Since 2001 I am reporting about the Namibian Motocross sport. Each year we had some highlights worth mentioning but there were three exceptional highlights in the past years: firstly the opening of the Gallina Moto Cross Park in 1995, then twelve years ago the first edition of the Inter-Series, and lastly the year 2002, when more than 25 Europeans participated in the Inter-Series.
Lloyd Vercueil chased by Vitaly Tonkov
The year 2008 will also be mentioned as an extraordinary year in the annals of the Club. Highlights were the “Jägermeister MX-Classic” on November 8th races as well as the “Wesbank-MX Dash for Cash” the following week.
But there was more during the year: Each time more than seventy riders met for the 9 “Nationals”. New venues were set up - the ASTRA-race track near Witvlei. Our thanks goes to Thomas Goldbeck, who built a first-rate track out of nothing. In Okahandja the Afribeer Moto Cross track was built under the leadership of the Muller family. Thus Namibia is in the possession of 5 permanent race tracks, not counting the Super Cross track in Grootfontein which will be completed in 2009. These are all very positive developments.
Björn Bierbrauer vs Ryan Frerichs
Since the previous sponsor Air Namibia cannot identify itself anymore with this family sport, the appearances of prominent European participants have declined since 2007. The WMCC could only counteract this decline by offering a generous amount of start money. This sum rips a pretty big hole into the treasurer’s box but it definitely paid off in 2008. The Namibian fans saw appearances by some real stars. Riders like Pierre Alexandre “Pela” Renet (France), Vitaly Tonkov (Russia), Lloyd Vercueil and Liam O’Farrel (South Africa), Mart de Jong (Netherlands), as well as Christoph Schade and Steffi Laier (Germany) to name but a few, set the tone in the races. In their midst we had our own Namibian stars who were doing very well up front. Riders like Tommy Gous (Open Class) or Björn Bierbrauer in the 125cc Class who battled with Ross Branch (Botswana) and Richard van der Westhuizen (South Africa) for positions. Our guys have no need for hiding, they can definitely keep up!
The 85cc Class as well as the Quads-A-Class and the Quads-Ladies Class were also run on an “international” level. Here our thanks goes especially to Phillip van der Merwe at Honda Pupkewitz who signed up reputable riders from South Africa on his own account. But we also thank the Kölling Yamaha Team from Cottbus and the Bodo Schmidt Suzuki Team from Schmelz in the Saarland who spared no expenses to take part in this 12th edition of the Namibian Inter Series.
All newspapers, several radio and television channels reported extensively on this mega event. One only has to google for “Inter-Series Namibia” or “Pela Renet” and be surprised about the world wide advertisement for our event.
In the supporting programme we had the notorious Jägermeister Party with DJ Coco, the Shell Helix Gladiator Freestyle Show and the highlight of the Tafel Lager Punk Night: the appearance by South African rock/punk legend “Snotkop”.
More than 3.000 spectators lined the race track at the Gallina Moto Cross Park, enough for the Windhoek Moto Cross Club to achieve a satisfying financial result. Talks among the comittee after the event, point into a new direction. In future the “Inter-Series” should concentrate only on MX-races; the classes will be reduced, only professional classes will participate. The spectators were somewhat overwhelmed by the mammoth programme “Give everybody a chance”. The WMCC wants to offer an attractive, spectator-friendly programme in 2009.