Roaring Harleys invade the coast

Thrill of riding an iconic brand

02 June 2019 | Local News

Christian Knickel; Rally coordinator; “It was definitely one of the biggest Harley r ally events we hosted in Southern Africa.”

Swakopmund - Otis Finck

Coastal residents welcomed the return to tranquility after 547 bikers and pillions with 480 Harley-Davidson motorcycles that converged in Swakopmund for the third edition of the Skeleton Coast Rally departed for their respective destinations last Sunday.

For many the sound of the thunderous roaring engines synonymous with Harleys proved a bit too loud.

Rally coordinator Christian Knickel said most bikers came all the way from South Africa for the third event of its kind in Namibia.

“It was definitely one of the biggest Harley Rally events we hosted in Southern Africa.”

Knickel added that the event has huge economic spin-offs for the coast community, with more than N$2.5 million being spent on accommodation, food, drinks and fuel.

SFC player Titus Hiambili was one of a number of people who benefited directly from the event. He and his co-players cleaned Harleys for N$100 at the main rally base. “I cleaned more than eight bikes and earned some pocket money.”

The stalls at the venue were also well supported by the bikers and community members who visited to get a closer look at the majestic machines.

The event, presented by the Harley Ownership Group (H.O.G) chapter and the Harley-Davidson Windhoek club, kicked off on Thursday, 22 May with the registration at the main rally site at Swakopmund Football Club.

The riders used the opportunity in Swakopmund to meet and greet. Local vendors offered a huge variety of products on offer at their stalls.

All were full of praise for the organisers with many hailing it as the best ever they attended.

“This is an awesome and well organised rally. The Namibians are definitely doing it right and we will be back,” a biker from South Africa said.

Hermann Stadler provided live music and a lucky draw preceded the official opening.

The rally-goers enjoyed a breakfast in the main rally tent before they embarked on the thunder parade through the streets of Swakopmund and onwards to Walvis Bay where they enjoyed lunch at the renowned Raft Restaurant. The participants were afforded an opportunity to explore Walvis Bay, Dune 7 and Long Beach.

Upon their return the bikers were treated to some live music by Just Jack, and dinner was served by several local food vendors. A charity auction in aid of worthy causes followed.

The Concourse judging took place on Saturday. This event was open and bikers had the opportunity to show off their machines to members of the public. The bikers then proceeded to Windpomp 14 for a free farewell spitbraai. The band Two Hats provided live entertainment.

The final speeches and prize-giving for the Concourse competing followed.

The Concourse categories were won by Renée Hiestermann for owning the Best Sportster and Andre van Dyk for owning the Best Touring bike. Charmaine Pagel had the Best Trike and Sabine Reimers the Best Freewheeler. Erik Dong had the Best CVO (Custom Vehicle Operation) and Evan Smidt walked away as the biker with the Best Softail.

The bikers attended a church service and then departed for their respective destinations on Sunday.