- 2014 INTERNATIONAL SIX DAYS ENDURO (ISDE)
- 3 – 8 Nov. 2014 (San Juan, Argentina) Team South Africa : Trophy Team & Junior Trophy Team
- TOUGH THIRD DAY FOR TEAM SOUTH AFRICA AT ‘INTERNATIONAL SIX DAYS’ ENDURO’ (ARGENTINA)
After a day that was described by the Jury President of the International Six Days. Enduro (ISDE) as „the worst day he has seen in his 39 years at the event., 111 competitors retired from the race in San Juan in Argentina.
This included three South African
competitors and from the nine who started the 89th ISDE on Monday (3 November), only three will tackle the fourth day today (Thursday, 6 November) with the aim to complete this year.s tough „Six Days Enduro. in South America.
The remaining three riders – multiple former off-road and enduro champions, Altus de Wet (Husqvarna) and Marc Torlage (KTM), are still within the reach of gold medals in the World Trophy Team category while 16-year old, Brendan Swanevelder
(Husqvarna) is still going in the Junior World Trophy class.
According to De Wet, the dust – the fine powdery dust called „fesh-fesh – was extremely bad and he changed the filters on his Husqvarna five times during the day. The dust was also the main cause for the demise of the other South Africans. Brett Swanepoel (Yamaha) was the leading South African and completed the day in the top 50 overall, but his bike was pushing out
oil at the finish and he could not get the engine going again.
Charan Moore completed the first stage of the third day, but was then halted by either electrical problems or dirty fuel as his Yamaha cut out and he was forced to call it a day. Like Swanepoel, it was also Moore.s first international participation (excluding his „home. race, the annual Roof of Africa that takes place in Lesotho) and with the ice now broken, they will no
doubt be back to give the tough ISDE another go.
Cox, who replaced the clutch on his KTM this morning (Wednesday) before the race, also ran into problems. He was the leading South African in the Junior World Trophy category and was 60th overall at the end of the second day. The young Cox, who is competing in international motocross championships in Europe, is the son of Alfie Cox, a four times ISDE gold medallist, multiple Dakar Rally finisher and nine times Roof of Africa winner. Cox Junior will also be back with the aim to finish this event like his father before him.
Daniel van Zyl was also testing the international racing scene for the first time, but the engine on his KTM blew and he had no option than to leave it in the desert (for now) until the organisers collect it today.
Today.s route would have taken competitors through the same special stages than the previous day. This has however been changed after the carnage and the day.s sixth special stage has been cancelled while competitors will be diverted on one of the regularities and will travel on asphalt.
“Today was a hard day for everyone and there are many broken hearts, but it is racing,” the team co-ordinator, Clint Rieper, said from San Juan. “Our crew will however pull together and stay on the button to keep our remaining riders and bikes going.
We will have them changing filters at every opportunity as the fesh-fesh is the enemy here,” he said.
The team is also concerned about Torlage who left South Africa with a tooth abscess. He is getting treatment from the medical team, but his face is swollen and he is in severe pain.
After three days of racing, De Wet is 47th overall and 11th in the E3 Class while Torlage is 59th (16th in E1) and Swanevelder is 73rd (22nd in E1).
Albert Pos was time-barred after the 2014 ISDE.s first day lady rider, Toni Jardine, injured her knee during the second day as was advised to refrain from racing.
The FIM International Six Days. Enduro originated in 1913 with the objective of testing the reliability of motorcycles and the skill of riders and the aim has remained ever since.
Team SA competes with the support of Motorsport SA; Portable Shade; Powasol; Alfie Cox Racing and BelRay.