April 16: The sixth semi final to take place in Madrid saw an interesting mix of teams from South Africa, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands.
The semi final began with four teams from South Africa competing in the morning session, followed by ten teams from across the Benelux region, in the afternoon.
“Some of them have never travelled before, or either been in hotels – that’s very rare for them,” says Andrew Maseko, South African staff member. “VISTA is training but also a way to see the world. It’s a long journey to get here. They were tired but instead of sleeping they went for a tour when they arrived. And today, some of them they woke up at 5am because they were excited. They are very motivated.”
Three of the four South African teams (Globetrotters, Rangers and Top Gear) came from the same workshop, which raises the question, what happens while they are gone? “The participants are being replaced by other technicians from other regions,” adds Maseko. “This way the workshop can still run properly. They don’t run to their full potential but they still serve their customers.”
For all teams, regardless of origin, there is a strong sense of pride in making it this far in the competition. “We’ve gained confidence and team work,” say A.L.E.R.T, one of the South African teams competing. “At first we thought that we would not be able to do it as we don’t have any experience, but now we feel motivated and we can do it.”
While the Benelux teams haven’t had to travel as far, they’re just as pleased to be in Madrid and have the same enthusiasm for VISTA as their South African counterparts. “VISTA challenges us to achieve a higher level of knowledge,” says team Speed Rabit. “It’s also fun, because getting out of Luxemburg and traveling abroad is a dream for us.”
Finalist for region Belgium/Luxemburg: Automobilia Ieper, Belgium
Finalist for region Netherlands: De Fietsemakers, Bluekens Truck en Bus, Netherlands
Finalist for Southern Africa: A.L.E.R.T Jet Park, Johannesburg South Africa