Riders are set for an all-new challenge in the inaugural Ramasgate, taking place from Chertsey farm, 20km outside Matatiele, on Friday and Saturday.
Providing entrants with the perfect hard enduro GPS rider training in the Lesotho Mountains leading up to the Roof of Africa in December, this event is going to be one riders don’t want to miss.
The action gets underway with a Time Trial on Friday followed by the main race on Saturday.
Hosted by the Natal WFO Enduro Association, the event is aiming to be the best one-day hard enduro in Africa while at the same time giving hobby class riders and adventure bikers the ultimate riding experience, without the “racing” pressure, so that they can enjoy the experience.
Organisers Trevor and Lloyd Kirk give a run down of the riders briefing, track report and more below.
The Ramasgate Challenge ride is a Roof training ride which has been put together by Ian McDonald from Rock Rabbitts, Faan van Deventer, Sakkie Maartens and Natal WFO.
I would like to thank all these people for their time and effort that they have sacrificed to make this event possible. It is important to remember that this event is a fun ride and not a race, so you can enjoy it riding together.
Race Registration (Friday 10h00 – 18h00; Saturday 5h00 – 8h00)
Race registration will take place at the Start/Finish area at Chertsey Farm, Registration will open at 10h00 on Friday morning until 18h00 and Saturday morning from 05h00 – 08h00. Riders will be able to register, collect their Ramasgate Shirts and the GPS officials will be on hand to download routes onto GPS’S. Please make sure you have your relevant documentation on hand as to speed up the registration process. If you are purchasing a license on the day please remember to bring PROOF OF MEDICAL AID.
There will be bacon and egg rolls for sale at the start.
Important Note for riders – We encourage riders to make sure that their required fuel, water and food requirements during the ride is planned well and placed at the designated area for the trucks to take out to the relevant DSP’s. There will be two demarcated areas at the registration area marked Ramasgate DSP and Danie’s DSP whereby riders would need to place their 10 litre container and any refreshments in the Ramasgate DSP area and their 5 litre container in the Danie’s DSP area. The trucks for these DSP’s will be loaded and leave the Start area at 05h30 on Saturday morning.
PLEASE PUT YOUR NAMES ON YOUR CONTAINERS!
Friday the 9th November – Time Trial/Prologue (12h00 – 16h00)
Faan van Deventer has put a lot of work into the 20km Time Trial making it a really awesome ride getting you ready for what lies ahead! Riders who do not complete the time trial will start on the last row on Saturday.
The start of the time trial takes place approximately 3.5Km’s from Chertsey Farm. Riders are able to ride on a clearly marked route to the Start/Finish of the time trial or they can drive there with their vehicles.
Time Trial will be open to riders from 12h00 – 16h00 with one 20km run available to each rider. Your Time Trial result will determine your starting order for Saturday.
Adventure bikers will be able to ride out to the Time Trial and free ride in this area as they will be able to get to most of the Time Trial viewing points.
Friday Night Braai Chertsey Farm – There will be a braai and social get together on Friday evening at Chertsey Farm for all riders which is included in the rider’s entry fee. For pit crew and family the cost for the braai is R100.00 per person.
Saturday the 10th November – Hobby, Expert, Pro and Adventure Bike Routes
Saturday will start with race control being open for 05h00 for race registration and for GPS’s to be uploaded.
There will be bacon and egg rolls for sale as riders get ready for a great day of riding. The riders will have to line their bike up in their rows at 07h00 with the first Row of bikes departing at 08h00 with 5 minute intervals between each row.
- HOBBY CLASS = 90KM (45km to Ramasgate and back excluding distances in Lesotho)
- EXPERT CLASS = 140km expert loop should be equivalent to a tough Bronze Roof with one or two hard passes in it. It is advised that you buddy up with someone to make your day a little easier and less stressful
- PRO CLASS = 150km, is a tough and challenging route so be prepared for some scrumming! If you are nervous of a section wait for another rider to come and do the section together.
- ADVENTURE ROUTE = 100 – 160km, will comprise of a dirt road ride to the Ramasgate DSP where they will then start there tailor made adventure bike route in Lesotho which is going tom be epic. There are two routes available for the Adventure biker as follows: GREEN ROUTE, comprises mostly of dirt roads with a few rocky tracks. RED ROUTE, comprises of dirt roads, rocky tracks and some goat paths.
Please take note of the Emergency Number on your number board for any emergencies that may need to be reported during the day. Please riders, remember your obligation to your fellow rider in need.
Stage 1 – Start at Chertsey Farm – Ramasgate Border Post
This will be a common route for Hobby, Expert and Pro classes with Pro sections added into the route which will be used to assess the Pro rider’s ability for the Pro route on stage 2. The ride from Chertsey Farm to Ramasgate is a nice easy flowing ride with one or two challenges in it.
- The ride from Chertsey Farm to Ramasgate will take 50 – 80 minutes (approx. 45km).
- It will take your Pit Crew approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to get to the DSP so if your pit crew will be meeting you at the DSP we suggest they leave by no later than 07H30.
|FROM IAN MACDONALD: “The Hobby Class Route (which is also the common route for Pro and Expert Class to Ramasgate) will have flowing single tracks and sled paths through the lowlands and contour paths through the Protea banks which will take you to the Ramasgate Border Post.
There you will be treated to some magnificent views of the Tsoelike River Valley while watching some of the extreme enduro riders doing what they do best! Thereafter you will head back down the hill to the Start/Finish at Chertsey Farm”.
Stage 2 – Lesotho Loop/Ramasgate DSP
Stage 2 comprises of the Ramasgate decontrol where the necessary passport controls need to take place, refuelling and then the riders set off on their relevant routes for Pro, Expert, Hobby and Adventure in Lesotho returning back to the same DSP before they start stage 3.
All classes will arrive at the Lesotho Border post known as the Ramasgate DSP at the end of Stage 1. The Ramasgate DSP, managed by Sakkie Maartens, will be situated on the South African side of the border post with all the necessary amenities available to riders and pit crews.
When Pit Crew’s get to the Ramasgate Border please park outside the fenced area unless you are going into Lesotho to spectate then you can pass on through onto the Lesotho side. Please note that there are no shops or supplies available at the Ramasgate Border post so we suggest that pit crew’s take eats and drinks with them to the DSP.
There will be complimentary ham rolls available to riders at this DSP once they completed stage 2. If you do not have any Pit Crew support at the border post you will need to send your supplies with your fuel containers placed in the demarcated areas at registration.
When you arrive at the Ramasgate border we estimate that it should take the riders a maximum of 15 minutes to stamp their passports, refuel and refill hydration packs.
REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A RACE SO PLEASE ENSURE YOU REFUEL YOUR BIKES AND HYDRATE YOURSELVES SUFFICIENTLY AT THIS DSP. AT THE SAME TIME, DON’T WASTE ANY UNNECESSARY TIME AS THERE ARE THREE CUT OFF POINTS IN THE PRO AND EXPERT CLASSES THAT LIE AHEAD.
From the Ramasgate Border DSP riders will ride to the starting point of Pro, Expert, Hobby and Adventure routes which start just past the Lesotho side of the border post after a short distance on the gravel road. It will be clearly marked. This is where the different routes start and the fun begins. You will need to ride within your abilities being wise in the decisions you take as you follow your GPS through some of the most beautiful yet challenging terrain available to dirt bike riders.
PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU CHECK YOUR GPS AT ALL TIMES!
Cut-off Points/Time bars
There will three cut-off points along stage 2 whereby riders will be pointed to the road if they don’t reach these points by a certain time, which will lead them back to Ramasgate DSP. These cut-off points are there for rider’s safety and we encourage riders to obey the instructions of the officials at these cut-off points. Danie’s DSP will be the first cut-off point at 14h00 and there will be a further two cut-off points along the way at 15h00 and 16h00 respectively whereby riders will be shown the road back to the Ramasgate DSP.
Danie’s DSP will be approximately a third distance into your route by which time you will know what type of day you are going to have. This will be the first cut off point at 14h00, were you will have to refuel and replenish liquids that will be available to get you through the rest of stage 2. Your 5 litre fuel container will be at this DSP along with water for you to fill your hydration packs. Please note that in this area the rivers have extremely clean water for you to keep hydrated, top up radiators and keep yourself cool.
|FROM IAN MACDONALD: “The Expert Class, after crossing through the Border Post will have a good day of awesome Lesotho Riding that will challenge those looking to do Bronze and Silver at the Roof of Africa. Once you have completed your loop you will go through the Ramasgate Border Post once again, refuel at the DSP and head back down the hill to the Start/Finish at Chertsey Farm.
“The Pro Class I have been told is tougher than Roof!”
Stage 2 or the Lesotho loop will finish at Ramasgate again where you stamp passports, refuel, have a ham roll before you head back to the Start/Finish at Chertsey Farm.
Stage 3 – Ramasgate to the Finish at Chertsey Farm
Stage 3 back to the finish at Chertsey farm will open once the first Pro rider arrives or at the latest 13h30. Once done the necessary passport controls and refuelled Pro, Expert and Hobby riders will take the same route as in stage 1 but in reverse as they return along a mellow scenic route back to the finish to receive there Ramasgate signature trophy.
Saturday Night Sheep on the Spit
The Ramasgate inaugural event will finish off on Saturday evening with a function at the Matatiele Country Club with sheep on a spit for riders to chat about their days riding. The costs of the sheep on the spit are included in the Riders entry fee and for Pit Crew and Family the cost is R120.00 per person.
We are hoping that all the time and effort that has gone into this event results in an amazing weekend of riding for all levels of riding and that all attending this event have loads of fun.
A big thank you to you the rider for entering this event, to our sponsor s and event helpers who have gone out of their way to make this a great event!
Thank you and safe travels. See you Friday.
To enter, click here, and for more information, contact Nadine on 073 990 3698.
Photo: Kyle Flanagan. (ZCMC)