1. Riders and Team Categories

1.1 Minimum age of participation is 19 years on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place
1.2 Riders must be in good health and well trained.
1.3 Teams will compete in men, women or mixed categories. The men and women teams are subdivided in: open, sub-vet, vet and master categories.

Categories are determined by the age of the younger of the two riders in the team
a. open men/women –the younger riders must be between the age of 19 and 29 years on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place
b. sub-vet men/women – the younger riders must be between the age of 30 and 39 years on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place
c. vet men/women – the younger riders must be between the age of 40 and 49 years on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place
d. master men/women – the younger riders must be 50 on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place

2. Medical

2.1 During the race, the Waterberg Encounter Medical Officer reserves the right to withdraw a rider who is not deemed physically capable of continuing.
2.2 Any medical expenses incurred will be for the competitors account and will be claimed from their medical aid.
2.3 All competitors need comprehensive medical aid which will cover any medical expense which may be incurred whilst participating in the Waterberg Encounter which is conducted in the spirit of self-contained, self-reliant backcountry cycling.

3. Bicycles

3.1 Only Mountain Bikes in good working order will be allowed to start the race.
3.2 Only one bike per rider is allowed. Riders must start and finish the event on the same bike.
3.3 Bike Marking:
3.3.1 Bikes must be marked with official Waterberg Encounter number board.
3.3.2 It is each rider’s responsibility to ensure that their bike is appropriately marked.
3.4 Bikes must be race-ready at the start of each stage, and during the race;
3.4.1 The bike is correctly marked.
3.4.2 The front number board is securely fitted and visible from the front.
3.4.3 The bike is in safe working order.
3.5 Maintenance of bicycles during the race is the responsibility of each rider.
3.6 Bike repair services will be provided by outsourced service providers at stage finishes.
3.7 In all cases of maintenance and repair, riders are required to complete the full distance of the stage with their bikes and within the time allowed.
3.8 bicycles may be propelled only through a chain set and by the rider’s leg action, without any form of assistance (Electrical or otherwise)
3.9 Tandem bikes are allowed.

4. Helmets and Clothing

4.1 A rider not wearing a helmet at any stage of the race will be disqualified and removed from the course immediately.
4.2 All helmets must comply with international “ANSI” standards.
4.3 Appropriate riding attire, including a shirt, must be worn at all times. Team members do not have to be dressed identically.
4.4 Eye protection is strongly recommended.
4.5 It is recommended that fully enclosed footwear be worn.
4.6 No rider may display or reproduce the official event logo or any derivative thereof on any riding attire and/or team clothing without the written approval of the race organisers, which should be obtained prior to any such riding attire being manufactured.

5. Team Riding and Separation Time Penalties (STP’s)

5.1 Riders must ride with his/her team partner at all times.
5.2 Any rider may receive physical assistance from his/her team partner or from a fellow competitor. For purposes hereof, “physical assistance” shall mean the sharing of water and nutrition, sharing of bike parts and accessories (including the swapping of bike frames), assistance with maintenance and repair, and pushing/towing by physical contact only.
5.3 Podium contenders may not accept physical assistance from an individual rider who participate in the event although his/her partner had to withdraw.
5.4 No towing between or pushing of riders by means of any mechanical or physical devices is allowed, ie towropes, bungee cords.
5.5 A rider is allowed to “double back” on the route at any time in order to region his/her team mate or in order to reach the nearest tech support zone (if applicable), provided that he/she shall not endanger any other rider in doing so.
5.6 Riders who are separated by more than 2 minutes from their team partner at any point in the stage will receive a Separation Time Penalty (STP) of 1 hour.
5.7 Team rider separation will be measured at the Start, Finish and Check Points, but can also be enforced at any point in the stage.
5.8 More than 1 STP per day can be enforced.
5.9 3 STP’s will result in the disqualification of the team.
5.10 STP’s will be applied to both stage results and to overall results.

6. Rider Identification

6.1 Both riders in a team must display their entire race numbers at all times.
6.2 Bike numbers must be firmly fixed on the front of the bike, and must not be obscured by cables or any other item.
6.3 Race numbers must not be modified or mutilated in any way, including cutting, adding stickers, removing existing stickers or trimming.
6.4 Race leaders and Stage Winners are obliged to wear the leader jerseys/boards.
6.5 A rider’s sponsor badge/logo fixed on any leader jersey must not cover or obscure the existing Waterberg Encounter branding and sponsors logos.

7. Obligatory Equipment

These items must be considered the bare minimum, and it is strongly recommended that riders ensure that they are fully prepared to deal with emergencies they may encounter. The following items must, however, be carried by the team during the race:
7.1 First Aid Kit – consisting of a minimum of:
7.1.1 Foil survival blanket
7.1.2 First Aid Dressings x 3 (Sizes 2, 3 and 4 recommended)
7.1.3 Adhesive first aid plasters x 5
7.1.4 Sun-block with a minimum SPF factor of 15
7.2 Any riders on specific personal medications are responsible for supplying and carrying such medication.
7.3 At least 2 liters liquid capacity per rider.
7.4 Multi-tool or bike repair tools.
7.5 Mobile telephone (South Africa uses Dual Band GSM 900/1800 – this is the same as in Europe). Phones can be charged in the Race Village. Bring your own charger.

8. Start

8.1 The batch pounds open early and the stage start times will be announced at race briefing and supplied in the race guide.
8.2 Differential start zones will be allocated according to overall ranking in the race.
8.3 The top 3 teams in each category will have the option to start from the first row, if present at the start line in time.
8.4 The seeded starting batches will close strictly 10 minutes before the stage start. Riders must enter the start zone as a team with their bikes, and once entered must remain in the start zone with their bikes.
8.5 Any riders and/or teams who are not in their start zones 10 minutes before the start may be required to start in a later starting batch.
8.6 Riders starting in an incorrect starting group will incur a 30 minute penalty.

9. Route and Stages

9.1 Riders must complete the full designated route and distance of all stages.
9.2 Only riders who complete all 3 stages will be considered Waterberg Encounter finishers.

10. Individual and Team Times

10.1 Only Team Times will be advertised, but individual rider times will be recorded for the allocation STP’s.
10.2 The team time is determined by the time at which the second team member passes the stage finish line.
10.3 Timing will start when a rider cross the timing mat
10.4 The start line will remain open for 15 minutes after the start gun.
10.5 Riders who start later will not be credited with a late start.
10.6 Any rider who cannot make the start deadline must report to the organisers.
10.7 The finish cut-off time will not be adjusted for riders who are permitted a late start.

11. Finish

11.1 The finish line closes at 17h00 daily, except for the last stage which closes at 15h00.
11.2 Teams which are deemed by the Race Organisers to arrive at the finish line after the cut-off time will be swept off the route by the sweep vehicle. These teams may continue riding the race, but will not qualify as stage or race finishers.
11.3 Stage winners and overall category leaders must be present at the daily awards ceremony, including the final ceremony.

12. Traffic Regulations

12.1 The Waterberg Encounter will not have exclusive use of any public roads during the race.
12.2 All regular traffic regulations must be observed at all times during the race. (In South Africa we drive/ride on the left hand side of the road!)

13. Nutrition and Hydration

13.1 Riders retain the ultimate responsibility to carry enough water and nutrition with them.
13.2 The Waterberg Encounter Organisation will provide water and fruit at Feed Stations on the route.

14. Seconding and Support

14.1 Competitors may receive assistance from a fellow competitor. (See 14.4).
14.2 Outside seconding, assistance or feeding is permitted in designated areas only.
14.3 Outside assistance includes assisting with bike maintenance, water and nutrition support and physically assisting riders.
14.4 Bike repairs may be performed on the route but without obstructing other riders.
14.5 Neutral feeding, watering and medical assistance will be supplied by the Race Organisation at the feed stations.
14.6 Specific escort or seconding vehicles not provided by the Waterberg Encounter Organisers are not permitted to follow the race route. However, supporters may drive their own vehicles along public roads to reach vantage points to vocally support riders. Some sections of the course will be closed to all non-event traffic including some public roads. Their closure must be respected by all.

15. Withdrawals

15.1 Teams that cannot continue the race, for whatever reason, must immediately inform the Race Office. This can be done at the Race Start, the Finish or at Water points. Withdrawals’ will only be official once you have handed in your bike board.
15.2 18.4 Any rider who withdraws from a stage before it is officially abandoned or who does not reach the designated cut-off point for abandoning the stage will be classified as a DNF.
15.3 In the event of a search and rescue operation being initiated for a rider or team which has withdrawn, but has not informed the Race Office, the cost of the search and rescue operation will be transferred to the rider or team.
15.4 In the event of one team member being incapable of completing the race, The Race Office will assist a rider to change to an individual participant.
15.5 Individual riders will qualify as race finishers.

16. Ethical and Environmental

16.1 No littering or unnecessary damage to the environment will be tolerated.
16.2 Litter, relating to sports nutrition and feeding stations, will be tolerated within the direct area of the feed stations.

17. Protests

Any protests must be submitted in writing within 15 minutes of the rider crossing the finish line, to the Chief Commissaire.

18. Doping

18.1 Waterberg Encounter reserves the right to take doping tests on all riders.
18.2 Positive results will lead to disqualification from Waterberg Encounter, and those results will be forwarded to the national cycling federations.

19. Disqualification and Penalties

Teams may be disqualified at the discretion of Chief Commissaire / Race Office for any one or more of the following reasons including, but not limited to:
19.1 Riding at any point on any stage without a helmet.
19.2 Excessive littering.
19.3 Disrespect or damage to the environment.
19.4 Bad sportsmanship.
19.5 Abuse of Race Officials.
19.6 Traffic Rule violations.
19.7 Breaking of Waterberg Encounter Rules as described above
19.8 Time penalties will be applied to Stage results, as well as to Overall Race results or General Classification

20. Basic Mountain Bike Racing Rules and Etiquette

20.1 Riders must complete the entire distance of the race, and the responsibility for following the official route lies with the rider.
20.2 A rider is not permitted to take any shortcuts or to omit a circuit, or take other advantage of a similar nature against opponents.
20.3 Riders, who exit the route of the course for any reason, must return to the course at the exact same point from which they exited.
20.4 Riders must act in a polite manner at all times, and permit any faster rider to overtake without obstructing.
20.5 Riders must respect the countryside and ride only on the official route. Riders must avoid polluting the area, and not leave any waste or litter.
20.6 No glass containers of any kind are permitted on or near the course.
20.7 Riders must not use offensive or abusive language during the race, act in an unsporting manner, be disrespectful to the officials, or ignore the race regulations.

21. Discretion of the Chief Commissaire

Where any additional rule interpretation is required, or where specific provision for any incident has not been made in these rules, the decision of the Chief Commissaire will be final.

Rule and/or Offence
• First Offence
• Second Offence
• Third Offence
• Remarks
• Bicycles and Equipment
• Disqualification

Not wearing helmet
• Disqualification

Separation Time Penalties
• 1 Hour TP
• Additional 1 Hour Time Penalty
• Disqualification

Rider Identification
• Verbal Warning
• 10 Minute TP
• 30 Minute TP

Repeat offenders can receive harsher sanction or DQ
• Obligatory Equipment
• Verbal Warning
• 20 Minute TP
• 1 Hour TP

Traffic Regulations
• Verbal Warning
• 30 Minute TP
• I Hour TP

Repeat offenders can receive harsher sanction or disqualification
• Seconding and Support
• 1 Hour TP and warning
• Disqualification

Ethical and Environmental
• 1 Hour TP
• Additional 1 Hour TP
• Disqualification (A serious first offence can also result in Disqualification)

• Disqualification


Substitutions can be done online as follows:

The administrative cost of a substitution is R300; and the substitution will not reflect until such payment has been made. Once you have made the substitution payment, you will receive a new email confirming the new rider. If you have not received the mail, contact the entry office. Please note that all team participants, including the race organiser, will be notified of substitutions and once a substitution is completed, the original riders’ details will not be kept for future events.

Cyclists who have entered and paid, but cannot participate in the Winelands/Waterberg Events, for whatever reason, must inform the Entry Office. No cyclist is allowed to participate under the name of another participant. Such action will lead to immediate disqualification.

ALL substitutions close on 22 May. Late substitutions can then only be done at Registration @ R500 per person.

PLEASE NOTE that substituted team participants will receive the clothing size of the initial participant, unless this is changed before 31 January.

Cancellation Policy

0% of entry fee will be refunded if cancelled.  You will be allowed to do a late substitution, or partake as a single rider.  You will be allowed to collect your partners’ race pack.  PLEASE hand in unused bike board. Inform the entry office if you will be a single rider!);

Under no circumstances will an entry be rolled over.