Are you up for joining some adventurous or sporty activities to get the blood flowing this winter? You’d better hurry up and get those entries secured or you will be watching from the side-lines! The 2019 Oyster Festival has lots to offer for outdoor lovers of all fitness levels, so don’t get left behind!
For the cyclists the famous Knysna Cycle Tour has announced new and improved routes for their biggest events, so get your gear ready as entries close on 14 June 2019. Visit www.knysnacycle.co.za to book your place.
If you’re up for a bumpier ride, the Mountain Bike Meander has both social and competitive races with limited spots available, enter now at www.electricink.co.za.
A Kurland Forest Triathlon should prove exciting for those who need a little more of a challenge and if you don’t want to miss out be sure to book your entries at www.electricink.co.za soon.
Knysna Forest Marathon entries have unfortunately already closed but athletes should not worry as the Houtkapper Trail still has a few spots available with 15 or 27 km race options to choose from followed by fun activities for all at the Quinta Da Montanha. Enter at www.knysnamarathonclub.com/houtkapper-trail-run.
For the ‘normal’ people who like running but in moderation and have kiddies to include in their daily plans, the IKASI Colour Fun Runs and activities at Loerie Park promise to be great fun for the whole family and tickets are going fast, so get yours now at the Visit Knysna office at 40 Main Road.
FNB Family Forest Hikes, or Trail Runs for those who think walking is boring, is an exciting opportunity to get yourself, your children, your parents and friends all out of the house this holiday. Book the whole family now on www.electricink.co.za.
Now we know there are also those who don’t mind running as long as they are running after a ball! For these people we have all sorts of sporting tournaments from Rugby to Soccer and even Netball and Basketball. For those who aren’t into chasing the ball but rather hitting it away we have the Golf: Motus Heron Classic and Golf: Europcar Knysna Classic tournaments at Pezula Gold Course. But not to worry if you do not like balls at all because for you we have a special boxing tournament on Saturday the 29th. Visit www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za to get in contact with any of the sports organisers.
Then, finally, for those who some might think are slightly crazy there is the Knysna Lagoon Mile swim on Friday 28 June. If you’ve never seen humans turn a shade of blue, be sure to attend, as this event is for the bravest of them all. Get your trunks out and hold your breath as we will be cheering for you from the side for this one!
Don’t be the left out this winter! Visit www.KysnaOysterFestival.co.za for details on these events and more now!
There will be lots of fun and entertainment for the whole family at this year’s SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour at the SPUR Race Village where families are invited to spend time before, during and after the events.
The cycle tour takes place on Sunday 23 June at the Knysna High School Sports Field with three different routes and distances for different age groups:
2-4 years – 400 m:
A circular loop on the field. The ride is open to anything on wheels including prams, pushbikes, tricycles, small bicycles with training wheels and scooters. Helmets are recommended. All accompanying adults must be on foot.
5-7 years – 1,5 km:
From the field to Hedge Street, then Waterfront Drive, onto the old railway line, past the station to turn at the turntable, then back to Hedge Street and onto the field for the finish. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.
8-10 years – 2,5 km:
As per the 1,5 km race, but riders will continue along the railway track to Long Street, turn into Waterfront Drive and then back to field. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.
Entry fees are R100 for the first rider and R50 per child for additional family members. Registration will be from 07h30 – 08h30 and the first start is at 09h00. There will be medals and goodie bags for every participant. Parents and guardians should wear flat, comfortable shoes if they want to follow their younger children on foot!
Don’t forget to dress up because there are great prizes for the best dressed participant, parent and ride! So, make sure you pimp your ride before the start!
Ongoing entertainment at the SPUR Race Village will include face painters and cheerleaders.
The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour forms part of the annual Knysna Cycle Tour. The event is all about fitness and fun and is a great way to entertain the kids and family. You can enter your children online before 14 June at www.knysnacycle.co.za.
Route Manager Andrew Finn said that there is an exciting new route for the longer road race, which is now a 104 km ride. Says Finn: “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way.
“Leaving and returning to Knysna along the N2, cyclists will experience the Knysna Lagoon then, after the first big climb up Kytersnek they will turn off to Buffalo Bay with all its beautiful views of the sea en route to what is arguably the best beach and surfing spot in the Knysna area. Then, after another stretch along the N2, there will be some great climbs through natural forests and farmlands on the way up to Barrington.
“The most interesting addition to this race is a brief 2,1 km gravel pass along the Seven Passes Road between Barrington and Karatara. From Karatara, it’s fast downhill all the way back to the N2.”
The tour’s MTB routes have been designed and are being maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley, Greg Penrith and David Correia who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.
Lightley explains: “I was asked to contribute to a route redesign for the 30 and 50 km MTB routes and to incorporate more single track, making the routes more fun and technically challenging. The idea with both the mountain and road events is to show off some of the areas where the Knysna locals ride.
“I’ve been riding mountain bikes and exploring the Knysna forests for almost 30 years and know the forest quite well. I enjoy the more technical type of riding, and actively help and encourage others to improve their technical skills. With this in mind, I have built tens of kilometres of single track, mostly in the Concordia Contours Trails area, to the north of Knysna, near Simola. We have selected a number of these trails for the mountain bike events.”
Says Finn: “The end result is that this year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes created by locals. After the climb up the Simola hill both routes will use single track sections designed and built by these local track designers and builders which will add a new dimension to both events.
“Our official route managers, Corne Botha and Pat October from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.”
The MTB races have all had exciting single track added to the first sections of the route, including a lap of the stunning Oakhill School purpose-designed track, the Life of Brian single track link to Narnia Village, the Knysna Montessori single track to the drop-off onto the Salt River farm track, and the iconic SANParks single-track Petrus Se Brand through to Harkerville.
Once back at the finish on the Knysna High School sports field there’ll be plenty of entertainment for the whole family and time for cyclists to relax with food from local food stalls, listen to some music and enjoy a beer or two.
Online entries for the Knysna Cycle Tour races close on 14 June. For more information and to enter go to the website: www.knysnacycle.co.za.
When was the last time you hiked through the beautiful Knysna Forests, swam in the magnificent Knysna Estuary or had Sunday Lunch at one of our great local restaurants?
The 2019 Knysna Oyster Festival is arranged and hosted by locals and we are proud to announce that it will be one of the best yet! We always say “support local”, so why not get out there and enjoy our beautiful area, with drinks at The Turbine Hotel (22 & 28 June), Burgers at the Burger Exchange (22 June), Forest Hikes with the family, Live music with friends (27 June) and a round of golf at the Pezula Golf Course (27, 28 & 29 June).
Get out your camera for the Woodcutter’s Trail (25 June) and River of Gold Forest Walk (27 June), tie your shoes laces for the FNB family hike or trail run (24, 26 & 28 June), hold your breath for the Lagoon Mile Swim (28 June) or get involved in one of the sport tournaments, many of these being hosted by the ever-friendly Hornlee community.
Not the outdoor type? Enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner (28 June), book a babysitter for the Not So Secret Something (adult only) Comedy Show (23 June) or attend the Flavours of Knysna (26 June) for some really good food!
We have something for everyone and invite, encourage and challenge you to make the most of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival!
Visit the website www.KnysnaOysterFestival.co.za for more details of our fully packed programme and regularly updated eatery and activity specials.
Visit Knysna Information & Promotion Office
40 Main Road, Knysna
One of the Western Cape’s most hotly anticipated events, the iconic Knysna Oyster Festival, will take place from 21-30 June and includes a diverse range of things to do for those looking to explore the Greater Knysna area this winter.
This year’s festival goers can expect an even bigger range of unique experiences than ever before - including everything from cycling to running, a wine festival to a pianist, fun runs and kiddies activities, and burgers to oysters in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the country. A full programme is attached to the release.
Visit Knysna's General Manager, Colleen Durant, adds, “This year’s Knysna Oyster Festival offers something for everyone. The community have taken ownership of the event again, which means 10 full days of exploring everything that the Greater Knysna area has to offer; whether it’s an activity that is always on offer or something set up specifically for the festival days, visitors and locals will be spoilt for choice.”
This famous festival, now in its 36th year, adds to the region’s abundance of tourism activities for all ages and continues to draw local and international guests looking for adventure. Visit Knysna recently underwent a brand refresh, including a compelling and vibrant new logo, which encapsulates what this beautiful destination stands for.
“The Oyster Festival is the Knysna highlight of the year and a very valuable asset to all locals in Knysna. I am proud to see the commitment of the local community and other stakeholders to ensure that the Knysna Oyster Festival will see the 36th event take place. With a new local look and feel the this year’s event, I want to encourage all our locals and visitors alike to embrace this event. It is a vital boost to the local economy of our town during the winter months and will certainly give the town a warm glow of excitement with all the varied sports and vibrant food and entertainment events to suit the many diverse tastes of all who attend.” said Mark Willemse, Knysna Executive Mayor.
The Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer added: "Traditionally, the Oyster Festival has been a major tourism draw card for Knysna, creating an important economic boost in the region during the winter season. This year's event, with its new look and feel will showcase a number of the adventure, gourmand and family tourism offerings available in the area, helping to stimulate growth in the town's tourism and hospitality markets."
Knysna Oyster Festival 2019 event highlights include: iKASI Colour Fun Run on the 22nd, the FNB Family Forest Hike on the 24th, The Woodcutters Trail – a guided 3km forest walk on the 25th, the Lofts Atrium’s “out of this world” craft gin and food experience on the 27th and Turbine Hotel’s “Liquid Sunsets”, with live music on the 28th.
Wesgro’s CEO, Tim Harris, praised the Knysna Oyster Festival and the Knysna tourism sector for helping create a world-class destination that adds significantly to the tourism economy of the Western Cape. "Tourism is a key economic driver in our province, supporting over 300,000 jobs. Events like these are a critical part of this tourism offer, and we thank all stakeholders who are involved in making this a success. We are incredibly excited about this year's Knysna Oyster Festival, and we encourage everyone who loves
Knysna as much as we do to go and visit during this exciting time. It promises to be the coolest winter break yet!"
Travellers are encouraged to visit the official website, www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za, to explore the calendar, discover more and book to experience the festival of all festivals.
Chief Communications Officer
082 815 6020
021 487 8600
Organisers of the 2019 Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour and the Knysna Forest Marathon have confirmed that plans for next year’s events are on track. The Cycle Tour will take place on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, and the Forest Marathon will be on Saturday 29 June. as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
The events are the iconic sporting events of the festival and both have been running for over 30 years as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
Andrew Finn, marketing director for the Cycle Tour, said that the 2019 event will provide a stunning family cycling weekend. The main events, the MTB event, the Road Race and the Children’s fun ride will be back to thrill and challenge the thousands of participants who flock to Knysna every year for the tour.
Says Finn: We are looking at redesigning our 15km and 30km MTB events to make them more family friendly and adding more single track to our longer MTB courses. We’ll announce these changes in due course.”
Wayne Kidd, President of the Knysna Marathon Club and coordinator of next year’s Forest Marathon, said that online entries for the marathon will open for Loyalty Entrants (all 2018 participants) on 15 February 2019 and general online entries for the full and half marathons will go live on 4 March.
“We’re looking forward to another great event,” said Kidd. "This event is one of the most popular races on the national running calendar and there is nothing that beats the uniqueness of an early winter morning start in the middle of the Knysna forest. There is something very special about this race that keeps runners coming back every year. It’s one of those bucket list events that every runner wants to tick off and then, once they do it, they just want to come back and do it all over again.”
Both events are organised by local volunteers and raise substantial amounts of money for local charities every year.
For more information about the Knysna Cycle Tour, visit www.knysnacycle.co.za and follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow the Knysna Forest Marathon on Facebook for regular updates or visit www.knysnamarathonclub.co.za.
May newsletter.Entries are pouring in for this year's Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour which will be held on 30 June and 1 July and plans are on track for a stunning event. The routes are looking great and the 30 km e-bike event which was successfully launched last year, is back!
Enter any of the events before 12:00 midnight on Friday 4 May to go into the draw for a stunning lucky draw prize of 2 nights for 2 people sharing, including breakfast, at Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa. Read more details about this and all the other news from the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour in their May Newsletter.
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour is on track for its 31st year, and the organisers have confirmed that three of the races will be seeding events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
One of the two biggest sporting events of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival (29 June – 8 July), the Knysna Cycle Tour will take place on 30 June and 1 July, the first weekend of the popular annual festival. The tour comprises MTB Events, Road Races, the SPUR Children’s Tour, and the Forest Family Dam Ride.
The 80 km and 50 km MTB events and the 115 Road Race have been announced as seeding events for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
Race Director Elwin Thompson said that this was a very exciting development for the Knysna Cycle Tour. “There has been a big demand for us to provide seeding events as this ensures that riders wanting to do the Cape Town Cycle Tour are able to start the race with others of similar ability and fitness. This helps reduce bottlenecks and the need to overtake slower riders on the route, which means it’s safer for all riders.
“There is no doubt that this is a big drawcard for our event and will attract an increased number of cyclists to Knysna this year,” said Thompson.
The MTB event on 30 June is one of the biggest in southern Africa and includes outstanding cycling routes through the Knysna forest. Traditionally the event consisted of four different MTB routes for varying technical abilities - 80 km, 50 km, 30 km and 15 km. Last year, the organising committee changed the 15 km route to an easier, fun ride for all ages, and introduced a 30 km e-bike route. Set up and managed by Leon Evans, known as Dr Evil, the MTB routes test the skills of competitors to the maximum.
“This year, following the fires of June last year, we will be looking to change the 50 km route slightly to divert cyclists from some of the badly burned pine forest where all the trees have now been cut down and the landscape has changed completely. We want to make our MTB routes as scenic as possible to maintain our reputation as a bucket list event.”
The challenging 115 km road race on Sunday 1 July, which is also a seeding event, will follow the now-familiar route from Knysna to Sedgefield and Kleinkranz, then back to Knysna via Sedgefield and Karatara. Says Thompson: “It was designed for enthusiastic, competitive roadies and always delivers!”
The 50 km road race route is from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.
The SPUR Rotary Knysna Children's Cycle Tour on Sunday 1 July is a fun, safe event for children aged 2 to 10. There are three events for different age groups, all starting and finishing at the Knysna Oyster Festival venue.
The popular Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday 1 July consists of two events: a 20 km and a 30 km ride. Both rides are scenic MTB routes through the Knysna forest and past some of the town’s dams. The 30 km event is for more experienced riders, while the 20 km ride is for MTB riders of all ages and competency, including children aged 12 years and older. They are guided fun rides and will not be timed.
Says Thompson: “We are looking forward to a great event this year. Online entries are now open and our team will also be at the Momentum stand at the Cape Town Cycle Tour expo from Thursday this week until Sunday to answer questions and assist anyone who would like to enter one of our races.”
All details about the Knysna Cycle Tour are on the website www.knysnacycle.co.za.
This year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival kicked off with a successful Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour which saw thousands of cyclists descend on Knysna for the two-day event.
About 3,500 riders competed in the MTB races on Saturday, which saw Matthys Beukes, Team PYGA Euro Steel, win the 80km MTB event in 02:47:02. He beat Gert Heyns (02:51:29) by more than three minutes, breaking the course record he set in 2015 of 02:52:12. Third was Matt Beers, just a split second behind Heyns (02:51:30).
Speaking after the race, Beukes said the race went well for him although he had woken up with allergies and nearly didn’t race.
“I thought I would see how it went after the first climb, but my legs felt quite fresh. I got some good training in the last few weeks so I could see the power was there from quite early on. It was just a matter of trying to tire the other guys out a bit. At the 40km mark I put in a big attack.”
When Beukes won the event two years ago, first woman home then was Robyn de Groot, who rides for Team Ascendis Health. She was also first woman home today with a time of 03:00:10, beating Candice Lill (03:01:44) and last year’s winner Yolande de Villiers who came third.
George-based De Groot said that supporting a local event is very important to her and she was happy that the event had gone ahead despite the fires.
Sunday’s road race saw two first time winners for the Knysna Cycle Tour 115km event.
Brendon Davids clinched his first Knysna Cycle Tour road race title, finishing in a time of 02:45:30 and beating Reynard Butler and Thando Zothe by more than a minute. In a sprint finish Butler (02:47:19 ) beat Zothe (02:47:20) by just a split second.
Davids, who rides for Team Road Cover, said he was happy to get his first win as a road rider at the Knysna Oyster Festival.
“The team executed the plan really well, and they put me in the best position possible,” said Davids. “We attacked around 65km from the finish and I managed to do a sort of a solo time trial to the finish.”
Carmen Buchacher also took her first ever win in the event, beating Candice Lill by 6 seconds in a time of 2:55:46. Defending ladies champion Anriette Schoeman was third (2:57:46).
In the previous three years Buchacher has placed third twice and was second last year. “So I’ve worked my way up,” she says. “I always love being here for the Oyster Festival. I always do the mountain bike race first on the Saturday but yesterday I didn’t have the best legs and was only placed fourth so I think this made up for it today.”
Young hand cyclist Zach Rauch Legward managed to fulfil his goal to be the youngest differently-abled competitor to complete the 50km road race. He finished the race looking fresh, just as the rain started to fall.
Zach has been cycling for the last three years on a custom-built hand cycle and is the youngest hand cyclist in South Africa. He has won Gold in the Outeniqua Wheel Chair Challenge three times, has ridden Cape Town Cycle Tour Junior twice and recently did the The Gun Run.
Zach and his support team, headed up by dad Geoff Legward, started training for the Knysna Cycle Tour four months ago, riding a distance of 13 km every second day, which Zach completes in about 60 min at an average speed of 15 km.
Marketing Director of the Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn said that he was extremely happy with the weekend’s events considering the fact that it was just one month since the devastating Knysna fires started.
“We are grateful to the thousands of cyclists who made the trip to Knysna to support the Cycle Tour and our campaign #RideForALocal,” said Finn. “We had great weather on
Saturday for the mountain bike races and managed to stave off the rain on Sunday until the bulk of the field was home. Our other events, the SPUR Children’s Fun Rides and the Forest Family Dam Ride also went off smoothly and were well supported.”
Doug Emanuel, President of Knysna Rotary which coordinates the event, said that the turnout for the Cycle Tour was fantastic. “We were a bit anxious after the fires but very soon it was business as usual in Knysna, and we are very grateful to all the riders who turned out to support the event, and Knysna.”
Carel Bosman, Head of Sponsorships for Momentum, naming sponsor of the cycle tour, said that it was a wonderful weekend of racing and festivities. “Saturday especially was a fantastic day in Knysna because of the unseasonably warm weather. The cyclists turned out in their droves to support Knysna and there was a great vibe in town after the previous traumatic weeks following the fires. There really is a sense that Knysna is rising from the devastation. Momentum was very involved in the relief effort, and it is wonderful to see locals and visitors enjoying themselves again in the outdoors and the sunshine. I rode the race myself and I can tell you that the forest is still beautiful and Knysna has lost none of its appeal.”
All the results from the weekend’s events are available at oyster.events.