Expedition Africa – 500km adventure race (3-11 May)
WHAT IS ADVENTURE RACING (EXPEDITION)?
In short, adventure racing is a multi-discipline, team sport where teams progress through a race course visiting checkpoints and changing disciplines at defined transition locations. They navigate between checkpoints and transitions by map-and-compass navigation (no GPS) – they choose their own routes. Disciplines include running/trekking, paddling (flatwater/river), mountain biking and ropes (ascent/descent/traverse). All four team members (mixed gender teams) must stay together at all times. Teams choose when to sleep. Expedition races are self-sufficient – teams do not have support crew. Race organisation transports their equipment to transitions. Teams access their race crates – packed with supplies – at specified transitions. There may be dark zones on river paddling sections – teams have to be off the water at night. This brings a massive strategic element into the race. Although it allows teams to rest, it can cause a massive gap between teams that make it off the river by the start of the dark zone and those that don’t. I’m not sure whether ExpAfrica has a darkzone but this is common where there are river sections (for safety).
The race was delightfully over-subscribed with 31 teams! This is big for us. I think Heidi and Stephan were aiming for 20-25. So they’ve bought more kayaks, brought in more trucks to shuttle crates around…
There are 11 international teams and two SA/Foreign combo teams. Like wow! We’re also delighted to have the Swedish team Silva here – they’re ranked 3rd in the World AR rankings. There’s also Team Tecnu from USA/Canada. They’re ranked 6th in the World AR rankings. There are some other well ranked foreign teams.
Foreigners hail from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.
Great competition for our top teams Merrell Adventure Addicts, Cyanosis and Red Ants! We can always expect a good showing from other local teams Olympus, Castle Light and Pennypinchers AR.
• Friday, 3 May: International teams transfer from airport to D’Berg (Mont-aux-Sources Hotel)
• 4-5 May: Equipment checks, bike boxes, equipment boxes etc.
• Monday, 6 May: Start @ 06h00
• First teams probably 3.5 to four days? That should have them by morning of Thursday, 9 May.
• Sat, 11 May: Cut-off.