UAS hosts 163rd AGM with accomplished adventure racer

2018-05-30 06:02
Lloyd Robertson (new UAS president), Hilary Bruss (former team-mate of guest speaker), Ryno Griesel (guest speaker) and Dean Brown (outgoing UAS president).

Lloyd Robertson (new UAS president), Hilary Bruss (former team-mate of guest speaker), Ryno Griesel (guest speaker) and Dean Brown (outgoing UAS president).

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THE Umvoti Agricultural Society hosted its 163rd annual general meeting last Friday at the Green Bar.

The formal AGM took place in the afternoon where outgoing president Dean Brown outlined in his report what the UAS committee attends to and how it provides the agricultural community with a formal forum through which to discuss and attend to the many challenges facing agriculture today.

He touched on what the UAS has done over the past year, from organising hay bales for the Thornhill area in the Eastern Cape after the devastating fires, to a team effort for a rabies drive organised for rural dogs and cats to be vaccinated at compounds on farms.

He explained that the committee members spend much time working to assist the community in negotiating municipal rates, discussing security issues, road blockades, trying to get roads fixed, livestock issues, G911 fund raising, keeping up to date with current land claims in the area, community spirit, environmental matters and emerging farmers.

He thanked the committee for their time and informed the members that the committee remains dedicated and is made up of committed individuals who have the agricultural community’s best interests at heart.

The financials were presented and short commodity reports were given by members in the community of prices and challenges over the past year in their respective field of farming.

Brown ended off the AGM saying that he believes that “we live in one of the best communities in the country there is always someone around to lend a hand when you need it”.

Lloyd Robertson replaces Brown as the new president of the society for a two-year term, with Neale Harman the new vice-president.

The AGM was followed by a dinner for UAS members and a talk by one of South Africa’s top trail runners, Ryno Griesel.

Griesel was introduced by Hilary Bruss, who had competed in the same Adventure Racing team as Griesel. Griesel is one of South Africa’s top trail runners and adventure racers.

He is a qualified chartered accountant and has climbed various mountains in Africa, Europe and Nepal.

He has raced on the Adventure Racing Circuit since 2006, with various top-five international finishes. Race destinations include Africa, Europe, the Moab desert in Utah and the icebergs of Patagonia.

He believes that one should dream big, as you only live once (and reminded the audience to not act like one lived twice). “Life is like a taxi … the meter is running, whether you are moving or not…” (Anonymous).

He said that if one has a dream, set a goal and go for it. A goal is a dream with a deadline. The reward is in finishing and achieving your goal.

His very impressive achievements include the Red Bull Draktraverse FKT (fastest known time) in 2014, which included 220 km of self navigation on no trails, with a 10,000 m elevation gain. He and his team-mate Ryan Sandes set a new record of 41 hours and 49 minutes, beating the old record of 60 hours and 29 minutes.

His most recent achievement (with one finger still taped up from frostbite) is the Great Himalaya Trail FKT 2018, completed two months ago.

This was a 1,507 km race, and included a combination of trails consisting of the high and cultural route (no single route) of self navigation, with 70,000 m of elevation gain and 70,000 m elevation loss. The new record with Sandes was 24 days, three hours and 24 minute, beating the old record of 28 days, 13 hours and 56 minutes in 2016.

Videos were shown where the Red Bull helicopter and film crew were unable to see the two in the snow while delivering medical supplies, however the runners could see the helicopter.

“The way to the top is always uphill … but the view will be worth it … It is only impossible if you walk away.”

The evening was very enjoyable (and certainly motivating!) with a good attendance from UAS members. Thanks to Leane at the Green Bar for providing the venue and the catering for the evening.

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