Cape Town Cycle Tour

The Cape Town Cycle Tour is for all levels of cyclists. It’s a celebration of cycling and its only a race for those at the front of the field who start before its properly light. The elite of the elite can be likened to dancers of the Argentinian tango; aggressive yet controlled, elegant and fluid, while the slightly slower vets and sub vets are performing a foxtrot and quickstep combo. Meanwhile, Joe Average (that’s you and me) is huffing and puffing away at the back of the field doing what can best be described as a highly creative version of the funky chicken. Back there amongst the hoi polloi, it’s all flapping elbows, whirling legs and laughter. And yes, we are laughing. Laughing at each other as much as at our collective ability to expend an awful lot of energy to travel a long distance slowly. The Cape Town Cycle Tour seems to produce an above-average number of funky chickens.

For some reason, the Cycle Tour has the ability to bring out the party animal in most people. It’s an annual excuse to celebrate the greatness in ourselves. To be a hero for a day. And to show off our beloved Cape Peninsula to the world.

People, who are normally sober office workers during the week, turn into fancy dressing, charity supporting, fun riders for the day. They may share the same route as the pro riders (who will have finished the race and had breakfast before most riders have even started), but their experience of the event will be very different, and probably all the better for it.

Half the field are decked out in fancy dress, either for their own fun and amusement or to support a favourite charity, while the other half are lycra-clad in an infinite array of corporate branded kit. It’s a colourful, noisy, action-packed and just plain old-fashioned fun day out. It is what makes the Cycle Tour such a great spectacle.

Small wonder then that the route is lined with tens of thousands of spectators who see this as an annual social event that has to be planned down to the finest detail. Spots next to the route are chosen, and jealously guarded for the best wind protection and sublime views. Portable skottle braais produce the most delicious smells that waft over the route, and most importantly, well-stocked cooler boxes are on hand to stave off the constant threat of dehydration and sobriety.

Then there is the noise. It comes at you almost non-stop, as a rider. Vuvuzelas, cowbells (seriously), whistles, people screaming and shouting support and the constant noise of tyres humming on tarmac and freewheel hubs going brrrrrrrrrrrr. Shouts of, “Keep left,” and “Hold your line,” from riders who are obviously nervous about riding in a group fill the air and further add to the confusion. Occasionally, someone will lose his rag (it’s always a he) and swear at the hundred or so other riders in his immediate vicinity, but it’s all in a day’s fun at the Cycle Tour.

For more info go to https://www.capetowncycletour.com/

Track and Field 4M Athletics

Every year the 4M athletics meeting takes place between 4 of the top girl’s schools in the Paarl and Stellenbosch area. Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof, Paarl Girls’ High, La Rochelle and Rhenish Girls High School compete against each other in track and field. This year the meet was hosted by Rhenish Girls High School at the Coetzenberg stadium in the heart of Stellenbosch.

From a photography perspective its always going to be a reasonably difficult shoot. Technically it’s tricky starting in the harsh midday sun and moving into the early evening darkness with massive contrasts and dynamic range issues to deal with. Then obviously at night having to juggle high ISO levels and getting a fast enough shutter speed to capture crisp images. There is a degree of decent floodlighting available at night but nothing like you’d see at top stadium venues. Add onto that the fact that in mid February the temperatures in Stellenbosch hit a cracking 38 degrees centigrade in the middle of the afternoon, and we were in for a cracking afternoon of fun.

With Field and track catered for, the action in the middle was fierce. All the standard track events were on show as well as long jump, javelin, high jump and discus in the field.

All of the images are available at https://www.photosport.co.za

AmaRider 100 Miler

The Ama Rider 100 and 50 miler individual one-day mountain bike ultra-marathon of 160km is a very special event. It has a super laid back vibe, but always boasts a couple of very competitive racers gunning for the top spot.

From its humbling beginnings in 2009 it has grown into what is now one of the must-do-events on the mountain biking calendar. The scenery is beautiful in the Swartland during Autumn and the riding is not technical.

You can download all of the images here PhotoSport.co.za

All Mountain Enduro May 2016

Based on the successful Mavic Trans Provence concept the idea is to bring riding and the results linked to it back to mountain biking and away from the current endurance-only formats. That said, it is not the idea to make the race highly technical as per downhill racing, but simply to focus the competition on the trails component of the sport. And yes, perhaps your skinny tire 29’er carbon hardtail is perhaps not the best choice of bike, although the course will certainly be rideable on it!

More info at the Dirtopia Website

All of the images are available to download at Photosport.co.za

Shooting Ms Annah

One of the things I love about what I do, is that occasionally I get to hang out, one on one, with some really cool peeps. No big productions or corporate constraints, just good company and (hopefully, if I can keep my end of it up), intelligent conversation.

Give me a relaxed early morning with a camera, the company of a kindred spirit with a zest for life, and feed me the occasional coffee, and you will find that I’m one very happy camper indeed.

If we can laugh to the point of giggle fits, talk about conquering (and saving the world), discuss athletic goals and dreams, and maybe, just maybe, get some great images, then the day is a definite winner.

Thanks for ticking all of those boxes and for keeping it very real Ms Annah Watkinson. Read her bio here… http://bit.ly/1SXKgMj

Now if someone will give this chick a set of decent carbon wheels, the next shoot will look a lot more bling

Durbanville Triathlon 2016

The Durbanville Triathlon has become a ‘classic’ must do triathlon, and there is a good reason for that. It’s because it is always fun.

This year the ownership of the event was taken over by Iqela Events, the people who bring you amongst others, top events like the Slanghoek Triathlon.

Did the 2016 race live up to expectations? Just look at the smiles on the faces of the people in these photos and you will have your answer. Yes, It’s still a winner.

All of the images are available at www.photosport.co.za

IRONMAN SA 2016

Athletes compete during the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship at Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth on April 10th, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Struisbaai MTB Classic

Here in South Africa, we are in the middle of the worst drought in living memory, (why are all droughts described like that?) so, as expected, when an MTB race is organised in one of the hottest regions of the Western Cape, it rains in biblical proportions.

Not that the weather detracted from a fantastic event. Riding for 7km on a very rideable beach, is always going to be a special part of the experience, no matter what the weather does.
Dirtopia are now looking after the logistics behind the scenes of this race, and I suspect that when word leaks out about just what a fantastic event this is, next years race is going to sell out.

Get all of the images by clicking here

 

Jailbreak Triathlon

Triathletes compete in the Jailbreak Triathlon, held at the Brandvlei Dam, near Rawson in the Western Cape of South Africa 2015

This was the 10th anniversary of the Jailbreak Triathlon.

From next year the event will become a part of the Iqela Events stable of triathlons, so we know it is in very capable hands.
Well done everyone for putting on an amazing day in perfect conditions, and thanks to all you athletes who shouted ‘hello Chris’, as you came past. it’s been a lekker year sharing my passion with you all.

All of the images are available online by clicking here Photosport galleries

Rockman X Triathlon

Athletes compete in the Rockman X Triathlon and Duathlon held at Heia Safari Park, Midrand, in Gauteng Province South Africa on 6 December 2015.