Carel Otto and his wife, Danielle, are the 2014 Spirit of Africa Trophy champions. The couple, who received R50 000 prize money for their achievement, was announced as overall winners after successfully negotiating five days of gruelling 4×4 driving challenges in Botswana last week.
Carel and Danielle mastered 30-stages of the competition which demanded not only precise driving skills but total concentration from the 20 finalists. Nearly 500 teams participated in the elimination rounds of the 10th Spirit of Africa in Zeerust between April and June 2014. Unlike the elimination rounds which take place over three days and scores are updated at the end of each day, the finals are held over five days and the scores are only announced at the end of the competition.
“The mystery of the scores in the finals creates suspense and increase levels of competition amongst the finalists because no one knows where they are on the point list,” said Sarel van der Merwe, the host of the competition.
“This year, the winners were only decided on the last day of the competition and the points’ difference between the top three was miniscule. The 2014 competition was by far the best we have ever had in terms of the scenery where the competition took place, stage challenges and competitors.”
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been sponsoring the Spirit of Africa competition for the past five years. This year 23 Amarok Double cabs were used for the competition.
“Our association with Sarel and Spirit of Africa competition in the past five years has helped us to expose the Amarok model range to thousands of people who have since become our delighted customers and brand ambassadors. The very challenging terrain selected this year for both the elimination rounds and the finals provided ideal conditions for Amarok to show its toughness and superior capability,” said Jaco Steenekamp, General Manager: Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
The winning top three was completed by Christiaan and Pike Otto who finished in the second position and received R30 000 in prize money, while Alwyn Jordaan and Melanie Barnard came third and received R20 000.