The JBay MTB Open which forms part of the JBay Winterfest carries the unique distinction of being the only MTB event in Africa to run through a wind farm. This association has now been taken a step further with the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm coming on board as title sponsor of the event.
“Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is pleased to be able to be welcome the JBay MTB Open for the second year running,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm. “This gives us an opportunity to make our wind farm more accessible our surrounding communities,” he continued, explaining how big a priority the local community is to the Wind Farm.
“In addition, it allows us to become involved in a sport that is green; and that has a very limited carbon footprint,” he said.
Riders taking part in all three routes will be racing through the wind farm, riding along roads that are interspersed by 80m tall wind turbines towers, spread more than 500m apart. The wind farm site spans 3 700 hectares on which there are 60 wind turbines. This project is one of the first and largest wind farms in South Africa.
The project supplies the Eskom 132kV grid line and generates 460 000 MWh per year, supplying enough clean renewable electrical energy to power more than 100 000 average South African households.
“Not only will we supporting and cheering on all participants, but we are pleased to announce that we have put together a team of our own from Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who will be eagerly participating in the event,” said Pickering .
The third edition of the Jeffreys Bay Mountain Bike Open will go down on Saturday 11 July 2015 and this year’s event will once again offer something for riders of a range of fitness and skill levels.
The 2015 event will start at Kabeljous Lagoon (also the venue for the fishing and trail running events, as well as the kite festival) and feature three routes, 40km, 60km and 85km.
The 40km route is designed for the adventurous fun rider looking to ride a significant distance and will be fairly flat and non-technical. The two longer routes require good technical proficiency and some training in the legs, with the 60km aimed at trail riders and the 85km fit racers with marathon experience.