This year, the gelding ‘Do It Again’ was the fifth horse - in the 123-year history of the Durban July - to win for two consecutive years.
In a similar vein, Rand-Air’s Durban team were called on to ‘do it again’ and supply the organisers of the race meeting with temporary lighting for the 2019 event.
“While the organisers of the Durban July told us that they were very happy with our 2018 rental, we were still delighted to be called to Greyville race course for the second year in a row,” says Rand-Air Sales Representative Natlee Bennie.
A further testimony to Rand-Air’s excellent service was that, whereas in 2018 the organisers rented six units, in 2019, they increased this number to ten.
The equipment on hire consisted of Atlas Copco QLV, QLT, and QLB lighting towers; as well as solar lighting.
Every year, the Greyville racetrack hosts this historic and prestigious race meeting, an occasion when South African high society turns out in force to ‘see and be seen’ at this glittering event. The display of July fashions has become something of a South African legend.
Bennie advises that, to cater for all the visitors’ vehicles, the organisers have made extra space available on grounds near the racecourse. However, they found that these vehicles and their contents presented an attractive target for the unscrupulous.
This prompted police to warn racegoers to secure their vehicles and not leave valuables inside them. “As lighting serves as an effective deterrent, Rand-Air was contracted to provide the necessary equipment,” Bennie continues, adding that last year, the extra lighting covering the temporary parking and golf course proved to be very effective at protecting the many expensive vehicles.
The planning of the Durban July has to start well beforehand, and for this reason, six months prior to the event, the organisers contacted Rand-Air to book the necessary lighting. A week before the event, Rand-Air held a further meeting with the race organisers and Rand-Air’s Zane Hippolyte and Bennie carried out a site walk to finalise the planning and assist in strategically placing the units at the venue.
Hippolyte also did the setup on the Friday before the race after giving the mandatory ‘toolbox’ talk to the team. The organisers also provided Rand-Air with access to the arena, as on Saturday he had to carry out checks to ensure the units were running perfectly. “And on the day, apart from monitoring the equipment, Zane actually got to watch the Durban July in action,” Bennie continues.
The lighting units that Rand-Air provided feature the latest LED technology, which has the added advantage of being light on fuel, while providing excellent light coverage. On the day, they performed perfectly. Feedback from the race organisers was that they were more than satisfied with Rand-Air’s equipment and service. They commented that they would definitely be use the company’s services next year again.
“The Durban July involved the entire Durban team in one way or another; and Zane Hippolyte, Fieza Moodeen, Petros Mngoma, and Khula Mkhwanazi in particular,” says Durban Area Manager Rudi de Vry.
“At the depot, there was a real buzz of excitement about the Durban July, and the cooperation between the various team members contributed to a sense of camaraderie.”
“The exposure that our lighting sets gave us at the race meeting has really been excellent. We have found that since the 2018 event, enquiries for our lighting towers have increased significantly, largely due to word-of-mouth,” de Vry says.
“We are very proud to have been selected to supply lighting to the Durban July and look forward to being able to ‘do it again’ in 2020,” he concludes.