Port Al­fred’s green light for Amanzi Chal­lenge

Multi-day wa­ter­sport event to re­turn over Easter week­end

Talk of the Town - - Sport - LOUISE CARTER

TIME is draw­ing near for the next Royal St An­drews Ho­tel Amanzi Chal­lenge set to take place in Port Al­fred.

Last year, his­tory was made when Port Al­fred lo­cals, Zwelinz­ima Nk­winti and Dave Law­son, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Royal St An­drews Ho­tel, suc­cess­fully hosted a multi-day wa­ter sport event in the form of the Royal Al­fred Ma­rina Mile swim­ming race, rub­ber duck rac­ing, body­board and surf­ing tour­na­ments – as well as an in­flat­able tube race for chil­dren.

The de­but event was a huge suc­cess, with vis­i­tors from all over flock­ing to Port Al­fred for the Easter week­end, and even re­ceived na­tional TV cov­er­age.

For next year, the dates March 30 to April 8 are di­arised for a big­ger, bet­ter and more wa­ter wild Royal St An­drews Ho­tel Amanzi Chal­lenge, see­ing two new events in­cluded in the 10-day multi-day wa­ter sport fes­ti­val.

Law­son and Nk­winti man­aged to se­cure the Amanzi Chal­lenge as a qual­i­fier for the in­ter­na­tional cir­cuit in sev­eral sport dis­ci­plines, in­clud­ing body­board­ing and surf­ing.

More­over, Royal St An­drews Ho­tel owner Martin Bekker has pledged R1-mil­lion in prize-money for the event. For or­gan­is­ers Law­son and Nk­winti, the main pur­pose of the event is to show­case Port Al­fred, and, more broadly the en­tire Nd­lambe, and to cre­ate big­ger hype and draw more tourists to the area.

While grow­ing the event is of pri­mary con­cern, Nk­winti and Law­son have an­chored youth de­vel­op­ment as a pil­lar for fu­ture suc­cess. Cur­rently, there are three youths who are learn­ing to be­come pi­lots on the rub­ber ducks and have par­tic­i­pated in two train­ing ses­sions.

“We are look­ing to grow the numbers of youth to about 10,” Nk­winti said.

The de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme is not in­tended to ex­clude any­one in­ter­ested in learn­ing how to race rub­ber ducks. “As long as they are from Nd­lambe,” Law­son said.

The de­vel­op­ment youths will also take part in rac­ing the ducks as co-pi­lots in next year’s event. “It’s go­ing to be awe­some,” Nk­winti said.

Two new events have been added to the line-up, in­clud­ing a jet-ski race which will see jet-skis com­pete in the same “Bar­na­cles Chal­lenge” course the rub­ber ducks will race in.

Ac­cord­ing to a pre­lim­i­nary pro­gramme, on March 30 there will be a 8km trail run, start­ing at St An­drews Ho­tel with the route fol­low­ing along­side the golf course and on the beach.

Also on March 30 the Royal Al­fred Ma­rina Mile will take place fol­low­ing the same route through the canals as it did last year. Fol­low­ing that, there will be three days of rub­ber duck and jet-ski rac­ing through the Kowie River mouth, then a four-day body­board­ing com­pe­ti­tion, which will in­clude the South African body­board­ing cham­pi­onships.

From this com­pe­ti­tion, a South African team will be se­lected to face off against in­ter­na­tional body­board­ers from Aus­tralia, France, Morocco, Hawaii – and oth­ers who are yet to be con­firmed. Three days of surf­ing will fol­low, which will also serve as a qual­i­fier com­pe­ti­tion for the in­ter­na­tional surf­ing cir­cuit.

Law­son said the plan was to get more youth in­volved with surf­ing and body­board­ing and grow de­vel­op­ment in these ar­eas.

“We have a pas­sion for sport and for sport de­vel­op­ment. With so much tra­di­tional sport be­ing played in the area, we be­lieve through this event we can help grow the in­ter­est and ex­pose our town­ships as well as any other youth in Nd­lambe to wa­ter sport,” Nk­winti said.

For any youth in­ter­ested in tak­ing part in the rub­ber duck train­ing and de­vel­op­ment as well as surf­ing and body­board­ing con­tact TotT on Face­book or (046) 624-4356.

We be­lieve through this event we can help grow the in­ter­est and ex­pose our town­ships


EX­TREME SPORT: Ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity to take part in next year’s Royal St An­drews Ho­tel Amanzi Chal­lenge, rub­ber duck trainee pi­lots from Ne­mato, Pum­lani Ka­mana, Lifa Nxobo, and Mal­i­bongwe Magqun­tulu en­joyed a train­ing ses­sion last week

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