Adventurer 2015 - The Judges
Having grown up in Cape Town, the mountains and ocean have always been close to Ray's heart. So after eight years in the IT industry, Ray decided to listen to his heart and headed out to seek what meant most in life... to live! Having traversed South Africa multiple times by bicycle and on foot, Ray switched to water in 2012 and learned to riverboard ahead of tackling the first riverboarding source to sea descent of the Orange River. The expedition saw him crowned as the Nightjar Adventurer of the year in 2014. As he plans his next project, he continues working in conservation and education as an ambassador for the South African Shark Conservancy, and WWF SASSI.
Lisa de Speville
A Jo’burg-based adventure racer and trail runner, Lisa is the owner and editor of South Africa's adventure racing website - www.AR.co.za. One of her most rewarding creations is FEAT (Fascinating Expedition & Adventure Talks), an annual theatre-style evening of time-limited talks by South African adventurers that is now in its 6th year. She also organises the 'Metrogaine Jo'burg' events and 'AdventureLisa's Forest Run', a 62km ultra. Lisa has a regular adventure racing/trail running column in Go Multi magazine and is an avid blogger. She is the co-author, with Jacques Marais, of the book 'Adventure Racing’, and a contributor to the 'Trail Runner's Guide'. By day she works in PR and is the project manager of the South African Orienteering Federation's development and expansion activities.
An accomplished triathlete, cyclist and runner, Stellenbosch-born AJ Calitz took up trail running in 2011 and is now a professional trail runner with a number of coveted titles to his name, both at home and abroad. He’s won most of the ultras in South Africa, including the gruelling three-day ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun, the PufFer and the Liberty Health Total Sports Challenge - a running, paddling and mountain biking triathlon. He also holds the records for fastest ascent of Platteklip Gorge and, as part of the Platteklip Charity Challenge, the most ascents in 12 hours as well as the Guinness World record for the most metres climbed in 12 hours.
Kim van Kets
Kim van Kets was born and raised in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, studied law at Stellenbosch University and is currently self-employed as a legal consultant, corporate trainer, freelance writer, author and motivational speaker. She works just enough to enable her to stay out of the poor house and run in interesting places. She has taken part in numerous multi-day and self-supported races in South Africa and abroad (including the 250km KAEM, 270km Transkei Ultra, 250km Lycian Way and 600km Indlela Yobuntu) but is best known for her “Tri the Beloved Country” Expedition which involved a self-powered 6 772 km circumnavigation of South Africa on foot, bike and kayak in 148 days. She has just released a book of the same name.
Matthew is a Cape Town-based Brit who - in a fit of mid-life angst - exchanged his pin-striped suit for a down one, to climb Everest and complete the seven continental summits. Since then, he's climbed two more 8 000m peaks, 36 of the world's 50 most prominent peaks, skied the last degree to both Poles and completed the Marathon des Sables. He's also chanced his luck at bull running, cheese rolling, bog snorkelling and wife carrying. He's the author of two books, 'The Miles High Club' and 'Life's Rich Tapestry’.