A hen in the rooster house

Jolandie Rust is the First Lady of the GS Trophy.

Marshal Jo has earned respect.

Marshal Jo has earned respect.

Jo's full name is Jolandie Rust. She's 32 years old and comes from South Africa. This strong woman with delicate facial features and long brown hair is the first female marshalin the history of the International GS Trophy. The First Lady of the Enduro expedition has gained the trust and respect of her team members. They trust her because of the energetic support she gives to the GS riders in the race. They respect her because of her unique experience with the adventure riding.

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More horsepower. More speed.

More horsepower. More speed.

Jo has always been riding two-wheelers. It all started with bicycles. She cycled 5,951 kilometres across Africa in a hundred days. But that wasn't enough for her. Jo wanted more. More horsepower. More speed. But she wanted to stick to two wheels. She chose the BMW F 650 GS Dakar. In 2011, she decided to circumnavigate Africa, starting out in Cape Town. Jo wasn't scared of riding solo as a woman with no one to help her in an emergency. At least not until that fateful day in N'Zeto in northern Angola, where she was held up by two armed men who took everything from her except one thing: her life.

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From robbery to defiance.

That was the moment when fear came into the equation for Jo. She aborted the trip and returned home. And although the men stole all of her equipment, they couldn't steal her courage. So she embarked on her journey again. After 18 months, 28 countries and 45,000 kilometres, a dream has come for this South African: she is the first woman to circumnavigate Africa on a motorcycle. A record. "It was an incredible experience", says Jo, recalling her trip.
Jo's Africa adventure changed her. Not only her character, but her entire life. "Ever since my trip I know that I can accomplish anything. I have become the person I always wanted to be". She now wants to pass on her strength and self-confidence, which she calls the "GS feeling", to other women. So she's writing a book about her motorcycle journey and also working as an off-road instructor. More than anything, she wants the women she teaches to experience the fun of riding a GS. She also launched the "BMW GS Girls" global platform. It's a place where female motorcyclists can share their adventures. Jo's inspiration: "I want many more women to experience motorcycle adventures".
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More women should experience motorcycle adventures.
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Jolandie Rust

Girl Power at the International GS Trophy.

Girl Power at the International GS Trophy.

In 2016 the time had finally come again. For the first time in seven years, a women's team was going to compete in the International GS Trophy. "When I heard about it, I wanted to compete directly as a rider", says Jo. But the rules of the event prohibited that. "As an off-road instructor, unfortunately I'm not allowed to compete in the Trophy", says Jo. But when one door closes, another opens: Jo became a jury member of the Female Qualifier for the International GS Trophy in South Africa. Ten women competed for a spot on the international women's team. Jo contributed her expertise and excellent judgement skills from the sidelines. It soon became obvious: she would be indispensable at the International GS Trophy in South East Asia. The rest is history – the history of the first female marshal at the International GS Trophy.

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Looking forward to the next adventure.

Chiang Doi, March 2016. The sun has just gone down over the Rim Doi Resort. Jo organises her things on her bed and packs them into her suitcase. The International GS Trophy is over. The women's team didn't win (at least not this time), but Jo is happy. "The fact that women are now competing in the event is a huge step forward. This will inspire other women to seek out adventure", says Jo. She closes her suitcase and walks to the door. She takes one last look at the room. A door is closing once again. But a door to a new adventure is also opening.
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For Jolandie Rust, the next adventure is calling.
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