According to Festival Coordinator Andrew Finn, the calendar for the Knysna Oyster Festival taking place in July this year will be made up of an exciting mix of physical and virtual offerings and activities. “The festival is happening,” he said. “And we are getting ready for guests to STAY, WORK, PLAY in the greater Knysna area from 9 to 18 July.”
Finn confirmed that the festival mainstays will be taking place, albeit in different formats. “The Knysna Cycle Tour will be taking place,” he said. “Under COVID-19 prevention protocols, the Knysna Forest Marathon will, however, not be presented as in the past but, has been transformed into the In Knysna Virtual Marathon for this year, which will be taking place. The formats to these popular sporting competitions have been changed to accommodate all relevant health protocols and regulations, while still – and most importantly – offering fun, unique and challenging races to serious athletes and weekend warriors.”
Visit Knysna General Manager Colleen Durant, who has previous experience as the Race Director for IRONMAN South Africa, said that the organisers from both the running and cycling fraternities had gone to great lengths to create innovative hybrid and virtual activities. “While our calendar reflects set dates for both the In Knysna Virtual Marathon and the Knysna Cycle Tour, there are now fantastic physical and virtual components to these competitions,” she said.
She explained that all entries for the Knysna Forest Marathon had been migrated to the In Knysna Virtual Marathon. “Runners are able to choose between different course lengths and run their chosen routes on any of the days between 9 and 18 July. Visit Knysna and the organisers invite and encourage participants to come and run their courses in Knysna – the home of the original forest marathon. There will be many fun and exciting offers and other activities on offer throughout the greater Knysna area throughout that time, and we’d like our runners to join us in the fun. Runners will be recording their own times and submitting them upon completing their routes. This time will be kept as your 2021 race time and used for lucky draws.”
Finn added that the Knysna Cycle Tour has also included categories for E-Bikes. “E-Bike start times will be delayed to avoid these riders being in single tracks with faster mountain bike riders. The organisers have devised three probable scenarios to adhere to COVID-19 prevention protocols,” he said. “The most likely scenario is that the races take place with staggered starts of limited riders. Riders can rest assured that, however the situation may change between now and the advertised dates, they will be riding in July. Exciting news is that both the 50km road and 50km MTB races will also be available as virtual courses on the online platform Rouvy.”
Knysna Executive Mayor Elrick van Aswegen said that the ability to choose your own race day plays perfectly into the “festival’s” theme of STAY, WORK, PLAY. “Set your online meetings around your chosen race days,” he advised. “With fast, easy access to the Internet throughout our municipal area, bring your work and your family to the Knysna area for 10 days. Stay in comfortable, yet affordable accommodation, work when you must and then play in and explore the whole of the greater Knysna area with friends and family.”
While not yet finalised, the programme already includes a Winter Christmas Market in Sedgefield, a sailing regatta, the Houtkapper Trail Run and children’s activities. “But that’s only the beginning,” said Finn. “We are still in the process of compiling the final programme, which we will advertise as soon as it is available. But we are excited to let our visitors and locals know that, aside from these old favourites, you’ll find festival-related pearls scattered throughout Knysna and Sedgefield from 9 to 18 July. There will be live music, wine and gin evenings, specials at your favourite restaurants and much, much more. All you need to do is be sure that you are here to enjoy it.”
The final calendar, with details on entries and ticket sales, will be made available at http://knysnaoysterfestival.co.za/events/. Entries to the In Knysna Virtual Marathon and the Knysna Cycle Tour are now open. Entry details, along with details on race protocols are available at www.knysnamarathonclub.com and www.knysnacycle.co.za respectively.
Browse Knysna’s accommodation options at https://www.visitknysna.co.za/stay/.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @KnysnaOysterFestival and keep an eye on www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za for updates.
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