Entries to the third edition of the Chas Everitt Around the Pot, Overberg 100-Miler, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday 20 July 2019 are now open. Alongside the flagship 100-mile, or 160 kilometres, event riders less inclined towards a long day in the saddle can choose to enter the 60-miler (97 kilometres) or 25-miler (40 kilometres) routes.

Over the last two years the event has grown into the Western Cape’s premier gravel race. The scenic route, which loops from and back to Swellendam, traverses the fertile heart of the Overberg wheat fields and crosses the Breede River on the old hand drawn ferry. It provides a deceptively stern test as it follows the gravel roads across the rolling Rûens – as the low hills which provide much of South Africa’s wheat and canola are known.

Not only does the route traverse scenic farm lands it also cuts through some of the region’s critically endangered Renosterveld. Photo by Oakpics.com.

With the event taking place in winter the road conditions are generally excellent and well-suited to gravel bikes. The Chas Everitt Around the Pot allows rider to choose whichever bike they feel will be fastest over the course, and the 2018 event saw a significant number of gravel bikes line up against the mountain bike dominated field. The reigning women’s champion, Kylie Hannekom, claimed the title on a gravel bike; but the last edition of the men’s race was won by HB Kruger on a full suspension mountain bike. (Read the 2018 Around the Pot race report here.) The verdict is still out then over which is truly faster over the 160 kilometre long course. Perhaps the 2019 edition will provide a definitive answer.

Off the bike, Swellendam is the perfect host town for the growing event. The quiet country municipality boasts a plethora of guest houses and restaurants. In addition to formal accommodation options, which can be booked separately, riders can alternatively book a luxury tent when entering the Chas Everitt Around the Pot. These tents will be pitched on the Swellendam Show Grounds, within 200 meters of the race’s start/finish arch, and include access to showers and ablution facilities on site.

The beautifully scenic Chas Everitt Around the Pot route traverses the wheat and canola fields of the Rûens region of the Overberg. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Entry options for the Chas Everitt Around the Pot include solo and team options, for teams of 2, 3 or 4 riders, in the 100-miler, 60-miler and 25-miler distances. Prize money will be awarded to podium finishers in the solo, men’s team, women’s team and mixed team categories in both the longer distances. The 25-miler podium finishers meanwhile will be rewarded with hamper prizes. Early bird entry discounts apply until 31 January 2019; thereafter the standard entry fee will be applicable until the online entries close on Wednesday, 17 July 2019 at Midnight.

For more information on the 2019 Chas Everitt Around the Pot, Overberg 100-Miler, please visit www.petrichoradventures.co.za and be sure to like the event’s Facebook page, Around the Pot, to stay updated in the build-up to the race.

Entrants can take part in all three distances as solo competitors or as part of a team of two, three or four riders. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Fast Facts: 2019 Chas Everitt Around the Pot, Overberg 100-Miler

Date: 20 July 2019
Venue: Swellendam Showgrounds, Swellendam, Western Cape
Distances: 160km | 97km | 40km
Early Bird 100: Solo R650 | Team 2 R1 200 | Team 3 R1 800 | Team 4 R2 400
Early Bird 60: Solo R550 | Team 2 R950 | Team 3 R1 425 | Team 4 R1 900
Early Bird 25: Solo R300 | Team 2 R500 | Team 3 R750 | Team 4 R1 000
Accommodation: Luxury Tents or book via www.visitswellendam.co.za
Online Entries www.entryninja.com
Website: www.petrichoradventures.co.za
Facebook: Around the Pot
Instagram: @around_the_pot

The 100-miler and 60-miler distances cross the historic hand-drawn Malgas ferry during their Chas Everitt Around the Pot races. Photo by Oakpics.com.

The route is gravel bike friendly and perhaps even faster on thin wheels than on mountain bikes. The 2019 edition may reveal which is faster definitively. Photo by Oakpics.com.