Surfing journo David MacGregor from Port Alfred dropped me a mail to let me know about an article he wrote for for the Daily Dispatch last week. Turns out some bunch called New African Global Energy Limited (NewAGE) have managed to wangle themselves the rights to go exploring for oil & gas in Algoa Bay and along the coast up to the Gamtoos.
A quick google search turns up bogger-all on NewAGE, although some digging reveals a LinkIn page - which has a link to their website - which doesn't work. Starting to smell like a BEE deal! Some government connected brother's uncle's cousin's friend now suddenly has a lucrative mining concession. Aaaah, Africa...
Anyhow - back to the issue at hand. These ou's are now going to be doing a seismic survey of the whole area, which entails letting off load blasts of a seismic airgun towards the seafloor looking for fossil fuel deposits. Which is quite a kak thing if you happen to be a turtle, whale or dolphin anywhere close by. It's the equivalent of being locked in a small room with thumping death metal being played at a zillion decibels. Well, maybe not quite - but enough to say they've banned it in lank countries overseas cos of concerns over the effect it has on marine life.
But it's effect on marine life will pale in comparison to what'll happen if these guys actually do find oil or gas. Gas is the lesser of two evils cos at least a leak will just blow themselves up instead of ruining the whole bay. But shew, if they find oil that's kak luck for us. Cos now THAT stuff makes a moer of a mess. Remember the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico a while ago? And that was a 1st world country. Good luck trying to clean up an oil spill here...
Personally I hope they just end up wasting all their money and finding bogger-all, cos I sure as hang don't want a big oil drilling platform off our coast thanks. Anyway, fossil fuels suck. They killing our planet anyway, looking for oil is so old-school. They should rather spend their money on renewable energy - we're called the Windy City remember....wind farms rock.
Here's Dave's article:
"A controversial seismic survey of the ocean floor off the Eastern Cape for oil and gas reserves has begun despite fears they adversely affect already threatened marine resources.
The 450 000 km2 (SUBS: 450 000 square kilometre) two dimensional survey is one of several taking place off the South African and Namibian coast that involves ships crisscrossing the ocean firing several loud airgun blasts at set intervals towards the seabed looking for fossil fuels.
Outlawed in several developed countries around the world, a recent report for the renowned Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) by Bayworld's Dr Stephanie Plön and Renee Koper has called for South Africa to conduct its own systematic formal research on the effects of ocean noise on marine animals.
Although much research had been conducted on the impacts of seismic surveys on marine species in the northern hemisphere this was not the case down south.
"Yes, I and a few of my colleagues are concerned about the seismic explorations off our coastline as to date very few research projects have concentrated on the effects of such surveys on Southern Hemisphere species," Plön told the Dispatch yesterday.
She said the bulk of informastion came from research on northern hemisphere species and could not simply be applied here because of obvious differences in biology and ecology.
According to Plön, very little is still known about hearing in most marine species, which could differ substantially between species.
"Ideally one should employ the ‘precautionary principle’ when approaching such issues and some research should be conducted into the potential effects on local marine fauna prior to or alongside the surveys."
Fears were raised the surveys could have a negative impact on whale tourism and the fishing industry.
She said ocean noise pollution was a large concern in other parts of the world and was recently flagged at the last International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meeting as an area of importance.
IUCN supports scientific research, manages global field projects and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy.
Plön said anthropogenic noise was a 'hot topic' of Northern Hemisphere research as sound played a pivotal role in the lives of many marine mammal and fish species.
"As seismic surveys are conducted by airguns, which basically fire off a loud sound at set intervals, this constitutes a possible disturbance."
Phumla Ngesi of Petroleum Agency South Africa - which according to their website "promotes exploration for onshore and offshore oil and gas resources and their optimal development on behalf of government and regulates exploration and production activities”- yesterday confirmed the "acquisition of seismic data has commenced."
Plön said seismic disturbance impacts could range from behavioural responses - where species avoided an area for a certain amount of time - to physical damage of body tissues by sound pressure waves and temporary or permanent hearing loss.
"Interestingly in my dealings with (local) industry to date I have encountered some resistance towards research into potential side effects of seismic surveys and marine construction - which is in contrast to many ventures overseas where industry and government together fund research into this as well as into how best to mitigate such effects on the environment."
She said the seismic permits appeared to be in contrast to government's initiatives towards a clean and green economy using alternative, environmentally sustainable energy resources such as wind and solar power."
So can we do anything to stop these guys?
If I gave you five guesses where these were taken I bet you still wouldn't get it right. And then when I told you it was Denvil's, you probably think I was lying. But I ain't. It's Malcolm Turner dropping into a sizeable one and getting slotted. Apparently Denvils used to be barrel-city back in the day - instead of the beginner beach it is today. Why is it that NONE of our waves seem to have changed for the better? Every damn one seems to have got WORSE over the last 20 years. Eish.
Geeesh, what lekker weather this weekend dished up. The sun baked, the wind stayed away, the water was warm...but unfortunately if you stayed in the bay you had to deal with zero waves. Those who moved westward got rewarded for their efforts. It didn't even have to be far. Just around the corner would do.
The groms had their 3rd trial at Pipe in some serious grom-size-only waves, and the longboarders ducked onto the wildside to find something surfable for their trial.
Charts looking dismal for the bay for the next 2 weeks. No SW groundswell over 2ft. So gonna have to make do with the east windswell when it pops up.
Marketing manager to ad exec: "Surfing is cool - give us an ad that ties out product in with that." Good idea - provided the ad exec has got the foggiest idea about surfing. Which 99% of the time they don't. So then we get clangers like these.....so close. And yet sooooo far.
The world's most popular under sixteen surfing competition, the Quiksilver King of the Groms, has gone digital in 2013. With the aim of opening this prestigious event up to the entire globe, organisers have substituted physical qualifying surf series events in each region around the world with one online qualifying campaign and a global final. The radical new format is a big shake up and after successfully running the series in its previous format for twenty years the new format is sure to bring a whole new dynamic to junior surfing and the way it is viewed globally.
Previous winners of the event include Jeremy Flores (Fra), Aritz Aranburu (Esp) and Gabriel Medina (Bra) who have all gone on to qualify for the elite ASP World Tour. The Quiksilver King of the Groms really is the breeding ground for young talented surfers and the new 2013 format will allow audiences from all over the world to be part of the online voting process. Surfers under the age of sixteen from all corners of the globe are encouraged to log onto the event website (www.quiksilverlive.com/kotg/2013), get their campaigns going by filming, editing and choosing their soundtrack to accompany it. Video submissions should be no longer than 90 seconds and need to be filled with creativity and progression. The best videos must showcase performance in the water and portray the lifestyle around it. Once uploaded to the website, candidates need to get to work by promoting themselves and their video virally through all digital platforms possible. The more Facebook 'likes' that they accumulate the better their chances of winning.
The best videos from fifteen surfers from ten global regions as well as three wildcards will be selected by a combination of online votes and a panel of judges which include Quiksilver ambassadors Travis Logie (ZAF), eleven times World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), Dane Reynolds (USA), Jake Paterson (AUS), Maz Quinn (NZL) and Miky Picon (FRA) to name a few. Also included on the panel is a host of reputable figures in the surf industry that have no affiliation to the Quiksilver brand. Zigzag assistant editor and surf photographer Alan van Gysen and ex World Tour surfer Paul Canning have both been selected by Travis Logie to represent Africa as judges for the competition. "I think that it's a really exciting new concept and I'm sure that there are going to be some surprises. Given the way that digital media is changing the face of media, eventing and marketing in general I think that the organizers have made a good call," commented Travis Logie.
The eighteen surfers, once selected by the judges, will be flown and accommodated at the Quiksilver Pro France World Tour event which will take place at the end of September. The eighteen qualifiers will get to rub shoulders with the best surfers in the world and experience surfing at its best at the beach breaks of La Graviere, France. The qualifiers will compete head to head in front of a capacity crowd and the world's elite surfers for the prestigious Quiksilver King of the Groms World Title.
The event website is currently live and free music is now available for download. Candidates must use the music provided and submit their videos before 30 June 2013. On 1 July all videos will be published on the website and members of the public will have a chance to pick their favourites. Public voting will be over at the end of July and each region's top 20 videos will be presented to the pro panel of judges to determine the best video per region. On 15 August the final selected 15 videos will announced and the qualifiers will start planning their trip to France and their mission to become the King of the French beach breaks.
The Quiksilver Pro Junior and King of the Groms presented by Durban will still be going ahead as planned on 18/19 May at New Pier, Durban.
For more information go to: www.quiksilverlive.com/kotg/2013
Late last year CANSA got everyone in a tizz cos they decided to announce that none of the locally produced sunscreens make the grade as far as European standards are concerned, making lotsa people think local wasn’t so lekker after all. Turns CANSA were pretty much waaaay off-the-mark with that call.
SA does have its own Sunscreen standard (SANS 1557:2009) as well as using the Australian Sunscreen Standard too (AS/NZS 2604:1998). The furore caused by CANSA was whether the sunscreen standard in South Africa meets what’s called the COLIPA test used in Europe.
Which right there and then should raise a red flag….cos what the hang do the pasty euro’s know about the sun anyway - Saffa’s and Aussies live under the blazing thing!
Anyway, back to the doff muppets at CANSA – they went and made some pretty sweeping statements about the state of our local sunscreens being kak when all they did was test a random sample of 8% of the sunscreens – and only scanned each product ONCE (considering that COLIPA requires 15 tests). Not very good science in anyone’s books sadly.
So, local IS still lekker….and safe!
Island Tribe, one of the most popular locally-made sunscreens amongst surfers, tests their products according to SA & Aus standards, as well as the Boots standard – a well-respected UK sunscreen standard; and they make the grade in all those tests. So surfers can happily keep plakking themselves full of Island Tribe and be safe in the knowledge that they’re keeping the UVA/B at bay.
Even better news is that the manufacturers of Island Tribe will be improving upon their formulations and be meeting the latest ISO standard for sunscreen, which is streaks better than the COPLIA thingy anyway.
Remember to stick that sunscreen on though – cos it ain’t gonna help bogger-all sitting in the tube in your car…
Also not a bad thing to go visit the dermatologist once a year - just to make sure you haven't got any lil nasties growing on your skin. Rather catch em early and nip em out before you end up having to cut a whole arm off or something!
After an 8 year gap I finally got round to seeing mine last week - after being declared healthy in about 5 minutes we ended up talking surfing for the next 15! Turns out Dr Proctor was also a surfer back in the day, and was a contemporary of all the guys from the 70's we've been featuring in our vintage section lately. Yet further confirmation that PE is really just a very small place....and that a surprising number of ballies used to surf!
If you missed the earlier article on Sunscreen - check it out <here>
K, get involved peeps. EP Longboarding needs to raise some dosh. Yank those clubs down outta the garage ceiling and dust off the cobwebs and come whack a few balls on Saturday 23 March. It's at the St Francis course, and is a betterball stapleford format - whatever the hell that means. Only R200 a person.
Better yet, dip into your pocket and get your business to sponsor a green or tee for just R550, or both (ie the whole hole) for just R1000. Michelle van Kempen is able to lug out all your banners and stuff from PE if need be. Get in touch with her for more details about sponsoring. <email Michelle>
Gonna be a kiff weekend cos the last EP longboard trial will be held at Huletts on Sunday - so a full-on golf/surf weekend. Make the mission!
Cape St Francis Resorts is offering a lekker deal for surfers/golfers that weekend, so no excuses not to come. Just tune them when you book that you a golfer/surfer to make sure you get the special rate!
Tel: 042 298 0054
To book for the golf day, get hold of the St Francis Bay Golf club:
042 294 0467
Ballies are just loving all these old pics we've been finding, mainly thanks to Jonty Hansford for the bulk of them. So decided to catch up with Jonty and ask him a few questions about that golden time in our surf history back in the 70's - when Fence cooked, so did Millers, Avo's had sand, JBay was all about camping in the bush, and Seals was a full-on mission to get to. Those were the days...mythical Fence cylinders, classic beefy shortboards, and wetsuits that looked like they'd rash you to death.
Let’s start at the beginning – were you a born n bred PE local?
No, born and schooled in Camps Bay, Cape Town. It was only after the Army in 1971 that I came to PE.
What was the go-to spot back when you started surfing here?
I think Fence was possibly the most popular break then, with Millars and Pipe also up there.
And who were the local rippers at that time?
The local rippers back in the early 70’s were Peers Pittard, Mush Hide and Gavin Rudolf. John Davies also displayed some fancy footwork and board control.
Weapon of choice?
Coming out of the Army saw me dispense with my solid, trusty, 9 foot 6, Seal Point board, in favour of a 7 foot 6, Clive Barber, and I think it was a fairly standard length for the time – they were all still single fins though. The popular tail was a rounded pin, and the noses were fairly broad. After the Clive Barber, and for many years thereafter I rode Larry Levin’s boards. For those with a good bank balance, there was the classis Whitmore and Safari.
It looks like the wetsuits were, to put it lightly, rudimentary! Some even looked like dive suits!
Coming from a childhood where your Cape Town winter wave kit consisted of a well inflated lilo, a good pair of Cressi flippers and a tight woolen jersey as a wetsuit, it was just paradise to play in the warm PE waves. I took a hammering here though in the winter months, so my dad got me a sleeveless Bodyglove vest with a zip up the front. Suits were big, thick and heavy, and I hated the way they restricted your movement. The popular suits at the time were Banzai spring suits, and Reef who began marketing a bigger range.
What was the deal with leashes in those days…did you have them to start with…and then when they came in, where they pretty similar to what we’ve used to today?
Leashes were a blessing and eliminated the slashed feet and constant rock-dance of previous years. If I recall correctly, leashes began in the early 70’s. They were ultra-basic. Picture this: Firstly, drill a hole at the back of your fin where it meets your board. Then take a stiff nylon cord of about 2m and thread it through the hole and tie a knot. Then take the other end, and make a slipknot for your ankle. I don’t recall how many fins I had ripped from my board as I plunged over the falls at solid 8 foot Supers. Gradually we got wiser and I remember Larry making streamlined fiberglass lugs near the tail of the board. We had also reinforced the cord, which then ran inside surgical rubber tubing. They were equally as destructive though, as a bad wipeout would cause the cord to wrap around the board and cut through the rail, sometimes right up to the stringer. Happy days!
The absence of leashes to start with must have put certain spots we consider normal today outta bounds to you back then?
In a way, yes. Millars was still surfed a lot though, and the lack of a leash forced you to surf in a fairly conservative style, and dive like crazy to catch your board in a wipeout. Spots like Avalanche were a no – no, especially with a new board. But I remember surfing there with a hammered old, cord-less stick, and not being particularly phased when the rocks began splintering it to pieces.
Did you guys used to make the mission to Seals and Jbay? Musta been pretty different back then. Real undeveloped? Uncrowded too?
Getting to Seals was a major undertaking. I had seen it featured in the classic 1966 movie, Endless Summer. Soon thereafter, I came on holiday with my folks to PE by car from Cape Town and I managed to twist my old man’s arm to take a detour down to Seals. The gravel road was a nightmare, passing through many flowing drifts, and corrugations so bad, that before we lost our entire undercarriage we had to turn back. It was 10 years later that I first got to surf there. Jbay was easier to get to, but still very underdeveloped with pockets of surfers from all corners of the world, camping in the bush.
Saw a few shots of you in a camper van – was that the deal for outta town trips back in the day?
I fell in love with Seals the first time I surfed there, and decided there and then that I needed a Kombi. It was the ideal vehicle for taming the lengthy gravel road, and like a tortoise, your bed was in the back. Many surfers had them, and in those days the Feds were pretty ineffectual so we camped on the point and only sneaked into the caravan park for the odd shower. The van served me well on many out of town trips to Cape Town, East London and the Transkei.
How did the photography bug bite? Were you into it before starting to surf, or was it something that evolved from surfing?
I think for me, the surfing and photography bug grew simultaneously. I was lucky to get a lecturing job in the Photography Department at the old Technikon where we had the darkrooms and materials to help me expand my creative side. To surf or to take photos? - it was always a difficult decision to make when the waves were cooking.
Water photography was pretty unusual back then cos of the limitations of the equipment. Take us through your camera set-up and water-proof rig.
Back in the mid 70’s my brother got me a waterproof, Nikonos, film camera. It had no lightmeter but was easy to use and very strong; it had a fixed, 35mm focal length lens, which captured a fairly wide angle of view. It took me a while to get used to this, as a lot of my earlier shots had the surfer too far away, and consequently too small in the frame. I then got a perspex water housing for my Canon F1 camera. This was magic. I also had a few lenses, so I could change the focal length, depending on what break I was shooting. Unlike today, zoom lenses were pretty rare and good ones, very expensive, so I stuck with the fixed focal lengths. After a year of having the housing, I was offered a good price for it and being a bit short of cash for an overseas trip I sold it. Thereafter the travel bug had bitten well and I was constantly saving all my spare cash for overseas travel.
And no such thing as nipping off to the local Kodak shop to get your prints done…did you develop your own negatives?
Yes, I processed and printed all my own black and white films. I shot very little colour negative film though, as the printing of those negs was a real mission, so most of my colour work was shot on slide (transparency) film. The technically superior Kodachromes had to be sent to Doornfontein for processing, and then after about 2 weeks you received the mounted slides in the mail.
Collect any boards to the pip? Looked like you were pretty close to getting scalped in a few?
Yes, there were a few very close shaves but generally I warned the guys that I was bobbing around in the line-up, and they had better keep an eye out for me.
It looks like the photography bug bit properly – you ended up making a career outta it?
Yes, after a fairly low achievement at school I took an immediate liking to the art and design environment, and by 1975 the Technikon offered me a lecturing post. The academic year was pleasantly interrupted with lengthy holidays, which suited my desire to surf.
Any last words on the surf scene back in those golden years?
You know, possibly each surfing generation will view their era on the waves as the epitome of the art of surfing, and the ‘good old days’ will just repeat themselves. But even though I only arrived here at the age of 20, I sensed a tremendous camaraderie amongst the surfing community, and in no time, after surfing all the local breaks I got to recognize just about every surfer in town. There was a definite pecking order and the kids knew the consequences of a careless drop-in, so it very rarely happened. But they were keen to learn and loved to surf out of town. I remember heading off for a day at Seals with 10 up in my Kombi and at least half were kids. Now they are the senior generation and their kids are doing moves we hadn’t even dreamed about.
But that’s the fun of the game.
Thanks Jonty! And thanks for all those lekker pics! Wanna see more of Jonty's shots?
Check out the Vintage section <here>
Busy sorting through all the old shots and came across some pics of ou's who are still active surfers today. See if you can guess who's who. Some had more hair then. Others had less!
Top (left to right): Barry Heasley, Dave Lipschitz, John Elliot, Alan Byram
Middle: Peter May, John McLeod, Greg Saunders, Turtle Morris, jury is undecided as to whthere this is Mark Simmons aka Stompie or a Van Greunen. Can you help??
Bottom: Morris Lazarus, John SCheepers, Mush Hide
And then here's something a bit more recent. The dude on the left is still as much of a grom today as he was 20 years ago when this was taken. Shew, remember the day-glo wetsuits of the 80's? Glad that phase passed!
For immediate publication
Monday February 11, 2013.
Surfing South Africa announces the surfers in the SA Junior Team for the 2013 ISA World Junior Championships
The Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa has ratified the names of the surfers who will represent South Africa in the SANZ Challenge against New Zealand and the 2013 ISA World Junior Championships.
Both events will take place in Nicaragua between June 6th and 16th this year.
There are four new caps in the team which was selected from the results of the U17 Boys & Girls & U15 Boys divisions at the 2012 Hurley SA Junior Championships and from a series of regional trials and a national trial held at Seal Point recently.
South African U17 champion Benji Brand of Western Province earns his third cap as the winner of this division at the SA Junior Championships and is top seed in the U18 boys group for Nicaragua. Gina Smith of Eastern Province earned her place in the team after winning the U17 girls title last October while Matt Mcgillivray of Eastern Province is top seed in the U16 boys group courtesy of his victory in the U15 Division of the 2012 SA Junior Championships.
Joining Brand in the U18 boys division are Dylan Lightfoot of Eastern Province, Josh Smit of KZN Central and Diran Zakarian of Boland. There are no new caps in this group who boast a total of 12 caps between them. The official non travelling reserve is Jason “JJ” Harris of KZN Central.
McGillivray’s team mates in the U16 Boys division are new cap Jordan Maree of Western Province, Steffen Burrows of Boland and new caps Shane Sykes of KZN Central and Simo Mkhize of Southern KZN. Bevan Willis of KZN Central is the official non travelling reserve.
Nicole Pallet of KZN Central joins Smith as the other U18 Girl while Chanelle Botha of Southern KZN and new cap Anoush Zakarian of Boland are the two U16 Girls in the team. Inge Mclaren of Border is the official non travelling reserve for the U18 girls and Crystal Hulett of Eastern Province is the official non travelling U16 Girls reserve.
The full U18 boys team is Benji Brand (who qualified as the 2012 SA U17 Champion), Dylan Lightfoot, Josh Smit and Diran Zakarian. Jason Harris is the official non travelling reserve.
The U18 girls are Gina Smith (who qualified as the 2012 SA U17 Champion ) and Nicole Pallet with Inge Mclaren the official non travelling reserve.
Matthew Mc Gillivray (who qualified as the 2012 SA U15 champion), Jordy Maree, Steff Burrows, Shane Sykes and Simo Mkhize make up the U16 group with Bevan Willis the official non travelling reserve.
The Melkbosstrand based Zakarian siblings,Diran and Anoush, become the first brother and sister to represent South Africa at the ISA World Junior Championships while last year’s U16 Boys Division reserve Simo Mkhize and the U18 Girls reserve in 2012, Gina Smith, have both gone one better and will earn their national colours.
This year history will be made when the SANZ Challenge takes place between the South African and New Zealand juniors for the 10th year in a row. The first SANZ Challenge was held in Durban in 2003 and has been contested between the two nations every year since then. The one day event has become a competitive tradition and although billed as a “friendly” the rivalry is intense. Since 2003 the unique SANZ Trophy, which is made from semi precious New Zealand stone and South African yellow wood, has been won four times by New Zealand and five times by South Africa. South Africa are the current champions.
Over 30 countries from five continents will compete in the 2013 ISA World Junior Championships which are taking place in Nicaragua for the first time.
The annual tournament determines the World Junior Team Champions, the World Junior ISA Aloha Cup Champions and medalists in the Under 18 Boys and Girls and Under 16 Boys divisions.
Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). All representative South African teams are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa.
Robin de Kock
Surfing South Africa