department of Energy.”
The municipality’s Integrated Human Settlements Department is committed to upgrading informal settlements by providing access to basic services such as potable water, sanitation, access to roads electricity and incrementally providing those that qualify with access to top structures. This is done in line with the Provincial Strategic objective 6, an approach that is endorsed by Provincial Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela.