BMW Motorrad GS Trophy 2021 Regional Qualifiers
Mpumalanga | Sabie
It was a freezing Saturday morning that demanded coffee, that saw the GS Trophy entrants taking their first step in the journey, to compete for a coveted spot in the team to represent South Africa in the International GS Trophy event, to be hosted in Albania in 2022. Thomas Böhm, Chief Instructor at the Sabie Valley Rider Academy had planned a full day of challenges, utilising the varied terrain on offer in and around the town of Sabie.
After welcome, introductions and event briefing, the riders on their BMW GS machines took on the riding skills exercises laid out on the training terrain situated on the outskirts of the town. The first challenges tested the rider’s ability to steer the bikes without a foot touching the ground through a series of obstacles incorporation sharp turns, riding over logs, sand, and rocks. “Sani Pass” and the “Forest Single Track tested throttle control and balance, culminating in the infamous “Elephant Turn” where the riders have to execute a 180deg slide turn, was an opportunity for the stronger riders to show off their skills.
Jacqui’s scrummy “Roosterkoek” with curried mince warmed the riders for lunch, that was hosted at the Academy’s iconic shipping containers HQ. A GPS challenge where riders had to follow a predetermined track over difficult terrain was next, were deviating more then 10m off the track earned a hefty penalty. The dastardly “Walk the Bike Challenge” saw massive penalty points earned, where walking the bike around a track using only one hand, proved to be a huge challenge, managing bike balance and clutch control without dropping the bike or touching the bike with the free hand.
The final showpiece of the day had the spectators enthralled, consisted of a “parcourse” at the SVRA premises incorporating figure of eight’s, steep uphill’s, parallel logs, sharp off-camber turns and riding through the confined building without a dab, boundary crossing or a bike drop.
Congratulations to Johan Thiart 1st, Warren Venter 2nd, Johan Harmse 3rd and Chris Jonker filling the reserve spot, Di McLean did it for the ladies with a fine display of riding skills by this petite lady. Next step is The National GS Trophy event in September where the regional winners compete for the top spots.