BMW Motorrad South Africa successfully hosted the GS Trophy South Africa 2016 this past weekend (5 to 8 May 2016) at the Drakensville ATKV Resort just outside Bergville in the Free State. The event, which was attended by 853 participants, was the largest in the event’s seven-year history (previously known as the GS Eco). Besides the 10 percent increase in attendance from 2015, there was also a 30 percent increase in the number of female riders and pillions who registered and attended.
“The GS range of motorcycles still remain the bestselling models in our product line-up, which is why the GS Trophy South Africa is one of the key events in our calendar. It is also the largest GS customer gathering in the world and it’s our opportunity to interact with our customers and celebrate the GS lifestyle, which is why an increase in attendance is an affirmation of our customers’ loyalty to the brand and for that we are grateful,” says Alexander Baraka, General Manager for BMW Motorrad South Africa.
Baraka says he is mostly impressed with the 30 percent increase in female riders, which is inspiring in light of the participation of the first international women’s team in the International GS Trophy. “We need more women like Morag, Stephanie and Amy to participate in the GS Trophy, which is why it is so encouraging to see a high interest from customers, especially female motorcycle enthusiasts, after the International GS Trophy event.”
GS Trophy National Qualifier
Attendees had the opportunity to socialise and test their riding skills on the 16 routes specially plotted for the event. In the afternoons, the seven provincial teams who had qualified at the 2016 GS Trophy South Africa Qualifier on the 9th of April also put their mettle to the test during the skills challenges which decided who would be crowned national champions.
After two days of challenges – similar to those that Team South Africa conquered at the International GS Trophy – Team Eastern Cape were crowned the victors. The team made up of Chris Meyer, Mark van Rensburg and Morné Fitzhenry are the GS Trophy South Africa 2016 team.
“Team South Africa’s win at the International GS Trophy shows the caliber of riders that we have in South Africa,” says Baraka. “The feedback that we receive from the marshals of the skills challenges every year is that the quality of the riders is improving in leaps and bounds. This is why I encourage all customers who yearn to achieve what Team South Africa did to use GS Trophy South Africa Qualifiers as an opportunity to compete and test their skills. In next year’s qualifiers we are looking for the team that will represent South Africa in the 2018 International GS Trophy.”
“If it scares you, you must do it,” says Byron Coetsee (BMW GS Trophy World Champion).