Chas Everitt Patatfees MTB Race 2019

Saturday, 15 June 2019
Western CapeAgulhas School of Skills


June 15th, 2019
Napier Wine & Patatfees MTB Race


Did you know Napier was once the sweet potato (patat) growing capital of South Africa? To celebrate this humble yet versatile vegetable, we have named our annual festival, which incorporates the Napier Half-marathon, a MTB race and a Trail run, in honour of it. In addition to sports races, the Patatfees boasts a charming weekend full of activities: a busy market, local beer and wines, children's creche and activities, Harley Davidson motorcycle show, tractor and vintage car show, art shows, entertainment, great food, the list goes on! Expect a healthy dose of small town charm and plenty of hospitality. Napier will surprise you!
Agulhas Skills School, Steyn Street, Napier
GPS: S 34.4783°, E 19.8972°
MTB Race Info
MTB DISTANCES 55km, 45km, 30km, 15km
ENTRY FEE: 55km R330, 45km R300, 30km R270, 15km R150
REGISTRATION: From 6h00 (Late registration +R50)
RACE BRIEFING: 10 mins before the start
STARTING TIME: 55km 08h00, 45km 08h10, 30km 08h20, 15km 09h00
VENUE : Agulhas Skills School, Napier, Overberg
No refunds or substitutions once you've entered.


Prize Categories
55km - Male & Female - Top 3 Overall, Senior (19+), Sub-Vet (30-39), Vets (40-49), Master (50-59).
Note: Minimum Entry Age is 15 years old.
45km - Male & Female - Youth (15-16), Junior (17-18), Senior (19-59), Gr Master(60+)
Note: Minimum Entry Age is 15 years old.
30km - Male & Female - Sub Junior (15-16), Open (15+)
Note: Minimum Entry Age is 13 years old.
15km - Male & Female - Nippers (8-10), Sprogs (11-12)
Note 15km: Under 14 only but anybody can enter - Prizes will only be awarded to kids under the age of 14. However, anyone over 8 years old can enter i.e. older kids, parents, grandpa's and grandma's. Everyone gets a medal. Minimum Entry Age is 8 years old.


Helmets mandatory for all racers


Route Info:
15KM (actual = 14.8km)
A nice easy route with enough elevation to make you feel you've at least earned your medal. First part will gradually take you higher and higher through beautiful fynbos. Thereafter it's an easy downhill section towards the Elim road and then again a gradually upwards section - you might not even notice it - and easy rolling towards the finish for the last 2 km - enjoy!


Water tables at approximately 8km


30KM (actual = 28.3km)
With just over 600m's of climbing and most of it done by the time you reach halfway, this route offers a nice challenge to the competitive short route rider but is also a fantastic route for the first-timer. Riders will be treated and spoilt with splendid views across the Napier-Valley. The pedalling will mostly be "lekke" downhill and gradually levelling out over rolling terrain. Jeep tracks for the most part and lovely connecting single-track will have you in awe.


One moment in the open and the next under a canopy of trees will make you forget about the distance, wishing it never ends. Two thirds into the race will take you up a gentle little climb where after a lovely long downhill will bring you back to the outskirts of Napier. The last 4 km will albeit not be a lot of climbing, but will be testing the legs for last time before speeding the final km or so to the finish... wanna do another lap?! ENJOY!


Water tables at approximately 10km & 17km


45KM (actual-44km)
The riders will make a LEFT Turn at waterpoint No 2 (24km) and will now ride along a beautiful, flattish, and slightly downhill section for about 7km. The last km of this section is a fast downhill section which should be taken with extreme care. At km 27, riders will turn LEFT and now join riders doing the 55km (RED). Immediately, this starts with a somewhat challenging ST downhill section to a beautiful dam in the kloof and hooks up with the 30km riders just after a very nice 2.3km downhill section – FLAT OUT is the word! Enjoy!
55KM (actual = 55km)
This one, actually only 55 km :) , being our flagship route, once finished, will leave you with a feeling of pride and beaming with a sense of achievement –never have you enjoyed a hammering so much. Truly spectacular scenery, exhilarating safe downhill’s and single-track awaits the rider. Following the same route as the 30km for the first 10km, the riders will split off(RED=RIGHT) and left again after 1.7km into the distance over gravel road for another 5km before heading up into the “kloof” for the big one!


Steady, hard climbing to the top will take you to the highest point in the race whereafter one of the best downhill’s in the country awaits! For the daring fast rider this will be the highlight of the ride – close to the edge at times but also catering for the less adventurous. Going mostly downhill now along jeep track for about 10km, riders will be heading back towards Napier through lovely Protea plantations and past numerous dams. With about 15km’s to go, gradual climbing via single-track to yet another beautiful lookout point will bring you to the start of another fast downhill where after you will connect with the 30km route again for the last 10km. If this route doesn’t have you searching for superlatives and screaming with joy, nothing will! Come on, just do it!


Water tables at approximately 10km, 23km, 33km and 44km


Contact SMF Events
Contact e-mail:


Agulhas School of Skills, Western Cape
Get directions

PhilipV, Mar 13 2019 08:59

This race has one of the best post-race atmospheres and caters well for the family who don't ride.
One of the (if not THE) highlights on the western cape calender.

ChrisF, Jun 11 2019 06:12

Phillip this looks very nice.


How much time should one allow to drive there on Saturday morning ?  Let's say from Somerset West ?

IMPACT, Jun 11 2019 07:33

Probably 1.5 hours easy driving Chris. Last did this event in 1997. Years moving on now[emoji51]

PhilipV, Jun 12 2019 08:18

Phillip this looks very nice.

How much time should one allow to drive there on Saturday morning ? Let's say from Somerset West ?

Google maps reckon 90mins from Somerset West and 2hrs from the N-Subs.

ChrisF, Jun 12 2019 09:22

DANKIE Naas !  A big thanks to you and your team for an excellent event



Talking to various participants it was quickly apparent that most had made a weekend of this, staying over in the area.  Still there were many of us that made a day trip to enjoy the ride.  Leaving the Cape before 5:00.  Being treated to the most spectacular moon-set.  A blood red, almost full, moon setting over the sea.


Napier Patatfees 2019-10.jpg


THICK mist made for an interesting drive .... arriving at Napier we followed other vehicles to the venue.  Have to admit, having driven through Napier many many times over decades I never realized just how big this "dorpie" is!



The school must have one of the best views in town.   The day started braking while we enjoyed a coffee on the stoep ....


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Once signed in we had time to walk the grounds and observe Naas's elves running about with the final prep work.  BIG thanks to the gents on the motorcycles that led out the races, and kept on circling the routes, making sure we were all safe.  The two gents entrusted with the 30km route certainly had a ball of a time !!  :thumbup:   Sorry, getting ahead of myself here.


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And then eskom started causing issues ....  The MC was an absolute STAR in keeping the  vibe going under very trying conditions !!  The 55km riders lined up, and the mayor was speaking when the Coke bollard deflated ....  :eek:


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This rider certainly was chilled about the delays ....


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And then the day started ....


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45km had their start ... and then it was time for me to join the line up for the 30km ride.  Dare I say my confidence boosted after my ride in the Nuy valley .... little did I know what was waiting ....


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The first 1,5km was all single file, and uphill ..... stiff pace at the front.  Driving through this area one see all the grain fields, and get the impression of wide open fields.  The MTB routes headed into the koppies and we were treated to single track routes amidst clumps of trees, linked with gravel tracks.  And suddenly we were high and looking down onto the open fields.   Views all round and a perfect green in the early morning light.


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But you would be well advised to keep an eye on the trail !!  Those loose rocks required a steady hand on the handle bars !  And just as you got your groove and a handful of speed you would get LOOSE sand in a good few turns !  Good few drifting lines visible from riders that nearly lost control ...  :whistling:


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back into a mini-forest, and suddenly we encountered a couple "river crossings" .... 


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It was a weird race in terms of the temperature.  Everybody started with jackets and/or arm-warmers.  After the first 5km people started removing layers of clothing.  Later I unzipped my jacket.  not long after we came out of a clump of trees and the cold breeze cut right through you !!  Stop to zip up the top .... next forest the top gets half-opened .... zipped up ... half-opened ....  hey, still way better than those hot races ... 



First water point, and then a nice 2,5km gravel road section, with a steady 60m climb.  The "hill" was fine, BUT the head wind seriously split the group up .... I pulled away from slower riders during the first bit, then realised they were wise to conserve their energy.  Then a husband and wife team slowly passed me, the wife joking that it helps that her husband is sparing her from the head wind ... I did the unthinkable  :ph34r:   I moved over and slip-streamed the lady, but they had a decent pace going !  I registered my max hart rate trying to keep up with them ... :whistling:


WOW !  What a view as we turned and started riding with the wind.  Almost mystical as the rising sun was shining through the forest. 


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And then the dreaded climb at 17km .... we all knew this was coming, and I had illusions of riding this despite loosing touch with the group .... okay, I did at least get one switchback further than some ...  :whistling:    Then it was the walk ....


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Had a few scares during the walk ... both calves started to cramp.  Thankfully the cramps stopped as soon as I got back on the bike. 



Now it was mostly downhill, and was going as fast as my nerves would allow me ... passing some riders, and seeing the experienced disapear in the distance ....  Short uphills I would stand and pedal to keep the moment.  No time to take pics.  Along this section the two motorcyclists played alongside us.    Was interesting as the cyclist and runner routes crossed and shared short sections.  Was a bit trying how the cyclists would be running left then right side of the jeep tracks .... sports crossing the middle man time after time at speed ...  :w00t:   I was having a ball !!  I knew my hart rate was high, but I was feeling good and having a good time on the trail.  



And then we encountered a section of grass with a slight head wind ....  :oops:  I could feel my energy sap away .... and then that dreaded feeling .... Is it low blood sugar ?  Or am I simply tired from a hard ride ?  dammit .... time stop, snack and some water, and a lot of water over my head to cool down, back in the saddle and a gentle pace .... thankfully I seemed to be okay and could steadily pick up the pace again, as much as that infernal grass would allow.  Back on the gravel round I got out the saddle and power up the last hill.


Last section was serious fun !!  Single track, with very limited opportunities for cyclists to pass the many runners.  Then one lap of the athletics track to the end. 


2 hours 0 minutes and 28 seconds moving time.  :wacko:   SO close to a sub-two-hour .... actually not really, as the time spent walking up the hill, and water stops means the total was actually 2:13.  Very happy with my 59 out of 101 riders.  Slower race than the Nuy ride, but surely a MUCH harder ride !!!  I am going to have to up my distance and pace of my practice rides ....  still VERY happy with my progress.



Thanks for the hot-water showers !  Good to be able to clean up after such a ride, not just sweat, but ample mud after various river crossings.


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It was lekker to walk the patatfees grounds, and to support the stalls.  Having lunch on the pavillion and chearing on the riders and runners finishing was nice.



Finally it was time for the prizes, and the lucky draw.  With some R 100 000 worth of prizes nobody was leaving early ....  Second luck draw prize my number gets called   :clap:


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BIG thanks to Naas, his elves and all the sponsors for such an excellent event !!!  Also thank you to each and every farmer allowing us the privaledge of sharing in the beauty of your area.



ChrisF, Jun 17 2019 05:56

Strava, Ooooo-strava, you cruel mistress you ....



Our mid-pack group of about 10 riders made steady pace.  The hills were dealt with, the head wind was stared straight in the face.  And even though we were comprised of various smaller groups, we somehow made it to the base of the climb at the 16km mark together.  Some of us passing those that got off earlier, just to get off after the next switch-back .... All to soon our whole group was walking up the hill .....  Two brave souls got back in the saddle early on, a few of us tried to follow, but promptly got back to pushing our bikes.  Somehow there was consolation in the knowledge that "everybody" was pushing their bikes .... Took us about 16 minutes ....



And then I had to got and look at that infernal Strava .... seems the leaders managed up therein less than 8 minutes !!  :clap:   :thumbup:


And by "leaders" I refer to the sub-15 year old that left all us ou-toppies (and tannies) in their dust ... truth be told, their dust had long settled by the time we managed to get there ...  :whistling:


ChrisF, Jun 17 2019 06:01

For those that want to see race times :