Knysna was a flurry of activity and anticipation last weekend as excited cyclists and their families from across the country rose early to a beautiful rain-free weekend, ensuring that huge supporting crowds saw the 29th Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival off to a triumphant start on Friday, July 6.
This year's festival - the biggest yet - boasts over 100 sporting and lifestyle events for all, making it the biggest oyster festival in Africa. Over 65 000 visitors are expected in the picturesque town over the 10 days of the festival with B&B's, self-catering facilities, hotels, and backpackers' establishments all reporting sold out bed nights.
The Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour races kicked off the first of the sporting events on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8. Extremely chilly conditions did nothing to deter the more than 6 000 cyclists from taking part in these now well known events.
The Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour Mountain Bike races took place on Saturday, July 7 which saw over 2 500 riders traversing the slippery conditions in the Knysna forests. The men's race was won by Darren Lill of Cape Town and the women's by Candice Neethling of KZN.
The weather, despite looking ominous held out for riders in the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour road races on Sunday, July 8. This year the route took the riders out towards Sedgefield.
Team Bonitas dominated the men's 100km taking all top three positions with Tyler Day in first place. The women's race was won by Lynette Burger. Chairperson of the Rotary organising committee of the cycle race, Elwin Thompson said the weekend's races were a resounding success with positive feedback from the cyclists.
"We are very pleased with the feedback we have received. The cyclists are happy with the marshalling, the organisation of the event and say they enjoyed the races. If the cyclists are happy, then we are happy," said Thompson.
The Lagoon Challenge also took place on Sunday, July 8 on the choppy, icy waters of the Knysna Lagoon. The event, which has shown enormous growth, now also includes a stand-up paddle event. The men's K2 winners were Kyle Friedenstein and Bevan Manson and the women's K2 race was won by Elexa Cole and Eloise Horn.
The first Knysna Wine Festival and Night Market took place on Monday, July 9. Held in a Bedouin tent at the Nedbank Pavilion, Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival grounds in Waterfront Drive, the evening was a resounding success with families and friends coming together to enjoy delicious top quality food, unique stalls and wines from over 50 South African wine estates while listening to live music by local musicians.
Other events that have taken place so far include the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour, Spur Rotary Knysna Children's Race on Leisure Isle, the Southern Cape Dog Agility Championships, Oyster Festival Bridge Tournament, Woodmill Beer Classic, Knysna National Boat and Lifestyle Show, Miss Proudly Knysna, Lize Beekman in concert, Oyster Opener, finals of the Battle of the DJs, Whisky & Chocolates Evening , Knysna Sport School Oyster Festival Sport Clinics, Kids Pavement Art Competition, Knysna Green Chefs Initiative, Athletics SWD and Knysna Marathon Club Relays and the Scottish Leader Whisky Bowls Tournament.
For further information visit www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za or call Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510.