RTR / RASA 2019 NEWS FEED

RASA | RTR 2019 Partners

30 June 2019

Words and Buffalo pics by: Mike Roy

Pictures: Llewellyn Lloyd

Today was moving day, the trail south of Hofmeyer gives plenty of opportunity to do more than one stage in a day – to double or even triple up. Even more if you are one of the leaders. With kind weather today the majority of riders did more than one stage. More of that later, we first have to deal with the dog of a day that Richard du Toit experienced. 

Last night we left yesterday’s hero Richard holed up at the abandoned campsite down the Ossaberg track, the culmination of two days of proper non-stop riding. He had spurned the comforts of Hadley and driven on to tackle Mordor (Boksburg). This turned out to a decision that he will probably regret for a very long time. Early this morning, at around 1am, probably out of desperation because he must have been so damn cold, he made his first crossing of the Groot Rivier. I’m not even going to try and describe the nightmare day that followed, I’m hoping Chris will insert an image of his tracker route for today, as that will tell the story better. Basically he went nowhere for 12 hours.

Eventually, towards lunch-time with him totally lost, he luckily managed to join the two riders who had elected to stay at Hadley the night before, Fanus Vorster and Brad vd Westhuizen, and the three of them made it through to the oasis of Cambria late afternoon. Richard will forever be part of the Baviaans FC folklore, his story told in hushed whispers to terrified novice FC riders.  He must be absolutely buggered, three days with no sleep. Last night will have been too horrible for words. Respect Richard, we doff our caps to you. We will watch with great interest as to how you do tomorrow. If you double to Willowmore there is a R200 donation from each of the FC WhatsApp group (all 184 members) to the Scholarship fund.

I have tried to get a few quotes from Richard, I’ve sent him a WhatsApp (there is cell reception at Kudu Kaya). I’m not holding out much hope, he was last seen on WhatsApp yesterday at 16:00, probably at the turn-off to the Ossaberg jeep track.

I have updated the table I prepared yesterday – Chris managed to get it up ok, thanks Chris, although a couple of columns didn’t make it. Somehow it still seemed to make sense. I’ve rejigged it and hope it is helpful in following the progress of our riders. Let me just check (it is now 18:00), two hours since I updated it, that everyone is where I thought they were going to end up for the day.

 

 

 

#

 

 

Rider

 

Batch     (Days on

 the trail)

 

 

Current location

 

#Days on the trail

 

#Days +/(-) 26 day schedule

 

1

Fanus Vorster

1 (14)

Cambria (SS#16)

14

2

2

Nigel Basel

1 (14)

Cambria (SS#16)

14

2

3

Bradford vd Westhizen

1 (14)

Cambria (SS#16)

14

2

4

Richard Erasmus

1 (14)

Cambria (SS#16)

14

2

5

Derrick Muller

1 (14)

Cambria (SS#16)

14

2

6

Johan Radcliffe

2 (13)

Hadley (SS#15.5)

13

2.5

7

Johann Lombard

2 (13)

Kleinpoort (SS#14.5)

13

1.5

8

Sandy Maytham-Bailey

2 (13)

Kleinpoort (SS#14.5)

13

1.5

9

Willem Kamstra

2 (13)

Hadley (SS#15.5)

13

2.5

10

Richard du Toit

2 (13)

Cambria (SS#16)

13

3

11

Hanko de Beer

2 (13)

Kleinpoort (SS#14.5)

13

1.5

12

Philip Erasmus

2 (13)

Hadley (SS#15.5)

13

2.5

13

James Cruikshank

3 (12)

Toekomst (SS#13) 

12

1

14

Bryn Roberts

3 (12)

Toekomst (SS#13)

12

1

15

Graeme Green

3 (12)

Bucklands (SS#15) 

12

3

16

Radislav Zamandi

3 (12)

Toekomst (SS#13)

12

1

17

Alex Kingwill

3 (12)

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12)

12

0

18

Nigel Payne

4 (11)

Cambria (SS#16)

11

5

19

Adrian Payne

4 (11)

Cambria (SS#16)

11

5

20

Charles Hughes

4 (11)

Bucklands (SS#15) 

11

4

21

Francis Bradford

4 (11)

Bucklands (SS#15)

11

4

22

Kobus Nel

4 (11)

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12)

11

1

23

Alan Rainnie

4 (11)

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12)

11

1

24

Francois Roux

4 (11)

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12)

11

1

25

Mark Smuts

4 (11)

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12)

11

1

26

Renier vd Merwe

5 (10)

On his way to Gegun (SS#13) – Tollies?

10

3

27

Gavin Robinson

5 (10)

Withdrawn

10

 

28

Andrew Ryan

5 (10)

On his way to Gegun (SS#13) – Tollies?

10

3

29

Gary Scoular

5 (10)

On his way to Gegun (SS#13) – Tollies?

10

3

30

Grant Cowan

5 (10)

Gegun (SS#13)

10

3

31

Mark Basel

5 (10)

Gegun (SS#13)

10

3

32

Derrick Bingham

6 (9)

Withdrawn

9

 

33

Leon Kruger

6 (9)

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12)

9

3

34

Grant Hill

6 (9)

On his way to Gegun (SS#13) – staying at Tollies..?

9

4

35

Anthony Avidon

7 (8)

On his way to Gegun (SS#13) – Tollies?

8

5

36

Kyle Dohne

7 (8)

Gegun (SS#13)

8

5

37

Gawie du Plessis

7 (8)

Gegun (SS#13)

8

5

38

Scott James

7

Withdrawn

 

 

39

Liehann Loots

8

Withdrawn

 

 

40

Arno Crous

8 (6)

On his way to Hofmeyer (SS#9.5)

6

3.5

41

Fjord Jordaan

8 (6)

On his way to Newlands (SS#11)

6

5

42

Graham Bird

8 (6)

On his way to Toekomst (SS#14)

6

8

43

Leon Erasmus

8 (6)

On his way to Newlands (SS#11)

6

5

44

Alex Harris

8 (6)

On his way to Toekomst (SS#14)

6

8

45

Martin Dreyer

8 (6)

On his way to Cambria (SS#16)

6

10

46

Gavin Horton

8 (6)

On his way to Newlands (SS#11

6

5

47

Jacques Tattersall

8 (6)

On his way to Toekomst (SS#14)

6

8

 

Tonight Cambria hosts eight riders, all five riders from Batch One, two days ahead of a regular schedule, probably the finest Batch One grouping in the history of FC. Believe me I know a lot about Batch Ones. They are joined by the shattered Richard du Toit and the two Payne brothers, who have had another great day in the saddle. Hadley looks likely have at least three campers, Phil Erasmus, Johan Radcliffe and Willem Kamstra. These guys will be all be aiming to get into Cambria in time for the 13:00 bus at the Baviaans gate. Alternatively they may well be thinking of staying right there and recharging their batteries for the final push to Diemersfontein, especially if you have a FC Buffalo Herder cooking you a nice steak, although apparently that doesn’t happen anymore, if it ever did.

Hadley may well have another guest for the night in Martin Dreyer. Big question is will he stay there or will he push on through the night to Cambria to try and make the 06:00? Opinions are divided on social media, we will know by the time I finish this report (which seems to take longer and longer each night, this journalist lifestyle is not for the faint hearted).

Further back on the trail Bucklands is hosting Hughes and Bradford from Batch Four and a strong looking Graham Green (Batch Three), who spent a fair amount of time with Martin Dreyer today and is one of the better performers from the first three batches. Looking 30km further back at Kleinpoort are three riders from Batch Two who must be debating on whether or not to move through to Bucklands. Actually I can understand their strategy, I’d hazard a guess they aim to have a very pleasant ride through to Hadley tomorrow where they will overnight before taking a full day to get through to Cambria. They are a day and half ahead of schedule so can afford to drop a half day before the Baviaanspoort proper opens up on the home run.

Toekomst hosts three guys from Batch Three - Cruikshank, Roberts and Zimadi, all three running a day ahead of normal schedule and they too can probably afford to drop a half day to Cambria if called for. One of the more notable performance of the day is probably that from Grant Hill who will have gained more than 2 days today – and is part of a group of five who are staying at Tollies tonight because the inn is full at Jakkalsfontein (SS#12), so they had to ride on. He started in Hofmeyer (SS#9.5) this morning so that would be one helluva effort to get to Tollies from there – almost three stages in a day. That’s Martin Dreyer style. 

For old FC hands Tollies used to be a support station. The entire valley is owned by the Jordaan family, a family with a proud rugby history. Paul Jordaan previously of the Sharks, that’s where he comes from.

Jakkalsfontein (SS#12) has five riders staying tonight. All five guys are keeping to a conservative schedule, four of them a day ahead of standard schedule. The fifth rider, Alec Kingwell is the one rider left in 2019 FC who needs to make sure that he doesn’t start losing days. He has been on the trail for twelve days, a day in a day for the entire route so far. Good man, he is my guy, I’ve got his back. Maybe a double tomorrow Alec…? Right through Gegun to Toekomst? That will give you a possible gap to do the Bucklands- Cambria leg in two days. The racing snakes will be very puzzled by all of this, but this is how it works at the back of the field. We also have to think ahead. We just think more slowly because we have more time.

The three riders left from Batch Seven, Anthony “Brian Ferry” Avidon, Kyle “Do” Dohne and Gawie “Gawie”du Plessis are going great guns and should all be in Gegun tonight, five days ahead of standard schedule. I have no idea why I have given each of them ridiculous nicknames. This journalist lark is very demanding and to pass the time it helps to invent things. Anthony has a very lovely wife Ingrid who has had enough of all of this FC nonsense and has gone away for a week to a remote beach. “Stuff this” she said and left Steve and I to do the daily reports.  Which we love doing, don’t get me wrong.

Kyle is another Eston boy – or is he same one that I’ve mentioned in previous reports? I’ll have to check. I have checked and I’m still unclear. Anyway I’ve stalked him on FB and all I can tell you is that he is that he is a fan of the band (musician?) Jeremy Loops, a first for an FC entrant.

***BREAKING NEWS**** Martin Dreyer is nearly at Hadley. We will shortly know whether or not he going to set off for Cambria. If he does we are all in for a long night. Hold this thought.

F”jord”Jordan, Leon Erasmus and “Lays an Egg” Horton look like they are going to Newlands. We may have a problem here – they are very good riders and may want to push on to Jakkalsfontein, which as we know is full. They could move on to Tollies and join the others who are there. OR they could just ride through the night like Richard du Toit. Right now all options are open. It’s just dawned on me that Phil and Leon Erasmus may be brothers.

News from the chasing three – known as P234 on social media (position 2, 3 and 4). All three appear to have left Gegun for destinations further down the trail. Martin Dreyer left Gegun at 04:00 today so they are 16 hours behind Martin and must surely be furiously doing the Baviaan’s gate calculations in their heads as they ride. 

*** BREAKING NEWS*** Martin Dreyer sails straight past Hadley, this is going to be a long night. Some interesting stats from stats guru Carl:

Martin Dreyer’s time to Hadley:

2017 out of Hadley 01:40

2019 out of Hadley 20:35

By my reckoning he is therefore 5 hours and 5 minutes ahead of his record 2017 pace. Not too bad.

A few guys who I haven’t mentioned:

Arno Crous, who is right at the back of the field in terms of where he physically is (coming in to Hofmeyer) but who is actually three-and-a-half days to the good and still quite capable of a very good FC. He is however very lonely, so please get in contact with him and perk him up a bit. 

Liehann Loots unfortunately had to withdraw due to illness. He is the fourth rider from this year’s FC to do so. Liehann will win FC one day, mark my words. I have some great pictures of him and a buffalo from 2016 on the descent from Bergplaas when I was a Buffalo Herder. I’ll see if I can find them. It was an interesting moment and the only time that the Buffalo Herder strategy actually made sense.

We also bid farewell for 2019 to all support stations before Hofmeyer. Thank you. 

Enjoy the night folks.

Footnote: on reflection Richard du Toit isn’t going to regret his decision to go through Hadley last night. He is going to dine out on this story for the rest of his life. Once he has perked up a bit.

 

 

 


 

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