Altus De Wet Red Bull Romaniacs 2014
ALTUS DE WET is in Romania in Europe to conquer yet another extremely tough international enduro event – the Red Bull Romaniacs that takes place from 15 to 19 July in Sibiu in Romania. This event, that will take place for the 11th time, has again attracted the world’s top extreme enduro motorcycle competitors and the organisers have vowed that the race might be even tougher than before.
It will be the third time the Montagu rider (DE WET), who has recently successfully completed the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria (this extreme enduro event is however only four hours long) will tackle the Red Bull Romaniacs event. Husqvarna South Africa has arranged motorcycles for both him and his team-mate, Blake Gutzeit (he has also completed his debut Erzberg Rodeo this year) and their weapon of choice for this five-day race is the Husqvarna TE300.
DE WET completed the 2012 event in the top 10 (he was eighth overall), but he experienced mechanical problems last year. This year his aim is to race his ‘own race’ to the best of his abilities – “the results will then come naturally,” he says.
“The Red Bull Romaniacs is one of the most difficult events in the world,” DE WET explained, “but I am looking forward to it. I have done a lot of training with my bike and mountain bike and hope to have a good race,” he said.
DE WET elaborated further: “To compete in an event like this, is the dream of most extreme enduro riders like myself, but it is not always easy to do so as it is especially the logistics that can be quite complicated. Your race ‘package’ not only includes a race-ready bike, but also a dedicated service crew as this is a race that is hard on both the bike and the rider. Many riders have their bikes sent to the race with air freight, but this is quite expensive. Another option is to rent or arrange a motorcycle in Europe and this can also work out quite costly.”
“We are extremely fortunate that we have the backing and support of Husqvarna South Africa and this year we are privileged to have Husqvarna’s Fred Fensham accompanying us (myself and my right-hand man, Shaun Duckham) on the trip. Thank you to all the sponsors of Team Cargo-Tac Husqvarna Factory Racing who are making it possible to compete in this event with a special word of thank to RIC SA,” the current National Enduro Open Class Champion concluded.
The Red Bull Romaniacs event has again attracted the world’s best extreme enduro competitors including the winner of the Erzberg Rodeo (Johnny Walker); the multiple winner of the Romaniacs and Roof of Africa events, Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna); Andreas Lettenbichler and South Africa’s Wade Young who is also a former winner of the Roof of Africa.
THE RACE: The Red Bull Romaniacs kicks off with a prologue in the city (a purpose-built track with various obstacles) followed by four extremely demanding off-road days through the Southern Carpathian wilderness. According to the organisers, Off-road Day Two will be the most challenging with “a very high frequency of uninviting sections for all classes and extremely steep profiles”. They expect Off-road Day Three to be almost as ‘gnarly’, but it will make up for it with a great mix of landscapes.
Off-road Day Four will be remembered for its high-paced rallye-style, the beautiful passages through high mountain areas and the special surprise at the end and DE WET and fellow South African riders can expect Off-road Day One to ‘gently ease’ them into race-mode – at least more gentle than last year’s Off-road Day!