Brand Ambassadors

Jacques Marais -
Adventure Photographer and Journalist

"I’m a professional photographer and author who regularly contributes to a range of premium travel, adventure and outdoor magazines, both in South Africa and abroad. As an internationally acclaimed photojournalist, I cover global extreme sporting events, shooting disciplines as diverse as rock climbing, trail running, slack-lining, adventure racing, downhill mountain biking, surfing, snowboarding and off-road expeditions.
I am also an accredited GETTY and former RED BULL photographer, and therefore fortunate enough to cover global extreme sports commission for respected outdoor brands and agencies.
Adventure travel is a huge passion, and Africa has featured big on my radar, with backpacking, mountaineering, rafting and kayaking trips to countries as diverse as Morocco, Malawi, Ghana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Botswana, Uganda, Seychelles, Egypt, Mauritius and Madagascar. International destinations include continental Europe and Scandinavia, Argentina, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, Iceland, USA, Mongolia, Russia and Greenland.
When you spend a lot of times in the great outdoors, you tend to become blasé about your ability to cope when things go wrong. It is quite natural to push your personal endurance envelope, but it is such a great feeling to know you have the #SpotGen3 as a back-up when you push things too far and accidentally anger those old-school outdoor gods. "

Timothy Hammond -
Professional Mountain Biker

"Growing up was simple - all I needed was to be outside. This entailed anything from bush trips into Africa to climbing trees in the bottom of the garden or riding 'around the dam' - a 7km loop which would become the start of my mountain biking life. After matric finals I moved to Stellenbosch to study agriculture. The incredible mountains and freedom around this beautiful town drew me like a magnet, and at that time, like a dirty temptation, as I was supposed to be completing my degree. The call of the mountains was too strong, and a bicycle was the perfect way to do them justice. I graduated with a BSc in Ecology and Biodiversity while doing the odd mountain bike race. Following my degree, I wanted to challenge myself beyond what I thought was possible, so I gave the 245km 24hr Trans Karoo MTB race a bash. Against all expectations I won it, and went on to win the 230km Trans Baviaans MTB later that year and the following year while setting the course record. These results pushed me into the world of endurance mountain biking and made me realise how much I enjoy competing. Since then I have grown in experience, endurance and passion for ultra marathon racing. There is no better way to experience the peace and beauty the outdoors has to offer than by bike! I couldn't imagine riding into the remote areas I ride without my Spot Gen 3 in my back pocket."

Ryno Griesel -
Mountaineer and Trail Runner

Ryno is a passionate mountaineer and trail runner. He has climbed various mountains in Africa, Europe and Nepal. He broke the record for the Hobbit 100km mountain run after back to back wins in 2012 and '13, as well as the record for the Skyrun 65km mountain run set in 2016.
Ryno has raced the Adventure Racing World circuit since 2006 with various top 5 international finishes. Race destinations include Africa, Europe, the Moab desert in Utah and the ice bergs of Patagonia.
Ryno actively competes on the Rogaine World Champs circuit (pair - 24 hour navigation runs) with team mate Nicholas Mulder. They achieved a 2nd place at the New Zealand World champs in 2010 and a win in the Ireland Nationals during 2011, followed by a 2nd place at the Czech Nationals in 2012 and a top 5 at the Czech World Champs in 2012.
Ryno currently co-holds the men’s record for the 210km Drakensberg Grand Traverse with Ryan Sandes at 41hr, 49min (March 2014) and the mixed record with Linda Doke at 63hr, 33min (March 2015). His focus going forward will be designing and setting new FKT’s (Fastest Known Times) with the help of SPOT Africa in Africa and abroad.
Ryno is a bean-counter by trade, but don’t tell anyone.

Chantel Nienaber -
Trail Runner

"I am a competitive trail runner, all over South Africa, and have even been fortunate enough to represent my country abroad. When I am not racing, I am a personal trainer and a running coach.
I studied fine arts and only ended up running in my mid thirties. I soon realised that I did not enjoy running on the road, and after I had done my first trail race... I knew I was hooked.
I love being in nature and running in the mountains but do not always feel safe enough running on my own. Sadly my husband has a disability and unable to join me so rely on the mercy of fellow runners and cell phone reception for safety.
I am thrilled to have a SPOT GEN 3! It gives me the reassurance that no matter where I am on the trail, help is the press of a button away. My husband can keep track of my whereabouts beyond cellular coverage, and be there right by my side."

Alex Ham -
Sailor, 470 Class Crew

"I am a competitive sailor and am campaigning for the 2020 Olympics in the 470 class. I sail on a high performance 2-person dinghy called a 470. I started sailing on a small dam and progressed from smaller, youth classes to sailing on several high-performance boats ranging from high performance dinghies such as the 505 and 470 to sport boats such as the newly launched Cape31. The sense of adventure from being out on the water combined with the mental and physical challenges sailing poses are what drive my love for the sport and the outdoors.
We train predominantly on the open ocean in Table Bay, usually with a few boats and a support RIB, but often alone. The risk of breakages and sudden weather changes are high, and the boats are highly sensitive racing craft, making it potentially dangerous and difficult to train when a support boat is not available. A Spot device significantly reduces the risks and gives us the confidence to push our limits on the water. The small size and light weight of the devices make them an ideal solution for dinghy’s as the larger EPIRB devices (which are used in Keel Boats) are too bulky and do not allow real time tracking or differing “levels of severity” of distress calls.
I am passionate about the outdoors and enjoy any adventure whether on the water or on land. In addition to my sailing, I dabble in some mountain biking, trail running, climbing and kite-surfing and feel confident to go wherever and do whatever with my Spot device.”

Naomi Brand -
Trail Runner

"I love heading out into nature to run and explore; and the further away from civilization and the noise of everyday living, the more I feel like I can connect with and appreciate nature. However; I also respect nature and know that anything can happen on any given day.
Having a SPOT Gen3 device will give me the peace of mind that someone will be able to find me if something happens and I am far away on an adventure."

Xavier Briel -
Outdoor and Adventure Photographer

"I'm curious. That's what led me to narrative outdoor and adventure photography. I chase the stories that happen outside of our comfort zone. Capturing these moments is only possible when you go to the places where not very many image-makers go, which is often tough physically and mentally. But I believe that's the only way to create work that really matters, the kind of imagery that lets you not only see, but also feel the moment in which it was made. With my new SPOT Gen3 people will be able to track my future adventures and I have the assurance that even with no cell signal, I will be able to communicate with the rest of the world in case of an emergency."

Rory Scheffer - Professional Trail Runner

"Growing up on farms in the Natal Midlands I have always had a passion for being outdoors and adventure. It was only in 2011 after moving to Port Elizabeth that I discovered trail running, it was a way for me to escape the urban life and go back to being outdoors and reconnect with nature. After four years of training and racing In PE I made the move to Cape Town to pursue my running. My sport has given me many opportunities to explore new places and meet many great people along the way. Every day is an opportunity for a new adventure and having a SPOT GEN3 with me gives me that reassurance that my family knows where I am at all times, and help is not far away. Being out in the mountains is where I feel most at home, so being able to travel around the world and experiencing what other places have to offer is something I will never take for granted."

Marzelle Van der Merwe - Trail Runner and Rock Climber

"My fondest memories growing up all include family trips in the bush veld and hiking in mountains. I have memories about dreaming of becoming a National Geographic explorer and photographer. I've had a passion for the outdoor world for as long as I can remember. Trail running and rock climbing allow me to explore the mountains in a way that lets me push my limits and challenge possibilities.
As I grow into an all round mountain athlete and competitive trail runner the risks increase. Having access to help with just a press of a button and having the ability for family and friends to keep tabs on my location via my SPOT Gen3 is a massive relief for me whilst I'm out exploring the most barren and isolated areas."

Nicolette Griffioen - Trail Runner

"I'm a 26 year old female South African trail runner. The longer version would include claims of nature lover, especially birds and wild flowers, and an obsession with identifying them; addicted to moving - apparently I never stop...(I must admit that I rather struggle to be idle!); and a need for peace, quiet and solitude every so often. Quite often actually.
The end result? My "sport" - escaping by foot into remote wilderness areas and exploring as much untouched land as possible! Enter SPOT. Partly for my own peace of mind, but much more for loved ones. Having a satellite tracking device on me 24/7 empowers my family if anything should happen to me. And I feel I owe that to them while I play in the mountains... It also means no daily cell phone check-ins required. So no battery or signal worries, and no unnecessary social media updates. SPOT allows me to be fully immersed in the freedom of nature when I choose to be. And that is both a great rarity and privilege in our world today."

Robert Rorich - Adventurer and Sculptor

"I grew up in Mpumalanga, mostly outdoors between gardens, mountains forests and the bush. I've spent the last five years in Cape Town studying engineering, with a gap in the middle to pursue my love of sculpting and art. Along with my sister and four close friends I'm about to set off on a year long cycle between Cairo and the Cape!
I love to be outside, immersed in all the positive energy of Mother Nature. I love to move; running, riding, hiking and walking alone and with friends is what makes me most happy. I love to create, build, draw and sculpt. I follow this passion through making my art works."

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