Slide Night presents an evening of 10 minute talks by thought-leaders connected to the ocean. They include artists, craftsmen, athletes, activists, scientists and personalities who share inspiring ideas and adventures in an informal gathering. Slide Night will be held at the Centre for the Book on Monday 2 December 2019. Doors open at 6 and the talks start at 7.30pm. Tickets cost R120. The lovely Lauren De Vos will be our MC. Slide Night is a popular with limited space – please secure your tickets soon. (Above image by www.sachaspecker.com)

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Dr Helgo Schomer

Ocean Mind

Frequently seen in the Muizenberg lineup on his longboard, Dr Schomer is often seen as the smiley guy. On land, he is a motivational speaker who helps people self-actualize to become more effective humans. His relationship with the ocean has gifted him with an extra angle on how people can find resilience, balance and health. There is something about the energy of the ocean that can have a profound therapeutic effect on humans, and he shares some of this with us.

Dr Schomer works with burnt out professionals, elite athletes, stressed home executives as well as prima donnas and celebrities. Sharing and knowledge and motivational speaking are Dr Schomer’s passion. He has contributed to 200 journal articles, research reports, discussion and conference papers. He has held about 3,500 lectures, seminars, motivational talks and workshops and contributed to numerous radio talk shows and speciality TV documentaries. He trademark is creative energy and zest for life.


Loyiso Dunga

Child of the Forest

Loyiso is a child of the forest, first the terrestrial one near his home town of Nqabarha - a village in Dutywa on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, and then the kelp forests of Cape Town. No matter where he goes, he hears the Great African Sea Forest whispering its secrets. He shares a special cathartic journey of soul and sea with us.

He completed his under graduate and honours at UWC majoring in Hydro-geology based on a fascination with ground water pathways. Captivated by an image of the kelp forest, Loyiso is now doing his MSc at UCT to map and assess ecosystem threats to the kelp forests - a place of profound beauty and diversity that has captured his heart. He has won Best Presentation and Peoples Choice in the Graduate Student Network. Loyiso believes in 'Teach, Understand and Love'. As Baba Dioum said: 'At the end of the day we will only understand what we are taught, we will only love what we understand, because in the end we will conserve only what we love.'


Sara Andreotti

White Sharks, Kelp and Waves

A marine biologist and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Stellenbosch, Dr Sara Andreotti is working toward the development of a global long term management system and conservation plan for the great white shark. In this talk, Sara shares some profound observations based on the latest research on South Africa's white sharks.

She has been involved in marine biology since she was 16 as volunteer for the Natural Marine Reserve of Miramare in Trieste, Italy. In 2008, she obtained a Master Degree in Marine Biology at the Università degli Studi with a 110/110 cum laude (100%) mark on her thesis “Field ethological observations on the great white shark”. In 2009, Sara moved to South Africa to collaborate with the Department of Environmental Affairs and shark conservationist Michael Rutzen.

Her PhD study at Stellenbosch University from 2011 to 2015 involved genetic techniques and photographic identification to assess SA white shark populations. The analysis involved more than 500 days at sea, more than 5000 photographs and 300 genetic samples from 426 catalogued white sharks. The outcome was the first national assessment of white shark population number and genetic structure. The genetic work recently expanded in an international collaboration with the University of Queensland and Flinders University in Australia. Sara has been also contributing to the development of the SharkSafe Barrier: an eco-friendly and shark specific technology to keep surfers separated from large predatory sharks.


Nik Rabinowitz

Ocean Comedy

The reason why Nik Rabinowitz is doing Slide Night is a surprise. The Wavescape Festival team have been sworn to secrecy about the topic of his talk, or they will be dunked naked and upside-down into the ocean off Camps Bay after five days of galeforce southeaster. As veteran Slide Nighters will know, that means upwelling, and horrifically cold water that is not far above freezing point.

Rabinowitz grew up on a farm in Africa, climbing trees and commentating on his own rugby games in three of South Africa’s eleven official languages. He was raised on the mean, green streets of Constantia, Cape Town, a world of ride-bys, piano lessons, and unrelenting love and financial support from family members.

Despite all this hardship he has still managed to be moderately successful, sporting a list of achievements the likes of which many can only aspire to. For instance, he once posed nude. Not because anyone asked him to, he just did it. Also, he represented South Africa at the Jewish Olympics, which is like the Special Olympics, with more accountants.

International appearances include Australia, Canada, Holland, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Zimbabwe. He’s been a guest on BBC 2’s Mock the Week, performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and intentionally driven on the wrong side of the road in Nigeria. His major claim to fame remains the fact that he was born in a stable, and is one of only two Jewish boys in the last two thousand years to have done so.


Dr Jannes Landschoff

Discoveries in The Great African Sea Forest

Dr Jannes Landschoff, who holds a masters in Applied Marine Sciences and a PhD in Marine Biology from UCT, shares some incredible discoveries from the Great African Sea Forest of the Cape, including the remarkable defence system used by octopuses that was famously featured on BBC's Blue Planet.

Jannes is dedicated to exploring this forest - to bring science to these discoveries. He grew up on the North Sea in Germany, where he worked for marine nature conservancies. After studying Biology and Environmental Management at the University of Kiel, he moved to Cape Town to grow his marine knowledge. He has authored more than a dozen articles in international scientific journals and chapters in books on biodiversity, and the ecology of marine invertebrates. He has described several species of hermit crabs as new to science.


Warren Talbot

Shaping the future

As Marketing Manager and custodian of the Vans brand in South Africa, Warren lives a fast-paced life, working with action sports athletes in the fields of skate, surf, and BMX and driving brand awareness, creating and managing big events, and building sales strategies for a national network of stores. However, he has a secret passion.

At home, Warren quietly shapes and experiments with surfboard design and materials in his garage. He is part of a growing number of part-time shapers who use their eye for craft and utility in their spare time, creating craft to ride waves for themselves and possibly for a few friends. Warren speaks of his journey, and some of the eclectic free spirits who are part of this underground.


Caleb Bjergfelt

My Photographic Journey to the Ocean

Caleb Bjergfelt is a self-taught photographer, whose work is defined by creative composition and a great understanding of his subject. Based in Cape Town, Caleb takes us on a unique photographic journey into the ocean that is breathtakingly evocative. Some of his work is truly superlative as he weaves into his subject matter his learnings about light, texture, colour, movement and speed.

Caleb started his career shadowing and assisting international photographers, while in his free time shooting friends in the surf of the Atlantic ocean. Driven by his surroundings and love for the outdoors, he followed his creative heart to pursue a lifestyle in photography capturing moments, while focusing specifically on details and elements that tell a story through a single image. Caleb’s knowledge stems from a production background and he is across the board with a strong understanding of the value this adds to his working environment.


Tasha Mentasti

Women in Surfing

As a multiple surfing champion and gender equality pioneer, Tasha shares some of her insights into the growth of women surfing and the obstacles that women have overcome, and the journey to equal pay.

She is well qualified on the subject, being the first woman to sit on the board of Surfing South Africa, the first woman globally to act as Contest Director for a World Surf League event and the first female coach selected for South Africa at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.

Tasha is more comfortable in the ocean than on land. Brought up in Kwa-Zulu Natal, she was introduced to the ocean at an early age; a blessing that she wants to share through her non-profit organization Find Your Stoke. After years in competitive surfing as competitor, coach, commentator or contest director, Tasha has made it her life’s purpose to empower, uplift and bring an awareness to surfing in South Africa and the healing properties that the ocean holds.