South Africa’s canoe marathons

first_imgSouth Africa is blessed with three world-class canoe marathons, each offering the paddler a supreme challenge along with genuine camaraderie in a field that includes not only those trying to win, but also those who come to compete with themselves and the river.The Fish River and Berg River canoe marathons are more traditional races, consisting mostly of paddling with a little portaging, but the Dusi Canoe Marathon, raced between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, offers a unique challenge, with portaging making up a significant part of the race.Dusi Canoe MarathonFish River Canoe MarathonBerg River Canoe Marathon DUSI CANOE MARATHONThe Dusi is the longest running of the three races, having been contested for the first time in 1951, when world-renowned conservationist Ian Player, the brother of golfing legend Gary, was the only finisher out of a field of eight men.It took Player six days to complete the epic journey – during which time he was bitten by a night adder. Player crawled to a nearby road and managed to get a lift to a police station, where he collapsed. Anti-serum was administered, and he continued on to Durban.The first four editions of the race were contested on a non-stop basis, but in 1956 the race was changed to its present three-stage format, bringing an end to non-stop racing, through-the-night paddling and sleeping out in the open.Toughest canoe race in the worldFor many years the Dusi remained an elite event feared by the average paddler, and it wasn’t until 1967 that the 100-entry mark was finally achieved. By 1970 it was being billed as “the toughest canoe race in the world”.In the words of Ian Player: “No man who has done the 110 gruelling miles can ever be the same again. The memory of the rapids, the steep hills and torturous paths, the aching backs and dry mouths, the burning sun and cold mist and rain, will forever remain in the mind.”The Dusi KingMany great paddlers have taken turns to dominate the Dusi over the years, but one rose above them all; known as the Dusi King and “The Pope”, Graeme Pope-Ellis recorded his first victory with Eric Clarke in 1972. He won for the last time with Tim Cornish in 1990.In those 19 races since 1972, Pope-Ellis had won 15 times and placed second on three occasions. Only a broken boat in 1979 had prevented him from achieving another top-two finish. He has completed the Dusi a record 44 times.The race regularly attracts well over 1 000 contestants nowadays, with the record standing at 2 127 in the first race of the new millennium.The Non-Stop DusiThe Non-Stop Dusi has also been introduced, reviving the tradition of the race as it was in its early days. Only the excellent, the brave – and sometimes the stupid – attempt the Non-Stop Dusi, which has taken over the mantle of “world’s toughest canoe race” from the three-day Dusi.It is interesting to note that Non-Stop Dusi competitors start and finish on the same day – a reflection on the extent to which training, equipment and support have changed since the first race in 1951.FISH RIVER CANOE MARATHONThe Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon was first held in 1982, when 77 competitors took part. In 2000 it attracted a record entry of 1 564 paddlers, ranking it among the five biggest canoe marathons in the world.One of the main attractions of the event is that it is held in Cradock in the Eastern Cape, a central location that makes the race accessible for participants from all over the country, not to mention those who travel from overseas.Another plus for the paddlers is that the river is artificially regulated, guaranteeing them challenging and exciting rapids, fast-flowing water and testing weirs.The Fish River Canoe Marathon takes place every year during the September school holidays – which sometimes means it happens in October!Coelacanth, Fish Eagle awardsAs with many long-distance events, people competing in 10 or more editions of the Fish River Canoe Marathon are recognised. While the Comrades Marathon has the much-prized green number, the Fish has the equally sought-after Coelacanth award. The even more prestigious Fish Eagle award is presented to paddlers who have completed 20 or more events.The event has regularly been awarded the South African Canoeing Marathon Championships, another indication of its standing as a fine, well-loved event.‘Twinned’ with the Avon DescentThe Fish has also been “twinned” with Australia’s famous Avon Descent, which is billed as “the world’s greatest wild water event”.The twinning agreement sees the winners of the two events being flown to take part in the twin event, and has led to stunning success for South Africans in the Perth race:Wayne Volek won in the K1 category in 2000, followed by Martin Dreyer in 2002, and Sven and Deon Bruss in the K2 category in 2003.Daryl Bartho scored successive K1 victories in 2004 and 2005, and Sven Bruss was the K1 champion and Daryl and Brett Bartho the K2 winners in 2007. In 2008, Barry Lewin was crowned the K1 winner in a record time.BERG RIVER CANOE MARATHONThe Berg River Canoe Marathon has been contested since 1961. It is an extremely tough challenge, taking place over four days and covering an astounding 228 kilometres, making it the longest race in South Africa.Compounding the challenge posed by the distance is the fact that the event takes place in winter – the weather can be a fierce opponent, not to mention the tricky nature of the river. The water tends to be fast-flowing, but the channels are narrow, and overhanging trees give another angle to the test.Due to the extreme test that the race poses, the size of the entry doesn’t approach the size of the fields in the Dusi and Fish River Canoe Marathons.The King of the BergFormer Springbok paddler Andre Collins is known as the King of the Berg. He has completed the event an astounding 40 times, a figure that has been matched by Giel van Deventer.Five-time champion Hank McGregor, who has won every big race there is to win in South African canoe marathon racing, as well as the World Marathon K1 Championships in 2003 and the Durban Surfski World Cup (twice), has often said that the Berg River Canoe Marathon is the toughest race in the world.Team raceIn an interesting innovation, the Berg introduced a professional team race in 2008, which employed an original and exciting format.Each team consists of three or four paddlers. To ensure that the competition is competitive, no team may include more than one paddler who has achieved top three places in the previous three editions of the race.The top three times are added together for a cumulative time, but that time can be reduced by one of the team’s paddlers winning “hotspots”, which are worth two minutes off the total time.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Portuguese PM to be chief guest at 14th Pravasi Bharatiya

first_imgDivas ConventionNew Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa will be the Chief Guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention to be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru.Announcing this, External Affairs Ministry said the Portuguese Prime Minister has accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will participate in the inaugural session of the PBD Convention on January 8 and address the delegates.While the Prime Minister will be the Chief Guest, Surinam Vice president Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held on January 7, 2017 in Bengaluru.He will address the young overseas Indian delegates at the inaugural session of the Youth PBD, along with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel, the ministry said in a release.PBD is celebrated on January 9 every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led Indias freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.The conventions, celebrated every year since 2003, provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. PTI PYK ZMNlast_img read more

LG to launch W-series smartphones in India today

first_imgLG will launch its affordable W-series smartphones in India. The Korean electronics giant is hosting a special launch event in New Delhi, which will begin at 12PM. Thanks to a teaser on Amazon India, we know that LG is expected to launch the LG W30 today. Apart from the LG W30, the company is also expected to launch the LG W10, which has been a subject of numerous leaks in the past couple of weeks.LG, via the phone listing on Amazon India’s e-retail platform and via its own micro-site, we already know that LG’s W-series smartphones will come with a triple rear camera setup that will be accompanied by an LED flash. The teasers available on Amazon India indicate that LG’s W-series smartphones are expected to come with a wide-angle lens and offer its users five camera modes, which includes normal, front camera selfie, night mode, portrait mode and bokeh mode. On the phone, the series is expected to come with a single camera, details of which remain scarce at the moment.Amazon India also hinted that users will be able to customise the notch of the phone based on their moods. Now, LG’s UI already offers users to pick between an iPhone-like notch and a design that includes thin bezels on the top. The LG W-series smartphones, however, are expected to go a step beyond this and offer users a choice to select between a water drop notch, a dot drop notch and thin bezels on top. In addition to this, we also know that the series will be available on Amazon India in three stylish colour variants – blue, green and black.advertisementNotably, the LG W30 will be available on Amazon India in Aurora green colour variant during the Amazon Prime Day 2019, which is scheduled to take place between July 15 and July 16.As far as the LG W10 is concerned, the phone was spotted on the Android Enterprise website last week. The listing on the Android Enterprise website revealed that the LG W10 will sport a 6.2-inch display. While the website didn’t reveal details about the phone’s processor, it did reveal that W10 will come with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal memory and that it would run on Android 9.0 Pie. It will also get fingerprint sensor support.ALSO READ: | LG W10 specs leaked ahead of India launchALSO READ: | LG to launch budget smartphone with triple rear camera setup in IndiaALSO READ: | LG to launch a W-series smartphone with triple rear camera setup exclusive to Amazon in India soonlast_img read more

ESPN’s Sam Ponder Retiring From Sideline Reporting

first_imgespn's sam ponder on sunday nfl countdownDon’t worry, Sam Ponder fans. The ESPN college football personality won’t be completely gone from your television sets this fall. But late Thursday night, Ponder announced, via Instagram, that she’ll be “hanging up” her sideline reporter flats for Thursday Night Football. Her reason? She no longer wants to take her daughter, Scout, away from her father, Christian, for five days a week. Needless to say, it’s a respectable, mature decision.As Ponder mentions, she’ll still be part of College Football Live, SportsCenter and College GameDay. This year’s college football season starts on September 3.last_img read more

SP Global Maersk Ratings Lowered with Negative Outlook

first_imgzoom The long-term counterparty credit rating of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller – Maersk has been lowered to BBB from BBB+, while the outlook is negative, according to Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings.Additionally, S&P Global Ratings lowered its issue ratings on Maersk’s senior unsecured debt to BBB from BBB+ and removed all ratings on Maersk from CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were placed on July 5, 2016.“Today’s rating actions reflect our expectations that Maersk’s operating performance will remain constrained over 2016-2017 because of significant market difficulties and industry pressures,” S&P Global Ratings said.“We also take into account the risk that the ongoing strategic re-focusing of the group may lead to reduced diversification benefits over time,” the rating agency noted, adding that it is not ruled out that these factors, either combined or on a stand-alone basis, “could lead to a further downgrade to BBB-, depending on the group’s measures to counter the aforementioned risks.”The ratings agency said that Maersk’s competitive position and consolidated performance has deteriorated over 2016, while industry prospects remain uncertain, notably in the container liner industry where fundamentals continue to be very challenging, including constrained freight rates owing to structural overcapacity and sluggish expansion of global trade.Persistent high cyclical industry pressures and low oil prices “are likely to continue to weigh on Maersk’s earnings and cash flow well into 2017.”Given that all Maersk’s segments continue to face significant market difficulties, S&P Global Ratings said it anticipates that the group’s operating performance may falter in 2016-2017.Furthermore, S&P Global Ratings said that the negative outlook reflects the risk that Maersk would reap less diversification benefits if the ongoing evaluation of the ownership structure results in the disposal of a major part of or of all of its energy division.“The negative outlook predominantly reflects the risk of a one-notch downgrade because of the group’s ongoing strategic review,” the ratings agency informed.last_img read more

GM cuts jobs in response to present costs future innovation

first_imgDETROIT — Even though unemployment is low, the economy is growing and U.S. auto sales are near historic highs, General Motors is cutting thousands of jobs in a major restructuring aimed at generating cash to spend on innovation.It’s the new reality for automakers that are faced with the present cost of designing gas-powered cars and trucks that appeal to buyers now while at the same time preparing for a future world of electric and autonomous vehicles.GM announced Monday that it will cut as many as 14,000 workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it abandons many of its car models and restructures to focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.CEO Mary Barra said as cars and trucks become more complex, GM will need more computer coders but fewer engineers who work on internal combustion engines.“The vehicle has become much more software-oriented” with millions of lines of code, she said. “We still need many technical resources in the company.”The reductions could amount to as much as 8 per cent of GM’s global workforce of 180,000 employees.The restructuring also reflects changing North American auto markets as manufacturers continue to shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks. In October, almost 65 per cent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. were trucks or SUVs. That figure was about 50 per cent cars just five years ago.GM is shedding cars largely because it doesn’t make money on them, Citi analyst Itay Michaeli wrote in a note to investors.“We estimate sedans operate at a significant loss, hence the need for classic restructuring,” he wrote.The reduction includes about 8,000 white-collar employees, or 15 per cent of GM’s North American white-collar workforce. Some will take buyouts while others will be laid off.At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in the U.S. and another 2,600 in Canada, but some U.S. workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production. The cuts mark GM’s first major downsizing since shedding thousands of jobs in the Great Recession.The company also said it will stop operating two additional factories outside North America by the end of next year.The move to make GM get leaner before the next downturn likely will be followed by Ford Motor Co., which also has struggled to keep one foot in the present and another in an ambiguous future of new mobility. Ford has been slower to react, but says it will lay off an unspecified number of white-collar workers as it exits much of the car market in favour of trucks and SUVs, some of them powered by batteries.The GM layoffs come amid the backdrop of a trade wars between the U.S., China and Europe that likely will lead to higher prices for imported vehicles and those exported from the U.S. Barra said the company faces challenges from tariffs but she did not directly link the layoffs to them.GM doesn’t foresee an economic downturn and is making the cuts “to get in front of it while the company is strong and while the economy is strong,” Barra told reporters.Factories that could be closed include assembly plants in Detroit and Oshawa, Ontario, and Lordstown, Ohio, as well as transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and near Baltimore.The announcement worried GM workers who could lose their jobs.“I don’t know how I’m going to feed my family,” Matt Smith, a worker at the Ontario factory, said Monday outside the plant’s south gate, where workers blocked trucks from entering or leaving. “It’s hard. It’s horrible.” Smith’s wife also works at the plant. The couple has an 11-month-old at home.Workers at the Ontario plant walked off the job Monday but were expected to return Tuesday.After the morning announcement, Barra headed for Washington to speak with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow in what was described as a previously scheduled meeting.President Donald Trump, who has made bringing back auto jobs a big part of his appeal to Ohio and other Great Lakes states that are crucial to his re-election, said his administration and lawmakers are exerting “a lot of pressure” on GM.Trump said he was being tough on Barra, telling the company that the U.S. has done a lot for GM and that if its cars aren’t selling, the company needs to produce ones that will.At a rally near GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, plant last summer, Trump told people not to sell their homes because the jobs are “all coming back.”Most of the factories to be affected by GM’s restructuring build cars that will not be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. Their futures will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.The Detroit-based union has already condemned GM’s actions and threatened to fight them “through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership.”Bobbi Marsh, who has worked assembling the Chevrolet Cruze compact car at the Ohio plant since 2008, said she can’t understand why the factory might close given the strong economy.“I can’t believe our president would allow this to happen,” she said Monday. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said the move will be disastrous for the region around Youngstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland, where GM is one of the area’s few remaining industrial anchors.“GM received record tax breaks as a result of the GOP’s tax bill last year, and has eliminated jobs instead of using that tax windfall to invest in American workers,” he said in a statement.GM, the nation’s largest automaker, will stop producing cars and transmissions at the plants through 2019. In all, six car models were scrapped, leaving the company with nine remaining car models for its four brands, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.Among the cars that won’t be made after next year is the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable gas-electric hybrid. When introduced a decade ago, the Volt was meant to be a bridge to fully electric cars, the company said. It has a small battery that can take it about 50 miles, then it switches to a small gasoline engine.But since it was introduced, battery technology has improved dramatically, GM said. Now the full-electric Chevrolet Bolt can go up to 238 miles on a single charge.The United Auto Workers promised to fight any plant closures and criticized GM for cutting U.S. jobs while building full-size pickups in Mexico. It also recently announced that a new Chevrolet Blazer SUV will be built there. Also, GM imports the Buick Envision midsize SUV from China.___Associated Press writers Rob Gillies in Toronto, John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio, and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.Tom Krisher, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Stage North is seeking show submissions for next year

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Stage North is looking for show submissions for their next season to be submitted before their Board Meeting on May 7th, 2019.The Theatre Society shares the call is open to the public to submit and if your play is accepted you would be asked to register as a member of Stage North. Available show slots include October, December, February, and April.To submit a show for consideration, the Board will need the following; A show title and authorThe synopsis of the showA DirectorA ProducerA Stage ManagerA budgetShow submissions need to be received Tuesday, May 7th at the Society’s Board Meeting at 6:30 PM, held at the Stage North rehearsal space.  Located at 11520 East Bypass Rd.If you are unable to attend the Board Meeting or have further questions email; stagenorth@stagenorth.calast_img read more

Fort St John Tourism seeks separation to be own entity

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Recently the FSJ Tourism Board made a presentation to City Council regarding their role working with the City as well as their desire to change a bylaw to allow them to become a society.In 2010, Tourism Fort St. John board was developed with a bylaw that has prevented and limits potential growth opportunities for the tourism organization to operate efficiently in Fort St John.The Board made a request to Council to rescind the bylaw and allow the board to incorporate as registered Society in BC rather than a Board of Council as well as retaining ownership of the branding and name ‘Tourism Fort St. John’. The Tourism Board also requested a financial commitment in the amount of $52,000.00 annually for a three year period (2020 – 2022). The annual funding would continue to provide Fort St. John with tourism services and capacity development through the creation of a business plan, a Tap Know & Go development study, professional development, stakeholder engagement, marketing, administration costs and would take over the NE BCTourism Marketing Cooperative, currently undertaken by the Visitor Centre.Council approved the motion and a repeal bylaw will be drafted for Tourism Fort St.John Bylaw No. 2049, 2010 and a fee for service agreement developed.last_img read more

Naidu meets Rahul Akhilesh Maya to forge Oppn alliance

first_imgNew Delhi/ Lucknow: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu held a flurry of meetings with Opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BSP’s Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, in an apparent bid to rally support for a non-BJP government at the Centre. Naidu, who arrived in the national capital on Friday, also met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and leaders of the Communist Party of India. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkHe then flew to Lucknow and met the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party chiefs. “It is a pleasure to welcome Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu Ji to Lucknow,” Akhilesh Yadav tweeted. Naidu did not speak to the media after any of his meetings. Sources, however, said that Naidu and Gandhi discussed the possibility of forming a joint alliance of all Opposition parties. He told Gandhi to have a strategy ready, in case the NDA falls short of a majority and still stakes claim to form the government, the sources said. Naidu told all the leaders that “we all should come together and put our act together” to form the next government by keeping the BJP out, a source said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenLater, Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other Congress leaders met at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence to evolve their party’s strategy. “The campaigning of this Lok Sabha Election 2019 has ended and as we await the last phase of polling, Andhra Pradesh CM Shri N Chandrababu Naidu paid me a visit to discuss the ongoing and future political scenario of our country,” Pawar said in a tweet after the meeting at his residence. Naidu met CPI leader G Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja over breakfast, asking them to “come together”. Reddy and Raja separately met Pawar at his residence. The Telugu Desam Party chief has held several rounds of discussion with various Opposition leaders, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Naidu’s TDP was a part of the NDA but quit the alliance a few months ago. On Friday Naidu said that not only the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but any outfit which is against the BJP is welcome to join a grand alliance after the election results are declared on May 23. As Opposition leaders scramble to form a joint anti-BJP front, hectic deliberations among them are likely to continue in the days ahead.last_img read more

Tajh Boyd Clemson Rout Georgia Tech

Tajh Boyd put on a dominant performance to lead Clemson over Georgia Tech Thursday night.Boyd broke Philip Rivers’ Atlantic Coast Conference career record after throwing four touchdowns and 340 yards in Clemson’s 55-31 win over Georgia Tech. Boyd shook up the Tigers coaches, teammates and 75,324 fans at Death Valley, getting hurt at the end of the third quarter and having to be rushed back into the locker room.The QB suffered a collar-bone injury, but after discovering it was only a bruised bone, Boyd begged his offensive coordinator Chad Morris to put him back in the game where Clemson was already ahead 41-24.“If it was a dire situation I felt like I needed to play, I felt like I could’ve,” Boyd said. “But we were in a situation where it wasn’t needed.”Will the injury sideline Boyd for Clemson’s next game on Nov. 23?“No, man, I’m not going to miss my last game in the valley,” he said. “I’ll throw a pad in there and I’ll be fine.”Talking with the media after the game, the coach praised Boyd. “He’s a competitor,” Morris said. “My gosh, look at the records this guy has broken in the ACC. Wow. And in just three years.” read more