Fitness & Teamwork Was How The Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge Was Won
After months of build-up and anticipation, the big day finally dawned for the four contestants selected to compete in the Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge.
What Is The Toyota 4×4 Challenge All About?
Four participants (chosen through the four media partners; Highbury Media, Media 24, Primedia Broadcasting and Tiso Blackstar) teamed up with four celebrities (or heroes in ‘challenge’ speak), Giniel de Villiers, Mapule Ndhlovu, Ox Nché, Steffi Van Wyk-Brink, who were then tasked to compete in pairs in a range of challenging tasks. The grand prize? A Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 4×4 AT worth R522 100!
The 2018 event marked the third installment, with the bar being set higher than ever before. The challenges this year really amped up the fitness-endurance-strength equation – the contestants were required to deliver maximum performance throughout, in order to claim the title and prize. With Garmin, Specialized and Reebok providing the necessary gear the stage was set.
How The Action Unfolded
Scorching heatwave-conditions in Knysna added an additional factor to contend with. After the contestant-hero pairing took place by way of drawing Fortuner keys marked with the hero names, the teams were determined as follows; Brandon Hulley & Steffi Van Wyk-Brink, Dominque Leclerq & Giniel De Villiers, Danie Barnard & Mapule Ndhlovu and finally Jackie Moore & Ox Nché.
The first challenge consisted of a two-person paddle across the Knysna lagoon, followed by a tyre-shuffle puzzle. The second task took place at the Pezula Hotel, where the contestants set off on a 4.8km trail run with navigational instructions being provided by their Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Smartwatch.
Day 2 was a major competition day with five tasks outlined. The day kicked off with the mercury high and adrenalin pumping, as the teams competed in the Fortuner Pull. The sheer strength of hero Ox Nché made the Fortuner look like a featherweight, however a cool head and logical thinking had as much sway as brute strength.
The next task would be something a little different with each hero-challenger pair having to pick up state-of-the-art compound bows and aim for that elusive bullseye in the Archers’ Edge challenge hosted by the Knysna Outdoor Archery Circuit (KOAC).
The fifth challenge was the Specialized Epic Time Trial, where the contestants had to use their Specialized mountain bikes to pedal up the grueling Phantom Pass trail – in the shortest amount of time possible.
After a well-deserved lunch break, only two tasks remained; The Warrior obstacle course and Mountain Bike Eliminator. Unbelievably after five rounds, no clear winner had emerged and it was really still anyone’s game. After a testing obstacle course set up by the Warrior/Advendurance teams, the pairs had to use their Garmin Fenix 5 Plus watches and supplied co-ordinates to find items which would help them construct a platform to cross a marsh pit.
The concluding round was the Mountain Bike sprint. Here the heroes were tasked with jacking up their respective Fortuners and removing two ropes under opposing tyres, whist the challengers had to complete as many laps on their bikes in a 15-minute period.
And The Winner Was…
In the end Brandon Hulley (who entered via -947- and was teamed up with track-hero Steffi Van Wyk-Brink) was crowned Fortuner 4×4 Challenge champion for 2018. Strong teamwork and support alongside Brandon’s incredible level of fitness ultimately earned the 19-year-old the keys to a brand new Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 4×4 6AT.
The three runner-ups did not leave empty handed though, as all the contestants received a Specialized Epic Comp mountain bike and cycling gear, Garmin Fenix 5 Plus smartwatch and Reebok apparel to the value of over R60 000.
The Toyota Fortuner 4×4 Challenge partnered with Highbury Media, Media24, Primedia Broadcasting (-947-) and Tiso Blackstar, and was sponsored by Garmin, Specialized, Reebok and Pezula Hotel.