Adventure, sports and competition in South Africa.
Munich. We are now just days away from the start of the Africa 2010 edition of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy. Beginning November 13, thirty riders from thirteen nations from around the world will compete in a week of adventure riding, special tests, teamwork challenges and problem solving – a week that will also be about having fun, getting back to nature and enjoying this iconic genre of adventure motorcycling.
So with the clock ticking, here’s a heads-up on one of the most innovative bike competitions in the world today, explaining what the event’s about, where it’s happening and when it’s happening.
What is the GS Trophy?
The GS Trophy is a celebration of the spirit of the BMW GS motorcycle, bringing together those elements of leisure, adventure and challenge that this bike engenders. This edition of the GS Trophy is extra special as it’s also celebrating 30 years of the GS motorcycle.
The Africa 2010 event is the second edition of the GS Trophy, the previous edition took place in Tunisia in 2008. An immediate success, it pitched teams from different nations against each other yet also created a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie that brought them together. The team from the USA may have won the competition, but all who rode in the 2008 edition quite rightly felt they were winners, too.
Word spread of this exciting event and so, to meet demand, for 2010 the GS Trophy (now a biennial event) has doubled in size. Instead of five teams of three riders, this edition will see ten teams, comprising 30 riders from 13 nations, competing.
“The GS Trophy is an inspiration for GS riders all around the world,” explains Hendrik von Kuenheim, General Director of BMW Motorrad. “GS riders are by their very nature both enthusiasts and adventurers, so the GS Trophy captures that essence by bringing together people from different cultures and backgrounds to ride these wonderful bikes through such beautiful and challenging landscapes. The event is quite unique, and with 2010 being the 30th anniversary of the GS this edition in South Africa will be something very special.”
Who are the riders?
The participants of the GS Trophy are non-professional riders who have won their positions in the GS Trophy through national qualifiers known as “GS Challenges”.
GS Trophy organizer Michael Trammer explains the process: “The GS Trophy was designed to give amateurs with off-road experience the opportunity to take part in a large-scale enduro competition. To ensure that the finalists are of a comparable standard we set them a series of tests that correspond to a standardized level throughout the GS Challenge events held around the world. It’s our desire that whatever the final result, each participant will get to experience something they will never forget – ultimately, there will be no losers, as just to be selected to represent your country is a significant achievement.”
The GS Challenges took place between April and October this year. The response from the GS-riding public has been overwhelming, with many events adopting two- and even three-day formats in order to support a fair selection process. In Japan, for instance, the Challenge event attracted 320 riders, while in Sweden over 500 riders took part in an expanded event that was branded ‘Adventure Days’.
The full list of the finalists will appear in a further press document.
Where and when does the GS Trophy take place?
The GS Trophy begins on 13 November in Johannesburg with competitors riding across South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, ending on 21 November in Johannesburg. The exact itinerary and details of the tasks and challenges are to remain a well-guarded secret until closer to the start date. However, fellow organizer, Tomm Wolf, has described the event as such:
“We will be traveling around 2000 kilometers across an extremely varied landscape. South Africa is a country of wide and varied terrain. We’ll experience mountains, forests and great enduro landscapes in Swaziland, while in Mozambique it will be sand all the way. We have been able to call upon local experience and knowledge to devise a programme that ensures that the riders will enjoy a unique, authentic and diverse experience that will take in five game reserves and six different venues in total, with elevation ranges from sea level to around 2000 metres.”