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Travel: Land Rover Defender Trophy Travels to Swaziland

 





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The seventh running of the annual Defender Trophy, a Land Rover Centurion organised event, took place in the scenic mountains of Swaziland from 17-21
February 2010, and proved a tough test for the competitors, and a rigorous proving ground for the legendary Land Rover Defender.

A total of 18 competing teams lined up at the official start at Ekhaya Ranch, some 50km south of the Swazi capital, Mbabane, with a total vehicle complement of 29 Defenders, including marshals and attending media.
There was an encouraging array of Defender models, ranging from late-1990 300 Tdis to a monster 130 V8 conversion (comically called 'Baby'), several of the current specification Puma-engined models with the sophisticated traction control, and even a Defender 90 SVX 60th Anniversary special edition model.

The event was organised on behalf of Land Rover Centurion by Gerard van
Meygaarden and Jessica Snyman from Land Rover Experience Adventures, with the intention of providing a dedicated and challenging off-road adventure competition specifically for Defender owners.

The Defender Trophy originated with the first event in Lesotho in 2004, followed by subsequent stagings on the African Ivory Route through Limpopo and Mpumalanga in 2005, Mozambique in 2006, Kalahari for 2007, Zululand in 2008 and Transkei last year.

Rob Eriksen-Miller and his son, Dylan, along with Shane Smart won first place with 2679 points, taking home the Defender Trophy Swaziland 2010 for Overall Winner (sponsored by Shades of Ngwenya), a Camp Master Dakar Off-Road Trailer (sponsored by Massmart) and an A3 Personalized Hardcopy Landscape Photo-book (sponsored by RRAD Photography).

Second place was taken by Walter, Gerhard, Gerber Strydom and Stephan Eysell with 2629 points. They received Cooper Off-Road Tyres (sponsored by Dunlop/Cooper Tyres) and a Cadac Hamper which includes Handi Chef Skottels, Potjie Pots and Cadac Skottel (sponsored by Cadac SA).

Nick and Darren Smart and Archie Coetzee came in third with 2598 points. Autowiel in Hatfield sponsored a set of BF Goodrich Tyres for this team to take home.

Most, if not all, of the participants received prizes in one of the numerous categories, including Most Impressive 4x4 Ladies Driver, Best 4x4 Couple, Most Photographic Vehicle and the Best Food Award. The prizes ranged from trophies to camping gear to car accessories.

The Defender Trophy has always supported the local communities, and for the Swaziland event, the competitors donated clothes, computers and other essentials to the Heart for Africa foundation, while Land Rover Centurion handed over a cash donation.


 
 
 
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