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GS Trophy 2020: DAY FOUR!

Posted By Louise C Powers #212117, Wednesday, February 12, 2020
The beginning of day four of the 2020 GS Trophy Oceania came far earlier than any of the competitors, media or support staff cared for. Most were awake by 3:30 a.m., bags packed by 4:30, breakfast groggily consumed, and on the bikes ready for a 5:25 departure. Riders rolled out of camp and through New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington in the early morning darkness, heading for the Picton Ferry. Today was the day to go to the South Island.

How do you get 140 motorcycles, 200 people and support vehicles onto a ferry in one go? Pretty quickly, it turns out. Everyone was ready to go and waiting for the ferry team to send bikes where they belonged. Marshals had tie-down straps and each rider secured their own bike, teammates helping out as needed.

IFT II's Andrea Box (AUS) takes advantage of the ferry ride between New Zealand's North and South Islands to get a little extra rest.

The passage was relatively smooth, but with a twist. Riders had one Special Stage once everyone was loaded and before the ferry pulled away — literally a test. Riders had to take a quiz on the history of the GS motorcycle. Officials kept the quiz scores secret until the end of the day.

For the remainder of the passage, riders relaxed. Some napped, some watched scenery and many chatted with their friends both old and new. When the announcement came for disembarkation, everyone was geared up and ready. Once off the ship, everyone was ready to get back on the bikes. A quick stop in town for a coffee and some quick souvenirs like kiwis and possum socks, and the riders enjoyed a beautiful, twisty pavement ride along the coast to the campground they would call home for the evening.

IFT II on the ferry between the islands - Louise in the foreground, then Lisa, Klara and Andrea in the distance.

The campground is nestled along a beautiful river, perfect for a quick dip to rinse away the warm day. Before anyone could hop in, they had to complete two Special Stages. IFT II were first to participate in the navigation challenge; they got a nav unit and coordinates. The objective: plug the coordinate into the Nav IV, run to the location given to find a second Nav IV. The second unit had coordinates in it, and the competitors needed to transfer those coordinates to the unit they had and run back to the start. It was a timed event, and IFT II came away with a finish time just over eight minutes.

Once finished, the women set up camp and were sent off to the second Special Stage. In this event, they had to remove the rear wheel from one of the fleet bikes, run around the bike with the wheel and put the wheel back on. Once on, the brakes needed to be pumped and chain tension needed to be checked to make sure the bike was ready to be ridden. Six teams worked on bikes at a time, and they were given 15 minutes to complete the task.

This is the new vote photo - head over to gstrophy.com and vote for this photo to score some points for IFT II!

The women had the wheel off quickly, ran around the bike, and set off to put it back together. After some struggling, they had the wheel back on and the axle nut tightened. Brakes pumped, hand in the air, they realized they didn’t have a great time but were quickly assured they had done better than many. After some celebration, the women headed off to create their next photo for public voting. It will be up tomorrow for you to vote - don’t miss it! - vote early and often at www.gstrophy.com.

Scoring took place after a quick dinner. IFT II earned 16 points in three Special Stages, putting them at 52 points but still in 22nd place. With half the competition left to go, they are ready for the challenge and more beautiful scenery along with the riding!

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