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Three outstanding world class competitors have
been selected to represent Australia at the
International Land Rover G4 Challenge
selections event to be held at
Eastnor Castle, January 2006
28th November, 2005
Three outstanding world class competitors have been selected to represent Australia at the International Land Rover G4 Challenge selections event to be held at Eastnor Castle, UK in January 2006.
After a gruelling 3-day event held at Werribee 4x4 Proving ground and nearby Werribee gorge Victorian John Jacoby, and ACT's Alina McMaster and Tom Landon-Smith emerged as the unanimous choice to represent the country in the global selection event.
Thirty six energetic, enthusiastic hopefuls from around the nation came together at the event to compete for one of three places representing Australia in the 2006 global adventure.
The national selection programme was designed to unearth three competitors who have what it takes to win the Land Rover G4 Challenge, one of the three will join 17 other country representatives on the journey of a lifetime visiting Thailand, Laos, Brazil and Bolivia in April/May 2006.
The 7 women and 29 men who attended the event were brimming with expectation and tension as they were thrown into a demanding programme of activities designed to thoroughly test their mental and physical stamina.
Inaugural Challenge representative Guy Andrews said "It was great to see so many top level adventure racers at the selections, the Land Rover G4 challenge has really come of age."
The event at Werribee tested both mental and physical stamina, event challenges included :
Competitors camped on site at Werribee 4x4 Proving ground and embarked over the course of the programme a range of off road driving (using Range Rover Sport and Discovery 3), navigation, initiative and physical assessments.
Saturday morning saw an early 5.30am start with a team exercise to physically move a Discovery 3 along a track, across a river bed and a final mighty haul up an incline. Off road bike ride course and off road driving took up the morning slot, and after an energy reviving lunch the real work began.
Arriving at Werribee Gorge the start seemed innocuous enough with a 1.6 km run along a rocky trail but soon enough the tide changed with an abseil down the sheer 30 metre cliff beginning the hazardous descent to the river far below. Navigational skills were tested as competitors forded rivers, swam across lakes and contoured through gorges with the most agile blitzing the course in under two hours.
Later that night drained and exhausted, they were woken from their sleep at midnight to the sound of car horns and blinded by high beam lighting from the fleet of vehicles, and dragged back out into the night for a navigation exercise.
Up again at 5.30am Sunday morning there was no rest for the participants! After a elimination style bike and run course more team exercises saw the competitors putting their resourcefulness and team work to the test in order to build a raft and negotiate a course along the river and to also construct a ‘vehicle’ and tackle the demanding 4WD course in teams of 4. The final challenge of the weekend saw competitors working in larger groups to build a bridge to enable their Land Rover to cross to the other side.
Lesa Horntvedt PR and Sponsorship manager for Land Rover Australia said "The G4 Challenge is the embodiment of Land Rover's company vision to be the world's leading brand at inspiring, creating and delivering the spirit of adventure.
As the worlds only specialist 4WD company we have a reputation founded on true grit, and authenticity. While our vehicles such as Range Rover Sport and Discovery 3 are innovative, modern, luxury four wheel drives it is important to remember they still remain true off-roader's and deliver to the market a breadth of capability unmatched by our rivals.
This group of 36 people are really quite remarkable and are very much representative of the Land Rover brand spirit of adventure. They have demonstrated an enormous amount of camaraderie and of course amazing strength and stamina."
John Jacoby is an outstanding athlete recognised as one of the toughest competitors globally in the Adventure Racing fraternity. At 40 years of age he puts opponents half his age to shame with a relentless will to win and seemingly unlimited reserves of mental and physical strength.
Tom Landon-Smith is without a doubt one of the world's top 5 AR navigators and strategists. Tom started his career in cross-country skiing, racing as part of the Australian cross-country ski team before making the Olympic Squad in 1994. After early successes in multi-sport and rogaining he moved into Adventure Racing. His adventure-racing career includes top four finishes in the Primal Quest, Eco-Challenge and the Southern Traverse. He is the primary navigator for team AROC.
Alina McMaster completes the Australian representative team. A truly accomplished sportswoman, Alina is one of the world’s best adventure racers and competes internationally with husband Tom Landon-Smith in the this most demanding of sports.
Alina started her career as a cross-country skier winning numerous sport scholarships including to the University of Alaska. She competed in the Australian cross-country ski team for many years before making the Olympic Squad in 1994. She then moved into multi-sport and rogaining where she has won every major race in Australia. This led her onto Adventure Racing. Her adventure-racing career has been extensive and successful and includes top three finishes in the major international adventure races - the Subaru Primal Quest, the Eco-Challenge and the Southern Traverse. She is the captain of Team AROC, Australia’s top adventure racing team and one of the world’s best.
The 2006 G4 CHALLENGE TAKES PLACE IN APRIL/MAY
The nations to be represented in the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge are:
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