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2014-03-11 09:01

Elza Thiart-Botes

HEADED FOR VREDENDAL: Dakar Rally hero Brett Cummings will one of the competitors in the 2014 Namaqua African Rally in the Western Cape. Image: Waldo van der Waal

The 2014 Namaqua African Rally promises to deliver South Africa’s “own Dakar” with three categories spanning a four-day multi-stage event.

With two months to go to the event for off-road bikes and quads, organisers of the Namaqua African Rally have moved to the Vredendal area in the Western Cape to finalise the route for the five-day event from April 25 - May 3.


The Namaqua African Rallywas created by veteran off-road motorcycle rider George Booker.

The race will start and finish at Cape Town's Waterfront from April 25 - May 3 but the main race, including the prologue (April 27), will be in Namaqualand on the West Coast. The event will coincide with the World Triathlon ITUseries.

The prologue will determine the start order for the rally and will run from Bergkraal 4x4 (Vredendal and Klawer) with the rest of the route from in Vredendal.


The event will be a multi-stage rally and will cater for a variety of motorcycle riders who can enter three categories:

Competition category – The standard route for motorcycle and quad competitors in various classes.

Rally Raid – Riders will cover 350km a day over some of the same sections as competitors in the Competition category.

Adventure Tour – For riders who do not wish to race; will follow the race according to reference points supplied.

Booker said a healthy number of entries had been received - many people making use of an ‘Early Bird Entries’ discount. The racing season in South Africa also started early and the organisers realised that many competitors had fairly large expenses to cover so the cut-off date for entries is now April 7.

Booker said: “We are very happy to see the names of South Africa’s National Off-Rroad champions on the entry list. National Off-Road motorcycle champion Kenny Gilbert has entered, as have quad champion Jurie Meyer and former champion Brian Baragwanath.

"It is also good to see the name of another of the country’s top motorcycle competitors, Nicholas Pienaar, on the list."


Dakar Rally hero Brett Cummings, 28th overall in the 2014 race and second in the Malle Moto Class for riders who compete without any mechanical assistance or support, has also entered the Namaqua event. He will at last have a chance to compete in a rally raid in his own country after winning the Dakar Rally Challenge at the 2012 Australasian Safari and competing in the Dakar twice.

Also on the list in the motorcycle category is veteran off-road racer Garth Roberts who also completed the 2013 Australasian Safari. Roberts will be assisting Dutch rider Simon Schimmell, one of a handful of international competitors.

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