21 Oct, 2015

Cousins conquer inaugural Seabreeze

Hayley Smith and Darryn Purtell won the inaugural Seabreeze Build It Bitter-Sweet MTB Challenge. Image credit: Gavin/ QuickPix

KwaZulu-Natal South Coast cousins, Darryn Purtell and Hayley Smith, put together two days of flawless riding to win the inaugural Seabreeze Build It Bitter-Sweet MTB Challenge on Sunday 18 October at Rocky Bay.

The race, which was hosted by Rocky Bay Resorts, presented the ideal terrain for Purtell and Smith to thrive in.

With inside knowledge of the serene South Coast trails, they set out with high pace on day one's 60km route.

Having made the podium at this year's Joberg2c, it seems the duo grows in confidence race by race.

Day two's 40km journey saw them adopt a far more technical approach. With a firm lead, the pair stuck to their guns as they crossed the finish line in an overall time of 04:30:15.

"It’s really exciting to win, especially being the first event, it really means a lot to us," Purtell said.

Purtell was also quick to admit that riding in the area during their formative years played a crucial role.

"Growing up on the South Coast and learning to ride here has been wonderful, it’s just really rewarding to see how everything has evolved, how mountain biking has gone from strength to strength," he said.

Purtell has raced around the country and despite the event being in its infancy, he has vowed to return.

"It’s been great riding this weekend, the organizers have put in a huge amount of work getting everything in pristine condition for all of us, it has just been an amazing experience from the time we started on Saturday morning - the trails, the people, the hospitality, it’s all just been great," Purtell said.

He continued, "This event will definitely grow, there is only one way for the Seabreeze Build It Bitter-Sweet MTB Challenge to go, it can only get bigger from here."

Seabreeze Build It owner Arthur Snel was heavily impressed by the event. Snel a keen rider himself, was spotted on the trails on both days.

"The event went very very well, it blew my mind in terms of the journey from when we first decided to do this whole thing to where we are now."

Snel's investment in the race goes beyond a financial one. He is passionate about making a positive change in the area.

"The event will definitely continue, we have a long term relationship, we as Seabreeze Build It are not just throwing money at the event, we got involved in everything, we are investing in the area and uplifting the community through our ongoing development programme too," Snell explained.

The 2016 Seabreeze Build It Bitter-Sweet MTB Challenge will take place on 22 and 23 October and riders can enter online by visiting once entries open early next year.