BMW Motorrad GS Trophy 2012 Underway
The GS Trophy is a celebration of the spirit of the BMW GS motorcycle, bringing together those elements of leisure, adventure and challenge that this bike engenders.
The South America 2012 event is the third edition of the GS Trophy, the previous editions took place in South Africa in 2010 and Tunisia in 2008. This edition will see 15 teams, comprising 45 riders from 19 nations, competing.
The GS Trophy will see the competitors ride close to 2000 kilometres over seven days as they cross the mountainous region of the southern-most Andes that extends into Chile and Argentina. The event is not a race but a team competition, pitching the international contingent against each other in a series of special tests – and not all are riding tests. With the competitors camped nightly in a bivouac the event also fosters a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie.
Where does it take place?
The start and finish are both in Temuco, Chile with the competitors riding over the Andes into Argentina and back again in a clockwise loop of some 2000 kilometres.
GS Trophy co-organiser Tomm Wolf:
“No two GS Trophy events are the same. In 2008 we rode in Tunisia where much of the terrain was typified by Saharan type deep sand. In 2010 we rode across the green veldt of South Africa onto the red earth of Swaziland and from there into the white sands of Mozambique as we reached for the Indian Ocean.This year we are travelling into latitudes much further south and to altitudes we’ve never been to before – on a new continent, South America.
“We always advise the competitors to expect everything. We will start at 300 metres above sea level and ascend to 2700 metres as we cross the Andes, along the way there will be plenty of water crossings, gravel roads, we could even expect snow. There will also be forests and we may even find sand…”
Welcome to Patagonia!
The BMW Motorrad GS Trophy is honoured to be travelling through the fantastic landscapes and welcoming Chilean and Argentinian communities Patagonia. World famous for its staggering, mountainous beauty, this is a region that is both peaceful and by turns earth-shatteringly violent.
The violence is neither political or religious, in fact not at all man-made, it is from the earth. That which has created such serene and often majestic beauty does from time to time deign to rearrange it – for Patagonia sits adjacent to the Nazca tectonic plate and so earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have done much to sculpt this landscape. Even as recently as 2011 significant eruptions have forced change on these lands.
Such regions also create some of the world’s most fascinating fauna and flora and so the GS Trophy riders will be experiencing some once in a lifetime acquaintances during their adventure. This is a region that boasts vast tracts of Araucaria trees – also known as the monkey puzzle tree given their unique branch and leaf formations. In the skies the riders might see the occasional Andean condor, while on the slopes of the Andes they will see guanaco, vicuña and their domesticated relatives the llama and alpacas – treasured for their luxuriant fleeces.
When does it take place?
The event begins on November 24, 2012 when the competitors will arrive at the event HQ in Temuco for a programme of rider briefings, bike allocations and media meetings. The competition itself will start at 08:15 on November 25 and ends on December 2.
The GS Trophy is not a race. But it is a competition and so the teams will be tested, not only in their riding skills, but in broader challenges that will fully engage their intellectual as well as physical capacities.
With overnight bivouacs followed by 5am starts and long days in the saddles (in the order of 300km), with so much of the riding off-road, endurance will be a significant factor in the event. So will be navigation and teamwork – in the environments the riders will be riding through it’ll be imperative – for safety’s sake – that they travel in groups. Along the route the competitors will also face up to three special tests per day (details of which will be revealed as the competitors meet them for themselves).
Wild country also throws up wild challenges, tracks do not have road signs and rivers do not always have bridges. The successful team will be respectful of their environment, sympathetic to their machinery and understanding of their team-mates.