Red Bull Braveman – Another Massive Success

 

Louw Schmidt nears the end of a 9,5 hour ordeal

Louw Schmidt nears the end of a 9,5 hour ordeal

On 2 & 3 September 2016, Interpack hosted the legendary Red Bull Braveman at Farm Elisenheim near Windhoek in Namibia.

19 of the 32 riders that entered from South Africa, Cambodia, Zambia and Namibia managed to finish the race. Brett Swanepoel (Yamaha), Travis Teasdale (KTM SA) and Dwayne Kleynhans (KTM SA) were able to secure the best gold class starting positions at the prologue on Friday and had officials, team mates and spectators clapping and cheering when all 3 riders crossed the finish line at the main race in a 3-way tie, clocking a race time of 08:04:18, including a 60 min time penalty due to riding outside of the marked route.

Kleynhans, Teasdale and Swanepoel about to cross the line together

Kleynhans, Teasdale and Swanepoel about to cross the line together

Proud Namibian rider Jörn Greiter finished 4th in gold class only 21 minutes behind the first 3 finishers. This is a remarkable achievement as most of the Namibian riders are not professional riders, but enjoy the sport on a social level. The last rider in gold class, Louw Schmidt, only came in after 9 ½ hours including his penalty. Louw mentioned that the Red Bull Braveman was the toughest meter by meter race he has ever ridden.

In silver class, only 4 out of 13 riders who raced the prologue on Friday, were able to finish the main race on Saturday. Kirsten Landman (KTM SA), winner of silver class in 2015, placed 2nd this year after going on the wrong route at the start which unfortunately cost her a 60-minute time penalty.

Landman and Gray finishing

Landman and Gray finishing

According to Landman, Red Bull Braveman took extreme to a new level. The heat, dry terrain and extreme loop almost got the better of her. Nevertheless, she pushed through from starting back of the pack after a not so good prologue run and got to the finish in 2nd place. Fellow South African, Darren Gray was able to snatch 1st place with a total race time of 4:45:37. Namibian riders Corne Visser and Günther Gladis placed 3rd and 4th respectively and will next represent Namibia at the Roof of Africa in November 2016.

 

Corne Visser in the Prologue

Corne Visser in the Prologue

Bronze class saw 9 finishers, with RJ Visser clocking the best time of 2:21:55. RJ managed to secure a good starting position at the prologue and shared the final podium with his Namibian companions Martin Diekmann and Gerald Heiser.

 

The extreme heat and very loose and slippery mountain inclines made it extra difficult for all of the riders. Additionally, all classes had to navigate with GPS which was definitely a challenge for many.

Jacques Coetzer, CEO of Interpack says: “The event was a massive success and exceeded any sort of expectation we had. We are tremendously proud of all our riders and even prouder that one of our own was able to secure 4th place in gold class. This is an outstanding achievement”.