South Africa's Chester Foster was on home ground when the second stage of the Land Rover G4 Challenge began in Cape Town at the weekend, after a grueling first round in icy conditions on the east coast of America.

South Africa's Chester Foster was on home ground when the second stage of the Land Rover G4 Challenge began in Cape Town at the weekend, after a grueling first round in icy conditions on the east coast of America.

The leg began as the noon gun went off, with a draining run up Signal Hill and then to the top of Lion’s Head. Interviewed at the start, Foster said he was confident, as he knew the terrain and had run in the area several times.

Having finished the run at a point near the cableway station, competitors switched to mountain bikes to cycle through the city to kayaks waiting for them in the Waterfront. They then kayaked across the harbour, clocking in at three checkpoints. The first clock-in point required competitors to get out the kayaks, swim across to a moored ship, climb up a net on to the ship, and up rigging to get to the check-in point, then jump over the side of the ship into the water, and back to their kayaks.

After the long run in midday heat, the cycle to the waterfront, tempers were short and nerves frayed as feet caught up in the net and competitors sweated to locate the clock-in points. But they must have appreciated the cooling-off dunking in the sea.

At the end of the kayaking section, competitors were given a little time to get to the 4x4 section at the far end of the Waterfront parking area - and had a few minutes to snatch some food after about three hours of burning up energy. They then walked along the 4x4 section, making mental notes, before starting up their Land-Rovers and slip-sliding up and down steep slopes and across rocky, twisting outcrops, watched by the world’s press and members of the public attracted by the bright orange vehicles and photographers stationed at every turn.

At the end of the day, Foster was in seventh position of the 16 competitors. The competition now moves to various points along the Garden Route.

Fourteen men and two women are taking part the four-week Challenge, which comprises four consecutive global stages, each in a different time zone. The event kicked off in downtown New York City on 30 March, before moving to South Africa at the weekend, Australia and finally back to the west coast of the USA.

It is as much a test of initiative, strategic thinking and team spirit as physical fitness, sporting skills and driving ability. The scoring system is designed to test every aspect of the competitors’ character; and as well as striving for individual success, they also have to demonstrate their flexibility as bi-national team players by working with a different team mate during each Challenge stage.