Another day of good weather on the trail and good progress was made by most of the riders.
Currently bringing up the rear of the field and still on her way to Rhodes is Ingrid Avidon. She dropped off the ridge to Tinana just after dark and is staying with Mrs Kibi tonight. The first order of business tomorrow will be to get to Vuvu and depending on how that goes, she may push on to Rhodes.
Staying at Vuvu tonight are Marnitz Nienaber, Stuart Roos, Ivor Jones and Ann Harrison, who all made it through the Vuvu valley with daylight to spare and then proceeded to demolish a few Zamaleks. Arrivng a bit later but also safety in were Tony Wright and Caren Henschel. Tomorrow the goal will be Rhodes.
Rhodes itself was busy again today with the first arrivals being RASA riders Mike Glover and John Exley. They arrived mid afternoon in glorious sunshine and took advantage by doing laundry and even catching a tan on the stoep at Rubicon. Next to arrive were Gawie du Plessis and Mike Woolnough (RTR), also joined by Andrew Barnes (RASA). Mike arrived as the winner of this year’s Race to Rhodes. Andrew had a quick snack and pushed on to Chesneywold where he arrived soon after 8pm.
Janine Stewart arrived a bit later to much applause as the first lady home in the Race to Rhodes. The next bunch in were RTR finishers Andy Wonnacott, Alan Rainnie, Mark Smuts and Ian Privett - a little tired after their late night escapades in the Vuvu valley but all very chuffed to make it to Rhodes and receive their whip.
The late arrivals for the day were RASA riders Nico van Zyl and Mike Devereux. After bike troubles and riding the last two days as a single speed, Nico was finally able to sort his bike out with scavenged parts and will be rolling with gears again tomorrow.
Theo van Dyk and Fjord Jordaan left Rhodes at 04h00 this morning and rode hard to get through Chesneywold to Slaapkranz and then over the Slaapkranz and Bontehoek portages in fading light. Once over, they continued along the good dirt roads through the Hamlet of Rossouw and got to Moordenaarspoort around 22h20 - a long and productive day for them on the trail.
Not far up the road at Kranskop we have Mike and Ingrid Talbot, Andrew Blackburn, Nic Jordan and Mike Potgieter - they all rode through from Slaapkranz today and arrived before dark.
Also there is Andrew Hunt who started his day at a farm called Naauwpoort, between the Slaapkranz and Bontehoek portages. He cracked the Bontehoek portage second time around and cruised on to Moordenaarspoort for a meal and then on to reach Kranskop by late afternoon.
Next up is Pierre Oosthuizen who is still chasing to get to Hofmeyr before the next cut off of 13 days. He needs to make it to Romansfontein tonight to give himself a chance.
Liehann Loots and Beat Jegerlehner left Kranskop early and again rode steadily to reach Romansfontein by sunset - strong and steady as before, they seem to have found their groove.
Staying in Hofmeyr tonight are Mike Roy and John Bowen. They have made it before their cut off and will continue tomorrow to Elandsberg and then hopefully to Stuttgart.
At Elandsberg tonight is the group of Lee Fuller, Gary Green, Gary Preston, Ant Jankovic-Bessan, Stu Brew and Dave Telford. Riding strongly from Romansfontein, they had time to scoff pies in the sun in Hofmeyr before dispatching with the Elandsberg portage with light to spare. Tomorrow they could be considering their first double.
Also at Elandsberg tonight is Mike Ward, he rode through from Romansfontein and arrived just before dark.
Grootdam support station opened today when Anton Wood and Gert Peens passed through around midday. They snacked and then pushed on to Gegun where they are staying tonight.
Staying at Grootdam tonight are Johann Rissik, Ian Verwayen, Alan Haupt, Paul Dalton and Maarten Witters - all took a relatively short day today, riding through from Stuttgart.
And then there’s Jacques Tattersall who seems to be a bit of a night owl. He started in Hofmeyr this morning and arrived at Grootdam soon after 11pm. He’s been riding solo for a while now, so will be happy to finally have some company for tomorrow.