Records tumble as riders are blasted by strong tail winds
The August winds certainly lived up to reputation on the first day of the Imana Wild Ride as the field of one hundred riders were ably assisted by the strong westerly pushing them from behind. Defending champions Warren Price and Andrew Hill (Safire/TIB) smashed an incredible eleven minutes off the previous record time to clock one hour, forty-five minutes and twenty seconds for the forty-three kilometre stage between the Great Kei River and Kob Inn Hotel. Just over a minute thirty back, Damon Stamp and Darren Lill (St-iLL Wild Riding) placed second with Craig Woods and Oli Munnik (Skullet) also arriving well within the old record time of 1h56.19.
The day was not without some drama as both leading teams tumbled into a washed-out hole in the beach near the end, the worst damage of which was Lill cracking his bicycle frame and having to do some bush mechanics at Kob Inn in order to stay in the race.
Behind the leaders, there was a large contingent of the field who found themselves floundering somewhere between the beach and the bush and well off the beaten track, resulting in a number of the stronger teams losing time and resigning themselves to the fact that as new comers to the Imana Wild Ride, they need to pay their school fees first before they become adept at route knowledge. The Imana Wild Ride has a strict ‘no GPS’ policy and teams are required to either follow the route cards or latch onto a team who knows the route. Sometimes both of these options fail and the outcome is more valuable time spent exploring the beautiful coastline!
Stage two is the shortest stage between Kob Inn and The Haven, with the leaders expecting to clock around one hour forty-five minutes whilst the majority of the field can expect to take two and a half to four hours to cover the thirty-five kilometre distance.
The second event, namely ‘Ride the Wave’ starts a day behind the first event (‘Race the Tide’) with another batch of one hundred riders heading up the coastline.
RESULTS – Day 1: Overall: Warren Price & Andrew Hill (Safire/TIB) 1h45.20, Damon Stamp & Darren Lill (St-iLL Wild Riding) 1h46.54, Craig Woods & Oli Munnik (Skullet) 1h52.53. Mixed: Andre Botha & Christina du Plessis (The Feather & The Sinker) 3h01.35, PK & Esthea de Villiers (Synergy) 3h25.28, Seath & Michelle Scowby (DES) 3h26.03.