It was a busy day at the Country TRAX Enduro Park, the site of the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa on Friday, 10 September. Everyone had had a good rest after the navigation ride the night before, and the day’s action started immediately after breakfast.
A static exercise on the lawn was followed by various tests of riding skill, teamwork, endurance, and technical know-how. The competitors again treated the organisers and marshals to an awesome display of the finest technical riding despite the tough competition.
After dinner, the scores were announced, and the rankings are as follows:
Gerrit du Toit
Dalton de Bruin
Ruhan de Villiers
Mark Van Rensburg Jnr
Cliff VD Westhuizen
Mark Van Rensburg Snr
Tony Mc Cree
Andrèas van Heerden
Herman du Bruyn
Christelle van der Meulen
Another full day of challenges will be undertaken on Saturday ahead of the announcement later that evening of the five-person Team South Africa to tackle the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania!
The riders interpreted this as a chance to rest and recharge their batteries, but with a 3:30 am call to breakfast – so as to catch the early inter-island ferry – they soon realised, that there really is no rest in this competition until the finish.
Nonetheless, this was a great opportunity for the GS riders to share experiences, as with three hours on the ferry they had plenty of time for inter-team chats. Albeit that was after they had completed their first challenge of the day – the ‘40 years of GS Quiz’ in which they were tested on their knowledge of this iconic motorcycle that has become so much more than just a brand.
In fact it was a ferry ride in three parts: knowledge test, sleep and sightseeing, the latter coming as the ferry made its way down the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound to the port of Picton.
In Picton the GS Trophy riders created a stir as all 140 F 850 GS motorcycles disembarked the ferry, followed by the vast entourage of cars and trucks that support the event. Once out of Picton – which took all of two minutes, it’s that small – the GS riders enjoyed a scenic ride through the Marlborough Sounds.
Although this region is world famous for its wine production, the route followed the national park trail along the sounds and then up into the valleys before reaching the small town of Havelock (population: 486) where the GS riders gratefully stopped for a refreshment break. From here it was a short ride to Pelorus Bridge where they found their campsite set deep in a forest.
The early afternoon finish was not an opportunity to rest as the GS riders found two more challenges waiting for them. First was the ‘GPS Challenge’ in which the teams took their BMW Motorrad Navigator VI GPS units and had to find their way – on foot – through the forest to find another Navigator VI unit from which they extracted data to be reported to the marshal at the end of the challenge.
No sooner had they finished this, than the riders were shepherded to the ‘Metzeler Challenge’ where they needed to demonstrate their prowess with the tools, changing the rear wheel on their F 850 GS. Again, as this was against the clock the teams needed to have intimate knowledge of the wheel spacers, chain run and brake arrangement if they were to set a fast time.
Day 4 was the halfway point of the 2020 GS Trophy and the competition was really getting heated. The top three teams were very close together on points indicating that the remaining days would indeed be a battle for the top spot.
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