- 12 days and 2 500 km in remote and rugged north-western Namibia
- 18 South Africans contestants and 1 each from Angola and Mozambique
- Punishing route with extreme off-road trails and tough conditions
PRETORIA, South Africa, 8 September, 2014–Ranger Odyssey 2014 has officially kicked off with 20 brave contestants taking on some of the toughest conditions the African continent has to offer.
The expedition spans 12 days and will cover approximately 2 500 km, most of which is on gravel along with a series of extreme 4×4 trails in the Kaokoland region in the far north-western corner of Namibia.
The 20 contestants arrived in Windhoek on Sunday 7 September and immediately set off for Kamanjab which is the start and end point of Ranger Odyssey 2014.
It’s also the first time the South African contestants met their compatriots from the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, comprising one representative each from Angola and Mozambique. A contestant had also been selected from Nigeria but was unable to compete due to current travel restrictions in place into Namibia.
This year the contestants are paired up in teams of two, with the selection having taken place at the venue for the first night, Oppi Koppi camp site in Kamanjab. The top 10 contestants, based on their results from Boot Camp and the SSA selections, drew random numbers that linked them up with their team-mates for the rest of the Odyssey.
Together they will be competing for the ultimate prize – the opportunity to each drive an Odyssey Ranger for a year, along with R5 000 fuel per month.
“We have a superb group of individuals on this year’s Ranger Odyssey,” says Gavin Golightly, Ford Marketing Manager. “Each one of them earned their place on this event, but now it’s time for them to prove they are tough enough to embrace this unique ‘Built Ford Tough’ challenge while traversing some of Africa’s most amazing scenery and trails.”
Over the course of the event, the contestants will be tackling several arduous 4×4 trails in a fleet of 10 identical Ranger 3.2 XLT Double Cab 4×4 Automatics, along with four Rangers for the support and media crews.
The route encompasses the notorious Van Zyl’s Pass between Otjihende and Orupembe, as well as the treacherous path along the Kunene River that forms the border between Namibia and Angola.
The Epupa Falls and the Puros Loop are some of the other significant highlights that await the teams, with the latter renowned for its desert lions and elephants.
Throughout the almost two-week adventure, the teams will be constantly evaluated on their technical and precision driving, camp craft, communication and daily vehicle maintenance. There will also be a series of special tasks including river rafting, vehicle recovery and tracking, while physical and mental stamina will undoubtedly be pushed to the limit.
They will also be facing extreme changes in temperature, from scorching hot during the day to freezing at night. Aside from the lions and elephants, this arid region is also known for its snakes and scorpions.
The Ranger Odyssey concludes on 18 September when the teams return home from Namibia. The winners of the 2014 event will be announced in October.
For further information on the Ranger Odyssey follow @FordSouthAfrica on Twitter using the #RangerOdyssey hashtag.
The Ranger Odyssey 2014 teams are:
|3||Janelle de Beer||24||Pretoria|
|Anastacio Ferreira Pena||22||Angola|
|4||Chantal Burger||27||Bela Bela|
|Sarah Jo Gengiah||21||Durban|
|Oan de Waal||23||Pretoria|
|Ian Chamberlain||28||Mossel Bay|
The Ford Ranger Odyssey Team
Team 2 Lindie Burger And Gladston Mfikwe
Team 3 Janelle De Beer And Anastacio Pena
Team 4 Chantal Burger And Sarah Jo Gengiah
Team 6 Garron Ockhuis And Linda Khanye
Team 7 Johan Retters And Oan De Waal
Team 8 Shaun Corlett And Ian Chamberlain