By Donna Collins
HARLEY-DAVIDSON motorcycles were the talk of the town last week, when over 500 of these metal machines thundered into Swakopmund for the much-anticipated Skeleton Coast Rally, which boasted the largest contingent of these bikes to gather in Namibia, and one of the largest in Africa.
The action-packed four-day rally was organised by the Harley Owners Group (HOG) Namibia.
The event boasted a 40 percent increase in participants from the previous year, with over 500 bikers joining the fray.
Namibian Harley owners, as well as those from afar afield as South Africa, and even Kenya, united in Swakopmund, where they gathered en masse at the SFC Sports Ground, which was the rally headquarters.
Christiaan Knickel, the man behind the Skeleton Coast Rally, which was held for the second consecutive year, said he was proud to have pulled off another super-successful event, because of the good organising team backing him.
“We were overwhelmed by the success, and next time we are expecting at least 600 Harley-Davidson bikers, which will make it the biggest bike rally of its kind in Africa,” he proudly said.
Knickel said that the rising popularity of this event is not only a big attraction for Namibia, but has also been slotted in as a highlight on the Harley owners’ calendar regionally.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights was the Thunder Parade on Friday morning, which was a jaw-dropping mass ride through the seaside town, as well as the scenic coastal route to Walvis Bay.
There were many other highpoints, which included restaurant outings, biker games, live music, food stalls, a designated tattoo artist, and time for everyone to explore the coastal towns and its scenic attractions.
The proceedings ended on Sunday morning, with a first-ever ride-in church service, before the jubilant crowd went their separate ways.
Namibian Harley-Davidson Chapter Director, Reinhard Redecker, was overwhelmed at the response, adding that the rally was exceptionally well-organised.
He said Namibia is the perfect destination to host such an event.
“We have it all – wide open roads, beautiful scenery and friendly people,” he said, adding that a bike rally of this stature brings good business to the town, and every biker went home with a smile on their face.”
The Skeleton Coast Rally is supported by Harley-Davidson owners from all over South Africa, which this year saw big groups from Durban, Gauteng and Cape Town travelling vast distances to take part in this one-of-a-kind biking festivity, held in the desert town.
A fundraising charity auction raised N$62 000, which was donated to old-age homes in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, as well as to the Save the Rhino anti-poaching unit in Palmwag. Namibian participants are also growing, with 110 Namibian Harley-Davidson riders having taken part in the event this year. There is also a growing interest being cultivated in Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Namibia, after the opening of an M&Z dealership in Windhoek.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015