The Classic Motorcycle Rally

Report by Dave Sansom VVC
This popular event again attracted an entry of 159 with about 8 on the waiting list.

The riders and bikes assembled at the Sanlam Centre in Pinetown for documentation and scrutineering. As usual the documentation was efficiently carried out by members of the VCC of Natal and the scrutineering by our old friend Jock Meldrum and team. All the usual riders were there with a few new young faces.

Marshals meeting, sweep vehicles meeting and then competitors meeting were all handled in a quick and tactful manner by Clark of the Course, Larry Collins.

The start on Friday, 7 March at 6:00am attracted a small crowd to see No. 1 Peter Spiers off on his 1910 Durkopp. Peter must have done a lot of work on the Durkopp because he had a trouble free ride to Johannesburg. He remarked at the prizegiving that the bike went so well up Town Hill, Pietermaritzburg that he felt like a mountaineer who had just conquered Mt. Everest and wished he had a flag to place on top of Town Hill!

Dennis Cronje who now lives in Somerset West was one of the early retirements. His BMW started, went a short distance and then had loss of power and stopped. This went on for a while until Dennis decided to call it a day. When the sweep vehicle with the bike arrived at Mooi River garage, Dennis decided to check the bike again and changed the coil, started the bike and found that this was the problem. The Barrett Hard Luck Trophy was awarded to Dennis for this.

Another early retirement was Gus Heinze on his 1936 Triumph and sidecar that developed clutch problems on Botha's Hill.

A rider and bike worth a mention was that by Harry Williams on a 1934 Triumph 250cc. 86 year old Harry rode in the original races in 1935 and 36, and his bike was owned and raced in the 1934/35/36 races by the late Andy Zeeman. Harry and bike finished the route and received a standing ovation at the prizegiving. He was awarded the Angelo Bernadi Trophy for the oldest rider to finish the course.

Paul Woodley, riding a 1935 Ariel, finally won the event after coming second in 1992/93 and 1995. Second was Lee Patterson on a 1928 Cotton and third on a 1930 Sunbeam was Paul Vink.

The riders are very grateful to NEDCREDIT for their generous sponsorship.
Ian Patterson, 1936 Royal Enfield, prepares to start
Lunch stop at Butterfly Lodge.
Pieter Smit and Charmaine on their 1922 Matchless at Newcastle.
The 1910 Durkopp - No it doesn't run on Dieseline
Ginger Norquoy in full throttle on his 1934 Ariel
Tony Lyons-Lewis on his 1926 Norton
Peter Spiers and his 1910 Durkopp
The 1936 Velocette of Oliver Read
The winner - Paul Woodley receiving the Schlesinger Trophy from Nedbank's Vivienne Schild.
Peter Elliot is also in attendance.