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2017 Toyota Warrior Powered by Reebok Overall Series Winners Crowned

The winners of 2017 Toyota WARRIOR powered by Reebok have been announced. The prestigious title of South Africa’s largest obstacle course racing (OCR) series is greatly sought after and comes with the reward of R25,000 in prize money.

Taking centre stage is power couple Claude and Trish Eksteen, who have been crowned the 2017 Black Ops Elite Champions in their categories.

Trish Eksteen snatched up the victory with a total whitewash in the women’s elite field having sealed up the championship a few months ago already. There was no slacking off for the OCR superstar as she entered season finale, however, with a bonus R25,000 and a Toyota RAV4 on the line for the event win.

The eighth and final race marked the return of favourites Sabrina Daolio and Hanneke Dannhauser, who have both missed out on the majority of the 2017 WARRIOR season due to injury.

Eksteen’s hope of adding one more Black Ops Elite badge to her belt was going to take immense effort, but she managed to fight off both competitors to extend her reign as queen of the obstacle course.

“Winning the final event was like meeting goals for the year and a little bit more,” said Eksteen.

Despite the lengthy time off, Dannhauser managed to snatch up second place for the season and a R10,000 reward.

Rounding out the podium is Dominique D’Oliveria, with a bonus R5,000 reward. Although the athlete has battled with asthma attacks in several races this year, she has had one of the most memorable seasons of her career.

D’Oliveria made WARRIOR history by claiming the first ever ‘Triple Crown’ at the seventh event in Meerendal. This award goes to any athlete who is able to win all three events offered over the weekend – the Reebok Sprint Race individual event, Reebok Sprint Race team event, and Black Ops Elite event.

In the men’s category, Claude Eksteen went into the season finale with a lot more on the line than his wife. A mere 200 points separated him from his arch-rival, Thomas van Tonder, which meant that the winner of the event would take all.

In an epic battle for the Black Ops Elite title, the defining moment for Eksteen came on Breaking Point.He arrived at the infamous obstacle at the same time as van Tonder but managed to drop off the final set of ropes first. With victory in sight, Eksteen sprinted to claim the series title, a R50,000 total reward in prize money, and a brand new Toyota RAV4.

“It was complex race, especially with the shorter run and big carries, so when I got to Breaking Point I knew I had to go all out. It was a first for me to come out so strong on the carries and technical obstacles, and it’s an honour to share the series win with Trish” said Eskteen.

Van Tonder will settle for a second overall this season but has made it clear that he will be back with vengeance next year. The third and final man on the podium is Greg Avierinos.

It seems that the 2018 Black Ops Elite season will come with an array of fierce OCR talent. There are several athletes on the radar who have been blazing their way through the elite ranks.

Brandon Hulley completely annihilated the Commando Elite category and will step up to Black Ops Elite next season. He made it clear that he is a force to be reckoned with at the Multiply Adventure Challenge last month – a first of its kind sprint obstacle race that was hosted in partnership with WARRIOR.

He caused a major upset in the event when he beat renowned OCR athletes like Trevor Lagerway and Greg Avierinos to the title.

The rise of the Merchant Change a Life team has not gone unnoticed either. The group of 10 athletes began competing in the Black Ops Elite category last year and failed to complete the testing course at first.

In a journey of perseverance and true grit, they have quickly become a threat to the elite title at recent events. A stand-out moment for the team came when one of their members, Hlelani Radebe, managed to place second in the Meerendal event this year.


Black Ops Elite

1 Claude Eksteen – 20000 points

2 Thomas van Tonder – 19655 points

3 Greg Avierinos – 18071 points


1 Trish Eksteen – 20000 points

2 Hanneke Dannhauser – 16361 points

3 Dominique D’Oliveria – 16147

Commando Elite Overall

1 Brandon Hulley – 19833 points

2 Calen Hastie – 18571 points

3 Ricardo Rebelo – 17094 points


1 Tate Stewart – 16496 points

2 Sam Ryder – 15837 points

3 Talitha Scholtz – 14781 points

Rookie Elite Overall

1 Herman Havenga – 17784 points

2 Cayde de Waal – 17352

3 Dylan van Tonder – 16264


1 Monique Els – 18985

2 Tamaryn Bronner – 18649

3 Elizma Stols – 16765

Commando Elite Ladies – U22

1 Tate Stewart – 16496 points

2 Jodi Davidson – 7080 points

3 Ruth Avierinos – 6826 points


Commando Elite Men – U22

1 Brandon Hulley – 19833 points

2 Calen Hastie – 18571 points

3 Ricardo Rebelo – 17094 points

Commando Elite Ladies – 40-49

1 Sam Ryder – 15837 points 

Commando Elite Men – 40 – 49 

1 Dan van Hemert – 14734 points 

2 Leon Scholtz – 11389 points

3 Vaughan Proctor – 11316 points

Commando Elite Men – 50+

1 Michael Robins – 7886 points 

Rookie Elite U16 Girls

1 Nicole Claassen – 13838 points

2 Megan van Tonder – 12422 points 

3 Marle Meyer – 4569 points 

Rookie Elite U16 Boys

1 Cayde de Waal – 17352 points 

2 Dylan van Tonder – 16264 points 

3 Ricardo Goncalves – 6781 points

Photos by www.zcmc.co.za

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