By Solomon Ojeagbase in Cape Town, South Africa.
Monster Energy, one of the world’s largest energy drink company brought together a team of world renowned bikers to showcase their stunts to fun-loving South Africans in an engaging mountain biking event tagged the DarkFest.
The highly anticipated event which had been in the offing for three years was put together by the Monster Energy team in Cape Town South Africa.
The main event took place in Knysna Western Cape South Africa, on the 11th of February 2017.
South Africa is traditionally known for Rugby, soccer and cricket, but no one could have imagined her having the biggest jumps in the world, with a huge fan base of extreme sports lovers who turned out in large numbers to witness the event.
The star of the Show, Sam Reynolds, a British born Stunts man, has been biking as far back as he could remember, according to him. Reynolds actually rode his bike to school as a kid.
The 25 year old helped build the jumps, which were regarded as the biggest jumps anywhere in the world.
In an interview with Completesportsnigeria.com, Reynolds remarked that he had been to many jumps around the world, but could not find one that was big enough. So he decided to build his own, working with a team of top bikers from around the world.
Two other bikers on display were Nico Vink (Belgium) and nineteen-year old Adolf Sylva (Spain).
Nico Vince who is a professional Mountain bike rider, and a professional jump builder has been riding bike for 30 years.
In his remarks during an interview with Completesportsnigeria.com, Vince said the DarkFest had good vibes and the jumps were progressive. He was also happy with the massive fans turnout at the event.
Nineteen-year old Adolf who did a mid-air double flip stunt that got the crowd in high spirits, was the youngest of all the mountain bikers. He was impressed with his stunts that enthralled the fans, and he gleefully expressed it during the interview he granted Completesportsnigeria.com .
Adolf said Spain is not a traditional mountain bike country. However, he has attracted interests from a lot of sponsors around the world since he started biking.
The DarkFest was anchored by the energetic brand communication and sports marketing manager of Monster Energy, Ryan Franklin. His task at the DarkFest was to orchestrate the success of the event which he honed in three years.
The Monster Energy-sponsored mountain biking series is tagged Pure Darkness project. Pure Darkness is literally a show to push the limits of mountain biking and building big jumps. This is the first year in the series of DarkFest and the third year for the Pure Darkness project.
Ryan had his hands full making sure the buildup to the event was going according to plan. And during the event proper, he communicated with both bikers and spectators, ensuring they were getting the best out of the event.
The riders were an alliance of friends known as the Fest Series. They travel around the world together, building jumps and organising the logistics. They don’t get paid to be at the tournaments because of their love for the sports.
It's is also pertinent to point out that there was no money attached to participation in the event. They are however backed by global sponsors who provide them with the support to keep promoting the sport and their brand.
The winner of DarkFest 2017 was a Canadian known as Kurt Sorge. He was impressive during the big whip which entailed the biker making a jump and tilting the bike sideways.
Monster Energy Drink will be looking to bring some of their extreme sports events to Nigeria. Their focus will be on the skating community which is showing promising signs.
They have also identified a good surf site in Lagos which they look to follow up with more surfing projects in the near future.
Media organizations present at the event were Complete Sports, Sky Sports, Pink Bikes, Dirt magazines and all the global mountain bikes media.
Photos after the cut:
Sam whipping on the second jump in the small line
DarkFEST goes off in the evening
Moody skies and Reynolds style, always a good combination
The scale of things here is rediculous – Sam getting flat out of the shark fin
Probably the scariest jump on course – the step down is so blind it doesn't matter if the sun is in your eyes
Aggy getting up the steep wall of the roll in
Nico Vink oozes style – no matter how big
The infamous step up, Sam has some flier miles on this beast and didn't waste time getting to a massive flat spin
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