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SA hopefuls in for tough battle

2013-05-10 11:22

ONLY THE STRONG: Hundreds of 4x4 enthusiasts entered the Ford Ranger Odyssey Africa 2013 competition, but only 10 will make it through to the competition. Image: Quickpic

PRETORIA, South Africa – Hundreds of adventure-hungry South Africans have entered Ford's Ranger Odyssey Africa 2013 competition, but only 10 will be making the cross-continent challenge.

Some of Africa’s most awe-inspiring but technically tough routes await the 10 participants that will be chosen to take part by an independent panel of judges. Heat, dust and thousands of kilometres are given factors to make the trip more challenging.


The Ranger Odyssey starts in Nairobi on June 24 and weaves its way via the Amboseli National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater through historical treasures such as Bagamoyo – the centre of the world’s slave trade and Ilha de Mocambique – site of the Portuguese/Dutch war.

Next up will be the untouched beaches of Inhambane for a brief rest before tackling the final stretch of the Odyssey, which ends in Pretoria on July 14.

The competition has already closed, with most entries coming from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Seasoned 4x4 enthusiasts join aspiring adventurers and loyal blue-oval lovers to make up the 61 % of entries received from Gauteng. Cape Town constitutes for 18% and Durban 9%. The remaining would-be participants hail from more remote areas of the country and pride themselves on their experience in taking on technically difficult terrain on a daily basis.


Judges are looking for skilled 4x4 drivers with strong communication skills when selecting the 20 finalists that will go through to the next round of the competition, the boot camp. The latter will take place from 30 May to 2 June at a secret location.

Only 10 participants will be left standing after boot camp to join the Ranger Odyssey. Each contestant will have their own blog on the website, giving the public a day-by-day account of their adventures.

Ford SA’s marketing manager Gavin Golightly said: "We've been overwhelmed by the interest in this competition and the enthusiasm and passion for Africa and 4x4 driving that is evident in everyone that has entered."

"We're excited to meet the top 20 at the boot camp later this month where they will demonstrate whether they really have what it takes to tackle some of the toughest, but most awe-inspiring terrain in the world,"he said.

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