And the winners are …
It would seem that more and more people are spending their leisure time rouging it in the bush … but, for some, it isn’t just for fun. Carel Otto and his wife, Danielle, have been crowned the 2014 Spirit of Africa Trophy champions.
The couple, who received R50 000 prize money after mastering 30 stages of the competition, were announced as overall winners (out of the 20 finalists), after successfully negotiating five days of gruelling 4×4 driving challenges in Botswana.
Nearly 500 teams participated in the elimination rounds of the 10th Spirit of Africa in Zeerust, between April and June 2014. Unlike the elimination rounds, which take place over three days and scores are updated at the end of each day, the finals are held over five days and the scores are only announced at the end of the competition.
“The mystery of the scores in the finals creates suspense and increases levels of competition among the finalists, because no one knows where they are on the point list,” says Sarel van der Merwe, host of the competition.
“This year, the winners were only decided on the last day of the competition and the difference in the points scored by the top three was miniscule,” he continues. “The 2014 competition was, by far, the best we have ever had in terms of the scenery, stage challenges and competitors.”
Jaco Steenekamp, general manager: sales and marketing, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV), adds: “Our association with Sarel and the Spirit of Africa competition in the past five years has helped us to expose the Amarok model range to thousands of people, who have since become our delighted customers and brand ambassadors.” This year, 23 Amarok Double cabs were used for the competition.
The other two spots in the winning top three included Christiaan and Pike Otto, who finished in the second position and received R30 000 in prize money, while Alwyn Jordaan and Melanie Barnard came third and received R20 000.