AFRICAN ADVENTURE: The 2015 Ranger Odyssey will start on July 23 in Windhoek, Namibia. You can be part of the action by entering Ford's "Back Seat Driver" competition. Image: QuickPic
• 12-day Ranger Odyssey in Namibia
• 20 contestants from African countries
• Daily evaluations and scoring
• Main prize a Ranger for a year
The 2015 Ford Ranger Odyssey will see 20 contestants from South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa take on a gruelling 12-day 4x4 challenge through north-western Namibia's most rugged regions.
The 2015 edition will start on July 23 in Windhoek, Namibia.
The prize? An Odyssey Ranger 4x4 for a year and the equivalent of R5000 worth of fuel per month.
Following a 4x4 "Boot Camp" in June 2015, the 20 contestants (see list below) are comprised of 14 South Africans, two each from Nigeria and Ivory Coast, and one each from Angola and Mozambique.
Ford said: "The challenging route includes extreme off-road driving through the mountainous Khuwarib region, experiencing the Purros canyons, tackling the desolate Gainas Plains, visiting the Unesco heritage site at Palmwag, travelling through the aptly named Desolation Valley and traversing the steep 2500m high Brandberg on foot."
Drivers will be evaluated on their driving and vehicle-related skills, mental and physical endurance, as well as on a variety of other aspects, Ford says, such as communication skills, leadership abilities, camp craft and overall "demeanour".
NEW ELIMINATION THREAT
Unlike previous events, the 2015 edition will end prematurely for the lowest-scoring contestants, as two people will be eliminated from the competition at the end of day four (July 26), and a further four contestants will leave after day eight (July 30).
The Odyssey website has a leader board for fans to follow however, Ford says, the rankings for the highest-placed contestants "will remain hidden and placed randomly on the chart, adding a further element of intrigue to the competition".
The winner of 2015 Ranger Odyssey will be revealed at a Ford event in Sandton, Johannesburg on August 11.
BACK SEAT DRIVER COMPETITION
Fans will be to follow and participate in the event by entering the "Back Seat Driver" competition.
Ford said: "The competition will run until August4 and participants are required to register on the site, interact by viewing the content - including the daily blogs, photographs and videos - and book a test drive. Each interaction scores points, and the more times you visit the site the better the chances of winning."
"A total of 16 prizes are available, a selection of which is awarded and then refreshed after every three days based on highest scores listed on the leader board. Entrants can only win one of the interim prizes, which include four pairs of Oakley sunglasses (valued at over R2000 each), a Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera (R5000) and 11 Garmin Nüvi GPS units (R1600 each)."
All entrants qualify for the grand prize, a Garmin Montana GPS unit valued at R9500, which will be awarded to the person who scores the highest points over the entire competition period.