BMW’s long running and successful GS Trophy series is scheduled to be held in Namibia for the GS Trophy 2024 event. BMW states in the announcement that as the event has been held in all continents, it was time that it returned to Africa, the continent where the GS Trophy had its first go around back in 2008.
In choosing Namibia, BMW has some very justified praise for the beautiful west African country:
Namibia’s fascinating attractions includes magnificent landscapes as well as unique flora and fauna. When night falls after a hot day has drawn to a close with a deep red sunset, a spectacular starry sky stretches out over this paradise located on the Atlantic coast of south-western Africa. In short, the journey into fascinating Namibia will be an entirely unique experience in many respects…
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to ride in such a location? BMW goes on:
Namibia is located on the Atlantic coast, bordering South Africa to the south and south-east, Botswana to the east and Angola to the north. Since 1990 the state has been a semi-presidential republic and has stable political conditions. In the very sparsely populated country, the inland highlands with an average altitude of 1,700 metres stretch out between the two deserts of the Kalahari in the east and the Namib in the west – the latter is considered the oldest desert in the world. In the area of the capital Windhoek, which has a population of some 300,000, the highlands actually rise to over than 2,000 metres.
Namibia’s climate is subtropical continental and predominantly hot and dry. There are significant differences between the individual regions of the country, however. In both desert regions of the Namib and the Kalahari, rainfall is typically rare, while on the Atlantic coast a powerful warm wind blows all year round. In the summer months of December and January temperatures can rise to 30 degrees Celsius, and even in the winter months of July and August, the thermometer climbs to 25 degrees. In winter, frost and sometimes even snowfall can be expected in the inland highlands.
Namibia has a number of national parks, game parks and nature reserves, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Sossusvlei National Park with its orange sand that is more than five million years old. Other national parks include the Skeleton Coast, the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the Etosha National Park. In addition, the region between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean is one of the areas with the best climatic conditions for astronomical observations worldwide. Here, keen astronomers dedicate their attention to the unique night sky and stargazing in specially built “astrocamps”.
You might be tempted to say “Sign me Up!” but if anything has been clearly illustrated since 2008, it is that the Trophy is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard. Really hard. There will be 16 men’s teams and 6 women’s team rounding out the field after a series on national and international qualifiers. It doesn’t look as though Canada will be fielding a team for the 2024 event. There is however an “International Team” for riders whose countries are not participating . Should you be a Canadian on a mission, that might be your best bet. The GS Trophy had a great run in Canada during the 2014 event so it is a pity that there will be no Canadian contingent present in Namibia.
BMW has not announced which GS bike will be the mount for riders in Namibia.
Being sticklers, we have to go back for just a moment to the claim that the GS Trophy has been held on all the continents. Here’s the list of events held so far:
South Eastern Europe (Albania) in 2022, Oceania (New Zealand) in 2020, Central Asia (Mongolia) in 2018, Southeast Asia (Thailand) in 2016, North America (Canada) in 2014, South America (Chile, Argentina) in 2012, South Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique) in 2010 and North Africa (Tunisia) in 2008.
If I was Australian, I might just have an objection to that claim. If I was a New Zealander, I might object to New Zealand being considered close enough to Australia to be part of that continent.
2026 GS Trophy – Perth? And then perhaps all continents,