By: Leon Erasmus
Mel Gibson played the role of William Wallace in the historical flick Brave Heart. One of the most remembered scenes is when he, with his last breath, utters the war cry ” FREEDOM!!!”
Most that know me or read any of my satires about the Freedom Challenge will know I don’t like the name Race Across South Africa. Purely because once you embark on this life changing journey you realise true Freedom is not a race, it is a journey. We get stripped to bare emotions on our way to Freedom…
As a sad ending Brave Heart had for William Wallace’s character, we had some setbacks on the Freedom today. We lost 5 of the contenders in Alex Harris, Mike Woolnough, Gavin Horton, Mike Potgieter and Graeme Green. This must be a first to lose so many experienced riders on one day and bring our DNF’s to a whopping 15! There is a sombre silence hanging in the Freedom Family circles. We understand people won’t all make it to Diemersfontein, but we never like it when someone is forced to pull out from the trail. All of them will survive to return to the trail another day, but the remainder of the Winter 2022 rendition will be poorer with their departure.
Mark Basel showed some real intent by pushing from Fietskraal to Bucklands in one go. Proper purpose shown. He has taken a leisurely stroll to Hadley and will share dinner with Bennie and Anine.
Omphile, Ingrid, Paul and Jeremy will move into the impressive Toekoms Farmhouse this evening for a self catering treat. Rumours of them teaming up to do some Kwaito style ABBA hits at Willows Hotel have been surfacing. We are taking suggestions for a band name although JIOP seems to be the most popular.
Marco, Grant and Adriaan have been touring with the Rutherfords and Bells and will be the first overnighters at Pearson Hotel.
Grant Cowen and Becky Sands will take a break at Fietskraal, both taking it easy to recover for the last half of the trail. They have been joined by Gerard De La Bat and the Father and Son Denny pair. At press the Payne Brothers are making their way here as well. They seem to be feeling better.
Nicky and Brad will be in Groenfontein with Gawie (Belt driven Single Speed) du Plessis. Gawie has an outside chance of winning the overall line honours on his SS…
In the FC Zoo (Elandsberg) we have Nienke and Andreas with Janine Oostuizen, who had to visit Molteno Malls for a quick nail touch-up (was a tracker glitch apparently… yeah right).
Our virtual leader Rowan Matthews finds himself with Gary Scoular, Andrew Setzkom, Jason Wesson, Justin Bark and Gerald Holland in a jam-packed Hofmeyr. With accommodation being a challenge, Rowan should maybe set off to defend his lead as the wolves are coming…
Will and Stephanie will be having a full evening with John Barrow, Paul Arnot, Micheal Patchitt, Chris Mortimer and Francis Bradford enjoying “Rys, Vleis en Aartappels” at Romansfontein. They will have some stories to tell as both Mike Potgieter and Graeme Green (once part of this Hard Rock crew) withdrew today.
Brosterlea will, for a change, have no one to host tonight. It’s been an extraordinarily busy SS this year.
I finished this report and was about to send it when…
Slaapkrans (which by the way is Sleep Cliff in English) will not (well at this stage) have Bruce Biccard and Enslin Uys in a room tonight. Peter Roux is alone with Joy and Andre’.
Bruce Lin must have heard that they could be in the running for line honours and flew the coop. Doing Slaapkrans and Bontehoek at night is not for the faint hearted, this has been proven in years gone yonder. At press they seem to be making their way over Slaapkrans… Fortune favours the brave.
Like Mel Gibson, the ones left in this year's Winter RASA will taste freedom in Diemersfontein. Unlike William Wallace when he uttered FREEDOM!!! they will, with a basotho blanket over their weary shoulders, also feel the urge to utter the war cry. For them it won’t be their last time.