The 7th chapter of the Merrell Transkei Tuff takes place on July 28th 2023 in a brand-new, never-raced-before location. The event, birthed at Wavecrest on the banks of the Nxaxo River, has grown tremendously over the years with athletes and teams making the great journey from all around South Africa. The last two years took place in the Coffee Bay region and it’s now time for a new arena.
The Haven Hotel at the mouth of the great Mbashe River is officially the host venue for the 2023 Merrell Transkei Tuff. Nestled in the Dwesa Nature Reserve, this traditional Wild Coast hotel will be Race Village for the 20 teams who are “tuff enuff” to take on the gruelling challenge of being Transkei Tuff!
Known for its remote and unspoiled beaches, the Haven Hotel is the perfect venue to host the next chapter of this great race. Tourism has been slow to bounce back after the past few years and the team from Aloe Adventure hope to pump some adventure back into the region.
“There are many positives a race like this will bring to The Haven”, said Sue Rayment of the Haven Hotel. “For example, awareness of our locality and beautiful surroundings, which is the perfect foil for an event of this nature. It’s also an opportunity to generate some income for the local community, with the possibility of growing a mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership with a great endurance group like Merrell Transkei Tuff.”
Teams can expect to race through some of the toughest and most remote locations yet to be seen on a Merrell Transkei Tuff. “The landscape lends itself to make things quite difficult for the team. We are surrounded by multiple canyons that cut off the hotel from the rest of the world” said Race Director, Bruce Viaene.
Teams will have to work together to traverse the undulating terrain of the Mbashe canyon and must be prepared to spend hours looking for the right cattle path to get to the next CP. “The Wild Coast isn’t flat unless you are running or cycling on the beach and that comes with its own challenges”, continues Viaene.
With what feel like endless forests, waterfalls, and rivers, this is a truly unique section of the Wild Coast and a chance for the Merrell Transkei Tuff teams to explore a new area. The winning time is expected to be 18 hours, with the last team in at 30 hours. There will be two race distances to suit each team’s experience.
Part of the AR World Series, the Merrell Transkei Tuff is one of five stops on the African Championship Series, with teams racing hard for the coveted points to be crowned African AR Champions. “We are ecstatic to have Merrell Transkei Tuff as part of the premier African Series. This is the most spectacular area in South Africa and there is no better paradise than the Wild Coast to have a true African experience” said ARWS CEO Heidi Muller. The winner of the African Championships will win an entry into the 2024 World Championships taking place in Ecuador.
Merrell has been a partner of the event since its birth in 2016. Since then, Merrell has partnered with the ARWS and has been an integral part of growing Adventure Racing in South Africa. Without the support of Merrell, Adventure Racing in the country would not be the amazing sport it is.
Early Bird Entries open on 15th December with either camping or chalet options available. Space is limited due to the nature of the event, and the location, and teams are expected to bring their own kayaks to this remote part of the world. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race deep in the Wildest Coast.
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