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Trans Agulhas Day 4 – Races won by beach sprints

The Trans Agulhas gave spectators the most incredible action today as winners were decided on the run up the beach by the co-pilots like never before with only one second making the difference in one class.

Modified of course set the pace early on with the two leading contenders for winning the epic event literally deciding the race on the beach and Pro-stock 2nd and 3rd boats arriving on the beach together and co-pilots run up the beach to finish was just one second between them.

Rocky outcrops had to be negotiated and kelp in the long haul and in the afternoon short haul dash, the treacherous Danger Point was where it was won.

The final stage on New Year’s day from Gansbaai to the Strand beach will be very interesting as has many hazards along the way to negotiate and of course False Bay has the largest concentration of Great White sharks in the world, so certainly not the place to flip or leave the boat.

Thousands of spectators line the shoreline and the beach to watch the boats finish and the competitors look forward to great cheering and applause from them on scooting up the beach to the finish line arch.

The Modified class saw the battle continue between the two leading boats of Wade Ball and Brandan Shaw of Team Land Rover/Splendid Logistics/Motolek and the ex Aussie racer Dave Barnett and Tjaart Oosthuizen in Team Rusgenot Transport/Boats and Bikes.

The ding dong sea battle ended on the beach, with Dave Barnet taking 1st from Wade Ball in 2nd, with 3rd this time going to Joe van Wyk and Paulus Barnard of Team Ford Mosselbaai/USN.

The Pro-stock class really had everyone on the edge of their seats, with a real dice going on between all three leading boats and a fourth joining them being that of Lohan and Wehan Malan of The Cheese Trader/Hansel team who eventually went on to take 2nd in class, beating the Moku/Bobkat/Marshmallow team of Dreyer and JD van Niekerk into 3rd spot, with an incredible co-pilot dash up the beach to the finish line.

Mechanical breakages once again plagued the Moku Racing team with Dreyer having to give up his substantial lead after having to stop and cable tie his broken off steering dampner and continue without it, and with the cleaver prop he was using he no longer had the strength in his arm to hold the torque of the engine so battled to catch up and take 3rd after a great effort. The winner this time was Wimpie Ackermann and Whitey Louw of Team Imperial Cargo.

The Novice class really set a pace today with Albrecht de Jager and Jaco Ferriera of Team Zoutpanputs/LNJ Construction keeping pace with the top leading boats most of the way and going on to a convincing 6 minute win over 2nd place.

The 2nd place went to Team Ryno Verster and Tonel Arcega of Team Artificial Grass/LA Steel and 3rd place less than 1 second behind and beaten on the beach was the Boost Performance Team of Joshau Muyburgh and JC Colombo.

The Stock class was really exciting at times with a change around of positions, with Team Johan Niemand and Jacques Minnie of Team Rest Assured taking the top spot with substantial lead over 2nd placed Jamie Streicher and Wildri van Deventer of Team Kam’Bati River Resort with a 16 second gap for 3rd placed Albertinia Furniture Removals/H&L of Iwan Botha and Hugo Erasmus.

The surf event was as always really exciting for spectators and provided all the thrills and spills as always.

The afternoon short haul dash across the bay and around Danger Point was not for the feint hearted, as lots of problems can be encountered on this stage, but was dominated by one Modified and one Pro-stock, Modified being Dave Barnet of Team Rusgenot, and the Pro-stock boat of Team Moku/Bobkat/Marshmallow Pop team of Dreyer van Niekerk, using all his knowledge of the shallow and rocky channels to risk all and take the short cut over the kelp instead of the longer way around, that everyone else took.

He got a really well deserved win in Pro-stock class, finishing just behind the winning Modified boat of Dave Barnet and second boat on the beach at the finish.

The final stage on New Year’s day is really not decided at all in any of the classes yet, but as always the Trans Agulhas brings many surprises like not other race.

Photo: Heinrich Sauer Photography

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