GREAT KAROO, 10 SEPTEMBER 2008: By Wednesday of next week, 120 of the country’s top multi-sports athletes will have completed the first leg – (Regional Selections) of the three-part process of naming South Africa’s team for the Land Rover G4 Challenge which will take place in Mongolia during June 2009.
The second rotation of the Regionals ended with a farewell ceremony here this morning – when race director Mark Collins awarded places in the Nationals to Cape Town’s Jeannie Bomford and Knysna’s Andre Gie.
The runners-up were Catherine Treasure, Liske Lauterbach, Eugene Moll and David Krige, whose names will go into the judging pool for the Nationals. A total of eight runners up from all four selections will join the leading men and women as well as four wild card entries chosen by Land Rover South Africa at the Nationals in Lesotho next month.
Although specific information about tasks in the selections can only be made public once all four rotations have been completed, prizes for outstanding performance by individuals – provided by sponsors Land Rover Gear, Hella, USN, Garmin and Helly Hansen – are also awarded during these farewell ceremonies.
Other sponsors of the Selections – which will benefit the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – include Goodyear, Petzl, Fluid Kayaks and Supersport (who will screen footage from the event during October).
“For logistical reasons we had to divide the Regionals into four rotations of 30 people each,” said Land Rover South Africa’s General Manager of Marketing and Sales, Roland Reid. “Now that we’ve completed the second rotation we have a good idea of the strength of the athletes we’re dealing with – and I’ll tell you this: I think the Nationals are going to be quite something because the competition has been very, very tough and uncompromising so far.
“Jeannie Bomford is a case in point: she fell going down a hill and took quite a knock in one of the mountain biking races – big bruise, roastie on her elbow and hit her head so hard that she cracked her helmet – but she got up and continued and ended up setting the record for women in that task.
“Straight after that, she went to set a record time for the next task – an orienteering challenge. The incredible thing is, though, that she won every single task in her rotation – a 100% score every time
“She’s a machine.”
Like Jeannie, Andre Gie, a medical doctor, was a popular choice amongst the athletes, many of whom knew him from his highly successful adventure racing career.
Speaking after the awards, he said, “I’m psyched – there were so many really awesome competitors and in your mind you see everyone else charging off into the distance and cleaning up.
“But I think the main thing is to remain positive the whole time and give it all you’ve got… I’m pumped, I’m really excited!”
More information at www.landroverg4challenge.com. A South African supporters group – “Land Rover G4 Selections South Africa” – has been created on Facebook.