The first Atlantis Dune Fun Day sponsored by RAW 4×4 Suspension Equipment was held on the 23rdrd April.
The event was a huge success with an Atlantis Dunes parking lot overflowing with 94 4x4s and many other non-attendees.
A start at 06:30 left enough time for around ten groups of vehicles to enter the dunes where eight obstacle courses had been set up to test the drivers and their machines.
The variety of vehicles was impressive and very varied, ranging from a Lexus V8 powered Lada Niva, modified Jeep Cherokees, V8 Discovery and heavily tuned TD5s to more conventional FJ cruisers, crew cabs and of course the Suzuki Jimnys able. Points were awarded based on a mix of sprint times (for the drag race), set times (for the figure eight), and whether or not you were able to reach a set flag halfway up the d a steep dune (the bash dune). Points were subtracted for touching the flag course markers.
Paramedics and recovery were on hand, but with tires deflated to around 0.8 bar and with all drivers figuring out how to avoid sinking into the sand, everyone had endless fun.
Many prizes were awarded by draw to the final winners. These were donated by a number of sub-sponsors, with the top prize being a full suspension upgrade by RAW 4×4 to the tune of R38,000. RAW is a spin-off from the Australian company that manufactures truck equipment, so it made sense to scale down heavy truck components to fit vehicles that needed upgrading from stock equipment. Both companies fall under the GUD banner, best known for vehicle filters.
Hopefully this will become an annual event, but may need to split into two days if attendance increases even further.
Words: Peter Palm