Synopsis of Day 4. Location: Pelorus Bridge, South Island, New Zealand Weather: Sun, 29ºC Course: 204 km, Wainui, North Island to Pelorus Bridge, South Island Terrain: Highway 204 km Tests: SP9: ‘40 years of GS Quiz’, SP10: ‘GPS Challenge’, SP11: ‘Metzeler Challenge’, SP12: ‘Photo Contest 2’ Top three teams: 1. France 226, 2. South Africa 223, 3. Italy 211
Nonetheless, today was a great opportunity for the GS riders to share experiences, as with three hours on the ferry they had plenty of time for inter-team chats. Albeit that was after they had completed their first challenge of the day – the ‘40 years of GS Quiz’ in which they were tested on their knowledge of this iconic motorcycle that has become so much more than just a brand. In fact, it was a ferry ride in three parts: knowledge test, sleep and sight seeing, the latter coming as the ferry made its way down the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound to the port of Picton.
In Picton the GS Trophy riders created a stir as all 140 F 850 GS motorcycles disembarked the ferry together, followed by the vast entourage of cars and trucks that support the event. Once out of Picton – which took all of two minutes, it’s that small – the GS riders enjoyed a scenic ride through the Marlborough Sounds. Although this region is world famous for its wine production, the route followed the national park trail along the sounds and then up into the valleys before reaching the small town of Havelock (population: 486) where the GS riders gratefully stopped for a coffee break, or maybe for something cooler as the temperature was uncharacteristically hovering around a sweltering 30ºC. From here it was a short ride to Pelorus Bridge where they found their campsite set deep in a forest, one which was again peppered with New Zealand natives such as totara, beech and rimu.
Even the early afternoon finish was not an opportunity to rest as the GS riders found two more challenges waiting for them. First was the ‘GPS Challenge’ in which the teams took their BMW Motorrad Navigator VI GPS units and had to find their way – on foot – through the forest to find another Navigator VI unit from which they extracted data to be reported to the marshal at the end of the challenge. Warm work, running through the forest in the heat of the afternoon.
No sooner had they finished this, than the riders were shepherded to the ‘Metzeler Challenge’ where they needed to demonstrate their prowess with the tools, changing the rear wheel on their F 850 GS. Again, as this was against the clock the teams needed to have intimate knowledge of the wheel spacers, chain run and brake arrangement if they were to set a fast time.
So the event has reached its halfway point and while the competition is hotting up, particularly with the top three being so close on points, the going from here is set to get progressively more testing with big days ahead in the big country. It’s going to be the strong and the skilled who’ll prevail.
Finally, as if there could be any more to do, this evening the teams submitted their images for the second GS Trophy photo contest. Public voting for the photo competition will open at 00:00 (GMT+13 New Zealand time) on February 13 and remains open for 24 hours. Go to www.gstrophy.com for full details on how to vote.
Ronnie Lundberg, Team Nordic:
Assada Porananond, Team Thailand:
BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020 Oceania.
Day 4 overall standings:
The event’s excitement will also be relayed with much more information of a more informal kind via BMW Motorrad’s social media sources:
“RIDE AND TALK – The BMW Motorrad Podcast”
Abhay Dange, Director, Press and Corporate Affairs BMW Group India, ,+91-9910481013 ,+91 (124) 4566600 , Abhay.Dange@bmw.in
Satchit Gayakwad, Press and Corporate Affairs BMW Group India, ,+91-9560725900 ,+91 (124) 4566906 , Satchit.Gayakwad@bmw.in
|Image Caption : BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2020 Oceania. Day 4. The (No) Rest Day||click for high-res image|