Race Report: Gauteng Enduro Champs Hakahana

This past weekend on the 19th of November, while thousands took to the streets of JHB for the 947, 70 Enduro crazy riders took to Hakahana trails to compete for the title of Gauteng Enduro Champ 2017.

Riders briefing took place at 7:30 after which they took a casual ride to the top of the first stage. With the temperatures reaching the mid 30’s, it was a scorcher of a day to be out in the sun but the riders were determined to give it their all, and the spectators loved the action.

 

Haka_12.jpg
Wade Prinsloo squashing the new drop on SP10.

 

Haka_02.jpg
Oli Munnik taking on the off-camber on SP5.

 

The race consisted of 5 of the 12 Enduro stages that Hakahana trails have to offer, linking up a variety of different runs and in my opinion, choosing the best of all the stages for a rad day out on the bike.

 

Haka_13.jpg
Hercules Du Preez with some style on the lower stages.

 

Haka_10.jpg
Frank Meyer

So this year's Gauteng Enduro Champs, I decided to do my practice runs on the Friday and rested the legs on Saturday as we were going to have to pedal hard on the last two stages of the race. We had the choice to either start with stage 12 (a new stage for me) or stage 6 into 5.

 

I decided to start with stage 12 as it's not a super fast stage and I thought I could use it to get my eye in for the other two top stages 6, 5 and 10 that are relatively fast with some sneaky rocks that will take you out if your reflexes are not up to scratch. So I started with stage 12, it was a clean run, although I felt slow, as every time I tried to push the bike would just drift (super cool, but not fast).

 

Onto stage 6 and 5, out the gate with a bang. I was super stoked to hit the top section the way I did, it felt really good, then I crashed on a sneaky tricky s-bend section just after the middle of the stage, got up as quick as I could and pushed to make up time, dinged the rear rim in the process (not an uncommon sight at Hakahana) finished the stage quite disappointed but it was what it was.

 

Stage 10 went well, a bit conservative at the top but I peddled klip hard to the road gap and just held on through those sneaky rocks... sent the new drop (awesome feature) and finished the stage feeling a bit better.

 

The technical stages were done and all that was left was to pedal hard and keep the flow, I did exactly that and felt I did what I could... what I could was 4 seconds off from being the Gauteng Enduro Champ... so close but yet so far, that is racing I suppose. Everyone had a war story to tell, and that is why we race, it brings out the best and sometimes the worst in us (if we don't win). Hopefully we learn and it's great to be a part of this amazing sport.

 

Hakahana delivered the goods as always, the trails were prime and the mood at prize giving was pure stoke. Frank Meyer, 2nd overall

 


Haka_03.jpg

Haka_04.jpg

John-Michael Du Preez and Matt Minter pushing hard into the SP5 off-camber.

 

Haka_16.jpg
Louise Kotze.

 

Hakahana is the park that has had the biggest influence on my development as an Enduro rider.

 

It is with a big smile that I look back and see how this sport has grown and developed into a very competitive discipline with top class, talented riders fighting it out for top step of the podium.

 

Gauteng Champs was no different!

 

The tracks tested every ounce of your technical ability, from riding steep, loose and rocky descents, to fast and flowy single track leading you over fun table tops to finish it off.

 

To walk away from a day like that without an OTB or mechanical is a huge achievement.

 

There is love in these trails, dedication and great enthusiasm. We are privileged to have this event in our backyard and I pray the passion for the sport becomes contagious. Louise Kotze, 1st Ladies

 

The five stages totalled about 25km but with only the down runs being timed the fastest time of the day was Wade Prinsloo with a 13:14, with just 30 seconds between the top five men the racing was very tight, meaning the slightest slip up could cost you the race.

 

The overall podiums and Gauteng Champs are:

 

Ladies podium.jpg

 

Ladies
1- Louise Kotze
2- Kaylin Prinsloo
3- Robin Stewart
4- Maude Badenhorst
5- Wendy Odendaal

 

Mens podium.jpg

 

Men
1- Wade Prinsloo
2- Frank Esias Meyer
3- Hilton Frost
4- Charl Van Zyl
5- John-Michael Du Preez.

 

Full list of results can be seen at - http://www.elitetiming.co.za/results/

 

Haka_01.jpg
Andre Van Aarde on SP5
Haka_05.jpg
Maude Badenhorst working her way down SP5

 

Haka_06.jpg
Justin Steyn going Moto on SP5

 

Haka_07.jpg

 

Haka_08.jpg
Wade Prinsloo on the lower section of SP5

 

Haka_09.jpg
Haka_11.jpg
Cory Schmitz on the transfer from 10 to 3

 

Haka_14.jpg
Luke Reece Meyer going flatbox on the SP9 flow section

 

Haka_15.jpg
Dustin Rudman keeping it low and fast over the final jumps of the stages

 

Haka_17.jpg
Spectators at the end of SP8 watching the final bit of action

 

Haka_18.jpg
Charl Van Zyl cutting it close to a tree on SP5

 






6 Comments

Odinson, Nov 24 2017 10:47

Trails at Hakahana look pretty dope! What kind of elevation drop is there?

Rich990, Nov 24 2017 11:12

About 200m or so on the upper stages and about 80m on the lowers.

Headshot, Nov 24 2017 01:24

Looks like a great set of trails. We Capies would suffer up there at 1600m. 

Headshot, Nov 24 2017 01:26

Hey, there's my new bike!ccs-62657-0-18106400-1511513065.jpg

Odinson, Nov 24 2017 02:09

About 200m or so on the upper stages and about 80m on the lowers.

 its-something.jpg

popcorn_skollie, Nov 28 2017 05:33

yoh that drop looks lekker!