Sport

Oakley X-Over – More Than A Mash-Up

We visited the 2015 Oakley X-Over to find out exactly what makes this annual event so special.

What do you get when you throw a bunch of former and current sporting heroes, along with some good banter, in a head-to-head battle of supremacy in three different sporting events? A lot of chaos, but more importantly, the Oakley X-Over Challenge.

The Oakley X-Over Challenge, presented by Seartec, proud distributor of Sharp, held in Jeffrey’s Bay, thrusts together the likes of Bob Skinstad, John Smit, Ryan Sandes, Greg Minnaar, Gareth ‘Soldier Boy’ McLellan, Dale Steyn, David Millar, Kevin Evans, Raynard Tissink, Tom Whitaker, Lance Isaacs, Ruan de Smidt, and Butch James, who came out victorious in last year’s event. Mixing it up even further, Plettenberg local Wihann Kotze was added to the roster after winning a social media competition.

The order of the days included a mountain bike trail at Impala Lodge, followed by a round of golf at the prestigious and downright-beautiful St Francis Links course, capped off by the lads braving the waves at J-Bay’s Point beach.

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Given the cold, wet and gruelling weather of Day 1, it was clear the guys weren’t in for an easy time, and the baptism of fire began immediately with the mountain-bike event. Some crashes, slow-punctures (both bodily and on the bikes) made for an interesting event, until SA cycling legend Kevin Evans showed his eternal class and pushed ahead to take first, while Greg Minaar, fresh off winning his 18th downhill MTB World Cup, was right behind in second. Wildcard winner Wihann Kotze slotted into third, showing that he wasn’t just there for autographs.

There wasn’t too much time for the three to soak up the glory, though, as it was straight onto the St Francis Links to see how the fellas fair on the course. Tricky, unforgiving yet incredibly serene, the Links will punish you while you gawk at the alluring surroundings.

A lot of divots, splashes and groans of anger ensued from the majority, but rather unsurprisingly, professional golfer Ruan de Smidt played a stellar game, and grabbed first spot, with Aussie surfer Tom Whitaker coming in second and showing he’s competent both in and out of the water. Rugby World Cup winner Butch James secured third spot, which would keep him in contention going forward.

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One thing that became immediately evident during the event was that the Oakley X-Over was more about the camaraderie, love of sport and company rather than the results, and an evening braai to calm the nerves before the morning’s surfing event emerged just that.

The spirit of a school sports tour was alive and well on the evening, with some verbal swordplay, personal catchups and laughs at the day’s events were on the cards. And of course, the banter was as good as the meat, and that’s always a good thing.

Friday morning brought arguably the most discussed moment of the event, as the squad headed to Point beach to take on J-Bay’s iconic surf. A glorious day brought a sizable crowd to spectate the proceedings. Red Bull DJs were on hand to deliver some pleasure to the ears and it set the stage for some great action to follow.

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There was great support from the other competitors for each contestant as they headed into the waves, with cheers (and the occasional chirp) bringing out the best in each other.

While each athlete had their moment getting on (or falling off) the board, local wildcard Wihann Kotze stunned everybody by putting in an inspired performance to take first spot. This, in conjunction with his third place in the MTB event, crowned him as the overall winner of the Oakley X-Over, showing that the event really is about diversity and unpredictability.

The Oakley X-Over was an incredible success this year, but more so than the points, logs and results, it showed that the spirit of friendship, fun and mutual respect is a alive and well in past and present sports heroes in South Africa, and that’s worth more than any trophy.

Oakley X-Over Challenge was presented by Seartec, proud distributor of Sharp.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. James

    July 13, 2015 at 19:33

    This sounds like such an awesome event!!!!!!

    • jhb_boet

      July 13, 2015 at 19:35

      Ya, it really does sound awesome. How did the guy win a spot?

      • Karl

        July 13, 2015 at 19:38

        Yeah I’d be keen to know

        • Greg Za

          July 13, 2015 at 19:39

          I second that.

          • TonyTonyTony

            July 15, 2015 at 19:11

            I third that!!!!

        • jhb_boet

          July 14, 2015 at 21:46

          Still no idea?

      • Karl

        July 13, 2015 at 19:46

        I’m only asking in general. I definitely couldn’t compete. Well I would if balancing a beer on my stomach was a sport.

    • James

      July 13, 2015 at 19:38

      What was the sport to drinking ratio? I’m sure the guys got a bit loose

      • TonyTonyTony

        July 15, 2015 at 19:10

        I’m sure the week was just a huge piss up

  2. jhb_boet

    July 13, 2015 at 19:34

    Soldier Boy and Skinstad surfing? I have to see this

    • jhb_boet

      July 13, 2015 at 19:43

      No pictures of the boys surfing?

  3. jhb_boet

    July 13, 2015 at 19:40

    Why is this the first time I’m hearing about this Oakley X-Over thing? It sounds so sick!

    • jhb_boet

      July 13, 2015 at 19:43

      No video or pictures?! WT fuck

      • jhb_boet

        July 13, 2015 at 19:45

        Ok sorry the pictures took long to load but I’d love to see the ex-boks surfing

        • TonyTonyTony

          July 15, 2015 at 19:09

          Only on dial up Internet. Try getting a new connection

  4. Greg Za

    July 13, 2015 at 19:41

    Again. I second this. When did it start? How did Butch James win the last one? And more importantly, what is that guy doing these days?

    • TonyTonyTony

      July 15, 2015 at 19:08

      Definitely but I think the men stuff team did a great job covering it. Hopefully next time they might get a film crew down there so we can see what goes on down there.

      Yeah, what does Butch James do these days?

      More importantly, whatever happened to Earl Rose?

  5. JonJo

    July 21, 2015 at 14:48

    Still no info on how the “normal” guy got the invite?

  6. Tommy

    August 16, 2015 at 16:10

    Looks like a bunch of guys just messing around. any excuse for a dop session with the boys

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