Steve Pike

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

Surf spots are of­ten named for a quirky con­nec­tion to a nearby land­mark or place.

This week, an in­ter­est­ing de­bate on wavescape.co.za was sparked by a slideshow de­pict­ing un­usu­ally good surf at the beach break just to the right of Long Beach.

The cor­rect name of the spot is Crons, named for the Cron­wright fam­ily who owned a dairy called Crons back in the day.

How­ever, we spelled it in­cor­rectly, call­ing it Krons. There was some con­ster­na­tion. Most of the con­cern, how­ever, came from peo­ple who thought the spelling pointed to another name: Krans.

One reader was adamant the name de­rived from rooikrans, the alien tree Aca­cia cy­clops from Aus­tralia used to sta­bilise coastal dunes.

He said he had surfed the Kom­metjie area for 15 years, and grew up know­ing the place as kraans. He said we should look into the his­tory of Cape Point and Kom­metjie and “you’ll find where the name orig­i­nated”, and that it should not be spelled Krons “like you’ve got that stereo­typ­i­cal UCT ac­cent”.

How­ever, the plot thick­ened faster than a rooikrans seed af­ter a fire. Vet­eran Paul Botha, who was surf­ing the area 45 years ago, pro­vided the clar­ity we needed: “Crons dairy was op­er­ated by the fam­ily from where the Va­ly­land Cen­tre is in Fish Hoek now”.

He said that a herd of cows from the dairy grazed at Sun Val­ley, and were milked at a farm­house where Sun Val­ley school stands now.

“We named the high-tide right on Long Beach ‘Crons’ in the mid-1960’s be­cause we got ‘creamed’ there try­ing to ride the hol­low right-han­ders on 9’ 6” barges with no rocker that weighed 15 kilo­grams!

“It be­came more make­able with the short­board rev­o­lu­tion in the late 60’s when guys like Johnny Or­ton, Peers Pit­tard and Beau Wrankmore were the early stand­outs. A pic of Gun­ther Rohn rid­ing back­hand at Crons fea­tured on the cover of Hit­ting the Lip writ­ten by Cor­nel Bar­nett – the first book on surf­ing pub­lished in South Africa, in 1971.

“Spelling the name Krons is def­i­nitely in­cor­rect and I’m not sure how it mor­phed into Krans over the years –but back in the day it was orig­i­nally named Crons!”

Strange how words find al­ter­na­tive mean­ing due to a slight di­ver­gence, ei­ther through pro­nun­ci­a­tion or spelling. How­ever, it can also come through mis­chief.

One story goes that the beaches Eeste Steen, Tweede Steen and Derde Steen used to be the other way round, with their nu­mer­i­cal se­quence start­ing on the Cape Town side mov­ing up. Then some smart Alec swopped the first and third signs around to re­verse the or­der. Of course, Tweede Steen stayed where it is.

Surf to Ski

THE up­com­ing Cape Town Down­wind Race and Fenn Cape Point Chal­lenge have at­tracted a top in­ter­na­tional field of surf­ski pad­dlers, in­clud­ing a host of top lo­cal tal­ent. The down­winder takes place on the weekend of De­cem­ber 21, a 18km route that in­cludes the fa­mous Millers Run, while the Cape Point race sends pad­dlers on a bru­tal ul­tra route from Scar­bor­ough around Cape Point to Fish Hoek. Pad­dlers have been us­ing the Sum­mer Se­ries for their warmup. The next one takes place tomorrow in Camps Bay. Visit www.capetown­surf­ski.com

Board Less

IT WAS a tough day for lo­cal won­der woman Si­mone Robb with­out her trusty long­board at the Swatch Girls Pro China long­board event, which was won by Kelia Moniz from Hawaii. China Air­lines did not de­liver her stick, and she had to bor­row an in­fe­rior long­board for her heats. She was knocked out early, but at least earned $750 for her trou­bles.

Adapted Surf Day

THE THIRD adapted Surf­ing event takes place at Big Bay, Blou­bergstrand, next Sun­day on In­ter­na­tional Dis­abil­ity Aware­ness Day. Sev­enty par­tic­i­pants with dif­fer­ent dis­abil­i­ties, rang­ing from high spinal cord in­juries and am­putees to in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties and blind­ness, will be par­tic­i­pat­ing. To ap­ply or find out more, visit www.ex­treme­abil­i­ties.co.za

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