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Northern Cape Tourism’s Adventure Sport Is Making Waves On A New Front

Winner At The West Coast: Dale Staples won the inaugural Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge.
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Tourism Northern Cape’s foray into surfing is making waves. The province’s newest front in adventure sport presented itself via the successful hosting and conclusion of the inaugural Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge at Hondeklip Bay yesterday.

Cape Town based professional surfer Dale Staples bagged the lifetime bragging rights as the first-ever winner of the challenge. He is said to “have found the most barrelling of rides” in outmaneuvering a fellow gladiator of the waves in the person of Slade Prestwich who hails from Durban.

Other household names in professional surfing that graced the challenge included the likes of Koby Oberholtzer and Steven Sawyer.

“This is one of my favourite places on the planet and to have a contest here, coming for the week with such a great crew of people, was truly blessing.

“I came here to win the event and I am beyond happy to have achieved that goal,” enthused Staples.

With reputed surfing challenges sponsors such as Billabong aboard and having regulated it under the Billabong Adventure Division World Surf League (WSL), there is much to write home about into the future of the Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge.

“I was blown away by some of the younger surfers, who I thought would be intimidated by the waves. Joshe Faulkner was one of the surfers of the event in my opinion.

“Thanks to the sponsors, organisers and especially the people of the Northern Cape for having us. We need more events of this format in South Africa,” added Staples.

Amandla Surf Foundation was also at hand, marketing the sport to aspirant young surfers from the coastal town. Facilitated by the Northern Cape Tourism Authority and Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, the hopefuls learned about surfing life and the basics from surfing legend Angelo Faulkner.

With the event having also succeeded in promoting the Northern Cape’s coastline tourism offerings, partnering non-governmental organisation Protect The West Coast ensured no damage was done to this ecologically sensitive area.

Pictures: Alan van Gysen

By Thabo Mothibi –

Winner At The West Coast: Dale Staples won the inaugural Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge.


Making Waves: Surfing big names graced the Northern Cape’s west coast. Pic: Alan van Gysen


Barrelling Rides: A competitor at the inaugural Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge Pic: Alan van Gysen


Surfing Life Stories: Crew at the beach Pic: Alan van Gysen
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Thabo Mothibi is a former broadcast journalist (TV and Radio) – with specialist reporting experience; SABC Political/Parliamentary and TRC Teams over a period of five years (1995 to 2000).

One key foreign assignment - is the 11-nation African Connection Rally – overland journey from Africa’s northern-most pole in the coastal Tunisian city of Bizerte to the southern-most pole in South Africa’s Cape Agulhas. From the journalistic years, Thabo then delved into Government media liaison and serving two former Ministers and three MECs. He became the Northern Cape Provincial Government’s first department based Communications Director at Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development - 2008-2010 – where he also served as Head of Ministry from 2003 – 2008.

As a former anti-apartheid activist, his political background and professional training aided him in spearheading the Northern Cape ANC’s 2004 National Elections media and publicity campaign and that of the 2006 Local Government Elections.

Whilst based in Waterkloof in Pretoria -2010 to end 2011, he consulted for Manstrat Agricultural Intelligence, then returned to the Northern Cape in 2012 to date, to consult independently and pursue other entrepreneurial interests in media and communications through KwaVuko Communications and Marketing.

Thabo Mothibi obtained his NQF7 through Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM) in Johannesburg, a Unilever Mandela Rhodes Academy for Marketing and Communications Academy (UMRA). The goal of the NQF7 programme was to educate and train public and private sector professional communicators and marketers in government communications..