Ranger Odyssey most chal­leng­ing yet, but with spec­tac­u­lar driv­ing

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

PALMWAG (Namibia) — Af­ter seven ac­tion-packed days, some of the most chal­leng­ing yet spec­tac­u­lar driv­ing on the African con­ti­nent and a se­ries of spe­cial tasks, the re­main­ing 18 Ranger Odyssey this week faced off on the sec­ond round of elim­i­na­tions in Palmwag.

Fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of two con­tes­tants, Jo­han Henn and Dur­ban­ite Xoliswa Non­tanda on July 27, a fur­ther four con­tes­tants were lined up for elim­i­na­tion from the com­pe­ti­tion to­day.

Gift­son Onuiri, a pho­tog­ra­pher from La­gos in Nige­ria, sales man­ager Gavin Jones from Johannesburg and Pre­to­ria-based IT ad­min­is­tra­tor Mon­ica Nkosna saw their Ranger Odyssey ad­ven­ture come to an end, based on their cu­mu­la­tive scores which are de­ter­mined by their driv­ing skills, team in­ter­ac­tion, ve­hi­cle main­te­nance plus tests on var­i­ous top­ics re­lat­ing to the trip and the African con­ti­nent.

Moyosore Fa­wole, the owner of a Nige­rian con­struc­tion com­pany, was also sched­uled to head home. How­ever, in a dra­matic sur­prise twist for the re­main­ing 14 con­tes­tants, there was an ad­di­tional vot­ing ses­sion where each per­son was given the op­por­tu­nity to vote one of the four elim­i­nated con­tes­tants back into the game.

The re­sults were tal­lied up along with those of the team of in­struc­tors, and Fa­wole was given a life­line and the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue through to the end of the 2015 Ranger Odyssey.

“I’m re­ally happy to be back in the game, although I had al­ready made peace with the fact that my trip had ended,” Fa­wole said.

For Mon­ica Nkosna, the elim­i­na­tion came as some­what of a sur­prise. “I don’t know what went wrong be­cause I did not see this com­ing,” she said.

“I didn’t do too well when it came to the the­ory, but when it counted I think I pulled my weight. The ex­pe­ri­ence was great, I learnt a lot and I thor­oughly en­joyed my time on Odyssey.”

Gavin Jones was sim­i­larly dis­ap­pointed to be leav­ing early, but was up­beat about the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence. “I’m not sur­prised and to be hon­est I’m okay with be­ing elim­i­nated. I had a feel­ing walk­ing into the elim­i­na­tion that it was go­ing to hap­pen and in all hon­esty my marks on the ex­ams were in­deed shock­ing. The early morn­ings don’t go well with me, nei­ther do the tests. But it has been a life-chang­ing ad­ven­ture, and the trip and all the peo­ple have been phe­nom­e­nal.”

Gift­son Onuiri has be­gun his long trek home to Nige­ria. “Un­for­tu­nately I don’t think the other con­tes­tants un­der­stood me, but over­all I feel good about how I played the game. My scores have been pretty low but I was hop­ing for a sec­ond chance … I think the ex­pe­ri­ence is the real prize.”

The win­ner, who takes home an Odyssey Ranger for a year, plus the equiv­a­lent of R5 000 fuel per month, will be re­vealed at a Ford event in Sand­ton on Au­gust 11.

The www.rangerodyssey.com web­site fea­tures a leader board that is up­dated daily for fans to fol­low the progress, show­ing which of the con­tes­tants are in the top five, along with bi­ogra­phies for each per­son.

Back Seat Driver Com­pe­ti­tion Ranger Odyssey fans are able to fol­low and par­tic­i­pate in the event them­selves by en­ter­ing the “Back Seat Driver” com­pe­ti­tion hosted at rangerodyssey.com

The com­pe­ti­tion ran un­til Wed­nes­day, and par­tic­i­pants had to register on the site, in­ter­act by view­ing the con­tent — in­clud­ing the daily blogs, pho­to­graphs and videos — and book a test drive.

Each in­ter­ac­tion scored points, and the more times you vis­ited the site the bet­ter the chances of win­ning. — WR.

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

A hard bat­tle for points in Namibia, has seen Dur­ban­ite Xoliswa Non­tanda among those elim­i­nated from the Ranger Odyssey.

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