Ford’s ultimate odyssey
20 contestants from around Africa will navigate through Namibia on a 12-day expedition
DURBAN on Monday hosts the KZN launch of the third edition of the Ranger Odyssey, seen by thousands of hopeful competitors who entered the previous editions as the ultimate road trip in southern Africa.
The third edition of the annual Ranger Odyssey will see a total of 20 contestants from around Africa navigating through the extremely challenging northwestern region of Namibia on a 12-day expedition that will push each person to the limit.
Tracey Delate, general marketing manager, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) said while the life-changing odyssey is an exceptional prize in itself, there’s also the allure of the grand prize which includes the use of an Odyssey-spec Ranger for a year, along with R5 000 worth of fuel per month.
The first Ranger Odyssey in 2012 had around 700 entries, while last year more than 8 000 people registered for the competition. The 2015 edition will be more competitive, with an individual-based competition with an even stronger focus on points-scoring special challenges that will ultimately determine the overall winner.
De Late said it’s not all about sheer brawn, however, as there’s an equal split between mental and physical tasks, overall endurance in Namibia’s unforgiving environment will remain key.
People who want to participate must register online at www.rangerodyssey.com by May 24 for South Africa and neighbouring countries, and May 15 for Angola, Nigeria, Mozambique and Ivory Coast.
The application requires submitting a short personal biography, followed up with a “selfie” photograph taken with an Odyssey-branded Ranger at any Ford dealership.
A selection committee will then review the applications and narrow the selection down to 40 semi-finalists selected from South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, who will be chosen to attend a four-day Boot Camp in the Karoo from June 18 to 21.
The intensive training and evaluation programme will determine who is tough enough for the 12-day Namibian adventure. Just 20 finalists will ultimately be chosen for the life-changing expedition which takes place from July 23 to August 3.
Throughout the Ranger Odyssey in Namibia, the contestants will be scored each day on a wide variety of aspects, including offroad driving skills, communication, vehicle and location knowledge, as well as physical and mental endurance. There will also be several special tasks set up along the route to test the likes of vehicle recovery techniques and navigation.
In a fresh new twist, the competition now includes two elimination stages, where the two lowest-scoring contestants will leave the group on day four, followed by another four contestants on day 10.
The trip will once again feature a community project which, this year, will benefit the Palmwag community that runs the local 4x4 concession in the region.
For those that don’t make it onto the Odyssey, along with families and friends of the Top 20 finalists, there is an added bonus with the “Back Seat Driver” competition that runs on the Ranger Odyssey website.
The competition runs from April 30 to August 4.
For further information, go to www.rangerodyssey.com or follow @FordSouthAfrica on Twitter at #RangerOdyssey or on www.facebook.com/FordSouthAfrica. — Wheels Reporter.
Ford invites front and back seat drivers for the ultimate road trip in southern Africa in the 2015 Range Rover Odyssey.