Muddy start for Durban July

2013-07-06 12:18

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Durban’s uncharacteristically cold and windy weather dampened the mood ahead of today’s Durban July, the horse racing and social event highlight of the year.

Already, two races for today’s gathering have been cancelled for the first time since 1989 because of the muddy conditions of the course.

Parties, dinners and bashes dotted around the coastal city last night were subdued. At Moyo in uShaka Marine World, Vodacom guests were treated to a private and quiet dinner.

Across town at the Elangeni/Maharani hotel the mood was more upbeat. Celebrities such as Isidingo actors Vusi Kunene, Motlatsi Mafatshe and Jack Devnarain mingled with guests as they feasted on the nibbles laid out by the hotel chefs.

Generations star Melusi Yeni also stopped by as did Simba Mhere of Top Billing, Lunga Shabalala and Zizo Beda of Selimathunzi.

Chef Benny Masekwameng of Masterchef fame attracted his fair share of attention as he posed for pictures with fans and media alike.

“I would love to take credit for the food here, but they have nothing to do with me. I wasn’t involved at all,” he said.

The place was almost empty by 10pm as revellers headed back to their hotels.

Elsewhere in the city, SABC3 host Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu joined festivities at the Hats Party hosted at Vintage Florida.

Earlier in the week, Durbanites gathered to celebrate Fashion by the Sea on the Moyo pier on one of the longest ramps.

The inclement weather forced the event to be postponed earlier in the week, but even on Wednesday the elements were unfavourable.

First, the guests were rained on in the outdoor event as designers like Palse Homme, Dax Martin and Zarth displayed their latest ranges.

Then top designer David Tlale pulled out at the last minute and no explanation was given. Tlale has not commented on the withdrawal since, only saying he will be showing at the Mabheleni marquee at the Greyville Racecourse.

The dramatic collapse of a first-time 15-year-old model on the ramp was the talk of the night.

The model from Ice Models, who has not been identified, was seen struggling with her heels halfway on the runway and when she bent down to take them off, she fainted. She was then whisked away by burly bodyguards and put on first aid before being taken away by an ambulance.

A model from Ice Models collapsed on the ramp at Fashion By The Sea on the Moyo Pier in Durban. Picture: Rajesh Jantilal

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