Race Report: 2012 Imana Wild Ride

Blue moons, tail winds and records at the 13th Imana Wild Ride.

A blue moon is a fairly rare occurrence which coincided with record breaking performances from the top three teams competing for the honours at the thirteenth Imana Wild Ride. Warren Price and Craig Stone (Coffeeberry/Momsen) claimed the honours in a new record time of nine hours, thirteen minutes and four seconds – breaking the previous course record set in 2009 by Nick Floros and Peter Smith of 9h48.12.

Having started the final stage in tie position with Floros and partner Iain Don-Wauchope (Mountain Splendour), defending champs Tyrone White and Sean Merredew (Thule/Go Strong) pulled back an impressive five minutes on the leaders seven minute gap to cross the line first in an unbelievable time of 2h53.46. This is the first time in the history of the race that the three hour barrier has been broken on the last day and goes to show the level of racing experienced at this year’s event. Despite their impressive effort, it was not enough to retain their title and the Thule/Go Strong pair had to settle for second place. A win on stage two and consistent racing from Floros and Don-Wauchope saw them finish in third place overall and within the previous record time. Craig Woods and Jan Schutte (First Ascent) finished comfortably in fourth position ahead of fellow Capetonians Simon Raubenheimer and Gavin Wood (Pure Planet Racing).

The Mixed team honours were firmly held by the Cape Town pair of Lindsey Chicken and Bjorn Vye (Giant/Vye) who took three of the four stage wins. Their only challenge came from Pietermaritzburg couple Brandon and Bridgette Stewart (Itec Connect), who took a stage win on the third day to place second overall mixed team. Hayley and Alan Chesterton (Amacoola.com) placed third.

For the rest of the eighty teams taking part in the Imana Wild Ride, it was not so much about the race as the rare opportunity of racing the tide along one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world. The Wild Ride Education Company in conjunction with the title sponsor Imana Foods and the race organisers were proud to have handed over a four classrooms at Xonyeni and Ndevu Schools to total twenty-two classrooms built to date. A further R250000 was raised by the participants of this year’s event which will be channelled into worthy educational needs along the route of the Imana Wild Ride as a direct give-back to the communities through which the race passes.

RESULTS: Men Overall: C Stone/W Price (Coffeeberry/Momsen) 9h13.04, T White/S Merredew (Thule/Go Strong) 9h16.39, N Floros /I Don-Wauchope (Mountain Splendour)  9h24.17, C Woods/J Schutte (First Ascent) 10h17.49, S Raubenheimer/G Wood (Pure Planet Racing) 10h43.56.
Mixed Teams: L Chicken/B Vye (Giant/Vye) 12h07.01, B Stewart/B Stewart 13h03.43 (Itec Connect), H & A Chesterton (Amacoola.com) 14h45.39.

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