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Paddling through Northern Cape paradise

first_imgAs the Orange River approaches Augrabies Falls it divides into numerous channels before cascading down the 56-metre high waterfall.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) An aerial view of the aptly-named Orange River, with surrounding vineyards, in the Upington region. (Image: Orange River Wine Cellars) MEDIA CONTACTS • Gawie Nieuwoudt  GKCM organiser  +27 82 550 4664 RELATED ARTICLES • Paddling for a good cause • From the city to the wild • Paddlers in the pink for cancer • Take a diamond tour in Cape Town • SA maps its priority freshwater areasAvashnee MoodleyThe Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon, which took place in the Northern Cape last weekend, is set to become an annual drawcard in the province.The inaugural three-day event attracted nearly 100 participants and hundreds of visitors, who made the journey to a fascinating region that boasts both semi-desert areas and lush vineyards in the valleys of the Orange River.The route took paddlers along the Gariep – better known as the Orange – River from the town of Upington to Kakamas, Khamkirri and Augrabies.Winners Lance King and Heinrich Schloms received R26 000 (US$3 400) in prize money. Michael Mbanjwa and Sibonelo Zondi finished second, with Pierre-André Rabie and Gavin White claiming the third spot.Development teams from seven-times Dusi winner Martin Dreyer’s Change A Life Academy also showcased their talent, with Nzuza Zonele and teammate Kwanda Hlope finishing fourth overall and fellow academy members Ngidi Skhumbuso and Nhlanhla Cele coming in fifth.The women’s race was won by Abby Adie and Hilary Pitchford, who finished in eighth place overall.The total purse was around R207 000 ($27 000).A dream realisedThe event was the brainchild of local resident and paddling enthusiast Gawie Nieuwoudt, who fulfilled a long-held dream to organise a canoe race on South Africa’s longest river.“I love paddling and I am in love with this beautiful river, so I always thought it was wrong not to have a proper race here,” he says.As this was the first race of its sort in the Northern Cape, organisers believe the economic benefits were not as large as they might have been. However, they agree that the province will benefit from the immense exposure it received in the tourism sector, and of course the next time will be better.“As the race grows there will certainly be bigger economic advantages,” says Nieuwoudt, adding that he hopes the Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon would become a legendary race, like the world-famous Dusi.The 99km scenic route was planned by Nieuwoudt and other well-known paddlers, who wanted visitors to enjoy the challenge, and also hoped to promote the Northern Cape region as an adventure destination.The event afforded both paddlers and visitors a glimpse of the vastness of the Green Kalahari and its diversity, which is largely unknown to many South Africans and international tourists.The Green Kalahari region is found along the banks of the Orange River. It borders Botswana and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the north, reaches past Upington in the south, and extends from the Namibian border in the west to the famed diamond fields in the east of the province.The Northern Cape offers a kaleidoscope of scenic beauty ranging from the Green Kalahari itself, to the impressive natural wonder of the Augrabies Falls – named from the ancient Khoi word aukoerebis, meaning “Place of Great Noise” – Namaqualand’s floral splendour and the diamond-mining tradition of Kimberley.Nieuwoudt says he had had three goals in mind before the race. They were: “to host an excellent canoe marathon for the paddlers; to promote the Green Kalahari as an adventure destination; and to create a lasting development programme to teach previously disadvantage communities the sport of paddling.”The first two objectives had been met, he believes, and the newly launched canoe club will address the third objective.Spectacular natural beauty, and great winesAmong the attractions participants and spectators experienced were the spectacular Augrabies Falls, sundowners at the Oranjekom viewsite in the Augrabies Falls National Park, wine tastings at the Orange River Wine Cellars, and visits to the Khamkirri Game Reserve.The wine route is a must for any oenophile’s tour itinerary, as 10% of South Africa’s vineyards are to be found in the Orange River valley and the southern Kalahari.The hot, dry but, fortunately, irrigated areas along the Orange River in the least populated part of the country are home to thousands of hectares of leafy vineyards, producing robust everyday wines.This is the home of the main office of the Orange River Wine Cellars, the largest wine cooperative in the southern hemisphere and, judged on the number of tons harvested, the second-largest in the world.last_img read more

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LS, RS adjourned for the day over Maken’s statement on Kalmadi

first_imgBoth Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the entire day on Monday after the Opposition  created ruckus over Ajay Maken’s statement that the PMO did not recommend Suresh Kalmadi’s appointment as CWG OC chief.Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were initially adjourned till noon, barely a few minutes after the day’s proceedings began. The ruckus continued even after the Houses reassembled, forcing adjournment for the entire day.Before the Houses met after the weekend, the NDA held a meeting to work out its strategy.The opposition demanded suspension of the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the CAG report, accusing Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi of wasting money through inflated contracts during the Games.It sought a privilege motion in the Lok Sabha to discuss Sports Minister Ajay Maken’s statement that the PMO was not involved in Suresh Kalmadi’s appointment as head of the Delhi games.Documents have shown that the PMO in a note had communicated about the appointment of Kalmadi as Organising Committee chief.The BJP had staged street protests on Sunday, demanding resignation of Dikshit.last_img read more

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ICC rejects Sachin Tendulkar’s idea of changing ODI format

first_imgThe International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday rejected Sachin Tendulkar’s master plan for one-day cricket.ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat and general manager David Richardson turned down Sachin’s radical proposal of converting the one-day game into battle of four innings.The Indian legendary had written to the ICC CEO proposing to change the current format of one-day internationals (ODIs) into four innings of 25 overs each along with various other suggestions.However ICC’s top bosses felt there was no impending threat to the current 50 overs game and thereby no need to the change the format.Tweeting about his disapproval, Lorgat said that there was not very strong support for Sachin’s proposal as of now and spelt out that the present ODI format enjoyed high popularity.Richardson also said that the Clive Lloyd-led ICC Cricket Committee too had discussed the proposal of dividing one-day cricket into four innings and had rejected it.last_img read more

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Gallery Columbus Emerges from Repair

first_imgImage Courtesy: DamenDamen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, has completed maintenance and repair works on the newest member of Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ (CMV) fleet, the cruise ship Columbus. After the full scope of works was completed, the recently purchased vessel could sail to the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury, the UK, in time for its naming ceremony and inaugural cruise, Damen said.Columbus, previously known as Pacific Pearl, arrived at the Rotterdam yard on May 13 and departed on June 5. With the overall aim of bringing the vessel in line with CMV’s operational standards, Damen said it carried out a comprehensive scope of maintenance and repair jobs. “After docking, we started straight away with a complete painting programme. This included the application of the company logos and markings of the new owners,” Vincent van Rulo, DSR Project Manager, explained.Technical aspects included maintenance of the main engines, generators and thrusters as well as polishing of the ship’s propellers.According to Damen, the complexity of the project was heightened due to the fact that up to 700 crew members were staying on board while the ship was docked at the yard.Since it left Rotterdam, Columbus is sailing on its first cruise under the CMV flag.last_img read more

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