Yet another team has been confirmed for the forthcoming International GS Trophy in South America, bringing the total number of teams that are participating in this exciting event to 15—the highest number yet. Following a grueling three-day challenge at the Country Trax off-road academy in Mpumalanga, the three members of Team South Africa have been selected.
Taking place at the home base of South African GS legend and well-known riding instructor Jan du Toit, the team selection qualifier formed part of an advanced off-road course offered by Jan and his team, which would test the 11 participants’ skills to the limit over three days of adventure challenges.
As the country that arguably started the original GS Challenge concept over a decade ago, the chance to represent South Africa later this year against the best of the rest of the world was a strong draw for this proud sporting nation. People traveled from all over the country to take part in this special event, with one individual driving 1,000 miles (1,600 km) just to be there.
Everybody used their own BMW motorcycles to compete, ranging from the R1200GS Adventure to HP2 Enduro and including the F800GS which has been the ‘bike of choice’ for the last two International GS Trophy events. The participants taking part in the course were required to have mastered all the skills on the course as well as have superior fitness levels and outstanding camaraderie—all necessary elements to making up the perfect Trophy team member.
Being held at Country Trax, the existing facilities used for the demanding off-road course were also used for this national qualifying event, with a good few challenges from the 2010 International GS Trophy that was held in South Africa, thrown into the mix.
South Africans are arguably some of the most determined sporting nationals in the world and tend to push everything to the extreme. And even despite a lack of central funding, the individuals involved were determined to have the chance to bring the trophy home later this year, so Jan du Toit of Country Trax was granted the opportunity to organize and coordinate the South African team.
The team members even provided their own funding in order to participate in the event, demonstrating the high level of commitment of South African GS riders. At the end of the three days, the participants who will make up Team South Africa were revealed. They are Hein Kumm, 42, an enthusiastic GS Adventure rider from East London who has toured Southern Africa as far as Angola; Bruce McDonald, 43, a keen outdoorsman from Pretoria who rides an F800GS; and Colin Gallop, 45, an enthusiastic HP2 Enduro rider who loves GS gatherings.
The participants of this year’s trophy team are training weekly at the gym and on their bikes to continue to build strength and confidence. They will be joined by journalist Wayne Phillips who will be reporting on their attempts to win the 2012 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy.