The origins of the GS Challenge
The idea started in 2006 when Charles Gref went to Germany to obtain his Master certification as an on-road and off-road Instructor. At the BMW Enduro Park in Germany he met Ian, the organizer of the African GS Challenge, an event that had already been in existence for a few years. Upon his return, Charles spoke to his team about his intention to create a similar event here, in Quebec, Canada. The event would be in the same spirit as the African GS Challenge and would be designed for enduro riders and geared to dual-sport bikes. In the summer of 2007 the Challenge was announced for that September! Everyone was convinced and excited about the fun possibilities of this new type of rally. All that was left, was to plan the event in the short timeframe. The concept: 3 days of a friendly rally with team work, team spirit and camaraderie as the driving theme. "This is not a race!" - as Charles would say.
The 1st step was to find the ideal location that would not only have suitable terrain for participants to test their limits but also one that would have enough space to house them for the weekend of the event - la Pourvoirie Beauregard in Mont Laurier. As it turned out, "The magnificent Pourvoirie Beauregard was the dream location to host the GS Challenge".
Time was moving fast but things were going smoothly due to the excellent team work of everyone, preparing for the event. BMW Motorrad Canada were very excited with Moto Internationale's initiative in organizing the first Canadian GS Challenge.
What's an event without celebrities?
Tomm Wolf from Germany, hhe head instructor at the BMW Enduro Park, happily accepted Charle's invitation to participate in the Canadian GS Challenge. MotoMag TV and Moto Journal also attended the event to provide the journalistic coverage. Everything fell into place to make the 1st "Made in Quebec" GS Challeng a total success!
For the 1st edition, 30 participants signed up including 1 woman (Stephanie Chagnon) and an Irishman (who was working in Montreal at the time), to round out the field of BMW and off-road enthusiasts. The weather was great and the autumn colors were magnificent. The first GS Challenge was without a doubt a success on every level. An amazing weekend with awesome participants, all sharing their passion for motorcycles.
The Canadian GS Challenge was only the second event of its type in the world and the first outside of Africa. Germany followed suit with their own edition in 2008.
The GS Challenge is an original idea of Charles Gref Jr., who was the founder and sponsor of the event.