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Sport on Ascension Island



The island golf course at One Boat was founded in 1969 and is unique in that it's greens are brown.

Due to the shortage of water on the island, grass golf greens are out of the questions at the flatter, lower altitudes, so the "browns" are made of sand and murram dust smoothed down with oil.

Rumour has it is that the golf course was in the Guinness Book of records for a long while as the worse course in the world, but has been recently ousted.

The picture right shows Peter Smith( age 11) teeing off with not a blade of grass in sight. What the picture does not show is the rest of the Smith family crippled up with laughter as this was about attempt twenty to connect his golf club with the golf ball.

(update 2004: Peter Smith aged 16 is now an excellent golfer with a very competitive golf handicap so he has the last laugh)


The goalie in the picture is Peter Smith, and he says "The kids on the island had a hard time scoring because 12 months later I was put in my Aylesbury team league's representive team, but they must have been good as they put quite a few past me" .

Football is very popular on the island and there are many Manchester United fans despite the island's remoteness. The picture above shows a youth 5 a side match. Yes, it is being played on volcanic lava despite the midday equatorial heat, and yes, that is dust being kicked up by the players feet.


The Dew Pond run

The Dew pond run is a notorious race, held twice a year, which starts at the Turtle ponds in GeorgeTown where all the contestants dip their hands in the water there, and finishes about 7 miles later and some 2817 feet higher at the dew pond at the summit of Green Mountain.

If this is sounding too easy, then it should be remembered that for the 400 yards or so the path consists of reddish-brown volcanic soil that is the consistency of treacle.

In the picture on the right Lynda Smith is demonstrating how difficult walking is, and we had cheated by driving in a Landrover to the ramps halfway up Green mountain.

The picture on the left shows the state of all our feet when eventually we got to the top. Do not be fooled in to thinking we all have the same, similar odd taste for brown trainers. They were mainly white and blue we left the Landrover.




Walking and the letterboxes

There is a good network of paths on the island most of which have sea views. In particular there are a number of paths round the top of Green Mountain, apart from the Dew Pond track. These include Elliot's which encircles the summit at an altitude of 2,500 feet, and Cronk's which again goes round the mountain but at a lower level.

Other paths with similarly oddball names are Rupert's Path, War Path, Zig-Zag Path, Scout's Path, Middleton's Path, Invalid's Path, and Convalescent's Path. The last two lead to the residency which used to be the island's sanatorium.