The first event of the BIG5 Sport Challenge, kicked off today at the 33rd annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. Braving the extremely cold and muddy conditions defending champions Stuart Marais and Andrea Steyn emerged as the winners in the hotly contested men’s and ladies Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Race (80km).

Stuart Marais on achieving his first win of 2016, “It was really muddy out there, but what a peach of a day after yesterdays rain we were really fortunate that the sun came out and I am really looking forward to the rest of the week now.

Theo was initially right on my wheel, and then I looked back and he was gone. There is always a lot of healthy banter between the Big 5 guys and I look forward to racing Theo tomorrow and heading into the rest of the week. You can expect good hard racing, jolling, plenty of Mitchells brewery beers and a lot of fun.”

Ladies winner Andrea Steyn had the following to say, “What a nice way to start,  It was really tough for me, but I am really glad to have finished in first place. Technically there was a lot of mud and water on the course. I struggled from around 40kms and couldn’t use my smaller chain, so my calves are going to be very sore tomorrow. “

With 185 entries in the 2016 event, the BIG5 Sport Challenge has become one of the highlights of the annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival programme. The multi-discipline event includes The Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Race (80km), Dragons Featherbed Lagoon Mile Swim (1.6km), The Featherbed Trail Run (15km), The Momentum Health OatWell DualX, powered by PeptoPro (5km Run | 30km MTB | 2.5km Run), and The Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon (21.1km).

Tomorrow contestants in the BIG5 Sport Challenge will compete in The Dragons Featherbed Lagoon Mile Swim (1.6km) which kicks off at the Cruise Café.

Marais comments on the next challenge, “It’s a real treat swimming through the waterfront, it’s a special swim, the water is going to be cold in the middle of winter, but that’s why we have wetsuits so it should be fun.”

It’s not too late to support charity by sponsoring a Big 5 Sport Challenge athlete, all you need to do is go to and pledge your amount.

For more details on the BIG5 Sport Challenge visit or follow the BIG5 Sport Challenge on social media:

  • Twitter: @Big5Challenge
  • Facebook: Facebook/Big5SportChallenge
  • Instagram: Big5SportChallenge
  • Hashtag: #BIG5



  1. Stuart Marais 3:10.01
  2. Theo Blignaut 3:21.18
  3. Dean Hopf 3:31.05



  1. Andrea Steyn 3:42.14
  2. Fienie Barnard 3:43.25
  3. Ischen Stopforth 3:53.39



  1. Allan Houston
  2. Keegan Cooke
  3. Joe Visser


  1. Ilse Viljoen
  2. Samantha Harrington
  3. Nina van der Berg