The first two contestants have been eliminated from Ranger Odyssey 2015 following four days of intense action in the extremely remote and rugged Damaraland and Kaokoland regions of Northern Namibia.
For Johan Henn and Xoliswa Nontanda the Odyssey journey has come to an end. While both contestants give it their all, they emerged as the lowest-scoring competitors over the first four days of the event.
Each day the contestants are scored on their off-road driving abilities, leadership and team work, technical challenges, as well as their knowledge regarding the vehicles, locations and other aspects discussed during the trip.
For last night’s elimination, each of the 20 contestants also voted for the two people they would like to send home, and this was factored into the final scores.
Xoliswa Nontanda was the first to be eliminated from the running. The 32-year-old quantity surveyor from Durban was judged to have not met the minimum requirements to proceed with the event.
“I haven’t done that well through the competition so I’m feeling a little bit upset with myself at this moment,” she said. “I didn’t plan to go back so soon and I really wanted to stay for the 12 days, but now it’s time to go back home.
“This was my first time out of my comfort zone and I’ve never camped before. I really enjoyed the experience and this lifestyle, and it’s something that I am going to start doing with my family and children.”
“The capabilities of the Ford Ranger impressed me a lot, and the 4×4 driving has been spectacular,” she said.
Johann Henn a 32-year-old farmer from Barberton was the next to be voted off. Henn said: “It came as a bit of a surprise to me to be voted off at this round. I thought I had done my bit to get on with my team-mates, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.
“This is the kind of trip I’ve been waiting to do my whole life, as Namibia is an amazing country with some of the best scenery and off-road driving in Africa. It’s been a really good experience, and driving the Ranger through this part of the world has been really special.”
The remaining 18 contestants continue their adventure, completing a Garmin GPS navigation task today in Purros, and then the convoy departs tomorrow for Palmwag followed by the aptly named Desolation Valley.
The next elimination round will be announced in 31 July, which will see four contestants leaving Ranger Odyssey 2015.
The www.rangerodyssey.com website features a leader board that is updated daily for fans to follow the progress. However, the rankings for the highest-placed contestants will remain hidden and placed randomly on the chart, adding a further element of intrigue to the competition.
The winner of Ranger Odyssey 2015 will ultimately be revealed at a Ford event in Sandton on 11 August.
Back Seat Driver Competition
Aside from the main Ranger Odyssey action, fans are able to follow and participate in the event themselves by entering the ‘Back Seat Driver’ competition hosted on the Ranger Odyssey website (www.rangerodyssey.com).
The competition runs to 4 August, and participants are required to register on the site, interact by viewing the content – including the daily blogs, photographs and videos – and book a test drive. Each interaction scores points, and the more times you visit the site the better the chances of winning.
There are a total of 16 prizes, a selection of which is awarded and then refreshed after every three days based on the highest scores as listed on the Back Seat Driver leader board.
Entrants can only win one of the interim prizes, which include four pairs of Oakley sunglasses valued at over R2 000 each, a Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera (R5 000) and 11 Garmin Nüvi GPS units (R1 600 each).
All entrants qualify for the grand prize – a Garmin Montana GPS unit valued at R9 500 – which will be awarded to the person who scores the highest points over the entire competition period.