THOUSANDS of bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts descended on the Beachview resort in Nelson Mandela Bay at the weekend for the 13th annual Dolphin Rally.
Dolphin Motorcycle Club president Gona Puckreesamy said this year’s event was a major success, with 4300 bikers attending despite the cold weather conditions on Friday night.
The organisers were overwhelmed by the generosity of the public, who donated R12000 to charity. Puckreesamy said the organisers would double the amount and the proceeds would go to a charity selected by the mayor.
“There were R350000 worth of prizes up for grabs. The grand prize went to a woman from Port Elizabeth.” Puckreesamy said a band, exotic dancers from Candy’s and popular Bay DJ Mr Shakes provided entertainment.
Competitions included the King of Drags, the King of Burn-outs and the King of Wheelies contests.
“Port Elizabeth made a clean sweep in the competitions, including the grand prize in the lucky draw, but the other four bikes were all won by guys from Cape Town,” he said.
Dolphin Motorcycle Club member Dean Martin said the highlight of the rally was meeting up with old friends who shared a common interest, and making new friends.
“It is great seeing all the new bikes but even better seeing old bikes from the 1970s that are still in pristine condition,” he said.
“These bikes are scarce and parts are hard to come by, so meeting owners who have these bikes and who keep them in good condition is great.”
Martin said that despite the weather people had come out to support the bikers, and lined the streets to cheer them on during the mass ride on Saturday.
“There were crowds in Walmer at William Moffett and then on Cape Road and at King’s Beach. We are happy the rally is in Port Elizabeth and that we have the municipality’s blessing.” Martin has attended the rally for the past 13 years.
An ecstatic Esme Douglas, of Kamma Park in Port Elizabeth, won the grand prize in the lucky draw competition on Saturday night – a Kawasaki ZX14 motorcycle worth R200000.
“I am struggling to believe it really happened,” she said.
“You always hear about people winning wonderful prizes but you never think it can happen to you. I feel like I won the lottery.”
Douglas, a biker for 10 years, said her win was the “cherry on the cake” after a wonderful time at this year’s rally.
“Everything was wonderful … The atmosphere was great and the music was awesome.”