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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2021, 07:55:14 am »
Day minus one in the bag.

The next 2 days we are fortunately in zero signal. so you'll have to stress about what's happening.

As for the teams...

 www.quest-trueadventure.com

Honda Quest minus Day 1

For all, though the actual competition only starts this morning, the 14 finalists who made it through bootcamp met at Honda Tygerberg in Cape Town early yesterday on an uncharacteristically cold and blustery Monday morning.  The competition starts in the iconic and remote deserts of the Northern Cape. What better way to introduce and transport themselves to this world, than to cruise north to the start line a cool 560km away on their CRF 1100l Quest Edition Honda Africa Twins?
South Africa is blessed with some epic Adventure Riding country that the bike was made to comfortably shrink the distances between.

Adventures and the unexpected often go hand in hand and the weather played its part in providing for this; The weather was foul with a biting sidewind and intermittent driving rain almost the entire way. This weather is very much standard fare for the Cape of Storms in winter, and though not unusual, not so expected in high summer. Lost in their thoughts of whatís to come and with much anticipation, there was much time to bond in collective solitude with their new steeds.  The big twins effortlessly and safely bringing the 14 up to the gateway town that lays before the Desert Mountains of the Richtersveld.

With many soaked through having expected the searing heat of the deserts, yet in fine spirits, a hot shower soon had them all gathered for the Team Reveal. Great care has been taken to pair Honda Quest team mates so that they complement each other and afford them the best possible chance of being very competitive. This yearís pairs are particularly strong.

See the team selection at www.quest-trueadventure.com

This is a fine group of adventures, crew and contestants alike. They should prove to have some excellent stories to tell when we emerge tomorrow. Technology has yet to penetrate this remote world, we will be out of contact with the world till tomorrow evening.

Today will be the teamsí first taste of the Richtersveld proper. Itís iconic and searingly beautiful, however it remains off limits for many as itís intimidating and a serious test of riding skills.

Besides getting to grips with this world, the teams will have to bond fast to work together, for this is competition after all. The first of many curveballs, is that navigation will play a key part and itís back to basics. There are no GPSís to be used, itís old school maps, compasses and dead reckoning.

Which teams will rise to the occasion?
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Offline BuRP

Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2021, 09:54:21 am »
Sparta MC50, 46 other 50cc's, Garelli Tiger Cross, Jawa 250, Kreidler RS (plated), Kawasaki S1 250/3, S2 350/3, H1 500/3, H2 750/3, Suzuki GT380/3 - 10 year gap - KDX200, BMW 1150GS Adventure, Honda CBR600RR, Honda XR650R 2007 & 2003, Honda CRF230, Yamaha BWS100, BMW F800GS Adventure, Husqvarna 701 Enduro 2018, KTM 790 Adv R 2019, KTM 2020 XC-W TPI 300 Six Days, KTM 2014 500 EXC-W Six Days, KTM 790 Adv R Rally 2020, KTM 890 Adv R Rally 2021
 

Offline Kamanya

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2021, 10:05:40 am »
Hmmm,

Well, here they are

Team 1
Murray Campbell & Andrew de Bruin

Team 2
Dave Gouws & Heindri Visser

Team 3
Hugo Minnaar & Hein Kumm

Team 4
Jaco Swiegelaar & Elio Striglia
   
Team 5
Tom  Stewart & Pieter Siegling

Team 6
Shaun Engelbrecht & Danie de Kock

Team 7
Ruan Ueckermann & Neil Rieck


I am very hard pressed to chose a favourite. I think they're a really strong bunch this year.

I am looking forward to seeing how they do!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 10:41:06 am by Kamanya »
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Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2021, 11:41:12 am »
What an adventure!!

Kamanya's update from the field......



&t=1s

« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 12:34:06 pm by Africamike »
Rom 1:16
 
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Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2021, 07:44:57 am »
Highlights from Day 1

&t=2s
Rom 1:16
 

Offline I&horse

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2021, 08:08:02 am »
Interested to know how the map navigation went, I think that was a great idea!!
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Offline ETS

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2021, 08:14:14 am »
Using KTM wickets i see :peepwall: :pot: :pot:
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2021, 10:53:24 am »
Honda Quest Day 1

Honda Quest is not a race, itís a competition yes, but not in the obvious sense. Itís the rare opportunity to bring the everyday man and the very best Dual Sport Adventure Motorcycle on the planet together in challenging, yet truly adventurous and inspiring places that few will ever see. The actual competition is then be a part of something that enables your partner and the other 12 contestants have this be, deeply rewarding, fun and truly life changing.

Thatís a bold goal and a measure of selfless competition.

Leaving the last of civilisation to strike out on this adventure, thereís something magical and transformative about setting off and leaving all the certainties and stresses of regular lives for this moment behind. Exchanging these for a helmet, some fine new friends, the promise of the unknown and newly washed, bright sun-baked desert trails. The anticipation was obvious!

It was to be a reasonably short stage of 130km, but with just enough of whatís to come to settle the nerves, find the natural rhythms of riding with partners in small groups and still be testing. So too was growing the understanding of what the bike can do and tweaking it to be just right. Because, in the next days, all will be severely put to the test.

The goal for the day was a fly camping space alongside the Orange River, nestled amongst the many shaded mountains besides an ancient, old Melkboom tree.
For many, this is their first experience of extreme desert adventuring on big dual sports. The Richtersveld with its stark, sharp contrasts was at itís very best this year. Its rugged and formidable landscape was in fine form having benefited from the recent cold fronts. The tricky sandy and sometimes silty trails were firm and not so treacherous. Today there few tumbles of no consequence to man or machine.

Some serious competitive juices came to the fore once at camp with a late afternoon bisley with catapult and short game of cricket on the river bank. Team #7ís Ruan Ueckermann found it hard hide his provincial cricketing pedigree! The Specialised crew were not immune to the games either. It may be that for many, the stiff muscles for tomorrow will have nothing to do with the days riding?

Honda Quest is certainly not just about the riding, itís a time to be enriched. To this end, one of the exercises is to present on topics home prepared that relate in ways to the world we will be travelling through.

First up, Murray Campbell, a lifelong Honda fan, spoke enthusiastically on the life and times of Soichiro Honda, the man for whom without which, we wouldnít be doing this!

Andrew de Bruin, Murrayís partner was next with an insight into just what lay around us, his topic was The Richtersveld.

This evening, we were blessed with no wind to speak of and no moon either, the perfect combination to fall asleep under a magnificent carpet of stars.

Tomorrow, the Richtersveld Eco Trail proper, the very finest off-road desert trail in Southern Africa.

To follow along live when technology allows, please go to www.quest-trueadventure.com
Rom 1:16
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2021, 11:03:33 am »
Honda Quest Day 2

All the teams and the crew took turns to stand guard during the evening for an hour. Sitting in the quiet hours with a few relative strangers before a small fire has a powerful effect. For many, itís quite a novel and yet formative exercise, vastly more intended for bonding than safety. Relative strangers were fast becoming, if not great teammates, deep friends.

On the menu today was the heart of the Richtersveld Eco Trail. A winding track that comes and goes from the river to the mountains and back and, starts innocently enough, but then threads its way through such challenges as Hellís Cradle; a scorching canyon of river sand. Also, Split Pass; a double option climb, all the while whilst being surrounded by iconic post card vistas. It really is hard to take in.

The teams set off in small co-horts of 2 or 3 pairs, taking turns to navigate, make key decisions and decide the pace. Itís quite daunting doing something so very obviously adventurous and fun and knowing that you are being minutely observed by the instructors and crew. To have any chance of winning, youíve got to have fun, learn and help and make it your job to help others do so too.

The temperatures started to soar along with the sweat. As with any serious off-roading, the groups experienced a few punctures and tumbles that slowed the pace, such that when the teams all joined up at Hells Cradle it was just past midday.

Hells Cradle is a high sided, 3km long canyon with seriously deep sand. The heat gets reflected off the steep walls. As if this wasnít intimidating enough, into this fun challenge a competitive element is added. A snaking route is plotted that all have to navigate for points awarded for the riding of it. Itís not at all easy and, made all the more challenging by the fact that each successive rider leaves a deeper mark more difficult for next. The competitors drew their start order out of a hat. The cheers for those with low numbers, turned to groans when the starting order was reversed!

When asked, most teams admitted that the strategy at the moment was more focused on making themselves better team mates and not making too many mistakes. They were not at the moment too focused on what others were doing, other than to also acknowledge that they were up against some great fellow adventurers. Despite this being a competition, it was obvious that everyone really enjoyed each otherís company. Kind of the whole point of Honda Quest.

Split pass is one such place that faults are easy to make. It has two routes; the more direct, rutted out, seemingly more dangerous and tougher. The other snakes up the side of the mountain in a less direct fashion. Though often called the ďchicken runĒ, it is arguably the tougher, with sharp switchbacks of loose deep rutted shale.
This is where the CRF 1100L DCT shines. The dual clutch transmission and traction aids make something that for many would be near impossible, much more manageable.

With the sun low just off the mountains, we rolled into Oewerbos River Camp to sort out the dayís adventures. It had been a staunch, full, tough fun day. Along with the previous evenings interrupted sleep, there was no late-night banter, at all!

Tomorrow, we head into the western trails of the Richtersveld.  Another round of sun, rocks, sand and more unexpected tasks.
Rom 1:16
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2021, 11:05:41 am »
More pics...
Rom 1:16
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2021, 11:06:29 am »
more...
Rom 1:16
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2021, 11:07:06 am »
more
Rom 1:16
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2021, 12:11:58 pm »
Day 2....

Rom 1:16
 

Offline I&horse

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2021, 12:51:22 pm »
I drew #14 to go through "Hell's Cradle" last year, ruts all over plus every camera and cell phone out to capture the action!! Serious pressure!!
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Offline JACOVV

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2021, 01:21:10 pm »
 :ricky: :ricky:
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Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2021, 08:44:29 am »
Honda Quest Day 3

Wow! What a day!

After an early night, it was a very keen and rejuvenated group who took on their next task. As mentioned on Day 1, navigation was going to be old school, maps and compass. Today, the pairs had some core decisions to make;

ďThere are two routes. Only one map per pair. Only one member per route. The better sand rider is highly suggested to take the right-hand route. Hereís the map. We set off at 8am sharp.Ē That was it!

Now all the competitors are above average to excellent riders. (The barrier to entry for Honda Quest is high just to guarantee that we can more safely travel to these places). For some, it was a more obvious a choice. But for others who are reasonably matched, it took a fair degree of burying the ego for the sake of the team to relinquish the seemingly more fun and challenging route.

Everything since the start had been focused on uniting the teams, now they had to, for the sake of the team, complete an individual task. But, also be brutally honest and realistic about each other to achieve it.

Many had assumed that one route was harder than the other, when in fact both routes were tough for their own reasons; one had a LOT of sand, the other very steep, loose technical climbs.  Solving the lack of maps puzzle also required some strategic bargaining with other teams.  The teams split up not 7km from the start and wouldnít see each other again till much later.

The Hammerkop route has 30km of seldom travelled riverbed and jeep tracks wedged tight in-between the mountains of the Nababieb Nature Reserve. The entrance to this piece of riding heaven though, is guarded by a near impassable silty fesh-fesh section that took an hour to dig out the logistics landcruiser.  Fesh-fesh - a fine talcum powder consistency sand that is almost impossible to look elegant in. No-one likes riding in it, even the proís hate it. If you fall in it, itís going to get EVERYWHERE.

Hellskloofís Little Brother, on the other hand starts off as an innocent looking side track to the main gravel road to Eksteenfontein. It soon became a hardcore scramble up what could better be described as a 4km rough path up a series of waterfalls.

Reuniting with their partners much later in the afternoon, there were many laughs and stories of the sweat and fun. Not everyone escaped unscathed however, there were some who made it back to camp walking stiffly, hopefully the morning brings some recovery.  Back at the camp for the second night alongside the river, Hein Kumm hauled out a canoe to use as prop for his presentation on the Orange river.  His partner Hugo Minnaar took us on a fact filled journey about the African Rift valley.

Tomorrow, we turn south and away from river and the Hellskloof World heritage site. Thereís still some of the Richtersveld to explore.
Rom 1:16
 

Offline Africamike

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2021, 08:45:45 am »
Rom 1:16
 
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Offline Rooies

Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2021, 09:28:31 am »
Looks awesome, please keep 'em coming :thumleft:
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Offline Elkanah

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Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2021, 09:38:40 am »
Great stuff. Following every step of the way. Go Danie!   :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :sip:
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Offline Matewis

Re: Honda Quest 2021
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2021, 10:18:38 am »
Volg
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