KAEM Management Team

KAEM management team works year-round planning and executing activities pertaining to the event. At the event the Race Director is responsible for critical decision-making and the overall management of all operations.

MEDICLINIC is the event’s official medical sponsor. The medical team comprises two medical doctors, providing guidance and oversight in terms of medical operations. The doctors are assisted by three qualified medical nurses.

Hano Otto

Hano Otto

Race Director

Janine Swart

Janine Swart

Admin

Sonja Otto

Sonja Otto

Race Director

Simone Du Plooy

Simone Du Plooy

Marketing Consultant

Simon Kelly

Simon Kelly

Race Director

Hano Otto

Hano Otto

Race Director

Sonja Otto

Sonja Otto

Race Director

Simon Kelly

Simon Kelly

Race Director

Having worked and trained in Television broadcast at the SABC back in the mid eighties, and going on to run his own independent production company, Video Architects, Simon Kelly brought his media experience to the event in 2000.

Growing up at the coast in the Eastern Cape, Simon has always been a keen yachtsman, but has an enormous passion for anything else outdoors, particularly this Unique and Extreme event in the Green Kalahari desert.

“After 17 years as a partner in KAEM, I can honestly say that every year is a unique and amazing experience, not only because of the beauty and solitude of the area we operate in, but largely because of the wonderful people who partake, both competitors and crew, who have become family over the years.”

Simone Du Plooy

Simone Du Plooy

Marketing Consultant

Janine Swart

Janine Swart

Admin

KAEM was founded in the year 2000 by Estienne Arndt, Nadia Arndt and Simon Kelly. In December 2016, Estienne and Nadia handed over their share and responsibilities in the event to Hano Otto and Sonja Terblanche-Otto. Together with Simon Kelly, they are now the organisers of the event.

Hano and Sonja Otto is a formidable team with extensive experience as event managers in the sporting world. The couple started their first events management company in 2001 with a focus on adventure racing events that included the African qualifier for the AR World Championships, an event that hosted international teams from different countries competing. In 2010, the couple established TriSport SA with the aim to organise triathlon, trail running and mountain biking events. With events such as the Southern Cross (SOX) 3 Day Trail Run, the Oyster Catcher Trail Runs and the Namaqua Quest Stage Trail Run & Mountain Biking, this company has certainly made its mark and is recognised as one of the top in its market sector.

Prior to starting their first company, both Hano and Sonja were top athletes in their respective sporting domains. The couple met on the South African adventure racing team that finished in the top half of the field in the Borneo Eco Challenge Race in 2000. Hano comes from a running background where he achieved accolades in a number of ultra-marathons such as Comrades, Karoo 80 and Rhodes Ultra Mountain marathon. As an elite long distance triathlon South African champion, Sonja competed professionally for eight years in various international events including six Iron Man competitions.

Having worked and trained in Television broadcast at the SABC back in the mid eighties, and going on to run his own independent production company, Video Architects, Simon Kelly brought his media experience to the event in 2000. Growing up at the coast in the Eastern Cape, Simon has always been a keen yachtsman, but has an enormous passion for anything else outdoors, particularly this Unique and Extreme event in the Green Kalahari desert.  Simon’s words: “After 17 years as a partner in KAEM, I can honestly say that every year is a unique and amazing experience, not only because of the beauty and solitude of the area we operate in, but largely because of the wonderful people who partake, both competitors and crew, who have become family over the years.”   

Simoné is part of KAEM since 2013. Her focus is on communication, liaison and sponsorship management. Simoné also has her own Branding, PR & Communications business, servicing various customers including corporate and small-medium sized businesses. For any event related queries, contact Simoné at simone@kaem.co.za or +27 (0)83 709 8170.