Toyota Fortuner 4x4 Challenge – heat, hope and heroes
The challenge entails four public participants (obtained through the four media partners Highbury Media, Media24, Primedia Broadcasting and Tiso Blackstar) teaming up with four celebrities (or heroes) to compete in pairs alongside their trusty Toyota Fortuner steeds in a range of tasks.
The 2018 event marked the third installment of this competition, and the bar was set higher than before. This year the tasks really amped up the fitness-endurance-strength equation and the contestants were required to deliver maximum performance throughout, in order to claim the title and prize. In addition, competitors also had to contend with the scorching temperatures in Knysna.
First the contestant-hero pairing took place by way of a draw, and the teams were determined as follows: Brandon Hulley and Steffi Van Wyk-Brink; Dominque Leclerq and Giniel De Villiers; Danie Barnard and Mapule Ndhlovu, and finally Jackie Moore and Ox Nché. Then, thanks to Garmin, Specialized and Reebok providing the necessary gear the stage was set.
The first challenge consisted of a two-person paddle from the Eastern Head, across the lagoon to Leisure Isle. Once they got to shore, the teams were required to complete a tyre-shuffle puzzle. The second task took place at the Pezula Hotel, where the contestants set off on a 4,8-kilometre trail run with navigational instructions provided by their Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Smartwatch.
Day 2 of the competition consisted of five tasks. In heatwave conditions, the teams competed in the Fortuner Pull during which the sheer strength of hero Ox Nché made the Fortuner look like a featherweight. It wasn’t all about brute force, however, a cool head and logical thinking held as much sway.
During the Archers’ Edge challenge, hosted by the Knysna Outdoor Archery Circuit, teams had to show off their marksmanship by using compound bows to aim for that elusive bullseye.
For the gruelling Specialized Epic Time Trial contestants had to pedal up the steep Phantom Pass on their Specialized mountain bikes. Judging from the red faces and loud panting, the heat and gradient were taking their toll.
After a well-deserved lunch break, only two tasks remained – The Warrior obstacle course and Mountain Bike Eliminator. At this stage, no clear winner had yet emerged. For the obstacle course the teams had to use their Garmin Fenix 5 Plus watches with supplied co-ordinates to find certain items that would help them construct a platform to cross a marsh pit.
In the Mountain Bike Eliminator, the heroes had to jack up their respective Fortuners and remove two ropes from under the tyres, while the challengers had to complete as many laps on their bikes as they could in a 15-minute period.
At the end of two mentally and physically demanding days, Brandon Hulley, who had teamed up with track hero Steffi Van Wyk-Brink, was crowned the 2018 Fortuner 4x4 Challenge champion. Brandon’s incredible fitness, as well as the strong teamwork, ultimately earned him the keys to a brand-new Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 4x4 AT.
The three runners-up each received a Specialized Epic Comp mountain bike and cycling gear, a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus smartwatch and Reebok apparel worth more than R60 000.
Toyota South Africa Motors would like to thank the following sponsors and partners who contributed to another hugely successful Fortuner 4x4 Challenge:
- Highbury Media
- Primedia Broadcasting (-947-)
- Tiso Blackstar
- Pezula Hotel
- Giniel de Villiers
- Mapule Ndhlovu
- Ox Nché
- Steffi Van Wyk-Brink
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