IT’S all systems go for the Royal St Andrews Hotel Easter Festival which is kicking off tomorrow, Good Friday, in your favourite coastal town in the Eastern Cape.
It will be the debut event for Amazing Events, which has received much support from local stakeholders, provincial teams and clubs as well as international athletes who will compete.
The Easter Festival is focused on five individual, exciting and thrilling sport events to take place throughout the weekend at various key water areas in Port Alfred.
“Port Alfred is going to rock, and we are going to have so much fun,” said organiser Zwelinzima Nkwinti who, with his partner Dave Lawson, has been dreaming of an event like this for years and decided last year to turn the dream into a reality.
“We are both extremely passionate about Port Alfred and want something for this town that will make it grow and see more people come here. We need something here for families to do,” said Nkwinti. He and Lawson subsequently started putting things together, and the Royal St Andrews Hotel Easter Festival presented by Amazing Events is finally here.
With their love for sport, Nkwinti and Lawson both felt a multi-day sport extravaganza was pertinent to see families get together and have fun competing, or just as spectators in the beautiful natural setting that Port Alfred has to offer.
Tomorrow kicks off with the Royal Alfred Marina Mile taking place at the Halyards Hotel. Registration will be at 1pm and the race briefing at 3pm, with swimmers following a route through the Royal Alfred Marina canals and towards the Kowie River, then back to the Halyards. Marina Mile organisers Avril Beyleveldt and Pierre Coetzer are excited and looking forward to the big splash through the canals. Swimming caps are allocated for different age groups and can be bought at the race. Prize-giving at the Halyards is at 4.30pm.
On Saturday East Beach will host an old Port Alfred favourite, a rubber duck challenge. The event, will be officially resurrected on Easter weekend, and will see boats from all over the country hosted and promoted by Border Inflatable Boat Club in an ocean circuit race at 10am. If you walk just a few metres to the right you can see excellent surfing talent at the East Beach Easter Surfing Classic, which will kick off early that morning. Surfers will continue throughout the day and Sunday. There are great cash prizes and Billabong merchandise to be won by surfers. The will be a prize-giving at Guido’s on Sunday.
Also on Sunday at 3pm, the rubber ducks will take part in the “old Barnacle challenge” in an open ocean water race from the Port Alfred River and Ski-boat Club to Fountain Rocks, over five laps.
More water fun will take place at West Beach Warfare, an annual bodyboarding tournament where board riders take on the notorious West Beach wedge in a two-day competition on Saturday and Sunday. A coaching and training session will take place on April 14 from 8am-3.30pm.
Featuring at West Beach Warfare is second in the world bodyboarder Iain Campbell, who has been on the international Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour for the past three years. During this time Campbell has achieved ranking fifth in 2015, fourth last year and second this year. He has competed in Africa, Chile, Portugal and Hawaii.
“I am looking forward to heading down to Port Alfred. This is one of my favourite events on the SABA [SA Bodyboarding Association] Tour and I just love the vibe and good people in Port Alfred allowing us to have such an awesome event at this wave,” said Campbell. R20 000 in cash prizes are up for grabs.
For the young’uns, some serious fun is happening at Kiddies Beach on Saturday at 9am. Children aged 6-14 are to compete in the Kiddies Tube Paddle Race in a demarcated water race. The tubes are sponsored by Supa Quick, so just bring your little chickens at R20 per entry. The fastest floaters stand a chance to win some great prizes.
For the fans, families, spectators and everyone else, Guido’s is hosting a beer garden with live music and DJs in the West Beach parking lot. Permission has been granted to erect a marquee and for an extension on liquor rules. Look out for Cotton Fields, DJ Donitello and much more throughout the weekend. There will also be stalls and beach soccer, volleyball and more fun activities taking place at West Beach.
Please see talkofthetown.co.za or Amazing Events Facebook page for detailed programme.