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Land Rover G4 Challenge Selections South Africa

International Selections - Martin Dreyer will represent South Africa at the G4

Martin Dreyer the 2006 and multiple Duzi canoe marathon winner and international adventure racing athlete was the strongest South African candidate at the Land Rover G4 international selections. Martin is based in Cape Town and is well known in the adventure and endurance racing scene in South Africa. We can be proud that we have the best candidate to represent us at the G4. Martin is hugely capable, as his string of past performances will prove, but it is his never say die attitude that will see South Africa well represented. Martins comments about the event were that the driving was especially taxing in the wet and cold conditions. The trials were run as a simulation of the actual event, sleeping under the same conditions and driving the vehicles in some of the challenging conditions in the Eastnor Eastate.

Friday 3 February 2006
Today, the final day of the 2006 Land Rover G4 International Selections, has been much anticipated by each of the 54 candidates. They have spent 5-days on the Eastnor Estate, near Ledbury, in sub-zero temperatures, undergoing skills training and assessments. The International Selections are geared towards preparing each candidate for the Land Rover G4 Challenge and to selecting one representative from each of the 18 competing nations. This afternoon the finalists were announced, naming Martin Dreyer as our South African representative. He’ll go through to the Land Rover G4 Challenge which commences in April this year. Here, he will compete against 17 other participants in what is, undoubtedly, The Ultimate Global Adventure.

When Richard Kolbe dislocated his left shoulder last Wednesday night, 3-days into this event, the selectors’ focus shifted to assessing only Martin and Marijke Nel. Both strong competitors, their point tally was not far apart, making South Africa one of the most difficult countries to judge. But, ultimately, only one candidate could be chosen.

“This is something I just wouldn’t have expected … to be here at G4,” said Martin after the post-announcement celebrations. “I now have to focus on the main challenge.”

Although Martin is a strong and capable all-round contender, he has to eliminate his weaknesses in preparation for the Challenge. “I’ve identified huge limitations in my abilities through the testing process here. Over the next three months, I will need to focus on strengthening my skills in initiative, navigation and strategic tasks. I’m an endurance athlete and these are the chinks in my armour.”

Our South Africans have had an incredible camaraderie this week, working together, assisting each other and yet still remaining individually competitive. Marijke is indeed an exceptional athlete, who performed consistently well in all the physical, driving and initiative tasks.

“Yes I’m disappointed, but I’m also just so happy for Martin,” she said after the announcement. “He has two months to prepare and I know that he can win the Challenge for us.”

Dewald van Bergen, Brand Manager for Land Rover South Africa, attended these Selections to observe our candidates in action. “What was so awesome about these guys is that their approach was on a National basis. They worked together as a team, using their strengths to keep South Africa’s status at the top. This spirit remained from the start, right through to today.”

Dewald shares his observations of our candidates:

“In terms of the individuals: It really is so sad that Richard dislocated his shoulder and had to withdraw from the Selections. But, he is still young and he will be able to return to compete in the next Selections. He’ll take home what he has learnt here and will excel in the future. Richard came into the Selections extremely well prepared. He looked at the tasks and disciplines very scientifically, which was integral to his initial success.

“Marijke… she really excelled in the Selections. She is extremely committed and has always been a wonderful ambassador for our brand. She did so well and is most certainly, from a competitive point of view, one of the strongest women here. But, in terms of South Africa, she was up against our strong male candidates. She has an awesome personality and is extremely supportive of the men. Marijke’s participation here has been such a credit to our country.

“Martin… he is a top contender and I believe will do South Africa proud in the final event. What will count, in this month-long event, is his tenacity to hang in there. His endurance background wll be to his advantage here so I’m extremely positive about Martin.

Speaking of his personal experience here at the Land Rover G4 International Selections Dewald said, “For me this is the first time that I have attended a Selections. I felt so much a strong part of the team. The guys – and girl – have just taken me on board as part of their team. It was an honour to compete with them in the raft race this morning.”

Martin, Marijke and Richard return to South Africa on Sunday morning and after a few days of rest, Martin’s preparations begin for the Land Rover G4 Challenge.

Land Rover G4 challenge South America
Land Rover G4 Discovery

 

SAs Top 3 selected at National Selections for G4 Challenge

Land Rover G4 Challenge entrants who made the short list of 30 were invited to national selections. The selection process took place over 3 days in KwaZulu Natal. With no idea of what they were in for the entrants were kept guessing at all times. Looking at the list of 30 competitors it read like a whos who of adventure sport and adventure racing in South Africa. The list was made up of some of the countries best adventure races, mountain bikers, kayakers, canoeists and accomplished endurance athletes. Despite their varied backgrounds they all had one thing in common and that was a sense of adventure second to none.

After all arriving at Durban airport the convoy of tangerine orange Land Rover Discovery 3s headed out of town and into the hills. The destination was Tala game reserve, where the next two days would be spent in a remote location testing minds, bodies and vehicles. The first task was to pitch camp and sort out food for all the competitors, marshals and the rest of the crew. With a big campfire lit competitors introduced themselves by way of an impromptu speech on a relevant topic. Competitors were kept on their tows with a midnight activity of running and raft building. This didn't leave much time for sleep as everyone was up just after 5am again for the first activity of the day. 

An 18 km map orienteering task lay ahead. Using a topographical map, competitors had to locate upto 20 points to collect maximum points within a specified time frame. Good strategy and fitness meant that some competitors achieved maximum points while some missed out completely by missing the cut off time. After breakfast the action continued with 5 activities back to back, really testing endurance and stamina. The activities included mountain biking, kayaking, compass orienteering, rock climbing and absailing. There were also two driving tasks using the Discovery 3. The first involved crossing an obstacle course which demanded complete vehicle control and good communication between the driver and the rest of the team. Too much acceleration, stopping too late or missing the line could spell disaster and incure hefty penalty points. The second driving task required precision driving through a demarcated course covering rock, dongas, ditches, slopes and hills. This is were the new Discovery 3 proved its capability and made it look so easy.

The last activity was a group effort that had the competitors using vehicles, winches, poles, ropes and a bit of creative thinking to move people and equipment over a stretch of water. 

The G4 challenge then moved to the urban environment in Durban as competitors checked into the Hilton hotel. It was here that the 10 finalists were announced. These finalists were to compete the next day in a range of urban tasks, similar to the remote tasks, but with a few surprises. The day got started with a 60m absail down the front of the Hilton Hotel, followed by orienteering on foot through the streets of Durban. This lead them to mountain bikes which they used to get to the kayak transition. An exceptionally strong south westerly head wind meant that a portage down the beach was chosen as the safest and fastest option. Competitors finished after a paddle out into the wind to round a boy and a run up on the beach. 

After a brief rest the afternoons activities got underway, these included a tough obstacle course, a cleaver orienteering course, a climbing wall, rope climbing and a driving circuit. The final 10 pulled out all the stops and gave their best possible performances and by the end of the day the non-stop activities were starting to take their toll. The final activity of the day was a group effort over the obstacle course with a mountain bike in tow. 

At the final dinner at the Hilton the final and best 3 competitors to represent South Africa at the international selections at the home of Land Rover Eastnor Castle in the UK were announced. Martin Dreyer (36) from Cape Town, Marietjie Nel (37) from Richards Bay and Richard Kolbe (29) from Johannesburg emerged as the toughest and most consistent competitors. 

 

Land Rover South Africa to select Challengers for Adventure of a Lifetime

On the 18th August 2005 male and female competitors from around the country will be put to the test to determine who will represent South Africa in the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge; a global adventure that will take place over a four week period and travel through Thailand, Laos, Brazil and Bolivia.  

30 men and women with a thirst for adventure will meet in KwaZulu Natal to compete in the National Selection event; a test of initiative, strategic thinking, team spirit, 4x4 driving, physical fitness and adventure skills. 

The selections are designed to test every aspect of the competitor’s character and ensure they have what it takes to compete against, and work alongside, competitors from 17 other nations over a gruelling four week schedule of adventure competition. 

Just three applicants (including at least one female) will emerge from the National Selections and progress to the International Selections Event to be held at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, UK, the ‘home of Land Rover’ on January 29-February 4, 2006, where the leading competitor per nation will be selected to take part in the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge.

 

Commencing on 23 April 2006, The Land Rover G4 Challenge is a global adventure that puts strategy, stamina and skill to the test with 4x4 driving and multi sport challenges that include mountain biking, kayaking, climbing, orienteering and abseiling.  The action unfolds amid both remote areas of outstanding natural beauty and dramatic urban cityscapes.  

The inaugural Land Rover G4 Challenge took place in April 2003 and journeying through remote USA, South Africa and Australia, proved itself as one of the toughest, most spectacular adventure challenges in the world.

In 2006, the Challenge returns with even more adventure as the route extends into four remote, demanding and culturally diverse locations. Starting in Thailand with an urban competition in Bangkok, the Challenge will leave the city and move deep into Southeast Asia’s heartland with remote action in Laos, the ‘Jewel of the Mekong’. From Laos the Challenge sweeps across the globe to South America and the world-famous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. After the energy and glamour of Brazil the ultimate destination is Bolivia, a rugged and beautiful land that will take the competitors upwards into the Andes and onwards through eerie salt plains of Salar de Uyuni to a Challenge climax at an altitude of over 4000m. 

Thomas Viehweg, President Premier Automotive Group, commented: “Our aim is to inspire a sprit of adventure and we are thrilled to have a great field of competitors all eager to represent South Africa in this truly global challenge. The National Selections provide the opportunity for successful applicants to sample the spirit of the Challenge and take part in some of the physical and mental competitions that form the backbone of the event. For these adventure enthusiasts, this is the first stage towards the experience of a lifetime.” 

The nations to be represented in the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge are:

·         Argentina

·         Germany

·         Russia

·         Australia

·         Greece

·         South Africa

·         Belgium

·         Ireland

·         Spain

·         Brazil

·         Italy

·         Taiwan

·         Chile & Costa Rica

·         Japan

·         Turkey

·         France

·         Netherlands

·         United Kingdom

 

 

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