Author Archives: admin

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Our MTB routes are looking great!

Our MTB routes are designed and maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley and Greg Penrith who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.

This year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes marked by this group, making these events very local! Stuart is managing the Concordia section of the routes, while Greg manages the routes from Eastford Ridge though to the Oakhill Sports Campus cycle track, the Montessori Cycle Track and Salt River.

Our official route managers, Corne and Pat from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.


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Exciting new venue for registration

This year the Knysna Cycle Tour has an exciting NEW VENUE for REGISTRATION – the Parking Garage at Thesen Harbour Town.  

Thesen Harbour Town is the commercial part of the Thesen Islands residential development which is built around swimming and boating canals and lined with Cape Cod-style homes. Once a single island holding a sawmill that supplied the paper industry, Thesen Islands has since, to great environmental acclaim, been successfully rehabilitated and rejuvenated into a bustling residential and commercial centre right on the famous Knysna Lagoon.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on Thesen Harbour Town – from a wide selection of dining venues to clothing and jewellery boutiques, art, furniture and lots more.

What this means is that there will be a great vibe at Registration! Just around the corner are two boutique hotels, a kiddies playground, numerous restaurants and bars, and lots of interesting shops to browse.

It will be worth a visit to the venue, even if you are not participating in one of the cycling events, to see the beautiful indigenous forest display which will be created by SANParks.

Registration at the Thesen Harbour Town Parking Garage will be at this time:

Friday 21 June: 10h00 – 21h00.



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Much more than just a Cycle Tour!

When you’ve conquered our Knysna cycle tracks… enjoy
top coffee shops & restaurants, markets, lagoon activities,
breathtaking nature trails, golf, wildlife sanctuaries, beaches…


Click here to read our latest newsletter!


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Early Bird entry competition

Enter any of our events by 26 April and stand a chance to win your accommodation in Knysna at the superb new Knysna Hollow Country Estate for the Knysna Cycle Tour!

Rules of the competition:

You must enter any of our MTB or Road Races before 26 April 2019

Go to our Facebook page and Like and Share the competition post as a public post on your page. The post is easy to find as it is pinned to the top of our page!

Tag someone who you think should enter a Knysna Cycle Tour race

The competition closes on 26 April at midnight

The winner will be announced shortly afterwards

The prize may not be redeemed for cash and is not transferable

The prize must be taken on 21 & 22 June 2019


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Knysna Oyster Festival 2019 to receive a new look & feel

An annual highlight on  the Western Cape events agenda is the Knysna Oyster Festival.

Established in 1983, it  has been decided that it is fitting to celebrate the 36th  Anniversary by introducing a new look and feel for the event.

“As Visit Knysna is tasked with event  promotion on behalf of Knysna Municipality, we felt that the time was right to re-energise the Knysna Oyster Festival look and feel and share it with the local tourism industry. A new identity allows for everyone to feel a part of  something new,” commented Colleen Durant, General Manager of Visit Knysna who boasts 18 years of tourism industry experience.

“A key drive for us will  be to promote the many tourism experiences on offer in the greater Knysna area,  creating awareness for festival goers on what is available to do in the five day gap between the cycling and running races,” said Durant.

To encapsulate the multi-faceted  nature of the festival, the logo has been re-imagined to capture the plethora  of experiences on offer at the event. Sticking to the theme and celebrating the  key protagonist – the oyster – a multi-coloured, oyster shaped logo has been  created, with a colour designated to each experience on offer. This provides  for further marketing collateral to be developed around a particular event  experience, which will be identifiable by the colour.

Continuing the look and  feel will be a dedicated Knysna Oyster Festival website, which will contain all  relevant event information and partner details and experiences on offer in the  greater Knysna area. To drive support and create pre-event hype, a traditional  media, social media and digital campaign will be launched – driving audiences  to the new website. A marketing campaign will also be created to support the  overall awareness of the festival.

“The new creative  direction will assist in re-positioning the festival in the hearts and minds of  locals and potential visitors. We are pleased to see the work that Visit Knysna  is already doing to move ownership of the festival back to the community,  highlighting the variety of experiences on offer in the greater Knysna area. We  look forward to seeing the roll-out of the marketing initiatives and hope to  see re-newed interest from a diverse range of visitors at the 2019 event,” said Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.

Minister of Economic  Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer, commented: “The annual Knysna Oyster Festival is an important  fixture on the Western Cape and the Garden Route’s events calendar, providing a  major boost the economy and job creation in the area. A new look and feel  for the event will not only make it easier for visitors to access information about the many activities on offer, but will also assist in marketing the  festival to new visitors, boosting the tourism sector.”


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Online entries for Knysna Cycle Tour open 1 March


Plans for this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour are on track and online entries will open on 1 March 2019. The event will take place in the scenic Garden Route town over the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.

The tour is one of the iconic sporting events of the festival and has been running for over 30 years.

Andrew Finn, marketing director for the Knysna Cycle Tour, said that the 2019 event will provide an exciting weekend of cycling for the whole family. “The main events – the MTB Races, the Road Races and the SPUR Children’s fun ride – will be back to thrill and challenge the thousands of participants who flock to Knysna every year for the tour,” said Finn.

“This year we’ve relooked at our routes and made some exciting changes, particularly to the longer road race for elites and experienced roadies, which is also a seeding race for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour. This 104 km route is much more scenic now with the inclusion of Buffalo Bay and a section of the historic Seven Passes road between Barrington and Karatara, a 3 km stretch of gravel road.”

With a total ascent of 1,588 m and a maximum elevation of 239 m, the 104 km road race route will also be more challenging than ever.

Says Finn: “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way.”

The 50 km road race will follow the same route as previous years, from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.

There are also some changes to the MTB events which consist of two premier races – the 80 km race for elite riders and the 50 km event for experienced MTB cyclists – and two family events – the 30 km and 15 km rides.

“This year, three of these events have been reinvigorated with changed to the routes and new challenges,” enthuses Finn. “The premier events will have more sections in pristine forest areas and more single track. Both these races as well as the 30 km race will descend via Eastford to the Oakhill School cycle track, thus avoiding the SImola Hill descent.”

The route for the 15 km race, which was introduced in 2017, will remain the same. This race is for children under 16 and their families. Both the 30 km and 15 km races will be priced for families, with only one adult in the group paying the full price and the others paying just 50% of the entry fee.

Says Finn: “We are very excited by our new routes. We wanted to make the events more challenging for both those competing in the Cycle Tour for the first time, as well as our regular participants and I think we’ve succeeded. These races are set to become iconic, bucket-list events on the national cycling calendar.”

The third event of the weekend is the Children’s Fun Race on Sunday 23 June for kids aged 10 and under. This popular race will take place on the Knysna High School sports field in three age group categories: 2-4; 5-7; and 8-10. There will be goodie bags for all entrants and medals for all finishers.

The Knysna Cycle Tour is organised by local volunteers and is the biggest fundraiser for Knysna Rotary, raising substantial amounts of money for local charities every year.

All events can be entered online. Race packs should be collected in Knysna at Registration on Friday 21 June for all events and on Saturday 22 January for the road races and the children’s race.

For more information and to enter online, visit www.knysnacycle.co.za. Follow the Knysna Cycle Facebook and Twitter pages for regular news and updates.


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Knysna Cycle Tour and Forest Marathon on track for this year!

Organisers of the 2019 Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour and the Knysna Forest Marathon have confirmed that plans for this year’s events are on track. The Cycle Tour will take place on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, and the Forest Marathon will be on Saturday 29 June. as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.

The events are the iconic sporting events of the festival and both have been running for over 30 years as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.

Andrew Finn, marketing director for the Cycle Tour, said that the 2019 event will provide a stunning family cycling weekend. The main events, the MTB event, the Road Race and the Children’s fun ride will be back to thrill and challenge the thousands of participants who flock to Knysna every year for the tour.

Says Finn: We are looking at redesigning our 15km and 30km MTB events to make them more family friendly and adding more single track to our longer MTB courses. We’ll announce these changes in due course.”

Wayne Kidd, President of the Knysna Marathon Club and coordinator of next year’s Forest Marathon, said that online entries for the marathon will open for Loyalty Entrants (all 2018 participants) on 15 February 2019 and general online entries for the full and half marathons will go live on 4 March.

“We’re looking forward to another great event,” said Kidd. “This event is one of the most popular races on the national running calendar and there is nothing that beats the uniqueness of an early winter morning start in the middle of the Knysna forest. There is something very special about this race that keeps runners coming back every year. It’s one of those bucket list events that every runner wants to tick off and then, once they do it, they just want to come back and do it all over again.”

Both events are organised by local volunteers and raise substantial amounts of money for local charities every year.
For more information about the Knysna Cycle Tour, visit www.knysnacycle.co.za and follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow the Knysna Forest Marathon on Facebook for regular updates or visit www.knysnamarathonclub.co.za.


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Knysna Oyster Festival delights the crowds

This year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is well and truly underway, with sport, food and wine events and loads of family activities keeping holiday makers busy in the much-loved Garden Route town and surrounding areas.

The first major sporting event, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour, kicked off with four MTB events on Saturday, followed on Sunday by road races and family events. Warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine and absolutely no wind on Sunday meant that both the elite riders and families out to have fun, had the perfect day. Inflatable fun and many other children’s activities created a brilliant setting for parents to enjoy real Knysna hospitality while children were kept entertained.

Two local entrepreneurs supported by the Knysna Municipality held their Festival events over the weekend. Bulelani Memane was over the moon at the 900 people who attended his iSkeem sePotsoyi Colour Splash Party at the Nitelife Tavern at Dam se Bos on Saturday night. Joburg DJ Oskido helped to draw the crowds who partied till the early hours of Sunday morning.

80 runners lined up for the inaugural iKasi Colour Fun Run that saw them wind their way through 4,7km of Knysna’s township streets. Oliver said it went very well and he learnt a lot, and he looks forward to growing it into one of the big events at the Festival each year.

The 13th Knysna Wine Festival presented by Pick n Pay began on Monday evening at its stunning new location on Thesen Island. Organiser Belinda Hobson said: “It’s been a wonderful start to the event. Despite the turn in the weather today, people have come out in numbers to experience the 200 wines from 50 different suppliers, and local craft beers and craft gin are also represented this year. Our beneficiary is Little Angels Day Care Centre for challenged and otherwise-abled children in the Knysna District, so we are thrilled with the turnout this evening, and look forward to another busy night tomorrow.”

Also turning out despite the weather on Monday, were families of hikers, young and old, for the first of three FNB Forest Family Hikes taking place in the Harkerville Forest. The Momentum Knysna Lagoon Mile Swim took place in tough swimming conditions, while many festival goers chose to explore the restaurants of Knysna in search of Heinz Hot Sauce Oyster Hotspots. 20 participating restaurants have included a special Hot Spot dish on their menu, accompanied by Heinz “shucking good” hot sauces. Heinz can also be found at the Pick n Pay Fish Braai on Thursday and the Oyster Shucking on Friday where they will be handing out fresh oysters perfectly paired with Heinz Shuckin’ good hot sauces. Local Knysna Green Chef Melvin Mene’s restaurant, Usatsho Tsisha-Ngawla, is included as one of the Heinz Hot Sauce Oyster Hotspots and can be found at 13 Kubo street in White Location during the Festival period.

Knysna Tourism chair Elmay Bouwer says the first few days of the Festival have been fantastic. “We have had loads of positive feedback from cyclists of all skills and ages, and we are very pleased at how well the events went for our local entrepreneurs too. Community involvement in the Festival is essential to its continued growth and success. The importance of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival to the economy of this area cannot be overestimated and we are very grateful to all the role players who have put on such an incredible and varied event for our visitors.”

For the full programme please visit: www.oysterfestival.co.za


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Jooste and Schoeman win tough Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race

A tired but ecstatic winner of the 115km Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race, Chris Jooste, BCX, said that he was excited to come to Knysna in the middle of the season, but was not sure what to expect. “You could have good form, but you could end up having bad legs, and I haven’t raced a lot in the last two months,” he said.

In the end, he found his strong legs and narrowly beat NAD Pro’s Matt Beers in a thrilling sprint to the finish in a time of 2:42:34. Third was Theuns van der Bank in 2:44:12.

“It was a very hard day actually,” says Jooste. A group got away early on the first climb and stayed together up until the Karatara hill, when Beers and Jooste got away and Beers clinched King of the Mountain.

“It was a bit too far from the finish to commit with four guys chasing us and not knowing how far behind the bunch was,” he explains. So, it became a tactical game and on the last climb Matt got the gap.

“It took a big effort to get across to Matt and then we worked together for the last bit. I was confident of being a bit faster than him and also knew that he had done the MTB yesterday, so I banked on him being a bit tired and it worked out well.”

Beers, who was also second in Saturday’s 80km MTB event, joked that he was “destined for second” this weekend. “We got away on the first climb with a bunch of strong riders – that was the plan. I knew that if we all worked together that we could pull it off. We needed about a 2-minute gap at the turnaround point and we managed that and then kept it steady up the Karatara climb. Then Chris and I got away and forced the other guys to chase us.

“Everyone knew we were going to attack on the last climb. I made the move – Chris stayed behind then jumped across to me and then drove it all the way home. I raced against Chris at the beginning of the year, so I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me. I had him a little bit and just didn’t get it. But I’m happy with the result. I’ve never done this well in the road race here.”

Anriette Schoeman, who came third last year, was first female over the line in 2:59:56 beating Candice Lill by two seconds and Lucy James by three seconds.

“The guys were riding really aggressively, and it was a high pace the whole way, she says. “Candice rode such a classy race! Hats off to Lucy James as well – she put on a brave fight. We were fighting it out for Queen of the Mountain and, seriously, ride of the day goes to Candice because she was just amazing after a brutal MTB race yesterday. I was lucky to take the win today; I think she had tired legs.”

Marketing Director of the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn said that the weekend of cycling events had gone extremely well, due in part to the fantastic weather. “Yesterday’s conditions were perfect for the mountain bikers with a bit of overnight rain making the forest wet and quite muddy, and today the weather played ball for the roadies with warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine and absolutely no wind.”

All the results from the weekend’s races are on www.racetec.co.za.

 


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Heyns and de Groot win Knysna Cycle Tour in perfect MTB conditions

A muddy course and perfect conditions for mountain biking made for a brilliant day of cycling at the first major sporting event of this year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour kicked off with four MTB events – 80km, 50km, 30km and 15km.

The 80km event was won by Gert Heyns in 2:53:59. Second was Knysna home boy Matt Beers in 3:01:00 and third was HB Kruger in 3:03:19.

First female home and ninth overall was Robyn de Groot in 3:25:14 with Candice Lill a split second behind her. Third was Sarah Hill in 3:25:35.

Gert Heyns said it was “quite muddy out there today but not too cold, so in the end it was actually good riding conditions. The last 20km was quite a lot of puddles and you could feel the gears grinding a bit but it didn’t really affect the race.”

Heyns and Beers made a breakaway early in the race and stayed together but Beers admits he did not have the gas to stay with Heyns.

Says Beers: “It was super muddy.  It was actually a lot worse than previous years. Obviously, the forest is always quite damp but was a good race. We set a hard pace from the beginning. Gert and I got away up Simola and stayed away the whole rest of the race. We were attacking each other all day and just on the last climb he attacked again… he had the stronger legs today and he took it.”

Says Heyns: “I knew that the finish was quite fast and it’s quite hard to get away. Last year I came second with a sprint against Matt so I was quite confident that if I couldn’t get away for the finish I should still be able to take the sprint. I felt quite good today and I think about 10km out on the last little climb I attacked.”

Robyn de Groot said that she didn’t realise it had rained so much overnight. “It was muddy out there! But it actually made for really nice racing; it wasn’t too slippery – it was actually perfect.”

It was an extremely close finish for the Elite women. Says de Groot: “I was lying in third place most of the way and caught Candice with about 20km to go, or maybe even less, and then we rode together and sprinted for the finish. I was happy with that.”

A mud-spattered Carel Bosman, head of sponsorship at Momentum said after his 50km race: “Rain overnight was exactly what mountain bikers are looking for. It was a little wet, a little bit slippery, but this part of the word is sublime for mountain biking and today was just absolutely perfect,” he enthused. “To have this type of weather today and tomorrow for the Road Races is a real blessing because there’s some colder weather coming in on Monday.”

Bosman said that the town of Knysna had taken a massive knock with the fires last year. “For Momentum to be part of the rebuilding process is a great privilege. The people here are still rebuilding mentally and financially, and the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival brings an economic boost to Knysna. It’s great to be part of that and make some sort of contribution.”

Race Director Elwin Thompson of Knysna Rotary thanked the sponsors, particularly Momentum, as well as the cyclists. “The sponsors and riders make it possible to have this event every year and their support and participation is what enables Rotary to do so much good work in the Knysna area,” he said.

Tomorrow sees the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour Road Races, the Forest Family Dam Ride and the SPUR Children’s Tour.

For more info visit www.knysnacycle.co.za. For info about the Knysna Oyster Festival visit www.oysterfestival.co.za.

Results are available here.