It shows that the Advendurance Team is keeping the promise they made at the beginning of the series, namely to provide a true mountain-biking experience within the borders of Gauteng. This means that the riders will not have to drive hundreds of kilometres to participate.
Another major challenge that the organizers of the Nissan TrailSeeker series set for themselves, is to provide the riders with an opportunity at every race to ride through some really unique areas, like this year’s choice of Hakahana.
According to Johan Vorster, owner, architect and passionate mountain-biker, ‘hakahana’ is a Herero word that means ‘quick quick’. It refers to the house that was designed and built by his grandfather, Helmuth Stough, in the 1950’s.He was a modernist architect and the house was built really quickly, hence the name.
“At the time it was considered to be a masterpiece. It was climatically designed to ensure that it was warm in winter and cool in summer. Next year, when it is 60 years old, the house will be proclaimed an architectural monument.”
Hakahana certainly has an interesting history. Vorster’s mom bred horses on the farm for 20 years and the Hakahana sailboats were also designed there. The word ‘hakhana’ is actually quite an apt description for the Nissan TrailSeeker event, because everything concerning the event happened rather quickly.
“I was introduced to Fritz Pienaar, whose brainchild the series is, four months ago and we began to discuss the possibility of putting on a race. Being a keen mountain-biker myself I explored the entire valley, from Van Gaalen to Hakahana, and realized that it would be perfect as a race venue.”
Vorster’s vision is to develop Hakahana as a mountain-bike training venue where races can also be held.
“We are currently developing a cross-country course which could be used for the high school cross-country series.”
When Tim Fair, the Nissan TrailSeeker’s route designer, was asked what riders can expect at Hakahana, his answer was:
“I have had a hundred questions about this route and have been asked countless times how it compares with the previous race at Van Gaalen. All I can say is that the Hakahana race will be virgin territory for everybody except the lucky few who were privileged enough to do the pre-ride last weekend.
“Riders can expect some fast and open farm roads that are punctuated by exhilarating single-track sections that will keep them guessing about what lies around the next corner. Both the marathon and half-marathon routes go into the mountain before they descend into the fertile valley on the other side.
“The views from the saddle are spectacular. Riders will see the Hartebeespoort dam with the Magaliesberg range in the background. However, the descent into the valley is a little less peaceful. It can be described as somewhat of a bum slide and will test the riders’ technical abilities and wits to the maximum.
“Once down in the valley, the going will be easy and the riders will be afforded an opportunity to regroup before hitting the climb-back up and over the saddle. From here it will be all down-hill ... and over a floating bridge ... to the finish for the half- marathon. For the marathon route there is still one more surprise in the bag, and riders are advised to leave some energy in their tanks for the final 20 kilometers.”
For more information about the upcoming races please visit www.advendurance.com