This multi-sport challenge, which was first hosted in 2016, combines four members of the public, who enter the contest via four media houses, with four sports heroes. After a tough physical and mental competition, the winning member of the public is rewarded with a brand new Toyota Fortuner.
This year’s event was set in the spectacular winelands around the town of Stellenbosch, with the bulk of the competition taking place on the grounds of the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, which is also home to Specialized, one of Toyota SA’s partners in the annual Fortuner Challenge.
Competitors for the 2022 edition of the Fortuner Challenge entered through either Media24, SuperSport, Arena Media or the Independent Group, and they were then paired with one of four sports heroes. This year saw SuperSport’s Jaco Bronn partnered with fitness athlete Grace Motswana, Independent Group’s Donald Mampa teamed up with Toyota Cheetahs hooker Janus Venter, Arena Media’s Keegan Chettiar drew the name of Olympic surfer Bianca Buitendag, while the final pairing consisted of Media24’s Nicolene Avierinos and Toyota Cheetahs flank Oupa Mohoje.
The event featured multiple tough challenges, encompassing both physical and mental tests, which stretched both competitors and heroes alike to their very limits. Task one featured a cross-fit session for the competitors, while the heroes cycled on a virtual route using Garmin cycling equipment. Task two took the teams to Specialized’s state-of-the-art pump track, where the competitors had to complete laps of the tough track, while their hero partners had to complete a course while balancing a tennis ball on a hand-held platform – and this was followed by a tricky puzzle to solve, before finally bringing the stopwatch to a stop.
Next up were two tasks, both supported by Total Quartz. The first saw the teams run two laps around a field while dragging some tyres, before taking to a blindfold maze run, where the heroes had to guide their competitors using only their voices. This was followed by a second blindfold challenge, this time with the competitors driving a Toyota Fortuner around a tight circuit, again guided only by the voices of their heroes.
The sink-or-swim task was next, which saw the teams mix running, rowing, navigation and puzzle solving with a strength component, bringing all of the competitors to the brink of exhaustion. Dinner offered brief respite, before a surprise task pitted the teams against the organisers in a classic stalk-the-lantern type challenge, where the teams had to use their Garmin Epix wrist watches to navigate their way to a Toyota Fortuner, parked under bright lights. Only one crew made it to the car in the allotted time, proving just how tough the task truly was. This brought the opening day of the event to a close, but there was significantly more in store the following day.
Tasks on day two of the 2022 Fortuner Challenge included the Specialized XC Attack cycling challenge, the Garmin Golf Challenge, an epic dodgeball challenge, the Fortuner 4x4 Challenge and the spectacular closing Salomon Trial Run, which saw the teams navigate their way around a course set among the hills and vineyards between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts.
In the end, it was Arena Media’s Keegan Chettiar and his hero, Bianca Buitendag, who emerged as the winners of the 2022 Toyota Fortuner Challenge. While each of the competitors was rewarded with a Specialized bicycle, Salomon gear and a Garmin Epix watch, only Chettiar drove away with a brand-new Toyota Fortuner GD-6 4x2 manual for his efforts.
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