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The grandeur of a Continental championship is a worthy title to bestow upon any country, any city or any venue. It was the finest city of Cape Town winning the bid to host the 2023 FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations at the well-renowned Zone 7 MX track on 11- 13 August 2023.

Motorsport South Africa MX Commission had an amazing task team to manage the mainline event bringing life to the 2023 African Continent Championship.

Planning hard started months in advance as 9 countries prepared for battle and a total of 219 riders entered this prestigious event making MXOAN2023 the largest Official Motocross event under FIM Africa managed by MSA.

Country entries included Botswana (19), Kenya (17), Madagascar (8), Morocco (3), Namibia (20), South Africa (36), Uganda (26), Zambia (23), Zimbabwe (24) and an additional 43 privateers.

The weeks leading up to the event brought much stress to the table as planning and organising was well underway and the weather had not been kind in any way with excessive rain leading to previous race postponements.

The final two weeks before racing arrived, and it was the calm before the storm. Trucks rolled into Zone 7 offloading bikes, riders came to get a feel of the track the weekend before, bike preparations and local trainers had all engaged to bring this magnificent championship to fruition.

Friday 11 August 2023 when the first cars and vans entered the Bar Cargo Zone 7 gates, it was that new feeling for almost everyone. Riders had that look of ease hiding the nervousness, meeting old friends, and getting to know new friends. Country teams were gathering in their dedicated pit areas as riders and mechanics unloaded and setup camp for the weekend that lay ahead.

Documentation started at 10:00 and one could feel the tension as the racing ahead was about to get real. Final testing and jetting you could hear breaking through trees and stress levels started to rise as there was no turning back. The weekend and racing were engaged beyond the point of no return, it was all systems ready to go.

Saturday 12th August 2023 05:30 and riders had already pitched. There was no hiding the stresses and the sleepless night to face the 1st race day of MXOAN 2023.

Riders’ briefing was managed by the CoC (Karen Londt) and the Race Director (Jack Cheney) and with a few clarity questions from both juniors and seniors it was time to line up the 125’s to print the track for the days racing.

Although 1st practice was not a qualifying practice it was still a measure of what lay ahead and an indication in the pack of what the expected pace was going to be. Second practice and qualifying were where the game changed excessively. Riders were accustomed to the layout and the track flow was under the belt and the pressure was now on.

Heat 1 started off with the MX 50’s tackling the dirt and the excitement had started. Riders, mechanics and dads, crew and spectators clinched onto what was happening in full view. Cheering, shouts, and screams for favourite riders from all countries will not be forgotten.

Day 2 was another early start and the nerves had somewhat settled in. Riders and teams had regrouped, strategised and new plans to take on the challenges of day 2.

The Grande Parade at 09:30 is what brought absolute goosebumps to anyone onsite or viewing abroad as each country demonstrated their participation, contingency and patriotism as they walked the finish jump to the tune of their country anthem as they stood with valour and pride. Nothing can replace those moments of standing with pride for your country, holding your country flag representing strength and unity at this auspicious event on the African continent.

Unity in sport was amazing as everyone worked together toward one goal, irrespective of country.

Race 3 was where the final crunch would happen, where it was all or nothing for that best position final attempt to score some points.

It had no sooner started and the weekend of MXOAN was behind us, almost like time stood still during racing but blazed past for the entire event.

Prize giving commenced and the African Continent came together to award the countries and riders for their prestigious achievements.

MX 50 Team
1st South Africa
2nd Kenya
3rd Zimbabwe

MX 50 Individual
1st Riley Geldenhuys
2nd Aden Fisher
3rd Parker Cik

MX 65 Team
1st South Africa
2nd Uganda
3rd Botswana

MX 65 Individual
1st Trenton Kretzmann
2nd Evan Frost
3rd Aiden Retief

MX Lites Team
1st South Africa
2nd Zimbabwe
3rd Namibia

MX Lites Individual
1st Trent Valsecchi
2nd Ashton Martin
3rd Blake Frost

MX 125 Team
1st South Africa
2nd Uganda
3rd Madagascar

MX 125 Individual
1st Jordan van Wyk
2nd Tristan Durow
3rd Kyle Townsend

MX Masters team
1st Zambia
2nd Zimbabwe

MX Masters Individual
1st Dale Holliday
2nd Trevor Thixton
3rd Nick Heygate

MX Vets Team
1st Zimbabwe
2nd Namibia
3rd South Africa

MX Vets Individual
1st Craig Kruger
2nd Warren Thorne
3rd Uwe Sternagel

MX 2 team
1st South Africa
2nd Uganda
3rd Zambia

MX 2 Individual
1st Stav Orland
2nd Dalton Venter
3rd Davin Cocker

MX 1 Team
1st South Africa
2nd Namibia
3rd Zambia

MX 1 Individual
1st Anthony Raynard
2nd Jesse Wright
3rd Jayden Proctor

WMX Team
1st South Africa
2nd Zambia
3rd Kenya

WMX Individual
1st Leah Heygate
2nd Kayla Raaff
3rd Cheyenne de Lima

An outstanding performance from all riders and well done to South Africa for taking the overall win on the country standings.
1st South Africa (728)
2nd Zimbabwe (384)
3rd Zambia (233)

Appreciation to the Motorsport South Africa team as well as the Zone 7 team for making this a memorable African Continental Championship event.

Congratulations to all riders from all the countries on their incredible commitment and dedication to Motocross.

Thank you to Bar Aviation/Bar Cargo for their contribution to the success of the event, as well as class and trophy sponsors by Sygnia, Marshal bibs sponsored by Leatt, Bandit Graffix, Radio2Radio, F61 Performance Products for their sponsorship towards the riders welcome packs and track side sponsors WFO Bikes and Racing, Total Control, Tallie Marine, TrackMyRide, Factory Links and Galfer Brakes.

Thank you to FIM Africa as well as all the dedicated officials, marshals and staff.

The announcement was made that MOROCCO will host the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations in 2024 – see you all in Morocco!

Published by: Neville Townsend

Photography by: The Black Sheep

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