Knysna is rapidly becoming one of South Africa’s premier festival towns – the Knysna Literary Festival, the Sedgefield Slow Festival and the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival have all been staged this year already. The next event on the Festival Calendar is the Knysna Speed Festival, a ten day extravaganza for motorsport enthusiasts beginning on May 13, 2011.
Festival goers need look no further than Bamboo, the Guest House Accommodation Knysna for a conveniently located base – we are a short drive away from all the festival venues - Simola Hill, Thesen Island, Knysna Waterfront, Knysna High School or the Oude Fabriek Building in the town centre.
The Knysna Speed Festival, the newest event on the Knysna Festival Calendar, was first held just two years ago with a single event, the Renault Knysna Hillclimb. So successful did this climb prove to be that the organisers have planned a motorsport jamboree this year that will firmly entrench the Speed Festival as a premier event on the South African motorsport calendar.
The festival kicks off on Friday, May 13 with a two day Kart Grand Prix on Thesen Island. This event takes place on a superb street track with magnificent views towards the Knysna Heads. The Kart Grand Prix will also run partially under floodlights and promises to be a colourful and noisy affair!
The Knysna Motor Show takes place on Sunday, May 15 at the Knysna High School. An annual event hosted by the Garden Route Motor Club, some 200 classic cars will be on show, together with some modern models from local auto traders.
A three day Knysna Slot Car Challenge is planned from Saturday, May 16. Designed for school kids from all areas of Knysna, this challenge will be held at the Knysna Slot Car Club’s premises in the Oude Fabriek Building in the town centre. Many kids will obtain their first taste of motorsport action at this challenge.
Drivers swop their steering wheels for golf clubs at the Golf Day on Thursday, May 19. This event, held at the fabulous Simola Golf Course, teams drivers with sponsors, local businessmen and others with all proceeds going to charity.
An exciting Knysna Soap Box Derby will be held on Friday, May 20 on a short downhill section of Simola Hill. This new event targets local school kids, who will each be supplied with standardised soapbox kits which they have to assemble, paint and pilot on this ‘free fall Friday’.
A Town Parade and Car Display will also be held on the Friday, where many of the competitors’ cars will be on display at the Knysna Waterfront. Visitors can meet with the drivers and view the cars as they parade through the centre of town.
The feature event of the Knysna Speed Festival remains the Renault Knysna Hillclimb, a two kilometre uphill run to Simola Country Estate on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22. Limited to 80 cars this year, the Hillclimb is a competitive but fun race with historic, classic and modern road and race cars competing. Some big names in the motorsport world are participating this year – Sarel van der Merwe, Ian and Jacki Schekter, Robbi Smith and Jean Michel Bayle (twice World Motorcross ChampIon). The Hillclimb is definitely not to be missed.
The Knysna Speed Festival and social responsibility go hand in hand. Over the last two years a significant portion of the proceeds have been donated to various charities, including NSRI, Knysna Animal Welfare and Knysna Sports School. All proceeds of the 2011 Golf Day will be donated to selected charities.
For further details on the Knysna Speed Festival go to Speed Festival.
Knysna continues in its drive to attract and keep visitors in the town – the Knysna Speed Festival being one of the many innovative ideas being turned into reality. We would welcome ideas from everybody on further developing Knysna as one of the jewels in the Garden Route’s crown.