Quads 4 Quads

Quads 4 Quads 2011

The Start Day

ALWAYS BE ASTONISHED BY YOUR OWN ABILITIES!  Thank you TEAM CIVAL!  My sponsors, my team on the road and my team at home without you I would never have been able to be astonished by my own abilities and achieve a personal goal on Quads 4 Quads (Q4Q)

At the end of September, I achieved a personal goal of mine, I participated and completed my 3rd Quads 4 Quads event, an off-road adventure and fundraiser for QASA from Carnival City in Johannesburg to Ballito Bay over 4 days.

I have participated in 2 previous Q4Q events but due to my physical constraints and challenges I have never completed the entire course.  This time I did it, finishing in Ballito with 36 minutes to spare before the cut off time.
The Finish

Q4Q is organised by Family Adventures, an annual fund-raiser for the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) is a non-profit organization that represents the needs of quadriplegics and paraplegics in South Africa.  The funds raised through Q4Q are used to deliver projects and services for quadriplegics and paraplegics throughout South Africa.

According to my odometer we covered 945 km in 4 days of dust, mud, rain and even hail driving through some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country.

It was an awesome and sometimes nerve-wracking experience for my team and navigator / co-driver, Laurie Searle.  A Rhino side-by-side, was modified for me to operate using a joy-stick.  Now, I am very used to a joy-stick, my wheelchair is joy-stick operated BUT my wheelchair’s top speed is about 10kms an hour whereas on Quads 4 Quads there were times that I got the Rhino up to speeds of 55km/hour. (Don’t tell my mom!)

Laurie Searle, my co-driver is a very brave man.  I am not sure if I would drive with me, You see, I have tunnel vision and as if that is not enough, the vision in my right eye doesn’t work particularly well.

I drove Laurie into the only puddle for miles
Laurie had over-ride capabilities on his side of the Rhino in case I got into trouble with my driving. I have found that I really enjoy drifting through corners but do tend to over-steer, which is where Laurie would take over and have to try and save us from my bad driving.  Laurie, thank you for your support and especially for your nerves of steel,  your faith in me and for letting me take those corners.  I salute you!

My back up team, Team Cival consisted of Caroline Searle and Richard Hudson following behind me as my sweeper team and essential refreshment providers.  Thank you to both of you for making sure that I had lots to drink and the energy to keep going.  There were times when the ride was really tough going but you guys were always there behind me supporting me.


My heartfelt thanks to Fred Sprenzel for believing in me once again and sponsoring the Rhino to be modified so that I could try for a 3rd time to complete Quads 4 Quads.  Hannes and his team at Motowiz,  built and designed the joy-stick modifications to the Rhino – Thanks Hannes.

Anton Flammer and I both got stuck less than 5km from Carnival City
Without the Sprenzel Boys, Fred, Alex, Freddy, Ryan and Anton Flammer who were my support riders and mechanics en-route I would never have completed Q4Q.  They spent the first over-night stop in Standerton working on my Rhino to iron out a couple of glitches and made essential flying repairs, repairing handlebars with a stick, a bust carb at the top of a mountain on Anton’s bike and dealing with flat tyres en route.

Anything can be fixed with a branch!
Mountain repairs
My support team, Kenneth, our go to man, refueller and camp maker, Sam and Isaiah, my care-givers and Zachariah our truck driver were incredible.  Without their tireless work and effort in chasing us and trying to get ahead of us via the main roads with plenty of stop and go’s, to re-fuel us, prepare for us at the lunch stops, make speedy bike repairs and modifications, and to look after us at the end of each day, TEAM CIVAL could never have made it.  Thank you to each one of you, without you I would never have finished.
Last but not least, thank you to my key sponsor, Rockwell Automation for believing in me once again.

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