Buffalo Rally rides into Mossel BayMarch 23rd, 2012 by Susan Reynard | Categories: government, industry, social, tourism
The annual Buffalo Rally motorbike once again roared through the town of Mossel Bay, to the delight of locals, visitors, participants and the organisers. The event took place last weekend (16 to 18 March 2012). It draws an average of 6 000 people to the Garden Route’s “Do Stuff Destination”.
“We had rain on the first day this year, which made a difference to the number of people who bought tickets at the gate, but we’re very satisfied with the overall turnout,” says the Rally’s coordinator, Luderick Jacoby, who is also the chairman of Cape Town’s Nomads Motorcycle Club.
The Club has run 35 Buffalo Rallies since it created the event in 1969.
“We’ve now been to Mossel Bay seven times, and we’ll be here at least twice more since we now have a three-year contract with the Municipality,” adds Jacoby.
The Buffalo Rally is important for the local tourism industry, for the economy of the town as well as charities in the Southern Cape.
“The ‘Buff’ brings many benefits along with it,” explains Mossel Bay councillor Petru Terblanche, who is also a member of the board of Mossel Bay Tourism. “If the bikes make a bit of noise while they’re here, it’s definitely outweighed by the positive injection into the economy. But we also take a longer-term view: we hope that the riders will come back with their families for their holidays – especially now that they’ve seen what Mossel Bay really has to offer.”
Mark Furness, the chairman of Mossel Bay’s Round Table, said that the Rally has become his organisation’s largest fund-raising opportunity. “About 60 volunteers helped us run the beer tent at the entrance to the De Bakke Caravan Park this year, and although it’s too early to know how much we raised, last year’s event showed a profit of about R80 000, which we later donated to organisations like Child Welfare, the NSRI, and the Piet Julies AIDS Group. The money also helps with various other charity projects that Mossel Bay Round Table runs in the community,” he notes.
Clive Parsons, the chairman of Round Table’s Southern Cape area, said that the rally grounds accommodated three beer tents this year. “Beside the main tent, which was run by the Mossel Bay Round Table, the tent at the Santos Caravan Park was run by the Swellendam Round Table, and the smaller tent at De Bakke was run in aid of the Buffeljags Primary School.”
He says, however, that the Round Table will be applying for different conditions on its liquor license next year. “Particularly on the Thursday and the Friday, we’d like the beer tents to stay open later into the night in order to keep the bikers in the Rally grounds, and off the streets of Mossel Bay. This is something that the Nomads would like, too – it’s an important safety consideration.”
Jacoby says that everything ran smoothly this year, despite the rain. “The Municipality and the local emergency services were cooperative and very helpful, and we’re already looking forward to coming back again in 2013.”