Epic sailor, Mike Pammenter is hard at work training for the upcoming Ride for MRP Foundation, an epic cycle from Johannesburg to Durban at the end of November.


Photo Credit: © Pierre Tostee / MRP Foundation


Ride for MRP Foundation

South Africa: 29 / 30 November


Trading in his wet weather gear for a snug lycra suit, one of Durban and South Africa’s most famous sailors, Mike Pammenter, prepares to tackle perhaps his most challenging event yet with the upcoming Ride for MRP Foundation, an extreme cycle from Johannesburg to Durban on 29 and 30 November to raise funds for the MRP Foundation.


Now in its sixth edition, the two day fundraising ride starts in Johannesburg with 40 riders heading south. The first day they hope to clock up roughly 350km and rest overnight in Ladysmith. The following morning they will complete the remaining 290km to the sea, finishing at the Mr Price Head Office.


The semi-retired sailor hopes to raise R20,000 ahead of the 640km ride. Proceeds from the fundraising ride will go to the non-profit organisation, the MRP Foundation, offering programmes that focus on inspiring and empowering the youth of South Africa through education and skills development.


It takes an incredibly brave person to race around the planet on a yacht, even more so doing this twice. Pammenter has lived life at the extreme competing in the ultimate endurance test, the most gruelling offshore race in the world, around the world – the Volvo Ocean Race.


“I’d use the word epic when talking about the Volvo, it was just that. It was tough, pushing us to the limits. I lost teeth; severely damaged my ankle and the pure demands and toll on my body created or perhaps aggravated a slipped disk when we were heading into Miami which resulted in being diagnosed with a Lower Back Facet Joint Degeneration and thus ending up having back surgery, forcing me to be a land-lubber for a couple of years.”


Pammenter (32) continues, “Going into this ride, I admit I am nervous about the massive distances. I am getting a bit more comfortable talking to more of the guys who have done the ride before. This ride is going to stretch all of us to our physical and mental limits, requiring countless hours of dedicated training and preparation! But this is going to be epic.” the hard-core sailor stated.


No stranger to a bike, Pammenter has several Amashova races under his belt, including a sub 3-hour ride and is preparing for the Tsogo Sun Amashova on 18 October, “I use cycling as a way to keep fit for sailing, and I used to compete in a few triathlons. Three years ago I finished the 106km race in a time of 2hr59min45 sec. I also enjoy competing in mountain bike events on weekends. I have to admit that I am worried about the discomfort, sitting on the bike for those distances and that amount of time, it is going to be hugely testing!”


The first time he competed in the Volvo Ocean Race was in 2008 when he joined Telefonica Black as the then youngest sailor in the race, and then he wore the colours of Camper in the 2011 / 2012 race. Pammenter has sailed on a range of big boats and holds several World records, including smashing the Round the Isle of Wight record at Cowes Week aboard the 98ft supermaxi Maximus. He was also crewing onboard the Groupma Volvo 70 setting a new Round Britain and Ireland Course and Race record in 2010.


SA’s toughest sailor is gearing up for one of SA’s toughest charity cycle ride from Johannesburg to Durban on 29 and 30 November with the upcoming Ride for MRP Foundation in the hope of raising money for this worthwhile organisation.


MRP Foundation banking details:

Bank:                          ABSA Kingsmead (511326)

Swift Code:               ABSAZAJJ

Branch Code:           632005 (Universal)

Account:                    4075526746

Reference:                R4MRPF/MP/Donor Name
For more info visit http://www.mrpfoundation.org/ or www.pyc.co.za