The History

Ever since the esteemed Dakar Rally moved off African soil, there seemed to be something missing in the world of Rally Racing.

In 2015, Clive Crouse (Event Director) began formulating a plan to bring a multi facet and multi dimensional stage racing event back to Africa, more specifically to South Africa and the Tankwa region, a land blessed with wide expanses of beautiful and challenging riding terrain. The questions at that stage was if there were any other like-minded individuals out there that would be interested in the event and how to bridge the gap between Off-road racing and Rally racing while making long distance Cross Country/Rally events more affordable?

The idea was to use local towns for support, employ locals where possible and provide help to the communities it would pass through as a means of giving back for the privilege of racing in the area. There were a multitude of bridges to cross and endless hours of work put in to make it happen. Clive and his team decided that to make this event work and grow it would need the utmost focus and dedication and established a new Club called “Cape Cross Country”.

2016 the Tankwa 500 was born as a racing pedigree event where seasoned riders preparing for the Dakar Rally and other Regional/Club Off-Road races, could test their sense of adventure, navigational skills and good old “vasbyt”. Originally set up as a 3 day event with a short prologue and 2 days of endurance racing, the initial Tankwa 500 has since grown from a marathon type Off-road event to a multi-faceted stage event called the Tankwa Cross Country Rally.

This event is hosted by the Cape Cross Country Club working group. Since its inception it has won the hearts and minds of many, which is evident in the number of return riders each year. Thanks to the pioneers who were brave enough to accept the challenge of the 1st Tankwa 500, the interest and participation in the event has grown immensely as it has evolved into the respected Tankwa Cross Country Rally Brand of today.

In past years the organising team have recced the greater Tankwa Hantam region, as far afield as Sutherland, Calvinia and Ceres – Karoo, a vast expanse of arid, challenging terrain, ideal for Rally racing.

The benchmark has been set high and now we strive to keep improving each year.


‘Leave only tracks and fond memories’

The objective of Tankwa Cross Country Rally is to promote the sport of rally-raid type racing in Africa, to bring economic upliftment to the regions it traverses, and employ the local population where possible.

Tankwa Cross Country Rally will refrain from allowing racial prejudice, political affiliation, religious beliefs or gender to affect.

Tankwa Cross Country Rally will strive to uphold the regulations of Motorsport SA and their affiliation to FIM.

Tankwa Cross Country Rally will obey and enforce the laws of the countries and regions traversed, and ensure the event is run with the utmost consideration to the local population, cultures and customs.

Tankwa Cross Country will put the safety of the competitors, crew and local population above all other interests, and ensure the impact to the environment is minimal.

The Tankwa Cross Country Rally

Tankwa Cross Country Rally takes place in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The three day event will start and finish at race HQ of Rooiputs in the Tankwa region, 60km’s South of Calvinia. All the race routes for the event will be set out in a clover leaf type fashion, allowing the race HQ and bivouac/race village to remain static for the ease of logistics and safety. This results in some of the most scenic and creative routes for the event.

The Northern Cape is the largest province in South Africa at 372 889 km2. This is bigger than Germany and more than twice the size of England. It is also the most sparsely populated province in South Africa, with a population density of only 2.8 persons/ km2. The varied landscape, ranging from the mountains, open plains, moon like surfaces, brush, rocky fields and dry river beds makes for the most ideal Rally terrain.

An optional training event will take place to introduce new riders to the art of navigational type racing and the main event will again take place in Sept, when temperatures in the region are generally more moderate.

Competitors have a choice of navigational options, either by means of GPS in the Off-road Bikes Class or by full Rally road book for the Rally bike classes (ideal for those preparing for the Dakar Rally).

Competitors can expect to cover distances of approximately 1500km’s for the Rally Bikes and 850-1000km’s for the Off-road Bikes Gold classes. This equates to racing days of between 6-12 hours of racing with competitors starting early morning and often finishing in the dark.

Operations and logistics include:

  • The layout of accessible tracks, marking of serious dangers, fence and gate management and the building of fence bridges.

  • Communications, four marshal teams each with their own team leader.

  • Check points, refuel points and recoveries.

  • Medical teams.

  • Timing and Live Tracking of competitors and marshals.

  • Catering and hospitality services.

Marketing, branding and exposure brief

The objective is to establish strong partnerships with our associated Sponsors, sharing a Quality Event with Quality Brands.

The brand and product of the sponsor shall be advertised and promoted throughout the year, intensified prior, during and after the two events through various marketing strategies / platforms. Sponsors will be mentioned and linked with any Club charity and support to the local population of the Tankwa region, such as past drought relief and school aid which has been a focus in the past events.

The marketing team shall blog about the sponsor as an important Partner to the Tankwa Cross Country Rally on various social media and online platforms like FaceBook, Instagram, websites and forums. This will create retail opportunities and good brand exposure. Sponsors to supply their own marketing materials. Staggered Sponsor payments can be negotiated.

1 x Platinum headline sponsorship :::  (sorry im sold to First Technology Group) :::
Full marketing strategy defined in conjunction with the company’s marketing team to be developed.

  • Club to ensure strategic placement and display of marketing material is effected including headline on the inflatable start and finish arch.
  • Main naming right subject to MSA rulings such as quote “Tankwa XC brought to you by ………..”. Includes logos/decals on the bikes and service crew vehicles.
  • Headline Sponsor will be allocated 50% of available branding space.
  • Logo to be included on the competitor competition number boards.
  • At least one media/public pre-event presentation and promotion at a public venue to be agreed (3 months before the main event).
  • Logo to be visible on Officials Shirts.

2 x Gold Product Sponsorship
Gold sponsors get access to privileged branding placement and extensive blogging.

  • Reporting on their products throughout the year as well as exposure on the inflatable arch.
  • Slogans “Tankwa XC supported by ……”
  • Includes logos/decals on the bikes (front fork covers) and service crew vehicles.
  • Logos to be included where possible and agreed to.

Silver sponsors
Silver sponsors are Critical in funding the behind the scenes team.

Their contribution will be towards fuel, lubricants, tyres, chains, supplements and accommodation for the teams scouting and doing the ground work to make this rally happen.

  • All Silver sponsors will receive online promotion of their company and products via social media platforms. Logos/decals will be placed on bikes and

support vehicles where possible.

  • There are many options: Fuelled by……. Marshalls by…… etc…
  • Silver Sponsors packages can be tailored as agreed to by both parties.

We believe in this event and we believe in you as a company and we feel strongly that it would be mutually beneficial for you to come on board as a Tankwa Cross Country Rally Sponsor in 2020. The Cape Cross Country Organising Team have a strong track record in building Western Cape Off-road and produced National events of the highest standards.

Sponsorship Opportunities