The leading (father and son team) after the first day: Koos and Alexander Pieters from Paternoster clear a dune under the eagle eye of Sarel van der Merwe. (Photograph by Pieter Saayman)
The event, which demands above average sand driving skills, takes place on the deceptive red dunes at Askham about 200 km from Upington.
It is here that the Kalahari sand mercilessly separates the men from the boys on a course purpose built by Sarel van der Merwe.
The first group was a pot-pourri of cosmopolitan, Namibian and West coast accents representing all age groups and the young bucks were soon in for a surprise.
A series of precision-driving exercises, combined with straight-line challenges quickly demonstrated that age, not speed was the deciding factor.
The top three teams scored 233, 218 and 214 respectively out of 260.
The second round of the competition, which is fully subscribed, runs until September 11 and the 12 best teams in the country are rewarded with a sponsored final round in Namibia and substantial prizes from Mitsubishi Motors.