FEAT Jo’burg, 06.11.11

The speakers at FEAT Jo’burg on Thursday, 6 October 2011 include:

  • Andy de Klerk – Opening routes
  • Craig Egberink – Endurance horse racing
  • Gerard Finnemore – Coming home
  • Frank Solomon – Big-wave surfing
  • Kim van Kets – Multidiscipline circumnavigation of SA
  • Kobus Bresler – 9 summits, 9 Provinces, 9 days
  • Marian Penso – Riding the Continental Divide
  • Ross Tucker – Endurance champion sports science
  • Simon Gear – Weather variables and physiological responses
Andy de Klerk
Andy de Klerk is a world-renowned rock climber, alpinist, skydiver and BASE jumper. More than 20 years of climbing has seen Andy scale the big walls of the world, unclimbed towers in Africa and numerous peaks around the globe – many by long, torturous and demanding routes. In 1983, at the age of 16, with Greg Lacey, Andy opened ‘Oceans of Fear’, an aid route up the impressive overhanging amphitheatre on the Klein Winterhoek, which is probably one of the Western Cape’s most famous big-wall routes. Well respected in mountaineering circles, Andy has opened scores of routes locally and internationally. In 2007 his book, Sharper Edges, was published.
Craig Egberink
As a young boy, Underberg dairy farmer Craig Egberink first began riding horses. Although he has competed in local endurance horse races, he decided to take his riding up a level when he entered the Mongol Derby, which he subsequently won. This race, which covers 1000km across the Mongolian steppe, allows riders 10 days to travel the 1000km distance, with only a pony (horses are swopped every 40km), GPS and five kilograms of essentials.
Gerard Finnemore
After leaving school, Gerard Finnemore entered into a medicine degree at UCT but left a week into second year. Three years later, with a B.Com completed, he got a job as a reporter at the Herald newspaper in Port Elizabeth. A move to Jo’burg saw Gerard working as a copywriter at various advertising agencies but after a number of years in this industry he felt spiritually impoverished. So, he began a part-time degree in English and psychology. He followed his Honours in Psychology with a Clinical Masters degree at Rhodes. Gerard has been in private practice as a clinical psychologist for 10 years with a special interest in emotional intelligence, evolutionary psychology as well as the influence on psychology of new understandings of how the brain works, as afforded by advances in neuroscience.
Kim van Kets
An attorney and legal advisor by trade, Kim van Kets has been running for more than half her life. She has also paddled and cycled for many years and taken part in various multi discipline adventure races, which prepared her to undertake ‘Tri the Beloved Country’, a five-month run-bike-paddle-run circumnavigation of South Africa. On her anti-clockwise route around the perimeter of South Africa, Kim covered 3200km on foot, running a marathon (42km) a day, 3030km on her mountain bike – at around 100km each day – and over 600km in a river kayak, paddling down a swollen Orange River. Her expedition was supported by her husband, ocean rower Peter van Kets, and their five-year old daughter, Hannah. www.kimvankets.com
Frank Solomon
Described by Grant ‘Twig’ Baker as a “fresh faced lighty making an impact in surf of consequence in Cape Town”, Frank Solomon is a travelling surfer. When waves pick up, he gets a call and is on a flight within 24 hours to compete. The first big wave he surfed outside of SA was the notorious Mavericks, off California, three years ago; and he’s been back every winter since. In 2008 he got the nod to compete in the Red Bull Big Wave competition at Dungeons and since then has received two Billabong XXL nominations and five O’Neill Raw Courage (South African big wave awards) nominations. After a recent competition in Peru, Frank is currently 10th in the Big Wave World Tour rankings. www.franksolomon.co.za
Kobus Bresler
Kobus Bresler, better known to his friends as KB, is just a normal everyday guy with big ambitions. He grew up in Uniondale, surrounded by mountains and so it wasn’t long before he decided that the great outdoors was where he had to be. Working as Brand Ambassador for First Ascent Outdoor Apparel, Kobus interacts daily with people from the outdoor industry and soon realised that so many never actually get out themselves. Scared that he might fall into the same trap, he devised a plan to link his job with his love for the mountains. The result: the first solo ascent of the nine Provincial high points in under nine days. An avid hiker/climber/paddler, Kobus tells us how he came up with the concept, his research and planning around reaching and climbing the nine peaks and the other facets that made this microadventure a success.
Marian Penso
Physiotherapist Marian Penso has been mountain biking for 14 years. She is also an avid mountaineer and rock climber; she has trekked Everest Base Camp, the Annapurna Circuit and climbed Mt Kenya (5188m). During June/July 2011, with Luke Bush, Marian cycled the 4418km Continental Divide from Canada to the US-Mexico border, an adventure that had her in the saddle for 29 days. They often rode for up to 15 hours each day, covering up to 180km. It took two years of planning to prepare for this self-sufficient biking expedition and race. www.lumavelo.co.za
Ross Tucker
Ross Tucker holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology and a post-graduate degree in Sports Management from the University of Cape Town. He obtained his PhD under the supervision of Professor Tim Noakes on the regulation of fatigue and performance by the brain. Having worked for two years in sports business and sponsorship, he returned to UCT and SSISA in a position as consultant scientist. He is part of the management team of the Springbok Sevens team and he consults to South African canoeing, triathlon and the SA Olympic committee.
Ross has been quoted in Wall Street Journal, New York Times and The Washington Post for his views on topics including sports science analysis, high performance strategy, doping in sport and athletes. He is the author of ‘The Runner’s Body’, which has sold 30,000 copies to date and he runs The Science of Sport website, one of the largest read and most-quoted sports science sites in the world. www.sportsscientists.com
Simon Gear
Simon Gear, a director of Kijani Green Energy, is an expert in corporate sustainability and modern environmental thought. He is the environmental and science correspondent for Primedia Broadcasting and anchors South Africa’s premier environmental TV show, 50|50. As a broadcast meteorologist, Simon has provided weather production and presentation services to all of the SABC’s domestic and international TV channels between 1999 and 2011. He also runs his own environmental consultancy, SDG Consulting.
Simon is an accomplished writer. He pens monthly columns in Runners World SA and in Khuluma, the Kulula.com in-flight mag. He also writes on the environmental blog, dontbeapassenger.com. Simon’s first book, Going Green, contains simple environmental advice for day to day living and is currently selling well on its first re-print. www.sdgconsulting.co.za