After long haul flights from different parts of the world, you’d be forgiven for thinking that jet lag would have gotten the better of the participants taking part in the 2020 International GS Trophy. But, the excitement of registering for the event, taking possession of (and making personal adjustments to) their BMW F 850 GS motorcycles easily trumped their exhaustion.
With ‘admin’ things out of the way, the group got into the spirit of the New Zealand way of life, starting with an introduction to the culture of the indigenous Maori people. This included the traditional challenge to newcomers – the world famous haka.
For me, in the true spirit we share our passion for GS and allow it to take us places new and old and Make Life a Ride– Cobus Theron, Team South Africa, 2020 International GS Trophy participant
22 teams from 25 nations had registered to compete in the 2020 event, including four new teams, and two International Female Teams. All were extremely keen to join the International GS Trophy brother-and sister-hood.
A road less travelled.
What lay ahead of the riders, was eight days and around 2400km of adventure riding – traversing both the North and South Islands. Approximately 60% of the route would be off-road, while the remaining 40%, would be quiet roads that lead through incredible landscapes.
I believe the greatest challenge will be not to forget to enjoy the moment– BJ Vosloo, TEAM SOUTH AFRICA, 2020 INTERNATIONAL GS TROPHY PARTICIPANT
The route started in Rotorua, close to the centre of the North Island, an area of active volcanic activity, and ended in the alpine ski-resort of Queenstown deep in the South Island. Along the way the participants would get to enjoy the nature and culture of the remote islands while facing daily challenges that count toward the competition.
Overall director of the Int. GS Trophy, Ralf Rodepeter (head of brand and product at BMW Motorrad) was delighted with the venue and format of this year’s competition: “I love the Int. GS Trophy, it’s a wonderful ride and so much fun, but what I like most is seeing the people connect.
I look forward to completely submerging myself in a new culture and being able to challenge myself and push my skills and abilities to new heights– Brandon Jason Grimsted, team SOUTH AFRICA, 2020 INTERNATIONAL GS TROPHY PARTICIPANT
Every day the teams are mixed so they ride every time with new nationalities and they’ll have an adventurous experience together, which creates this bond and understanding. Bringing in teams from North Africa and the Middle East this year is especially exciting, so we can honestly say we have riders from all over the world and all walks of life. And this is the spirit of the GS, bringing diverse peoples and cultures together, learning about each other and discovering and enjoying the nature, playing and adventuring,” he said.
Team South Africa:
No: 251, Rider: Cobus Theron, Age: 28, Hometown: Tulbagh, Occupation: Farmer
Quote: “A few years ago, the Spirit of GS didn’t have the meaning that it does today after getting involved with the Trophy and the closer GS community. For me, in the true spirit we share our passion for GS and allow it to take us places new and old and Make Life a Ride!”
No: 252, Rider: BJ Vosloo, Age: 34, Hometown: Cape Town, Occupation: Industrial architect
Quote: “I believe the greatest challenge will be not to forget to enjoy the moment. The International GS Trophy journey is most definitely not easy. It takes hard work, massive determination and an attitude not to forget about your goals set to yourself. You have to be willing to sacrifice some things in life to achieve great things. Every rider that has qualified in the past will know this.”
No: 253, Rider: Brandon Jason Grimsted, Age: 20, Hometown: Fouriesburg, Occupation: Commercial driver
Quote: “I look forward to completely submerging myself in a new culture and being able to challenge myself and push my skills and abilities to new heights, all whilst exploring the incredibly beautiful and diverse terrain that New Zealand has to offer.”