Zone 7 Speedspot in Cape Town will host the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations (MXOAN) from August 11 to 13.
Thirty-six of the finest motocross riders in South Africa have been selected to compete at this year’s event against the best riders from countries all across the continent. Additionally, the SA team has a female team captain, Kayla Raaff, and a female team manager, Monja Conradie, for the first time in history.
Adrian Scholtz, CEO of Motorsport South Africa (MSA), said it is great to have a strong women’s team for this exciting event in Women’s Month.
The event will see eight African countries compete in the MX50, MX65, MX Lites, MX125, MX1, MX2, Vets and Masters’ classes, as well as the WMX class for ladies.
Scholtz expects tougher competition this year, as South Africa’s team will have to defend their title of leading country award, which they won by a narrow margin of one point in 2022 in Uganda.
Motorsport SA is hosting the event this year. The organisers expect more than 200 entries, and many spectators and visitors are expected to witness the event hosted by MSA in 2023.
“Selecting me as the team manager, I feel honored and excited,” said Conradie. “I have such a passion for the sport and I am fully committed to supporting our talented riders. With dedication and teamwork, we will make South Africa proud. While men have long dominated this sport, we celebrate the fearless and talented women riders today, who are making their mark in MXOAN and bringing inspiration and passion to the track.”
And here are the five phenomenal women riders redefining the motocross landscape in South Africa.
Team captain: Kayla Raaff
Kayla is a force to be reckoned with on the motocross track. She started riding when she was five years old, competing with the boys. In 2018, at just 15 years old, she won her first South African National Woman’s Championship and was the youngest lady rider ever to achieve this accolade. From 2019 to 2022, she consistently won championships. She has already received her Junior South African National Colours and now has her eye on Senior South African National Colours. Kayla is fearless, agile, and has exceptional control of the bike, consistently giving her fellow competitors a run for their money.
Dakota started riding at the age of 11 and raced for the first time in 2017. She is competing in the South Africa Woman’s National Championship this year and is very excited to represent her country in the MXOAN. She is definitely a rising star. Her passion for motocross goes beyond racing. Her goal is to inspire female riders in South Africa, so she created a ladies training programme and a series of events.
Zoe’s bike racing journey started in 2020, after the lockdown. She always loved bikes and played with her dad’s bikes in the garage from a young age. In 2021, she started racing and steadily improved her race times. Zoe’s dedication led her to compete in regionals and nationals, where she achieved a notable second place in a race in Polokwane. Her dream is to become a national champion in bike racing. Zoe cherishes the friendships and camaraderie of her racing team, who have become like family to her. With passion and support, she is determined to reach her goals.
Cheyenne and Jadene de Lima
These are two highly talented motocross sisters. Jadene began riding at the age of eight and started racing on a national level at age 12, competing against the boys in the 85cc class. She finished in the top 10. In 2018, she won Junior South African Colours. She is a determined young lady and her goal is to line up at Mini O’s in the USA. A true inspiration to other female riders and definitely one to keep your eye on!
Cheyenne’s career started at the age of eight as well. She has competed in the MXOAN representing her country twice – once in Zimbabwe and once in Uganda. “She will represent her country for the third time, and I am very excited to see what she will achieve,” Conradie noted. Cheyenne rode internationally and competed against some of the best in the world. She has raced in USA at Mini O’s and Spring Nationals. Her dream is to qualify for the AMA Loretta Lynn, the biggest racing event in the world, and she wants to be the first South African female to do so.
Motocross is a sport that combines adrenaline and determination, pushing riders to their limits.
“Come and see what the MXOAN is all about. Zone 7 is one of the best tracks in South Africa and their facilities cater to everyone. It will be an interesting and worthwhile experience for all. Come and see why I fell in love with the sport!”
Team captain Kayla Raaff is confident they have a powerful team again and is quietly hoping for another South African win. She said since the event is in Cape Town this year, she would also love to see as much support from fans as possible, whether in person at the event or online. “The support of our fans is hugely important, and we want to extend our biggest thanks to everyone who has and continues to support us.”
Conradie echoed this sentiment. “These phenomenal women riders are inspiring a new generation of enthusiasts and proving just how far passion and skill can take you. I really applaud their determination and celebrate their achievements.
“MSA wishes the team the best of luck. Thank you also to the title sponsor, Bar Cargo, as well as the various trackside sponsors, for their contribution to this event.”
Tickets are available on Quicket at R100 per day for adults, R50 for children over seven and free for kids under seven.
Source: Cathy Findley PR