The Trans Agulhas has certainly been living up to expectations today with the final stage being hotly contested by all four classes and not allowing anyone to rest on their laurels from previous days achievements.
The water was a mix of flat and rough and little wind to fairly windy depending where on the leg they were, and of course the sections where teams had to navigate around rocks and heavy kelp.
The race was really nail biting with all along with three exciting beach stops to contend with and no let up on excitement for spectators, expecially at the finish in The Strand on the beach where it was packed with thousands of spectators who had specially turned up very early to see the boats come up onto the beach around 9.30am.
The three leading modified and two leading pro-stock boats kept pace with each other from start to finish with the eventual overall winners being the two modified teams, with Wade Ball and Brandon Shaw of Team Land Rover/Splendid Logistics/Motolek turning the last mark to head straight onto the beach seconds ahead of veteran racer and many times winner Dave Barnet and Tjaart Oosthuizen of Team Rusgenot Transport/Boats and Bikes.
The third modified home on this leg was Team Ford of Mosselbaai/USN of Joe van Wyk and Paulus Barnard, who ran a steady pace without a missing a beat or challenge.
The leading pro-stock for the entire leg from start to finish and eventual stage winner was that of Iron Man veteran, Dreyer van Niekerk of Team Moku/Bobkat/Marshmallow Pop, with his young 17 year old son JD as co-pilot, who is the youngest competitor racing in South Africa.
On the tracking fitted to all the boats it was really exciting and fascinating to see how Dreyer navigated his way directly over the thick kelp beds and the rocks to establish a safe lead and when he had the wind behind him he just took off and fortunately had this buffer at the finish, as when he took the final bouy for the run into the beach he spun the bush on the prop and had to make JD swim to shore to finish the run up the beach, just in time to beat the 2nd placed Team Imperial Cargo of another veteran of this event Wimpie Ackermann and Whitey Louw, who chased him down the entire way and at one stage was directly in his wake.
An incredible 3rd place not far behind in this stage went to Team Lohan and Wehan Malan of The Cheese Trader/Hansel team only a two seconds ahead of the 4th placed Team Extrusion World, so very exciting indeed.
The stock class certainly had some changes along the way and from previous stages with more nail biting racing between teams until the 1st place in this stage went to Team Kam’Bati River Resort of Jamie Streicher and Wildri van Deventer who finished one minute ahead of Team Albertinia Meubelvervoer/H&L of Iwan Botha and Hugo Erasmus, who finished 50 seconds ahead of Team Printmor Stationery of Cobus Rossouw and Francois Fraser.
Novice class was one of the surprises of the event with an incredible performance coming from Team Conferheur Engineering of Henk van der Spuy and Laboux Laubscher putting in great 10 second win ahead of 2nd placed Team Wetcor Cape of Le Roux Neethling and Franco Cilliers who beat 3rd place Boost Performance Team of Joshau Muyburgh and JC Colombo by 14 seconds, so all incredibly close finishers.
Photo: Heinrich Sauer Photography
The final overall results of the 2016/17 Trans Agulhas are as follows with overall elapsed times over the 5 days including surf events and the night race, which is how positions are decided:
1st Team Rusgenot Transport – Dave Barnet/Tjaart Oosthuizen – 09.36.38
2nd Team Land Rover Cape Town/Splendid Logistics/Motolek – Wade Ball/Brandon Shaw – 10.19.04
3rd Team Ford Mosselbaai/USN – Joe van Wyk/Paulus Barnard – 11.03.03
1st Team SA Farm Assured Meat – Eben de Bod/Gerhoud Fernhout – 10.05.54
2nd Team Imperial Cargo – Wimpie Ackermann/Whitety Louw – 10.23.00
3rd Team The Cheese Trader/Hansel – Lohan and Wehan Malan – 10.42.11
1st Team Kam’Bati River Resort – Jamie Steicher/Wildri van Deventer – 10.48.47
2nd Team Albertinia Meubelvervoer/H&L – Iwan Botha/Hugo Erasmus – 10.54.11
3rd Team Rest Assured – Johan Niemand/Jacques Minnie – 11.09.42
1st Team Zoutpanputs/LNJ Construction – Albrecht de Jager/Jarco Ferriera – 10.43.48
2nd Team Artificial Grass/LA Steel – Ryno Verster/Tonel Argega – 11.07.39
3rd Team Boost Performance – Joshua Muyburgh/JC Colombo – 11.33.20
Now for the ThunderCat World Champs in BLOUBERG Cape Town from 2nd March to 11th March with seven countries already entered and over 50 boats competing.