The 2017 Cape Town Sevens Review

OK, so here it is. The thing which I was too tired to write last night. A quick run down of my experiences with my son at the Cape Town Sevens Finals Day yesterday.

The parking: I’ve told you how to do this before, but ok, I’ll tell you again. You park at the CTICC (right hand lane off the elevated freeway, almost as if you were about to do a U-turn to go back out of town at Walter Sisulu) and walk through to the Civic Centre (it’s 900m, you’ll manage), from where you get the shuttle bus up to the stadium.
On your return, you get the bus to Thibault Square, and walk down Lower Long to the CTICC (it’s 600m, you’ll be fine).
The parking lot exits directly onto the elevated freeway, so no traffic problems at all. So it’s faster, cheaper and easier than the Waterfront. Or virtually anywhere else.

The stadium: I’ve been to several concerts, many football and rugby events and precisely no happy-clappy  religious gatherings at the stadium, and (without meaning to be negative) each of them has had their own little niggles. Not yesterday. The experience was flawless. Friendly staff, little (or no) queuing for refreshments (including at the bars), a wide variety of foods, lots of activities and freebies for the kids. Brilliant.

The entertainment: Lots going on between the games kept us interested. Dancing, music, beagle herding, enthusiastic MCs. The highlight for us (and many others, I suspect) was the “Rugby Skills” competition for a few happily inebriated fans towards the end. Very funny and very well managed.

The rugby: It was good fun and played in good spirit, as it should be. England were in self-destruct mode, New Zealand were in we’re-out-to-shock-the-opposition mode, the USA was basically just speed and muscle and the Fijians were just muscle. And then there was the Blitzbokke, who were clear favourites for the win.

But that didn’t happen, which brings me to my final point.

The crowd: Oh dear. I’m going to get into trouble for writing this, but that’s rarely stopped me before, so here goes.

We’re repeatedly told that Cape Town is the “best” leg of the 7s. I don’t know how they work these sort of things out – hey, maybe they tell everyone that their event is the best. That would be a bit naughty, but then, people are a bit naughty sometimes.

The thing is, if this alleged optimal status has really been bestowed upon Cape Town’s event, then it must surely only be for the fancy dress and the partying. Because yes, Cape Town does do the fancy dress and the partying very well. When it comes to actually supporting the rugby though, the fans are fickle and fairweather (OMG, he said it! And now see how the hordes are gathering their flaming torches and pitchforks! OMG! I can’t bear to watch!).

I took a few pics to illustrate my point.

Here’s the scene as the Blitzbokke played their first game (a fortuitous, ref-assisted win over Fiji). 60,000 fans in full voice:

Incredible gees, colour, passion, volume etc etc (allowing for iconic imagery like this). And it was the same for the second game against New Zealand. But when they lost that, and with it, any chance of winning the event, this was the scene during their last game of the day – a third place play off against Canada:

Either a shedload of fans couldn’t actually be bothered any more, or else they had turned up in grey plastic seat fancy dress.

And it got worse. Even more people left before the New Zealand v Argentina Final:

and we were one of only a few hundred that stayed for the Trophy presentation:

Mmm.

OK. So some points here:

South African sports fans are notoriously fickle and fair-weather. We knew this already. Comparing photos one and two above, indicates those fickle fans who came to see South Africa win, versus those real fans who came to see South Africa play.

I don’t know if this happens at every 7s event. Do Australian fans leave once their team has been beaten once in Sydney? Is the same in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Canada and the USA? And if it is, does anyone even bother to turn up to watch in Dubai and Singapore?

There were very few people in the stands to see Wales v Russia, because it’s a meh game between two sides who lost a lot on Day 1 – well, ok. Equally though, that won’t be replayed all around the rugby-playing world. The final (and the trophy presentation thereafter, will). It’s not a great advert for the event when it’s being played (or presented) in front of tens of thousands of empty seats. And yet we all cried about not getting the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

That said, the spin is obviously good, because (as I may have mentioned earlier) Cape Town was voted the Best 7s Event on the Tour.

So, all in all, I think it shows a complete lack of manners and it really doesn’t look great on the international stage, but hey – it’s a free country (well, sort of, anyway). I’m not saying that you have to stay until the end. You’re free to leave when you want.
Equally, I’m free to pass comment on you leaving when you want, you disrespectful, fair-weather, part-time, so-called rugby supporters.

UK Photos

I’ve finally put some photos from our UK trip onto Flickr. They’re not my best, I don’t think. A lot of them are from our day out in London and to be honest, I’m really not very happy with them. (Am I selling this to you yet? lol) But then we did go to London on a weird, hazy, dim day; it was seriously grey.

Yes, even by London’s oft monochromatic standards.

I’ve put them in anyway – for the sake of posterity if nothing else.
Fortunately, there were nicer days too:

So next time someone insists that It’s Grim Up North – simply point them in this direction…

Storm chasing and slapstick

I spent the afternoon on the Atlantic seaboard, chasing photos and enjoying the wind.

You can see what I saw by clicking here.

The evening was spent at Camps Bay’s Theatre On The Bay for the rather excellent and ever so amusing The Play That Goes Wrong.

Would highly advise that you go along and see it if you get the chance. Take nappies, because you will laugh that much.

wot no pics

Many of my beagle-eyed readers will have noticed that there has been a dearth of photo uploadage from our recent Eastern Cape trip. It’s not that there aren’t photos: in fact, there are heaps of them. But I’ve been planning to invest in download a decent photo editing program for some time now, and I figured that with some great images of lovely animals, this might be the time to do it.

But last night, there was sleeping to be done. The 5:45 wake up call each morning while we were away was well worth it, but wasn’t conducive to fulfilling the mythical 8 hours per night. Mind you, to be fair, neither was watching the Madrid derby in the Champions League.

I’ll switch on my interwebs this evening, find a suitable program and play with some photos.
I know you’re waiting.

Eyes

One of my favourite things about going down to Cape Agulhas – aside from the friendly people, the beautiful beaches, the peace, the solitude, the braais and the stunning views – is the wildlife.
This visit, it started before we even got there, with Mrs 6000’s sighting of a Spotted Eagle Owl (Bubo africanus) on a balcony of a house in Struisbaai.
Obviously, we pulled over and shot it to death (camera style).
Then, later on the weekend, we were visited by a Pine Emperor Moth (Imbrasia cytherea). “Meh – moth schmoth” I hear you saying, but this was better than an average moth – it had a 15cm wingspan. That are a lot of moth.
(Their larvae are pretty cool, too.)

Anyway, a bit of croppage later, I came up with these strikingly similar images:

eyes2   eyes2
OK, so they’re not that strikingly similar. And one of them isn’t eyes at all, but still, orangey yellow and black circles.

Just for the record, the Great Grey Owl is the world’s biggest owl and the Hercules Moth is the world’s largest moth. Both of them are almost twice the size of the ones we saw this weekend.

But size isn’t everything.

More weekend photos here.