Marshal arts — or the art of marshalling.

Living the dream and loving the responsibility.

A giant among men.

A giant among men.

To say Marchant Maasdorp is a big man is an understatement. The South African towers over all and wouldn’t look out of place in a rugby scrum but on a motorcycle he is fast, efficient and agile — skills perfected over years of riding big GS bikes and teaching countless riders the joys of off-road. His gentle encouragement, softly spoken manner and quick wit have made him one of the first choices as Int. GS Trophy marshal. For Marchant this event is all about ‘spreading the joy’ — and that’s what keeps him coming back for more. 

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To share the excitement and the joy that the GS gives you is a privilege.
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Marchant Maasdorp

Family values.

Marchant shares a joke with British journalist Andy Dukes at the 2016 international finals.    

Family values.

“I am honoured to be part of the marshal team, even though it is a big responsibility,” he says. “I can guarantee that those who participate in the Int. GS Trophy will see their lives changed for the better!"

Wise words indeed, but Marchant has made friends all over the world, largely because of the bike he rides. For him, it’s all about family — the ‘GS family’ — and this continues to grow with every event.    

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“This is a very special community we have. It doesn’t matter where you’re from; these ‘brothers and sisters’ from different mothers — all on GS bikes — make the world go round. There is a big sense of belonging in this community, as well as a sense of adventure to explore and enjoy life. It becomes a lifestyle and GS owners ride with each other, not against each other.”      

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A GS allows you to explore the whole of Africa.    

Leading from the front.

With certified international tour guide, off-road instructor and fellow Int. GS Trophy marshal Faizal Sukree.    

Leading from the front.

Being physically and mentally prepared for the rigours of an Int. GS Trophy is a prerequisite for all marshals, but there is a lot more to the role than being ‘bike fit’ for the long days in the saddle. The best marshals aren’t always the best riders, but are usually the strongest leaders, as Marchant explains.    

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All the right ingredients.

“To be a good marshal I think you must be a natural leader to be able to guide the way and handle any situation that might arise, be it medical, mechanical, or perhaps the terrain getting too hard for some participants. It’s vital to keep everyone safe while still having fun on the GS. You need to be able to ‘give’ all the time — you are not there to take, but there to share knowledge, time, energy, and of course joy.”    

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Marchant’s easy-going manner puts everyone at ease — even the big cats!    

From winner to leader.

There are times you have to slow down and look around, otherwise you could miss something special.    

From winner to leader.

Tobi Wieser was part of the Team Germany trio that won the 2012 Int. GS Trophy in South America. It was a life-changing event that inspired him to return to the competition four years later in Thailand, but this time as marshal. So good was this experience that he’ll be joining the Trophy again in Mongolia.

“When the 2014 Int. GS Trophy in Canada took place, I was following every single step from a distance, knowing exactly what was going on in the riders’ minds— and how I wished to be there again!”    

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An unforgettable, real and deep impact.

Tobi was part of the Team Germany trio that won the 2012 Int. GS Trophy finals. 

An unforgettable, real and deep impact.

Determined as ever, Tobi made it happen and his experiences — first as a competitor and since as a marshal — taught him that the Int. GS Trophy really can change your life.

“This event can have a massive, unforgettable, real and deep impact on you. From seeing the world through different eyes, hearing stories about how participants came through the qualifiers, riding together, making friends from all over the world. It’s different cultures, but the same addiction.”    

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Tobi with his pride and joy — a.k.a. ‘The Booter’.    

Live in the moment.

Tobi believes that it’s the BMW Motorrad GS community’s lifestyle and attitude that makes it unique. He enjoyed the competitive element but encourages this year’s participants not to focus too much on this.

“I’d advise them not to take the Int. GS Trophy results too seriously. It is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and they are already part of it — no matter the ranking. Take as much time as possible during the event to make friends and have a good time together — that’s what’s important.”    

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The French Connection.

The French Connection.

The theme of not wanting the Int. GS Trophy experience to end continues with new marshal Jean-Luc Donath, who was a Team France competitor in the 2014 finals but made it his mission to return to the action as marshal.    

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My best memory was arriving in Canada and seeing all the bikes with the various country flags, and then I saw a fully-equipped R 1200 GS with my name on it. I was crying for joy at that moment.
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Jean-Luc Donath

Everyone’s a winner.

Using his Int. GS Trophy bike for two-up adventure travel in 2017.    

Everyone’s a winner.

Jean-Luc’s overriding memories of those finals were the friendships formed with the other participants and, despite the strong competition element, the fact that the atmosphere was always exceptional, and many of his ‘rivals’ have since become good friends.    

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Naturally, when the 2016 event happened in Thailand, Jean-Luc yearned to be involved again.

“I followed and encouraged Team France in Southeast Asia and tried to help them win the photo contest. I also shared all the daily results, pictures and movies on social media. But my objective was to return to the Trophy as a marshal, so with BMW Motorrad France's support I trained to become a certified off-road instructor. And then I visited Tomm Wolf to convince him to commit me as a marshal.”    

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Malaysia to Mongolia.

Faizal Sukree at the ‘end of the world’ in South America.    

Malaysia to Mongolia.

It’s a similar story for Faizal Sukree, who has also made the journey from competitor to marshal. But impressive journeys are what Malaysian Faizal does best, as he has ridden his F 800 GS around the world, as well as competing in the 2016 finals for Team Southeast Asia.    

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You are never alone when you ride a GS.
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Faizal Sukree

Even more amazing.

“I loved being part of the last Int. GS Trophy, but it’s the GS community that made the biggest impression on me, especially during my round-the-world trip. Every part of the world I visited, there was always help and support.” 

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Mongolian dreaming.

First a competitor, now a marshal — Faizal can’t wait for the Mongolian adventure to begin.    

Mongolian dreaming.

Faizal is among the lucky few who have ridden across Mongolia (during a journey from Kuala Lumpur to London) and he can’t wait to return to what he calls the ‘land of blue sky’. Now a certified BMW Motorrad instructor and tour guide, he intends to keep everyone safe at the Int. GS Trophy, while still having a lot of fun.    

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Be the best.

Be the best.

“Safety is our number one priority,” he concludes, “But it’s important for the competitors to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’re not doing good just relax and take it easy, and you will do much better the next day. All of you are the best GS riders from your own countries, and that makes you the best GS riders in the world in Mongolia.”    

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