Tyger Valley Rocks the Bay! - The West Coast Rally
- National Rally
The West Coast of South Africa is known for its fresh fish, quaint fishing villages and pristine beaches. But once a year, the roar of the waves has to make way for a different kind of thunder – the sound of hundreds of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles roaring up and down the coast.
The occasion was the annual West Coast Rally (WCR), the largest Harley® only rally in Africa. This year, the destination for the tenth anniversary of the rally – organised by H.O.G. Tyger Valley Chapter – was Lambert’s Bay, also known as the “Diamond of the West Coast” and the centre of South Africa’s rock lobster region.
From 26–28 October 2017 more than 700 Harley-Davidson enthusiasts descended upon Lambert’s Bay to occupy every nook and cranny of the picturesque town to share their passion with their fellow bikers. Even at the pit stops along the way, including Dockside Café at Langebaan (owned by Harley enthusiasts) and the Elands Bay Hotel, situated right beside the ocean, the bikers already experienced true West Coast hospitality.
Arriving at the West Coast Rally registration office at the Lambert’s Bay Hotel, we were swiftly and efficiently assisted with registrations by the friendly group of volunteers from H.O.G. Tyger Valley Chapter. Our rally packs were crammed with interesting and essential goodies, from beautiful Rally pins to pratical T-shirts. And there was a bonus for registered H.O.G.® members, who received a R100 discount voucher sponsored by H.O.G. Africa. This came in very handy at the Harley-Davidson Tyger Valley pop-up store right next to the registration counter.
On the Friday, a poker ride offered attendees the opportunity to explore a variety of interesting places and watering holes in the area. As the main purpose of the Rally was ‘Charity’, one of the stops was the Huis van Liefde (House of Love) Home for the Aged where Chapter Director Annalize Taljaard and Marc Marais (Operations Director of H-D Tyger Valley) handed over a cheque to the management of the home. This gesture formed part of the Chapter’s commitment to reach out and give back to local communities and institutions that render essential community services.
Another highlight of the Friday’s events was when 101 year-old Mrs JC Gripp, a resident of the Somerkoelte Home for the Aged, was treated to a ride on the back of a Harley-Davidson® Ultra Classic™ motorcycle. Cladded in proper riding gear the spirited dame climbed onto the couch with very little help from H.O.G. members for her trip through the streets of the town and past her home, with fellow-residents waving at her. Mrs Gripp’s return to the Rally tent was greeted with a big applause from the crowd who had gathered there for the concourse judging. Upon questioning as to what her secret was for enjoying such good health at such a ripe old age, Mrs Gripp replied, “The secret is to have a dash of whisky every night before going to bed”. Festivities in the tent continued long past Mrs Gripp’s departure, with local artists and popular group, The Rockets, providing entertainment into the wee hours of the morning.
One of the highlights of the Rally was the mass ride on Saturday, departing from the natural harbour. The local community came out in full force to support the visiting motorcycle enthusiasts who came from afar afield as northern Namibia and even Sweden, China, Germany and Thailand. It was an incredible feeling being part of the roaring pack as it snaked along the most scenic coastline all the way to neighboring town Elands Bay. Here the braver members of the riding fraternity showed their mettle in the Harley Games, while others sat back to enjoy a cold one and the spectacular views of the ocean while sampling the local cuisine.
The weekend’s proceedings culminated in Saturday night’s dinner at Die Muisbosskerm, an unique world class award winning open-air restaurant right on the beach.
The highlight of the weekend was the draw for the winner of the incredible Sturgis prize. The lucky winner who will be attending Sturgis 2018 in the USA is Human Coetzee, a member of the Harley Brotherhood of Cape Town.
The weather was perfect, the organizing excellent and the company unsurpassable. What more can one ask for in a H.O.G.® Rally? Besides an entry form to next year’s West Coast Rally?
- Article Submission: Elsabé Barlow (Editor H.O.G. Tyger Valley Chapter)
- Source Photography: Focus
- H.O.G. Editor: Angelique Dermit