Sportsmen and women from around the country, along with several overseas competitors, are preparing themselves for a challenge and hope to walk away with some of the R1-million in prize money when the Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Challenge begins next month.
This water sports spectacular, which begins on April 19 and ends on April 28, provides ten full days of action including international surfing and bodyboarding, national beach handball, a trail run, a mile swim in the Kowie River as well as other sports and demonstrations that should keep the visitors and locals fully entertained for the weekend of the Easter holidays and the week thereafter.
This week the focus is on the inflatable boat (rubber ducks) racing.
The 2nd round of the 2019 Thundercat National Inflatable Boat Racing takes place at Port Alfred’s East Beach with a Surf Race on April 27 and the Barnacles Royal St Andrews Hiotel Amanzi Challenge Longhaul over 120km on the April 28.
The longhaul will see boats leaving and entering the river mouth with a turning point at the ski-boat club. When the boats exit the river they will head straight out to sea for about 1km where they will turn left around a buoy and head towards Fountain Rocks where they will turn left around another buoy and head back towards the river, doing this for about 10 laps.
For those who have never experienced the thrill, the roar of engines and the sight of inflatable boats speeding down the river in excess of 100Km/h, this will be an event not to miss.
“This is the 3rd year the Thundercats are racing in Port Alfred thanks to Zweli Nkwinti of BS Sports and Martin Bekker of the Royal St Andrews Hotel,” said Rowan Hawkes of the Border Inflatable Boat Club, based in East London.
There should be some good racing with Josh Myburgh and co-pilot Leighton Leeman leading after the 1st round in Port Elizabeth, closely followed by JC Colombo in the stock class.
Chad Romans and Candice Hatting, current world champions in the Modified Class, recently changed classes and, after the 1st round in Port Elizabeth, are leading the Pro-Stock class. They should have some fierce competition from Dreyer van Niekerk and ex-world champions Stefan Lindeque and Tony Ingram.
Log leaders in the Modified class after the 1st round, Wade Ball and Bobby Shaw, will have their work cut out trying to keep the likes of ex-world champion, Johan Lodewyks and Barry Marx and co-Pilot Francois Fraser behind him.
Coinciding with the Easter weekend, the Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Challenge will bring thousands of visitors to the area, and help make this one of the biggest events of its kind in the country.