Big 5 Sport Challenge

The Rush is back!

2011-06-14 13:47
The adrenalin fuelled spectator event of the Pick & Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, The Waterfront Rush, is back on the calendar with a splash championed by new title sponsor Hansa.

The Knysna Quays Waterfront will again be a focus of attention for the last 3 days of South Africa’s biggest sports festival when it hosts the 5th staging of this multi-sports extravaganza.

“The Waterfront Rush is to Multisport what Pro 20 is to cricket,” says event director Mark Collins from Magnetic South and with the total prize purse for this year’s event being doubled to a whopping R20 000, he is expecting a rush for entries from the country’s most explosive all terrain athletes.

The Hansa Waterfront Rush is a race against the clock over an obstacle course setup on or above water. It takes the average participant 12 minutes to complete the course and each entrant gets two chances to post a time during the first 2 days of the event. 

The participants with the fastest 8 times go through to the knockout final rounds on the Sunday. “The real rush,” says Collins “is from the spectators who clamber for a spot on the quayside to catch a glimpse of the high stakes face-off.”

The Waterfront Rush, which has been dominated in the last 3 events by extreme kayaker Frenchman Oliver Feuilette, has never been won by a Southern Cape local. Martin Frazer Mackenzie has come the closest to achieving local glory when he reached the last round in 2008 only to be piped on the sky wall by the insuperable Frenchman in the final.

Other locals who competed with distinction were teenagers Anastasia Capetanakis who became the only female competitor to make the cut (top 8) in 2007 and David Shilton who earned the nick name “the Assassin” for pulling Rush hero Johnny Heatlie off the Sky Wall in a brutal quarterfinal clash the same year.

Although both Feuillette and Fraser Mackenzie have confirmed their participation in this year’s Rush, Collins is expecting local youngsters to pose the biggest challenge for the trophy. “These guys have come of age,” he said referring to the Southern Capes current crop of young multisport talent. “They are explosive and they are hungry.”


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