Team Topnaar-Gobabeb (Richardt Swartbooi, Samuel //Gowaseb, Whitey Uirab and Theo Wassenaar) took part in the famous Desert Dash bicycle race and finished unbelievable 369km within 19h 57m 16s.
The race started at 3pm on 13 December in Windhoek and led over the Kupferberg Pass and Us Pass to finish in Swakopmund on the coast on the 14th. For the first (32km) and last (46km) stage all team riders were on the bike at the same time. Between these stages each rider of the team had to cycle on their own. Whitey – equipped with a lot of energy – started the first solitary stage (Stage 2) and completed a very fast 67km, in spite a strong headwind for most of the way. After sunset, Richardt took over what is easily the most difficult long stage (Stage 3): 76km in the dark, with a lot of hills, a very corrugated road and a large amount of dust kicked up by the support vehicles as they pass. Theo followed him on perhaps the easiest stage (Stage 4) – flat, even slightly downhill past Ganab to Bloedkoppie, although this all happens in the middle of the night, accompanied only by the moonlight and stars. Near the end of this stage things got quite difficult, with the fog descending and the road turning into a nightmare of corrugations and potholes. At about 4:30 AM, Samuel started high-flying into the sunrise from Bloedkoppie to Goanikontes on the Swakop River (Stage 5: 74km). For the last stage (Stage 6: 46km), the team came together again to ride to Swakopmund, where they finished this unbelievable race in slightly less than 20 hours – an average of 18.5km/h. Respect to all participants! And a big thanks from the team to all the Gobabebians who turned out to welcome them at the finish!
A number of partners have joined hands to support the team. We would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters:
- Mannie Heymans of Mannie’s Bike Mecca for bicycles and moral support
- Tjipe Murangi of Mannie’s Bike Mecca for training
- Mary Seely for sponsoring clothes
- Talitha Maritz for sponsoring clothes
- Sugnet Smit for obtaining sponsorships
- Elna & Caroline for everything!
- Thorsten Machauer for driving team vehicle
- Stephanie Faul and friends for clothes and bits and pieces
- The organisers of the race (Aidan de Lange, JC Faul and others) for special entry
- Squirtlube for chain lube and biodegradable bike wash