Race Report: 2020 Witfontein Funduro

With the Enduro Western Cape series being disrupted this year due to COVID, local trail rider, architectural professional, husband and father, Chris Barrett decided to take things into his own hands.

On Saturday, 26th September @ 8:00, forty four riders from all over the country congregated at Ground Zero Bike & Trail Park, the start & finish for the Witfontein Funduro 2020. All praise to God for holding back the rain, and sending the chilly winds to keep the riders cool.

 

This was a free event for all Hillbillies Members, and non-members were only required to pay a day pass for the use of the trails. Some big names, such as Johann Potgieter (5x National Downhill Champ), made the journey to take part in the enduro. Even local Cross Country racer Tristan Nortje took part on his XC race bike.

 

Ground Zero Bike Park start Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

Chris Barrett Race Briefing Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Ground Zero bike park coffee Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Briefing Crowd Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Group shot youngsters Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
musketeers Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Groms Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

 

The trails around George (aka Witfontein) are perfectly suited. Just begging to host an enduro race. The Hillbillies Mountain Bike Club, local riders as well as the trail running clubs pour hundreds of hours of work into building and maintaining the beautiful trails. The damage caused after the strong winds several weeks ago was excessive, but everyone pulled together to re-open most of the trails.

 

Hillbillies Trail Sign Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Riders push stoke Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Scoping the new lines on race day didn't slow down Johann Potgieter on his way to victory.

 

Reservoid Drop Run In Savage Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

Reservoir Drop Launch Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Pottie Drop Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Drop jumper Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Julz Reservoir drop Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

 

Riders entering the Full Funduro raced five stages, covered a total distance of 32km with elevation gain of 1200m. The Lite Funduro consisted of three stages, 23km. The route was just difficult enough to not overwhelm the younger and less experienced riders, but still give the hardcore gravity junkies a good challenge. The trails chosen incorporated all of the goodness that Witfontein has to offer while testing a riders full range of skills and fitness. From old-school fast and flat-out sections over loamy goodness, to slippery rooty trails with tight turns, and then finally big double jumps mixed with steep rocky chutes, the Witfontein trails have something for every rider.

 

Jump Witfontein.jpg
Tristan Log Drop Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Caution Sign Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Rock section Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

Grom Roots Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Rocks Close Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Rocks Steep Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg
Rock hop Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpegRoots Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpegTight corner Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpegSteep Turn Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

A Community Effort


Various members of the George mountain biking community came together to make the inaugural Witfontein Funduro happen.

 

Braam Pretorius, Hillbillies Chairman, generously availed himself as a timing marshal on the day, as did Marthinus & Shauna Esmeyer of Paradise Adventures and Kendon Sharp.

 

Braam Chairman Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

 

The Hillbillies also sponsored a water table, which was over and above what could be expected at a free event. Skysha Barrett, Ella Barrett & Elsa Sharp braved the cold to make sure that riders didn't bonk on the tough course.

 

Ride Life Bicycle Shop also helped out significantly with the course marking and making sure that the trails were not obstructed on the morning of the race.

 

Jacques Lourens of Frontier Medix was on site, but thankfully no one had to leave the mountain in an ambulance.

 

Medix Witfontein Enduro 2020.jpeg

 

A last thank you to everyone who has not been mentioned, but who contributed behind the scenes to make the whole event possible. It was a huge team effort with weeks of planning that could not have happened without the support family and friends.

 




131 Comments

Bos, Aug 25 2020 12:36

Mmmm.. I like this! 

 

How gnarly are the trails?  I might come and ride the trails blind?

Joshua Langenhoven, Aug 25 2020 02:15

So, keen for this. Just need to assemble the boys...

TayoUsik, Aug 25 2020 02:19

So excited for this

Daniel De Vynck, Aug 25 2020 02:31

Can't wait to for this

Christofison, Aug 25 2020 05:42

Thanks guys. It's going to be siiick  :thumbup: looks like we may be able to rope together some volunteer timing marshals...so things just stepped up a notch.

Christofison, Aug 25 2020 05:51

Mmmm.. I like this! 

 

How gnarly are the trails?  I might come and ride the trails blind?

The first three stages will be all blue trails and the final two are black. There will be a few gaps and drops that you might want to scope beforehand, most of which will have B-lines. It's hard to say 'how gnarly the trails are', without knowing your skill level. They're not double-black.

Joshua Langenhoven, Aug 25 2020 08:01

The trio is in, so amped. Booking accommodation tomorrow. At least it’s a chance to get just a taste of enduro from this dry season.

Nick, Aug 25 2020 08:04

I've been looking for an excuse to get up to George and ride these trails.

Pencilling this in.

Robbie Stewart, Aug 25 2020 09:22

I am planning a trip that way in September. I think I just found the "when" and the "why"...awesome.

Daniel De Vynck, Aug 26 2020 09:02

Does anyone know of a campground in the area?

Christofison, Aug 26 2020 11:07

It looks like we might be able to get some formal timing happening for the Witfontein Funduro 2020. That means everyone will need to register ahead of time using the form below. We'll still recommend recording on Strava as a backup though, just in case the timing goes pear-shaped on the day.

Bos, Aug 26 2020 11:59

The first three stages will be all blue trails and the final two are black. There will be a few gaps and drops that you might want to scope beforehand, most of which will have B-lines. It's hard to say 'how gnarly the trails are', without knowing your skill level. They're not double-black.

I'm a pro, Of course :w00t:   I think I hold my own  :ph34r:

 

As long as they are not blind landings and or very difficult/tricky? when well built, features can be cleared first go with good flow and speed. But thats a difficult thing to answer.

 

I definitely wont be able to recon. 

Christofison, Aug 26 2020 03:18

I'm a pro, Of course :w00t:   I think I hold my own  :ph34r:

 

As long as they are not blind landings and or very difficult/tricky? when well built, features can be cleared first go with good flow and speed. But thats a difficult thing to answer.

 

I definitely wont be able to recon. 

There's 2 or 3 high consequence doubles, the biggest being about 8m with a semi-blind landing. All will be easily avoidable though.

Thermophage, Aug 26 2020 03:52

There's 2 or 3 high consequence doubles, the biggest being about 8m with a semi-blind landing. All will be easily avoidable though.

Here's how NOT to do the second one...You will struggle to accidentally hit them. You see them from plenty far away to avoid em.

 

Robbie Stewart, Aug 26 2020 03:57

Does anyone know of a campground in the area?

https://dwarswegstrandoord.co.za/

 

Another one is in Groot Brak about give or take 10km from Dwarsweg. Pine Creek Caravan Park.

Then there's always Mosselbay, Hartenbos, Herolds Bay, Vic Bay, Ebb n' Flow at Wilderness, Buffelsbaai (my favourite, but a bit far)...

Christofison, Aug 26 2020 08:02

https://www.georgeresort.co.za/ is probably the closest. Don't know how nice it is though. Next closest is probably Vic Bay.

Ride Rate Review, Aug 27 2020 10:52

Finally!!! This is exciting stuff. 

 

I am sure there are plenty of accommodation spots available, check airbnb(provided it's allowed) usually some good spots for not that much money.  

Joshua Langenhoven, Aug 28 2020 11:12

Finally!!! This is exciting stuff.

I am sure there are plenty of accommodation spots available, check airbnb(provided it's allowed) usually some good spots for not that much money.


Thanks, just booked one which worked out a lot cheaper than camping would have been. Will you be there?

Bos, Aug 28 2020 02:36

I'm expecting a fair bit of climbing! I've ridden the DH (10 years ago) and some of the trails closer to the Botanical gardens and its all pretty steep. 

 

Excited for a day of riding with some new peeps. My ticket is booked. Registered and Accommodation booked in Hartenbos Wednesday to Sunday, so the kids can play on the beach. Wont have time for a recon though. 

 

Any Ideas of which trails will be ridden (sneak peak on trail-forks)

Christofison, Aug 29 2020 01:38

I'm expecting a fair bit of climbing! I've ridden the DH (10 years ago) and some of the trails closer to the Botanical gardens and its all pretty steep. 

 

Excited for a day of riding with some new peeps. My ticket is booked. Registered and Accommodation booked in Hartenbos Wednesday to Sunday, so the kids can play on the beach. Wont have time for a recon though. 

 

Any Ideas of which trails will be ridden (sneak peak on trail-forks)

 

I'm so stoked to see so many guys from out of town signing up. I'll definitely have to do some route marking to make sure you guys don't take a wrong turn mid-stage.

1300m of climbing. The route is plotted on Trailforks, but not published. The Hillbillies employees still have a few trails to cut open, after the heavy winds. I'll drop the route here mid-September.

Bos, Aug 30 2020 08:43

I'm so stoked to see so many guys from out of town signing up. I'll definitely have to do some route marking to make sure you guys don't take a wrong turn mid-stage.

1300m of climbing. The route is plotted on Trailforks, but not published. The Hillbillies employees still have a few trails to cut open, after the heavy winds. I'll drop the route here mid-September.

So kiff that someone is putting on some kind of event or thing.. Thanks for making it happen :) 

Harry Millar, Aug 31 2020 08:06

Here's how NOT to do the second one...You will struggle to accidentally hit them. You see them from plenty far away to avoid em.

https://www.youtube....h?v=_WAvC3Eud-I


Could that video be more terrible? 😜😘

Ride Rate Review, Aug 31 2020 11:33

Thanks, just booked one which worked out a lot cheaper than camping would have been. Will you be there?

I think I may be on a road trip during that time but This does coincide with the return date so I may just see you there.

Joshua Langenhoven, Sep 01 2020 06:14

I'm so stoked to see so many guys from out of town signing up. I'll definitely have to do some route marking to make sure you guys don't take a wrong turn mid-stage.

1300m of climbing. The route is plotted on Trailforks, but not published. The Hillbillies employees still have a few trails to cut open, after the heavy winds. I'll drop the route here mid-September.


So stoked for this, especially after the EWS in Zermatt. Really in the mood for just something. Thanks you for organizing and making the effort for this to happen.

Bos, Sep 01 2020 10:28

So stoked for this, especially after the EWS in Zermatt. Really in the mood for just something. Thanks you for organizing and making the effort for this to happen.

 

Well, hopefully It has better weather, although at this stage I will take anything!