Roof Of Africa Update:
“Business as usual in Lesotho”
“Despite reports about unrest in Lesotho, its business as usual”, says Peter Luck from Extreme Off-Road Promotions, “In fact, I was at the Lesotho Defence Force Airwing yesterday and I expected a bit of tension. It was, as usual, an absolute pleasure.”
The Air Wing assists Roof Of Africa with air support for the event.
The Roof Of Africa is one of Lesotho’s most important events. The country is visited by thousands of South African and international visitors over the four day event. “The people of Lesotho get so excited about the bikes every year. We have spent weekend after weekend in the mountains and they all ask when the ‘Stootootoots’ (bikes) are coming.”
Interestingly, the routes are just about finalised, and a lot of effort has been put into spectator points as well as making The Roof as challenging as possible. “This is going to be the toughest Roof to date”, says route director Justin Harris. “The beauty about Lesotho is that you can ride here your whole life and still find new passes where nobody has ever ridden a motorcycle before.”
Of course – a key element in the planning of this event is the social responsibility. in addition to the revenue that this event brings into Lesotho, last year motorcycles were donated to Riders For Health. The bikes are used to get to remote areas to offer health care in Lesotho. So the impact on the local community is very tangible.
This year, the most famous race in Africa has moved dates to the beginning of December. “It was hoped that by moving the date, we will attract more international riders – and early indications are that this has been successful.” “We know that KTM is entering 3 international riders, Husqvarna’s Jarvis will be back and there are a host of overseas riders that we are in touch with who all want to come.”
All of the top local riders are included in the line up for 2014 – in fact all classes were fully booked within a week or two of the bookings opening – and reaction to the news that a sophisticated tracking system for the competitors has been introduced has been received with enthusiasm by riders and family members.
“International riders are welcome to enter still,” says Luck. “We make a special effort to accommodate anyone from abroad right up to a week or two before the race kicks off. And we have one message for anyone thinking of coming. Lesotho is one of the most beautiful, peaceful places in Africa. Come and race you’ll love every second.”
The Roof Of Africa runs from Wednesday the 3rd of December to Saturday the 6th 2014.