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Containing Dreams with Big Box at FNB W2W

By Wines2Whales, 11/14/23, 11:30PM HST


The Oak Valley and Lourensford race villages at FNB Wines2Whales rely on hundreds of square metres of canvas. Key features however are built of steel; made secure, protected from the elements and vitally refrigerated by Big Box Containers. This is the story of how they help dreams flourish… 

Since 2015 Big Box Containers have been a feature at FNB Wines2Whales. Providing far more than just secure storage spaces and refrigeration containers. They help provide the serious gees, facilitating the small moments of pleasure which add up to create a world-class stage race experience. 

Never was this more apparent than during the Shiraz event in the 2023 FNB W2W Switchback. After a wet winter and a week of sporadic showers the fields of Oak Valley were slightly sodden. Camping is an adventure at the best of times, so if someone offered you an accommodation upgrade you would probably bite their arm off to take it. Especially when the upgrade is from a pair of compact tents to a luxurious container home… 

On Friday evening Kelly Braby and Kate Steenkamp danced their way to a Big Box upgrade. Abandoning their husbands and riding partners to the tent life for the next two nights the pair took full advantage of their newfound comfort. “I might not look fresh, but it’s definitely better than being on that side,” Braby said, pointing and laughing, to where her husband, Nick, and Philip Steenkamp were still camped on Saturday morning. 

“The Big Box was amazing! So warm and there was no snoring,” she continued with a grin. “Welcome to Château Kelly and Kate,” Steenkamp heralded, showing off their room for the race. “It’s clean, spacious, and came with a fully stocked fridge [though it appeared that the Devil’s Peak beers and Savanna ciders were already consumed, and only the Thirsty waters remained largely untouched].” 

Aside for the lucky two, from each of the three races, who won accommodation in the Big Box Container on the finish line the company also supplied containers for key services. These included the CIOVITA official apparel and merchandise store, the Devil’s Peak and Savanna bars, as well as the Seattle Coffee Co barista station. Beyond the FNB Riders’ Lounge and Savanna Chill Zone there were refrigeration containers at Oak Valley to dispense drinking water and to keep the Food Lover’s Market ingredients chilled for the catering team. The Big Box Water Box was arguably the most recognisable activation of the week. As every rider in the race village used it to refill bidons before each stage, as well as to fuel their rehydration post-stage. 

This water dispensing container and the vital refrigeration container were the unsung heroes of the race village. Over the nine days of the three events the temperatures fluctuated wildly. Yet, Big Box’s refrigeration kept the water cool and the Food Lover’s Market fresh produce cold. Thanks to their innovative single-phase refrigeration containers they also did not require sperate generators. 

“We’re very proud of our Single-Phase Refrigerated Container,” Big Box Containers Executive Director, 

Willie Ward stated. “It’s an innovation unique to Big Box and one which has been a game changer for our clients. Adapted for single-phase electricity, which is what households typically use, we are able to create a refrigerated container from a standard 6 metre shipping container. They have a flat aluminium checkered floor, are portable and secure, and produce very little noise.  The main benefit over a three-phase refrigeration container is that the single-phase version only consumes 1.98KW per hour and has a projected operating cost of R4 100.00 per month at a rate of R2,88 per KWH. This is less than a third of the expected running cost of a three-phase unit, which requires 7.5KW per hour.” 


“This year’s FNB W2W was certainly one to remember,” Ward noted. “The changes to the route and being able to share in the excitement of the Rugby World Cup semi-final and final in the Oak Valley race village will ensure we remember the 2023 edition forever. For Big Box the challenges of adverse weather conditions and big swings in temperatures allow us to showcase not only our converted containers, but also our logistical know-how. Nine years of experience working with the Epic Series and FNB W2W team has definitely helped us understand and finetune our offerings, in pretty extreme environments, which stands Big Box in great stead when supplying air-conditioned office containers, converted containers or pop-up shops, and especially refrigeration containers to clients outside of the event space.” 


From luxury upgrades, for competition winners, to cool water and nine days of fresh produce – Big Box Containers helps keep FNB Wines2Whales rolling like a dream. And that’s something to raise a ice cold (thanks Big Box) Devil’s Peak Beer to.