Bumper season ahead for St Francis ?
By Bev Mortimer
St Francis is heading for a bumper and fun season for visitors and residents, it’s predicted, following reports of holiday accommodation being fast snapped and loads of exciting events listed for young and old, from social to sport.
“Hold on to your hats,” says Kerry Clare, owner of the top letting agency in town, KC Properties, “it’s going to be a bumper season. The amount of publicity we have received in the past year with all the devastation we experienced has put us on the map as a preferred holiday destination,” she told St Francis Chronicle.
Reports across St Francis are that bookings in the B&Bs are still pouring in and rooms are fast being snapped up. The Cape St Francis Resort, for one, is almost fully booked until beginning of January 2014. Owing to the shortage of houses to let some agents are appealing for more homes.
“With more than 300 properties on our portfolio, we have managed to lease all available homes for an average 3-4 weeks for the festive season, Clare reveals. “This has also been a record year with many more visitors during the year, plus golfing groups, weddings and conferences and our always welcome swallows. Thank you to you all for your support.”
Richard Arderne of Pam Golding says by mid-October rentals were already 20% ahead of last year in revenue terms, and if it wasn’t for a critical shortage of canal homes, the percentage would be far higher. “The rentals are virtually all in excess of 10 days in length, and on average 14 days, which is longer than in previous years,” he says.
Plenty to do in St Francis
(See p16 and p18 Forthcoming Events)
And to entertain all these people over New Year there are several functions to choose from at year end – from the posh to the fun and laid back. For the upmarket set there are dinner dances at St Francis Links, Chez Patrick or Big Time. For the yuppies in their late 20s upwards there is the highly popular Billy’s Beach event running again, which took off like a rocket from day one last year at the Rabbit Farm along St Francis Drive. Then there is the annual Ruins event at the boatyard very popular with teens, plus there’s a big New Year’s party in Diaz Rd, Jeffreys Bay.
Other social events highlights will be the street carnival, puppet show and music concert, plus Chris Chameleon Live in Jeffreys Bay during season. In St Francis Bay social highlights include the New Year’s Eve afternoon event, the popular ‘Anything that floats race’ which replaces the banned erstwhile water fights on the canals, a Food & Wine Festival at the Links, Santa on the canals and the annual air show at St Francis Field or Air Park which sees dozens of tiny aircraft fly in.
As for sporting events, St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay have some exciting sports lined up – something for every day almost. Just some of St Francis sporting highlights include the Resort and St Francis Cycle Club cycling events, the Foster and Resort fun runs and the two surfski paddling events a few days after New Year, plus various triathlons and mountain biking events – many of the latter will be held at the new MTB track, Tim’s Trails, along the Oyster Bay Road.
In JBay sporting highlights include: a tandem sky dive at the Paradise airfield, a volley ball tournament on the beach, swimming events at Marina Martinique plus an international shore angling event at Gamtoos.
The visitors here are attracted by the wide array of activities offered by the area says Arderne. These include the many water sports on offer on both the river and sea, and the usual full programme of fun and competitive events to attract all ages.
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