Downhill daredevils to kick off Plett Rage
SELDOM is it the case that it’s all downhill from the start of Plett Rage, but that will be precisely the scenaro today when thousands of matrics watch the country’s leading longboard skateboarders tackle the holiday town’s treacherous Odland Street.
With longboarders clocking speeds of up to 100km/h, the event marks a spectacular beginning to this year’s 10-day matric-end celebration during which some 16 000 schoolleavers are expected to party like there’s no tomorrow.
So popular has the event become that high-school sweet- hearts Olivia Lofthouse and Jason van Heerden travelled 18 hours by bus from Pretoria to be part of the action.
“This town is so cute,” Olivia said. “This is the biggest matric event in the country and what I love about Plett is there is no humidity.”
Angelique Jones, 18, of Plettenberg Bay Secondary, said she was looking forward to having “a bit of fun”.
“I think it is all very exciting.”
Having been friends for most of their school careers, school leavers Megan Cronje, Megan Baard, Megan Thomas and Kyla Lunt were enjoying the “vibe” around town, and looking forward to enjoying sushi before painting the town red last night.
Event organisers of the Downhill Rage, Nature Sport Company, were thrilled with the response they had had to the event.
“Riders are chomping at the bit for the opportunity to skate Odlands,” event manager Daron Smit said.
“It’s a rare treat for them and I know our local guys are especially excited.”
Among the daredevils are highly seeded South African Gravity Racing Association competitors Jason Brown and Richard Dweza.
“Spectators can expect a weekend full of head-to-head racing excitement, giveaways, music and more.
“There are R40 000 worth of prizes up for grabs, as well as an incredible first place prize of R10 000 cash,” Smit said.
Today’s downhill action kicks off with time trials and qualifying rounds taking place, but with a Poker Run “thrown in for a bit of fun”.
This will entail contestants skating a designated route, and having to pass certain checkpoints along the way, collecting a poker card at each.
The influx of matrics into the town began in earnest yesterday after a relatively quiet start to the week.
TAKE A LOAD OFF: Anya de Klerk jumps for joy as Plett Rage gets off to a sunny start. Cheering her on is Stefan Nieuwoudt, left, and Rohan de Klerk. The three were enjoying some fun in the sun on Plett’s Central Beach.