Message to Poland – whatever you can do, we can do better!
On 27 March MyPE featured a unique sailing event that took place in Poland’s National Stadium – an international floodlit windsurfing competition under cover and within the confines of the stadium. (See: A world first event for Port Elizabeth). In the article I speculated; “Wouldn’t it be great, though, if we could do the same as the National Stadium in Poland and turn the sport of sailing into a paid for by spectator sport and hold that regatta IN our stadium?”
I had hardly pushed the publish button before I received a call from Access Management’s Chantal du Pisani. Of course I was a little wary as we have had discussions about noise levels in the past BUT, Chantal was a little bit peeved as it appears I was, unbeknownst to me, stealing her thunder a little bit.
The long and the short of it is that the stadium is currently in the advanced stage of planning to do just the same thing as Poland’s National Stadium and literally fill the field area with water from the North End Lake on demand for various watersports.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium has engaged a waterproofing specialist who will use mouldable, removable plastic waterproofing similar to that as used on House Rhino in Crossways Village to further waterproof the field and surrounding areas which will be treated with an “aesthetically pleasing” permanent spray on waterproofing.
The installation of large wind fans will open the area up to sailing whilst swim current generators will create endless swimming, rowing and canoeing opportunities for extreme sports enthusiasts. (Editor: Watch out Newton Park swimming pool!)
Implementation will dovetail well into plans by the Nelson Mandela Metro to clean the lake and render is safe for short course endurance swimming and other sports and utilise two never used mega pumps installed in the North and South East corners of the stadium. These pumps were part of the FIFA 2010 World Cup specifications to assist fire fighters should there be a disaster and piggy back on the pipes initially used by the old Mount Road power station with an access point just north of the Power Boat Club.
Mbane Contracting spokesperson responsible for the pump installation and re-design, Kevin O’Donoghue explained the way forward; “At present water can be drawn from the North End Lake to keep the fire pipes full. This water is treated before being distributed to the fire pipes and kept in 4 holding tanks that you see close to the South East parking area. We will re-plumb the pump to fill the stadium. The North East pump will then be plumbed to send the ‘field water’ back to the South East pump to recycle as well as acting as a return pump to the Lake when we empty the stadium again. Additional filters between the north and south pumps will act as a delivery mechanism to clean the recycling water and ensure that the correct ecocides are applied.”
Stadium neighbour, Michael Zoetmulder from Zports welcomed the plans saying that he had bought premises close to the North End Lake in order to facilitate short term swimming and other watersport events. “The municipality initially embarked on a project to clean the lake which progressed well until budget constraints put paid to the ongoing project, with the stadium now involved I have great confidence that the Lake will soon be suitable for all forms of Watersport,” concluded Zoetmulder.
ABYC Sailing Commodore, John Tudehope was initially speechless at the enormity of the project but recovered enough to see the possibilities – one could almost see his eyes glint with anticipation. “We missed out on hosting the Volvo Ocean Race boats in Port Elizabeth and have held many successful international regattas – the possibility of joining hands with the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and pioneering such an unique and worldwide first event is going to put Port Elizabeth and sailing back on the map,” said Tudehope.
Access Management’s Chantal du Pisani said; “The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the only stadium in the world that lies between two bodies of water (North End Lake and The Ocean) and this makes it an ideal venue to host events of this nature. As the stadium operator, we are continuously trying to find new and innovative ways of reinventing our business model and introducing action-packed events – this fits in well with that.”
Attempts to get comment from the rowing and canoeing fraternities were unsuccessful at the time publication.
The following two tabs change content below.
These businesses support MyPE: