2015 Ranger Odyssey: And the winner is...

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 WORTHY WINNER: Pretorian Liane van Dyk during the Ranger Odyssey challenge. The 23-year-old walked away with the coveted title at a Ford gala dinner on August 11. Image: Ford ~ Quickpic

 •  12-day trip through Namibia
 •  Contestants from all over Africa
 •  Part-time DJ is overall winner

JOHANNESBURG - Pretoria resident Liane van Dyk is the winner of the 2015 Ranger Odyssey following 12 days of competition, travelling 2000km through the remote Damaraland and Kaokoland regions of Namibia.

The announcement was made at the gala dinner for Ford's Go Further event in Sandton on Tuesday (August 11).

The 23-year-old computer programmer and part-time DJ beat 19 contestants to the title, including 13 from South Africa, two each from Nigeria and Ivory Coast, and one each from Angola and Mozambique.

'VAN DYK SHOWED CONSISTENCY'

Ford South Africa's Tracey Delate said: "Liane was among the front-runners throughout the event, and showed consistently high scores in all of the aspects, from driving right through to the general knowledge tests.

"Her energy and enthusiasm also shone through, making her one of the clear favourites, and we are delighted to see her win the 2015 title."

Van Dyk also wins an Odyssey-spec Ranger bakkie for a year including R5000 fuel per month. Van Dyk, who describes herself as an adventure junkie that's built for the outdoors and off-roading, began her life-changing Ranger Odyssey adventure with Boot Camp in the small Karoo town of Prince Albert during June 2015, where she emerged as one of the Top 20 contestants selected from the initial group of 40 chosen from the thousands of online entries received for the 2015 event.

The 20 finalists left Johannesburg for Windhoek on 23 July to begin their amazing journey through some of the most challenging yet beautiful terrain Namibia has to offer.

From the first sub-zero night in Spitzkoppe via Palmwag and Desolation Valley to the final stop at the base of Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain, the contestants experienced a wide variety of Namibia's terrain including spectacular scenery and amazing 4x4 trails.

CONTESTANTS EVALUATED DAILY

All contestants were evaluated and scored daily on their convoy and off-road driving skills, camp etiquette, team work and communication skills, leadership qualities and adaptability.

There were also a series of special tasks and assessments on general knowledge related to Namibia and the African continent, celestial navigation, GPS navigation, as well as vehicle maintenance and recovery techniques.

Ford added a twist to the 2015 event, with two elimination rounds where the two lowest-scoring contestants left the group on day four, and another three departed on day eight.

2015 RANGER ODYSSEY WINNER: 23-year-old Liane van Dyk shows off her Ford Ranger key at the gala dinner after being announced as the Ranger Odyssey winner. Van Dyk wins the use of Ranger for a year. Image: Ford