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Team Agrisell, winner of 2015/16 Trans Agulhas

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Team Agrisell, winner of 2015/16 Trans Agulhas

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Often called the Dakar Rally of the water, the Trans Agulhas inflatable boat race kicked off on Monday, 28 December 2015 in PlettenbergBay and concluded a gruelling five days later in Strand.

Now in its 28th year, the event saw 36 boats start on the first day of the race, of which 27 managed to finish the tiring first heat of 188.5km in Mossel Bay.

Contestants competed across four different classes and covered a demanding 700km and visits to more than 20 beaches during the course of the race. Conditions varied from high winds on day three, to perfect conditions and calm seas on days four and five, making this race a true test of endurance, fitness, and experience on sea.

André Heyns, chairman of Club Agulhas and owner and manager of the Trans Agulhas Challenge, explains that teams have cut-off timeswithin which to complete each days heat. "There are boats that were unable to meet the cut-off times. Others capsized at sea and the crew could not turn the boats back over", said Heyns. Each day the boats have to stop at various on-shore control points before they are allowed to continue towards the finish line. The four categories under which teams enter are classified as beginners, standard, professional and modified classes.

Team AGRISELL's Johann Lodewyks (33) and Flip Schoeman (39) were crowned the 2015 champions of the 28th Trans Agulhas Challenge in the modified class. Widely known as the worlds toughest inflatable boat challenge, Jannie Fourie, Stellenbosch based sponsor of team AGRISELL, describes the race as a fast-paced, action-packed water sports event.

Team AGRISELL consists of two teams with Lodewyks and Schoeman leading the way. Fourie points out that they knew they had a strong chance of winning the Trans Agulhas Challenge - Lodewyks is a multiple national champion and has obtained his Protea colours. Chris Vosloo and Wian Welgemoed compete as team AGRISELL in the pro-stock class, and are considered the new threat to the class championship.

With their brand new Gemini boat team AGRISELL is ready to defend their 2015 champion's title. The 2016 National Championship kicks off on Saturday, 20 February 2016 with a King of the Waves surf race, and will continue with various events until October.

Author News article
Published 01 Feb 2016 / Views -
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