News from Vines BMW Bikes of Guildford and South London (Caterham)
Victorious Team GB take the 2010 International BMW GS
Trophy title in nail biting, three-way battle
Hard fought eight-day off-road challenge won by a single point!
The 2010 International BMW Motorrad GS Trophy, a mammoth eight-day off-road
adventure running for 2,000km across three South African nations and involving a host
of challenges, tests and trials, has been won by Team GB.
The British team, made up of amateur GS-owning riders Alastair Allan, Mark Kinnard,
and Kevin Hammond, rode BMW F 800 GS adventure-sports bikes across South Africa,
Swaziland and Mozambique. The plucky British riders built up an early lead which
developed into a thrilling three-way battle with the Scandinavian and South African
teams, all the while dodging lions and elephants and tackling some of the most
beautiful, but challenging, terrain in the world.
The gruelling competition, involving ten teams from all over the world, pushed the riders
to their limits. A range of challenges tested their riding skills, endurance and ability to
work together as a team. The competition lasted eight days, one of which was Team
GB member Kevin Hammond’s 50th birthday. The birthday boy was treated to the
toughest day of the whole event which ended with a 30km ride across the deepest
sand in the competition, all in temperatures over 35ºC!
The non-stop GS Trophy schedule mixed long days in the saddle, up to 300km on
gravel roads in a single day, with a range of tricky challenges including steep hillclimbs,
obstacle courses, slow-speed slaloms, river crossings and tractor pulls - the latter of
which came easily to Team GB’s two farmers! And there were no luxury hotels or tales
of indulgence along the way, the teams camped under the African stars at night.
Kevin and the team rose to the challenge with gusto, going on to win the hotly
contested title with a slim one-point lead over second placed Team South Africa! A
combined Scandinavian team took a well-earned third.
Mark Kinnard, 42, from Hertfordshire, was equally pleased, “It was very tight going into
the very last day. We said on the final night that whatever the outcome, we would be
very happy. Winning is terrific, of course, but it was the experience – the country, the
friendships, the shared highs and lows – that will stay with us long after the glow of
victory will fade.”
Kevin Hammond, 50, from Norfolk, said: “It really was tough! The GS Trophy tested our
skills and pushed us to the limit. It was very hard work and we had some crashes, but
we’d all love to go back and start all over again! Reaching the Indian Ocean when we
finished the desert crossing was fantastic, seeing that incredible blue of the water
together with the first cold beer of the day, it was just incredible.”
Alastair Allan, 42, from Cambridgeshire, said: “What can I say? Job done! It’s been a
fantastic adventure. We all got on like a house on fire and that’s what made it a great
event to take part in. And I think the fact that the team got on so well is the key to our
success. It was an unbelievable test and a true once in a lifetime experience.”
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