Get to know two pass rushers the Raiders might take at No. 4

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)SAN JOSE — The Raiders mustered only 13 sacks in 2018, the fewest for any team in a single season since the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs finished with a mere 10.Everyone and their grandmother knew the Raiders would struggle rushing the passer after they traded Khalil Mack nine days before the season opener, but this bad? As in worst pass-rushing team of the decade? Eleven individuals alone had as many or more sacks …last_img read more

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U-23 world champ wins Drak Challenge

first_img22 January 2013An action packed weekend on the mighty Umzimkulu River for the 20th edition of the N3TC Drak Challenge was one to remember for under-23 world marathon champion Grant van der Walt as he earned his first senior singles river marathon title.Van der Walt narrowly outsprinted Len Jenkins on Sunday’s second and final stage and in so doing smashed the men’s overall and second stage records by 11 and 20 minutes respectively.The win will be one the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre athlete with treasure for many years to come. Under the guidance of Hank McGregor, he has worked his way through the ranks over the past few years.The pace of the two-day contest will no doubt become a topic of conversation for quite some time in the paddling community as no fewer than 26 K1s crossed the line faster the previous overall record.‘Super stoked’“I’m just super stoked!” said an elated van der Walt. “It was an awesome couple of days of racing and to have won is amazing!”“It’s also really special to have won my first here at the Drak. The Drak has been my favourite race since I raced it for the first time seven years ago, so to have won here, in the 20th year, is awesome!”“It’s always nice when Hank and I race against each other and it was unfortunate he wasn’t here, but I’m just chuffed with the win and am looking forward to the next K1 race that we can hopefully have a good race against each other,” he added.Having started side-by-side, the lead pair were soon joined by Brandon van der Walt (Team Jeep) and Donavan Wewege and the four-boat group watched each other closely until the compulsory portage at Mineshaft Weir saw things shaken up quite abruptly.Made his moveJenkins made his move shortly before the portage and had soon opened up a significant lead shortly after the put in.“Len put in first and really worked hard to get away from there. I unfortunately got a bit stuck as I tried to put in, which cost me about 30 seconds, and when I looked up Len was almost out of sight,” said Van der Walt.“Len was really working hard to really get away after that, but fortunately I managed to pretty much hold the gap but kept losing a little bit more on the portages.”Option“I was faced with either settling for second place or really dig deep and try go for the win. I just put my head down and gave it a go and finally managed to catch Len with about a kilometre to go.”“I then edged ahead in the final rapid and was able to finish a couple lengths ahead of Len and I’m just super stoked to have won!” he added.Three times Drak winner Jenkins had to settle for his third consecutive Drak Challenge second place, having finished behind McGregor in 2011 and 2012.He will, however, take confidence from his performance, especially ahead of The Unlimited Dusi in just a few weeks’ time.PodiumThe younger of the two Van der Walt brothers, Brandon, came home to claim the final step on the podium and in so doing also secured a first, having never previously set foot on a river marathon podium in the senior category.Under-23 newcomer Don Wewege (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) claimed the surprise result of the weekend finishing fourth overall with Gauteng-based veteran Jacques Theron rounding out the top five.Another notable mover in the men’s field on day two were Dusi podium hopeful Lance Kime, who made up for his two day one swims by finishing sixth.Outside of the top three it was multiple Drak winner Ant Stott (Team Matelec) who posted the fastest time of the day in the men’s top 20 as he rose from 11th to seventh.Czech Republic marathon paddler Jakub Adam also had an impressive second day’s performance moving up from 20th to 14th overall.Women’s raceThe women’s race was once again dominated by Team Best 4 Kayak Centre team mates Abby Adie and Robyn Kime, with Adie coming out trumps for the third time in four years and in the process smashed the women’s second stage and overall records by 17 and 37 minutes respectively. She also claimed a hugely impressive top 20 finish overall.Kime erased Adie’s overnight lead of 33 seconds by halfway through the 38km second stage and the pair continued side by side until shortly before Heaven and Hell Rapid where Kime had a contest-ending swim and handed Adie the title.“Robs and I had a brilliant race and I’m obviously very happy to have won,” said Adie. “The fact that we were together for much of the race and that I could stay with her when she tried to get away was also a big confidence booster ahead of Dusi.‘Making the least mistakes’“It was a shame Robs swam towards the end there because she was probably the stronger of the two of us on the day but I guess, like I said yesterday, it came down to making the least mistakes and fortunately that’s what I was able to do.”Having been disallowed to paddle on Saturday’s heaving river the junior members of the field enjoyed their return to action on Sunday’s second stage and it was one, two, three for Maritzburg College in the junior boys’ race as Louis Hattingh, Damon Stamp and Travis Wilson claimed all three spots on the podium. Epworth’s Bianca Haw walked away with the junior girls’ spoils.It was a memorable two days for Pope’s Canoe’s Owen Hemmingway, who when he crossed the finishing line became the only man to have completed all 20 editions of the event.Big river“The first one definitely sticks in the memory but this one, having made it through yesterday’s massive river, is probably just as special considering it was probably even a bit bigger than it was in the first race in 1994,” said Hemmingway.“I was only happy once I got under the final bridge just before the finish line because with the river being so full so much can happen at any stage.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Buffett’s multimillion-dollar boost to the fight for rhinos

first_imgA rhino with her calf at a watering home in a South African game reserve. Thanks to continued conservation efforts since the 1960s, South Africa is the last stronghold of significant rhino populations in the world. (Image: South African Tourism)• Media relationsHoward G Buffett [email protected]• Rey ThakhuliSouth African National Parks+27 12 426 5203+27 73 373 [email protected]• Chris MaraisNature Conservation [email protected] AlexanderThe US-based Howard G Buffet Foundation, a philanthropic trust headed by the elder son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has pledged a massive R255-million (US$23.7-million) for a high-tech three-year initiative to fight rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park and test tactics that could be used against armed militia elsewhere in Africa.The project, announced in Johannesburg on Friday 14 March, will be run by the Nature Conservation Trust in partnership with South African National Parks (SANParks), the state body in charge of the country’s system of natural reserves.The funds will go towards creating an “intensive protection zone” in the Kruger National Park, which will use sophisticated detection and tracking equipment on the ground and in the air, elite dog units, highly trained ranger teams, and improved intelligence gathering and surveillance systems to keep poachers at bay.At 1.9-million hectares, the Kruger is South Africa’s flagship national park, and home to over 40% of the world’s remaining rhinos – the largest single population in the world. But a massive increase in the global demand for rhino horn has seen 1 383 of the animals poached from Kruger since January 2010, part of a larger assault in which 2 368 rhinos have been slaughtered in South Africa over the past few years. In some areas of Africa, entire populations of rhino have been eliminated.Criminal networks and armed militiasRhino poaching in Kruger is driven mainly by criminal networks in Mozambique, South Africa and East Asia, but there is evidence that militant armed groups elsewhere in Africa get significant funding from the illegal trade in rhino horn. The new protection zone in Kruger will be a testing ground for tactics to fight poaching in these other African regions.“As the world opens its borders and travel between countries becomes easier, cross-border crimes increase,” Edna Molewa, South Africa’s environment minister, said at the announcement. “It is a sad reality that increases in certain crimes, such as the illicit wildlife trade, can be partly attributed to modern development and growing economies.“In this world of illicit trade in wildlife the biggest resource, as with many other natural resources, happens to be found in Africa.” The illegal trade in wildlife, Molewa said, is today the fourth-largest syndicated criminal activity in the world after drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms smuggling.The Howard G Buffett Foundation is a private family foundation working in food and water security, conflict mitigation and conservation in some of the poorest regions of the world.‘Africa’s best national parks system’A farmer, businessman, philanthropist, conservationist and photographer, Howard G Buffett heads both his foundation and the South African Nature Conservation Trust. “This effort joins our foundation’s historic support for conservation,” he said on Friday, “with our current focus on conflict mitigation in Africa, particularly in the Great Lakes region.”His foundation has committed an additional R1.9-billion ($175-million) to its Africa Great Lakes Peace Initiative, which includes funding for anti-poaching efforts intended to interrupt the flow of money to armed groups.The Kruger Park project will be directed by retired Major General Johan Jooste, a decorated army veteran hired by SANParks CEO David Mabunda in 2012 to run the national parks’ anti-poaching efforts. SANParks, Buffett said, was “the best operating national parks system on the continent”, providing a “unique opportunity to test new technology and new ideas” to curb poaching.Mabunda said the Buffett Foundation intervention would transform SANParks’ continued work to curb the assault on rhino populations. “The scale, complexity, and strategic value of this initiative is truly unprecedented for SANParks,” he said. “We believe it will be transformative in our ongoing efforts to address poaching and the decimation of the rhino population in Kruger National Park.“More importantly, the lessons we hope to learn and share across SANParks and the continent will, we believe, develop new and more effective ways to combat illicit wildlife trade, particularly where it is financing armed groups.”Poachers’ eyes on AfricaThe demand for rhino horn, a folk remedy attributed with powerful curative properties in many Asian countries, has decimated rhino populations across the world. With the three South Asian rhino species close to extinction, poachers’ attention has recently turned to Africa as the last source of the horn.“Having completely destroyed rhino populations throughout the world the criminals have in the last seven years set their sights on Africa, specifically South Africa,” Molewa said.With few natural enemies, rhino were once abundant throughout Africa and Asia. Today there are fewer than 30 000 left in the world, only 4 000 of them outside Africa, which has an estimated population of 25 000 rhino.And as rhino numbers continue to dwindle, their horn has become arguably the most expensive commodity on earth today, according to research by a number of non-governmental organisations.“South Africa is home to more than 80% of the world’s rhino population, a testament to our country’s successful conservation practices,” Molewa said. “It is this successful restoration of the rhino population since the 1960s that makes South Africa the single-most important country in the fight for the survival of the rhino.”last_img read more

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Trek4Mandela returns to Kilimanjaro to remember Gugu Zulu and honour Mandela

first_imgThe 2017 Trek4Mandela expedition to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain in honour of Nelson Mandela will be a doubly emotional occasion, as climbers remember professional racing car driver Gugu Zulu, who died during last year’s summit.South African climbers, including Letshego Zulu, return to Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania on 18 July 2017. For Zulu, it will be an emotional remembrance of her late husband, former racing car champion Gugu Zulu, who died during the Trek4Mandela climb last year. The climb is an annual tribute to Nelson Mandela and raises funds for and awareness of young girls’ health. (Image: Trek4Mandela website)CD AndersonZulu’s wife, Letshego Zulu, is part of this year’s Trek4Mandela climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and believes it is fitting that she finishes what her late husband started. Former champion racing car drive Gugu Zulu died from respiratory failure while attempting the same climb last year.She joins other well-known South Africans, including Hlubi Mboya Arnold, Penny Lebyane and Cecile Raubenheimer, in the final ascent on 18 July, Mandela Day. The summit is done to raise funds for the Caring4Girls initiative, which focuses on young women’s health.The team, which began the journey on 14 July, is being led by the country’s top climbing expert, Sibusiso Vilane, the first black African to summit Mount Everest, which he did twice. Other team leaders include international mountaineering pioneers Kirk Bouffard and Werner Gruner.Speaking to TimesLive before leaving for Tanzania, Zulu said she decided last year that she would be a part of this year’s Trek 4 Mandela climb up Kilimanjaro.Trek4Mandela climb leader Werner Gurner, Letshego Zulu (with daughter Lelethu) and eNCA sport presenter OG Molefe prepare to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro on 18 July 2017, in honour of Nelson Mandela and Gugu Zulu. (Image: OG Molefe Twitter)“Even as I was descending last year [following the death of Gugu]‚ I knew that I had to return. I had to do it for him. I had to do it for me. I had to do it for the people this initiative helps support. I want to honour my husband and I’m going back in memory of him. I know it is what he would have wanted.”In the months following her husband’s death, Zulu admitted she struggled to come to terms with life without him. “I was on autopilot but I am fully aware now of what is happening. I have had to prepare for this climb emotionally and it has been difficult. I still haven’t completely processed everything that has happened but I am taking it one step at a time,” she said.The support of her husband’s family and friends made the decision to return easier, said Zulu. “They have always supported our adventures and they were fully behind me on this decision. They simply asked if I was sure and if I would be strong‚ and then wished me luck. They know that the cause of helping girls is a special one for me and Gugu because we have a daughter.”The Trek4Mandela campaign raises awareness of the challenge for girls and young women of lack of access to sanitary pads. Funds raised from public donations during the climb are used to supply pads and other female hygiene products to schools and underprivileged areas in South Africa.Zulu is carrying a South African flag with her up the mountain and is planning to raise it at the summit in honour of her husband, who, she said, was proud of his country and of the life and work of Mandela. “[Kilimanjaro] is a world heritage site and so I won’t be able to erect a monument to him but I will carry a flag. Most importantly, I will carry his spirit with me and we will conquer‚” she told TimesLIVE.Trek4Mandela team leader Vilane said the organisation of this year’s summit was done to the strictest climbing regulations to avoid a repeat of last year’s tragedy: “This year I am not going to split the group. We are going to stay together each step of the way, which will give me enough time to assess everyone and make the right call.”Trek4Mandela team leader Sibusiso Vilane speaks before the team leave for Tanzania and climb Mount Kilimanjaro on 18 July 2017. (Image: Trek4Mandela website)Vilane is notable as the first black African to climb Mount Everest; he summited the world’s highest mountain in 2003 and again in 2005. He is one of only a handful of Africans who have completed the Seven Summits – climbs to the highest points on every continent. Vilane has a strong connection to the Kilimanjaro climb, and calls the Trek4Mandela expedition his most fulfilling event.“There is a need for the provision of sanitary pads for girls in school. This shouldn’t be an issue in the 21st century so I decided to take the lead on this climb as I fully support the cause,” Vilane told IOL News in the run-up to the 2017 climb.In 2012, the first Trek4Mandela, the team comprised two climbers – Vilane and Richard Mabaso, CEO of the Imbumba Foundation non-profit organisation that started the Caring4Girls initiative. The 2017 climb includes more than 110 climbers and team support members.“The climbers are sending the word out,” says Mambaso, who is again climbing this year. “[It is] generating support on their platforms as well as through media. There is a need not only for sanitary pads but also education and awareness.” The initiative hopes to support more than two million girls by 2020.Follow the climb on Twitter as the #Trek4Mandela expedition unfolds with news, images and video from the top of Africa: For more information on how you can contribute to the Caring4Girls cause, visit the Trek4Mandela websiteSource: Trek4Mandela, Caring4Girls, IOL, TimeLIVE, Twitter. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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