Wednesday 14 October 2015

7th fabulous FEAT

The 7th annual FEAT event came and went last week Thursday and it always takes me a few days to digest the wonderfulness of the event resulting from the sharing of stories by a wonderful group of adventurous people.

I wrote about FEAT Kids the other day - the first one here. FEAT Kids has been immensely successful in Canada - but less so here. Not for the quality of the talks nor adventures, but for attendance. Nonetheless, I do hope that this will improve next year. Every one of the 'kids' would have been just as divine on the FEAT stage. I'm hoping that FEAT Kids will grow in stature to parallel FEAT.

FEAT was great - a smooth event with great talks. I really hoped to fill the Linder Auditorium - we were 100-odd short last year. We were a bit less this year so perhaps next year will be the one where we line the rafters too.

As for the talks and the speakers...

I am indeed charmed to have the fortune and pleasure to interact with a superb group of people. Throughout the year I communicate with a bunch of adventurers around their expeditions and it can be challenge whittling them down to select only 10 for the FEAT stage. I look not just at extremeness of adventure, but for variety in type of adventure, accessibility and sporting discipline. I could easily put another 10 wonderful people on the stage every year.

Let's see who stood on stage...

Beautiful Linder Auditorium. The venue seats just over 1,000!
Everyone - Colin, Bianca, Pete, Andrew, Tim, Duncan, Hazel, Bernie, me, Keegan, Jean and Nic.
Andrew Porter has spent a lot of time on his own - and with friends - in wild places, like the top of the Drakensberg. 
Bernie Theron trekked across Iceland, on his own, over 27 days.
Father-and-daughter pair Colin and Bianca Cooper go on back-to-basics, low cost cycling adventures all over SA on their steel frame, back-pedal, single-speed, indestructible Qhubeka bikes.
duncan Paul was a late bloomer, coming to adventure only 15 years ago. And has he caught up! He has done a variety of adventures but spoke to us about the Yukon 1000, an unsupported race down the Yukon river.
Hazel Moller puts Forrest to shame. She is an incredible ultra long-distance runner. She spoke to us at FEAT about running 10 x Comrades distances (from JHB to Durban) over 10 days (the 10th being Comrades)
Jean Craven has done the six inter-continental swims and it all started when he was on honeymoon 15 years ago. He stood on the Rock of Gibraltar, looked across at Morrocco and thought something like, "It can't be so hard to swim that".
Keegan Longueira started off his adventures by using his December varsity holiday to cycle from Witbank to Cape Town. After three of these he went BIG by cycling from Cairo to Cape Town - and in World Record time.
FEAT Canada brings back past speakers to MC the event and so I adopted their approach this year by inviting Peter van Kets to join me on stage. We had good fun together up there.
Nic Good is an adventure film-maker extrordinaire. He shared a bunch of elements from his 20 years of travels and film making.
Peter van Kets not only had his arm twisted to be our MC, he also was enticed into speaking about his recent expedition to Svalbard.
Tim Biggs totally charmed the audience with his stories of kayaking expeditions on the three main tributaries of the Amazon. First to last expedition took place over a period of 23 years. Inbetween these - and still going strong - Tim has done dozens of other kayaking expeditions.
We go into edit the beginning of next week. Videos of these talks will go up on the FEAT website and also FEAT South Africa Facebook page for you to enjoy too.

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