"Leka Bydie Sie" - The Cape Seal Rally
- National Rally
Harley Owners Group® Cape Town Chapter hosted its 3rd annual Seal Rally in Hermanus - the heart of the Cape Whale Coast in December 2017. It was a huge success with 200 riders and their pillions attending. South African riders attended from Big Five, Pretoria, Durban, Bloemfontein, George, Tygervalley and Cape Town Chapters. We were privileged to be joined by Harley-Davidson® motorcycle owners from Qatar, as well as a large contingent from H.O.G. Oxford Chapter in the UK.
The Road to Hermanus
After a brief breakfast attended by the Rally Committee and Dealership staff, the first contingent of riders left the Cape Town Dealership around noon on Thursday, 30 November 2017.
Approximately 60 riders arrived at the Windsor Hotel in the late afternoon, and were welcomed by breathtaking views across an endless sapphire-blue ocean. The Windsor still has the original gables and Sanatorium building from when it was built 118 years ago. After registration riders chilled at the Rally site which was set up at the historic Gearings Point in Hermanus. The early start meant there was plenty of time to explore this beautiful town. The locals warmly welcomed the riders with open arms, and were absolutely awed at the throaty roar of so many different Harley® motorcycle models cruising around town.
On Friday, riders and pillions were treated to a pack ride from Gearings Point to Kleinmond Harbour to meet up with the second and third packs who had departed from the Cape Town Dealership after lunch.
Gifts to Go!
Thanks to our generous sponsors and partners, we had the means to provide our registered rally participants a great quality ‘Rally Bag’, filled with expensive ‘spoils’ including a cool collector’s item Rally T-Shirt, flasks, pen-sets, vouchers, something sweet, some Jack, and much more. Thank you to everyone for their contribution - you made our Cape Seal Rally special.
The Hermanus Youth Band, a talented youth group from the area officially opened the Rally at 17h00 on Friday. This was an opportunity to showcase their skills to a captive and big-hearted audience. The teenagers are part of an organization that brings music education to schools in the disadvantaged communities of Overstrand and Overberg. They provide accredited music training for talented youngsters through targeted training initiatives, learnerships and public performances.
From Thursday up to Saturday attendees gathered, visited and chilled under the festive fairy lights in the H.O.G. rally tent and around the Harley Events Truck. The tent housed a complete Vendor Village where everyone could relax, have a bite to eat, order drinks and purchase biker paraphernalia. A number of food and clothing stalls on site kept the visitors shopping busily. Surprise give-aways throughout the Cape Seal Rally kept everyone on their toes. There was further excitement for riders participating in the Overberg Dice Run, which finished on Saturday.
The traditional "Thunder Rumble" mass ride through town ending up at the Birkenhead Brewery for lunch. There, all the rally patrons kitted themselves out in their finest attire for the Gala Dinner.
The theme at the Gala dinner was appropriately "Harley and the Davidsons - 1903" and a guests dressed to the nines in the finest outfits of the gracious Edwardian era. We were treated to a superb four-course dinner; raffles were drawn and an auction held. But the main attraction of the evening was the Awards ceremony where registrants won amazing prizes - weekends away, a sword, vintage wine and other prizes were awarded to the best dressed.
What makes the Cape Seal Rally stand out is that H.O.G. Cape Town chapter members made a concerted effort to spend time with the homeless during the 4 days of the rally. During these four days we had some great entertainment from ‘Tuxedo’ and ‘Ocean’s Rift’ a local band. From Ocean View, the rally received superb media coverage from Cape Talk and KFM as well as West Coast Radio . We were thrilled that they covered our Seal Rally and freely broadcast our events on social media.
It was a great finish to the year, with an abundance of energetic fun at Gearings Point where ‘Real’ bikers met for hard partying. Our rally attendees had such fun that some wanted to book in advance for the 2018 Cape Seal Rally!
A final highlight was the official closure of the 2017 Cape Seal Rally – “The Blessing of the Bikes” which was officiated by the colourful local Anglican priest.
Giving back to Hermanus
H.O.G. Cape Town members returned to Hermanus on 28 January 2018 to hand over a R35 000 cheque to the Hermanus Night Shelter Association. The generous proceeds were collected from rally registrations, sponsorships, donations from businesses and individuals. This Shelter was established nine years ago by a group of concerned citizens who identified the need for a shelter for the homeless of Hermanus. The chapter donation will assist to build a new shelter for the homeless and vulnerable.
- Article Submission: Faiza Steyn H.O.G. Cape Town Editor
- H.O.G. Cape Town Photographer: Irina Mink
- Source Photographer: Malvin Meyer
- H.O.G. Editor: Angelique Dermit