Thursday, 27 March 2008

Gee whiz, it's G4

I had an absolutely delightful day in Cape Town today for the launch of the 2009 Land Rover G4 Challenge. The event will be held in 2009 in Asia but of greater importance is our local Provincial and National selection process, which has begun. Entries are now open.

Land Rover G4 Challenge is not quite a well known as its predecessor, Camel Trophy. G4 has been around since 2003 when Chester Foster, one of our adventure racers at the time, represented South Africa at the international competition. In 2006 Martin Dreyer was our South African representative. The event passed through Thailand, Laos, Brazil and Bolivia and Martin won the event overall to take the honours as the Land Rover G4 Challenge champion. South Africa has established itself as a competitive nation.

I had the fortune to attend the International Selections in the UK in Feb '06, as media for Land Rover SA. Three candidates from each participating country were assessed by the G4 selectors over a week of activities and tasks. One candidate from each country went through to the actual Challenge a few months later. Even just the selection process was awesome; and even those who didn't make it walked away with a sense of achievement and a life-altering experience.

G4 in 2009 is going to be quite different. FOUR representatives will be presented by each of the 18 participating countries for International selections in early 2009. These candidates will be chosed from our local Provincial and National selection process. Of these four, TWO will go through to the actual event.

More importantly, the team composition is mixed gender. That's right folks... ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN will be selected to represent South Africa.

This is especially exciting because, for the first time, women will compete against women for the place on the team in an event that has traditionally been male-dominated. I commend Land Rover for taking this progressive step; women can run, bike, paddle, drive, navigate and problem solve just as well as men, especially during endurance and multiday events.

I wouldn't be able to out-sprint an equally fit and active guy and I certainly couldn't benchpress more than the same individual. But that doesn't make me - or any other woman - less competent or able. And, as with adventure racing teams, women will bring a good balance to the event.

John and Mark Collins, and their Magnetic South team, are behind the selection process. They're planning the tasks and activities, which will thoroughly assess applicants. We can expect to be challenged.

Land Rover G4 Challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Do not discount your ability to make it through as you may just have what they're looking for. You're an adventure racer - believe in your abilities. And you don't have to be an expert in anything and everything - just give it a shot and start with the application form.

Compare this application process to purchasing a Lotto ticket; if you don't enter, you don't stand a chance of winning. Submit the form and take it from there. I'm submitting mine. You'd be crazy to miss this. Get the scoop and form at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds really cool. I remember when it was the Camel Trophy, they used to have a rugged dude smoking a Camel...what image/s are they using these days? It would be interesting to see what female image they are going to portray? I agree, the women these days can hold their own in endurance events - sometimes making it very frustrating for us macho dudes :) The only problem I would have with having a female all the luggage she is going to be schlepping with her! ...only kidding.