This past weekend saw approximately two thousand OCR warriors descend upon Nelspruit to race in front of approximately 3300 spectators at Jeep Warrior round 6 event, powered by Reebok, held at Nelspruit’s new OCR venue, Kwanyoni Lodge, just outside the city centre.
The Nelspruit terrain was perfect in sorting the men from the boys and took no prisoners. Hailed as immensely tough and technical, the Warriors that finished, really earned their Jeep Warrior stripes.
“This course was the perfect preparation for the OCR World Champs,” says Fritz Pienaar, Race Director of The Warrior Company, “we were lucky with the natural elements. We had a world-class terrain, which made it tough and technical but this is similar to what they can expect at the OCR World Championship event in October.”
Jeep Team’s OCR Elite athletes, Thomas van Tonder and JJ Deysel, did not disappoint in the toughest event of the day, the Black Ops Elite race, as they crowded the podium taking 1st and 3rd respectively.
This is van Tonder’s 3rd win out of the six Jeep Warrior races so far in the Jeep Warrior series of 8 races. Both van Tonder and Deysel have also been selected for the OCR World Championships taking place in Canada this October.
Nelspriut Black Ops Elite course presented athletes with 33 demanding obstacles over an 18km trail course. The course culminated in a final set of obstacles, which were exceptionally complex, arduous and tough, putting the athlete’s agility and strength to the ultimate test. With a starting line of 63 male and female athletes, only 24 made it to the finish line.
After a gruelling battle for over 90 minutes, Jeep Team Elites Black Ops athlete, van Tonder, lived up to his nickname ‘#BEASTMODE” and clinched 1st place in a time of 01h33. Van Tonder exhibited a sterling performance showing his grit and determination when, at one stage, he was lying 5 minutes behind the first place contender. Digging deep, he found his “extra gear” and took first place in what can only be described as a world class effort.
Said van Tonder: “I am very excited to be able to take home a win in the Black Ops Elite this weekend. The course was challenging and tough, with those last obstacles really placing me under immense pressure but I just had to keep up my momentum and I’m happy that it all paid off. I had to remain focused and steadfast to my belief that whatever you do you must give it your all and walk away knowing that you have given it absolutely everything you got.”
As race winner, van Tonder gets to drive off in a Jeep Renegade along with R10 000 prize money. He gets to keep the Renegade until the next event in Meerendal Wine Estate on the 22nd and 23rd of October.
Ice Model and OCR athlete, and just back from injury, the impressive Trevor Lagerwey, took a surprise 2nd place in a time of 01h41 with Jeep Team’s Jay Jay Deysel seemingly coming out of nowhere with a herculean effort, taking 3rd place in 01h43.
The women’s Elite Black Ops race, which is over the same course as the men’s Elite Black Ops, proved to be extremely demanding with only two out of the 7 starters completing the race.
South Africa’s second seeded OCR female athlete, Trish Bahlmann, took 1st place in a time of 02h01, followed by South Africa’s top seeded OCR female athlete, Hanneke Dannhauser, in 2nd place in a time of 02h04.
The OCR World Championship is being held in Toronto, Canada, from 12-16 October. South Africa has a strong 6-athlete team going. They are Jeep Team’s Carina Marx, Thomas van Tonder and Jay Jay Deysel. Joining them are Bradley Claasen, Hanneke Dannhauser and Sabrina Daolio. Approximately 116 South African OCR athletes have qualified to compete in the OCR World Champs.
The Jeep team will be competing in Jeep Warrior Race 7, which takes place from 22-23 October 2016, at Meerendal Wine Estate, Western Cape
BLACK OPS ELITE – MEN
- THOMAS VAN TONDER 01:33:54
- TREVOR LAGERWEY 01:41:48
- JAY JAY DEYSEL 01:43:40
- EGOR OUSSOV 01:47:39
- BRADLEY CLAASE 01:48:24
BLACK OPS ELITE – WOMEN
- TRISH BAHLMANN 02:01:46
- HANNEKE DANNHAUSER 02:04:30
COMMANDO ELITE – MEN
- DANIEL GREEFF 00:59:23
- LEON SCHOLTZ 01:02:36
- ANGUS WATSON 01:03:13
- ADAM HABIB 01:07:43
- ARMAND VAN DER MERWE 01:08:12
COMMANDO ELITE – WOMEN
- DANIELLA LUSHINGTON 01:08:04
- TALITHA SCHOLTZ 01:08:20
- NIKKI CAROMBA 01:13:35
- CINDY WILLS 01:17:32
- NATASHA DELEY 01:19:43