By Bernd Kroemer
I have reported on Namibian Motocross ever since the year 2001. Each year certainly had it highlights, but three events certainly managed to overshadow the rest. Firstly, the opening of the Gallina Motocross Park in 1995 was a huge benchmark for the sport, then twelve years ago the first edition of the Inter-Series was held in Namibia, and lastly in 2002, when more than 25 Europeans participated in the Inter-Series.
The year 2008 will also be mentioned as an extraordinary year in the annals of the club, with last month’s “Jägermeister MX-Classic” and the “Wesbank-MX Dash for Cash” amongst the most outstanding events.
But there was more during the year that saw more than seventy riders converging for each of the nine nationals, with several new venues emerging, including the ASTRA racetrack near Witvlei.
Thomas Goldbeck certainly deserves a pat on the back building such a first-rate track from scratch. In Okahandja, the Afribeer Moto-Cross track was built under the leadership of the Muller family – putting Namibia in possession of five permanent world-class racetracks. And then there’s the Super Cross track in Grootfontein, which is expected to be completed next year.
Since previous sponsor Air Namibia pulled out of the family of moto-cross, the appearance of prominent European riders have taken a nosedive since 2007. Prompting WMCC to counter this decline by offering a generous amount of appearance fee, which left a huge hole in the treasurer’s box, but it was worth the candle.
Local moto-cross enthusiasts were able to witness world-class riders in action in the mould of 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).
Local riders were not to be outdone either and the likes of Tommy Gous (Open Class) and Björn Bierbrauer in the 125cc Class also came to the show.
The 85cc Class and the Quads-A-Class as well as the Quads-Ladies Class were also run on an “international” level and the name of Phillip van der Merwe at Honda Pupkewitz must be mentioned loudly – for signing up reputable riders from South Africa on his own account.
The Kölling Yamaha team from Cottbus and the Bodo Schmidt Suzuki team from Schmelz in the Saarland must be commended for defying all odds stacked against them to take part in this 12th edition of the Namibian Inter Series.
The organizers would also like to extend a vote of thanks to all media, printed and electronic, for their extensive reporting and coverage of mega events countrywide.
In the supporting programme, 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” – put the cherry on the cake.
More than 3 000 spectators lined the racetrack at the Gallina Moto Cross Park, enough for the Windhoek Moto Cross Club to achieve a satisfying financial result. Talk amongst committee members after completion of the historic event points to a new direction.
In future the “Inter-Series” is expected to concentrate only on MX-races, with a reduction in the classes while professional riders in the classes will be allowed to participate. The spectators were absolutely overwhelmed by the mammoth programme, “Give everybody a chance” and the WMCC would want to offer a more attractive and spectator-friendly programme in 2009.