The peaceful farm near Amersfoort in Mpumalanga, ordinarily the home of Country TRAX Off-Road Riding Academy, was turned into a hive of activity this week when the BMW Motorrad South Africa machine rolled in for the start of the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa.
Tents were pitched, flags hoisted, cables laid, and catering facilities set up in the preceding days as the farm was transformed into the Covid-secure hub for the 31 men and women who would be competing for a place in Team South Africa for next year’s International GS Trophy.
The eight regional teams, each comprising three members, and the seven ladies started arriving on the afternoon of Thursday, 9 September. With Covid-19 formalities out of the way, competitors were left to prepare their equipment for the weekend’s challenge and familiarise themselves with their individual luxury tents that would be their home for the weekend.
It was at the gala dinner where Penny Sterley, General Manager of BMW Motorrad South Africa officially welcomed all the riders, marshals, and support staff to the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa. What followed was to set the scene for the action-packed weekend.
After the initial rider and event briefing, the competitors participated in the first official challenge of the qualifier with a night navigation exercise using a GPS track log.
The night ride was completed without incident by midnight and, just like that, the scoreboard was opened for the rest of the weekend!
It certainly got the competitive juices pumping ahead of the weekend of challenges, set to culminate with the announcement on Saturday night, 11 September, of the five-person team going on to compete at the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania in the late European summer.