|Posted on March 25, 2013 at 6:10 PM|
Where to start? An amazing event and not too sure what was the highlight of the event?
1. 11 Riders from DRC including our friend from Dakar, Frank Verhoestrate?
2. 2 Lady quad riders?
3. 9 riders from Zimbabwe, double that of last year?
4. Pal Anders Ullevålseter, the Norwegian who stopped to help David Reeve when he crashed in the Dakar was coming?
5. 3rd Generation Thomas Reeve entering and finishing?
Pal Ullevålseter phoned me at 22h00 on the Wednesday to say he could not come, Force Majeure had struck and he, his wife and baby had been stuck at Oslo Airport due to heavy snow for 8 hours and they had been told they would only arrive in Zambia on Friday night at 21h00 and Pal phoned to let me know. The silver lining in this cloud is that we will get him out for our Siavonga 400 end of June early July, a more social event so more opportunity to socialize and get to know him and his family better.
Ok, that was bad but we still had 20 odd foreign riders coming in, and 2 lady quad riders, so not all was lost. On the way to event we heard 4 riders from Zimbabwe were unable to come, 1 had a bike accident, rider had concussion (never knew he rode with his head), the other had a truck with an accident and was recovering his equipment and dealing with the carnage, another rider had family issues and the fourth said his bike had packed up and could not get another, no problem I said to Ryan, I have the bike planned for Pal available so get in your car and come, which he did. Thank you to the 6 riders from Zimbabwe.
Arrived at the event and David Reeve asked if he could enter his son Thomas in the Novice class, Thomas is 12 years old and the grandson of Tom Reeve who started this event many years back. Our National rules allow for 12 year olds to ride if on private property, so a short chat with Gillian and there was no question we would not let a 3rd Generation ride at his home event, I knew he had ridden the Siavonga 400 last year so stamina/fitness not a problem, the hills were, like his father and grandfather before him, his “playground”. This is my highlight of this event.
The event went off well with 22 riders in the SORC classes, and all the winners from 2012 event were unable to ride except Dale Holliday in the B1 class, so attendance was up from last years event. Despite this fact the racing was still very good and the standard still high. Due to David having a broken leg he set the track basically the same as last year, minus a few hectic technical sections taken out and a few easier ones put in to keep the length the same, basically where he could get up with a quad and broken leg to mark, and still an awesome course with many challenges. At registration we left the riders with the opportunity to first do a sighting lap and then come and tell us whether they were happy to ride the SORC route or opt for the “Novice” class. After the sighting lap a few riders opted for the Quad and Novice route, still hectic for the quads but not so bad for the Novices. We ended up with 16 riders and only one DNF – mechanical failure – in Novice class. SORC class had a 6 DNF’s - 3 mechanical and 3 body failures.
Frank Verhoestrate, DRC, and 3 times Dakar finisher, won B2 on CB3, a KTM 300 in 4 hours 25 minutes, closely followed by Rainer Ihmann, Zambia on CB1, Husaberg 390. 3rd place was taken by Daniel Parsons, Zambia, 101, KTM 350 having lost to Rainer by 54 seconds after 4 and ½ hours of intense riding. Dale Holliday, Zambia and Senior rider won B1 on 100 a KTM 200. Dale was chased by our “Cup cake” Travis Clemison, Zimbabwe, 134 on a Yamaha 250F dressed in a Pink Nightie as body armour.
The quad class had Vassilios Tsavalos, DRC, 121 on a Yamaha 700 being chased by Theresa Street and sister Carla Ihmann both on Honda 300’s. Vassi came in after first lap saying he had never ridden such terrible rocks and was “finished”, Theresa came in 12 minutes later followed closely by Carla, refueled and went out. Vassi watched in amazement and said ”no way” a lady was going to beat him, jumped on his quad hoping to catch Theresa, he never managed, Theresa came in 15mins ahead of Vassilios on the 2nd lap and went off for the 3rd and final lap. Vassi came in and admitted defeat and took a “75%” finish followed by Carla who also took a 75% finish in third leaving sister Theresa to take 1st place with a 3 lap finish. It turns out Vassilios did have a bit more left in him and with his Congolese friends kept the after party going until 04h00 Sunday morning.
The Novice class was also a close fought battle with the 1st rider in, Michael Treyer, Zambia, 12 on a KTM 530 in 2 hours 58minutes closely followed by Shaun Reeve, Tom’s eldest son on a Honda 450 and Bruce Donaldson, Zambia, 42 on his new KTM 350. Lady rider Noleen Parsons, 102, on her new KTM 350 Freeride, opted for Novice class as she is recovering from injury came in 7th place with 3rd Generation rider Thomas Reeve, Bike No 8 on a Honda 100 coming in a credible 8th place after 4 hours 5 mins an outstanding performance for a first race of this magnitude.
When Cut Off time was reached, we had 19 eager riders ranging from 5 years to 11 on Honda, Yamaha and KTM 50’s, 70’s and quads , ready to fight it out on a mini track which included the 1st km and a half of the SORC course. The riding was intense as Mom, Dad, Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents egged their children on, not that they needed much nudging to do better. After 3 hours of various heats, the SORC race was over and we had compiled the results, and we were ready for Prize giving. This was a great initiative by the community to introduce their children to Motorcycles and add spectator value to the event. Spectator value apart it shows we have a budding young group of riders to keep our sport alive, as Gillian said when these youngsters enter the Senior riders classes in 5 to 10 years it will be time for the current riders to hang up their helmets or get truly whipped.
A huge thank you to the DRC and Zimbabwe riders who traveled to this event and our officials and marshals who volunteer to spend hours in the sun making sure everything runs smoothly. Our sponsor Toyota Zambia for once again contributing to the success of this event.
Trusting the rest of the season will be as well supported and good racing will be had by all in 2013 in this Southern Africa Off Road Championship Series.
Categories: FIM Africa News