Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: 2016 AR Worlds

in: Adventure Racing; General

Oct 7, 2016 1:29 AM # 
I might as well start. I am doing a Go Fund Me page to go to Worlds to help explain what is going on to the dot watching world. The race doesn't have any resources to help me get there or when I am there, so I am reaching out the the AR community. The money I raise is for a plane ticket,a car/fuel, and data. Thanks for your help.
Oct 7, 2016 2:47 AM # 
Very good cause! :) Hope you get enough Randy!!
Oct 7, 2016 7:22 PM # 
Wow.. things are looking good!! See you there!
Oct 10, 2016 9:32 AM # 
Randy, do you have a team or are you just doing a media thing? Trevor from Tiger Adventure (Qld) still has teams to fill - paid or unpaid (up to you really but I believe he's sunk a fair bit of money into creating teams so would be good to contribute something to him). Anyone feel free to contact me if you want to join and I'll pass on your details.
Oct 11, 2016 2:39 AM # 
I am just a media guy now. Not that I was ever an adventure racer, biking and running were my thing. I do plan on covering the Tiger teams some.
Oct 12, 2016 8:07 AM # 
AR is biking and running! For the paddle, you just sit in the back of the double and pretend to be doing something while your teammate tours you around.
Oct 19, 2016 3:12 PM # 
Press Release today:

Australia Welcomes Biggest Expedition Race Ever - Full Write Up Below.

The Shoalhaven in Australia is the host region for this year’s Adventure Race World Championships which is set to be the biggest expedition adventure race ever to be held. There are 99 teams on the start list which come from over 20 different countries and every continent. Under the recently introduced ARWC nationality rules 3 of each team of 4 must be from the country they are representing, making it a true adventure racing championship of nations.

The top teams from nine AR World Series qualification races this year will be the favourites, bringing race winners to the start line from events which have taken place in Belize, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Paraguay, USA, Colombia, Ireland and France. The European and U.S. national champions are also in the start list, and the top 7 teams in the AR World Series rankings so there is no doubt this will be one of the most competitive races ever held.

The race is hosted this year by XPD Australia, which is organised by Geocentric Outdoors, owners of the AR World Series, operated by Craig Bycroft and Louise Foulkes. They previously hosted the World Championships in Tasmania in 2011, a race won by the Thule Adventure Team of Sweden, and this is the 9th edition of XPD.

Race Director Craig Bycroft said: “Our 15 years of experience, including hosting the largest AR World Championship of 79 teams in 2011, puts us in a great position this year to deliver the best World Championship the sport has seen.”

The chosen venue this time is Shoalhaven in New South Wales, a dream destination for adventure sports, combining ease of access with a magical and pristine natural environment.

The race venue will be the town of Ulladulla, which is 230km south of Sydney, which means it’s easy to access, just a few hour’s drive from an international air hub. It’s often said just getting to the start of a big adventure race is one of its hardest challenges, and with no need for internal flights or long road journeys the ‘getting there’ part will be relatively easy for this race. A moderate climate, English language race and no high altitudes or other geographical extremes also make the location attractive … and packing easier!

Convenience isn’t the main consideration of course and it’s the natural environment around the county of Shoalhaven which is the main attraction. A staggering 70% of Shoalhaven is designated National Park and there are dozens of rivers, lakes and bays, and 109 beautiful beaches, including Jervis Bay, with the whitest beach in the world. Wildlife is abundant, and the huge Morton National Park is renowned for its sandstone cliffs, canyons and forests. Host town Ulladulla is a beach and surf Mecca and nearby Nowra is a renowned climbing destination. There is going to be plenty of scope for a magnificent course.

The 600km route will only be revealed just before the race start with teams given their maps in ‘Lock Down’ (i.e. without access to phones/internet) and the course will be open for 8 days – which is shorter than previous XPD’s.

The event is described as “a straight out linear race, no mandatory stops, no dark zones, no optional controls – pure adventure racing at its best!” This is very much in the XPD ethos of ‘as much an expedition as a race’, giving all the teams time to finish the route and have their own adventure regardless of their position in the rankings. The leaders are expected to take 4.5 days to complete the route, sleeping only for a few hours at the time and place of their choosing. (As always in adventure racing, tactics, navigation and team work will be as important as endurance and speed in the final outcome.)

The question is who will be the leaders? It’s a very hard question to answer as there are so many experienced and elite teams in this race and any team getting into the top 20 will have had an exceptional race.

The favourites must be Seagate (NZ), the current World Champions and world #1 ranked team, and the dominant force in adventure racing for many years. They recently won Raid in France and have the most experience, the most world titles, and the best navigator in Chris Forne. However, this year they don’t have Sophie Hart on the team and as a result Nathan Fa’avae is back out of a (very short) retirement so they are racing with Jo Williams, who is very experienced but new to the team. Could there just be a chink in their armour?

There are plenty of contenders to the throne plotting to take the crown. Columbia Vidaraid (USA) have been World #1 ranked in the past and are back with their strongest team after a year when they’ve not raced together much. They did however win a qualifier, Expedicion Gurani in Paraguay.

All of the other top ranked teams will be contenders too. Adventure Medical Kits (USA) have had a strong year and took the win at the Cameco Cowboy Tough qualifier, while Merrell Adventure Addicts (RSA), Swedish Armed Forces Team, Naturex (FRA) and Godzone Adventure (UK) will be aiming for the podium at least, and for the double ranking points from a world champs event. Unusually though none of these top 10 teams has won a World Series race this year.

There is a somewhat unfamiliar list of ARWS winners this year, with new teams breaking through and of these DSN Hoka 74 (FRA), Yealands (NZ) and Painted Wolf (RSA) are at the World Champs looking to challenge the established teams once again.

Any of these could be the dark horses of the race and from outside the world rankings Thule Adventure will be expected to do well, and will certainly be aiming to regain the world title. They first won the title in Tasmania, so Australia is a happy hunting ground for them, and after years away from expedition racing they are back under the leadership of Martin Flinta. They’ve recently won the European Championships in Spain and the ARWS demonstration race in China, so are in excellent form.

There are other strong teams from recent races and the world’s top 20, including Estonian ACE Adventure (3rd in the last World Champs in Brazil), Ecuador Moviestar and Gallaecia Raid Fridama (ESP), and then there are of course the best of the 42 Australian teams! It is common for home country teams to do well and take advantage of the familiarity with the terrain (and the thinking of the Race Director) and it would be no surprise to see an Australian team breaking into the top 10, or one of several strong New Zealand teams.

The form team from Australia with recent wins is Adventure Junkies, but there are half a dozen other strong home teams, some of them past XPD winners, who will be cheered on by dot watchers following the live satellite tracking.

Whatever happens it sure to be a competitive and exciting race, which will be enthralling to follow live, and will produce a worthy World Champion Team.
Oct 19, 2016 3:16 PM # 
Here is the ARWC schedule. There is a prologue on the afternoon of Nov. 8 and the expedition race begins on Nov. 10. The course closes on Nov. 18.
Oct 26, 2016 8:08 AM # 
A prologue, why didn't I see that before?
Oct 27, 2016 1:09 AM # 
Cali Cowboy:
I really don't want to clean my bike...

Here are my top 20 predictions:

1 Adventure Medical Kits 8 United States
2 Seagate 1 New Zealand
3 Yealands 12 New Zealand
4 Columbia Vidaraid 4 United States
5 Thule Adventure Team 17 Sweden
6 Painted Wolf 13 South Africa
7 GODZone Adventure 7 United Kingdom
8 Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team 3 Sweden
9 Estonian ACE Adventure 5 Estonia
10 Merrell Adventure Addicts 6 South Africa
11 Naturex 9 France
12 Bones 31 United States
13 R'ADYS Team Switzerland 20 Switzerland
14 Shotz Sports Nutrition 18 Australia
15 Bivouac Inov8 19 New Zealand
16 Peak Adventure 21 Australia
17 Sweco Adventure Team 24 Sweden
18 26 Australia
19 Black Hill / OpavaNET 22 Czech Republic
20 CanadaAR 38 Canada
Oct 27, 2016 3:54 AM # 
Canadian team Tecnu doesn't make the top 20? That's bold, sir. But hey, congratulations! :)

Just seeing the team names on that list is really exciting. Will we set a new record for the number of comments in our ARWC discussion thread?

Btw here is the full team list.

Who are the other APers who will be there? Here are the Canadian teams:

Canada AR - JayXC, Relentless, Frenchie, Todd Nowack

Spirit - FB, Willderness, Hermes, Double_Downon11

Tecnu - Jackson5, Greg & Denise McHale, Benjamin Midena
Oct 27, 2016 6:30 AM # 
Man, I'm looking forward to following this (and the record-breaking AP thread!). And it's great to have 2 strong South African teams taking part. Painted Wolf certainly have the firepower and they seem to be taking it very seriously with regular team training sessions in the build-up. But Merrell have always had the team experience factor going for them. Several years of racing international expedition races (including many World Champs races) in pretty much the same team combination will do that for you.
Oct 27, 2016 2:11 PM # 
I know Drisc is racing with Bones.
Lambo obviously...
Not sure if any of the folks from Rev3 are on AP?

Such a tough one to predict. I don't even know where to begin. Will have to think it over before I try to repeat my USARA predictions. I do have to play it safe and pick Seagate for the win though.

And I think the Torpedo 7 crew definitely deserves top 20 consideration. I imagine there are a few more Aussie and Kiwi conglomerations that we aren't aware of who will be in the mix.

Also like Thule in their comeback race.

Columbia is fresh and I think this might be Barbara's first race back in some time. I think they'll be up on the pointy end as well.
Oct 27, 2016 3:44 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
Brooks, Torpedo 7s Jo is on Seagate and Bob is on Peak Adventure. Not sure if the others are still racing. Didn't see a Toroedo 7 team listed.
Oct 27, 2016 4:24 PM # 
What a great lineup of teams. Really shows the international reach of the sport. How come this race has gotten such a diverse group of entries? Expanded number of entries? Attractiveness of destination?

Will ARWS run a fantasty league this year? That was tons of fun last year, even though there were a couple of bugs in the system that messed with the scoring...
Oct 27, 2016 4:39 PM # 
Lambo, that would weaken it for sure. That said, Torpedo is listed as:
T7 Team NZ Adventure

I know Isla from Godzone and from her race with Seagate. Haven't looked up the others. I'm sure you know them. Might not be as strong as I'd think if they are missing a couple, but still might be up in that mix.

And for the record. I do like you guys up near the top somewhere too. Just need to decide how high:)

GOOD LUCK!!! We'll be rooting for AMK for sure. Finish the year strong!
Oct 27, 2016 10:35 PM # 
I will be there on the 5th. They will have maps for the media. When I can I will upload hi rez pics of the maps and route book. I have a plan for a lot of coverage, I hope it will help here.
Oct 27, 2016 11:33 PM # 
Thanks, Randy! :) If you get a copy of the race instructions, that would be helpful too.
Oct 28, 2016 2:51 AM # 
If I record the race briefing, will anyone listen?
Oct 28, 2016 5:04 AM # 
Maybe some would but I probably wouldn't. There are usually a few interesting points that come out of the race briefing but most of it isn't that exciting for online spectators. Although I'm really looking forward to your video and photos from other parts of the event, I'd be happy to just get a few point form notes from the briefing. Maybe a few minutes of video would help to set the scene, e.g. the part where they talk about Lambo's favourites - the snakes!

Just my 2 cents.
Oct 28, 2016 6:36 PM # 
I'll be there team Brioche - bringing the stragglers up from the back!!! Looking forward to it.
Oct 31, 2016 3:41 AM # 
Cali Cowboy:
Course Overview just got released tonight. Files here...
Oct 31, 2016 6:08 AM # 
Who are the other APers who will be there?

Me, Mawson Tiger Adventure. Kev Piercy is one of only two people to have done all 8 XPDs so far. I've done 6. We're looking to be 1st Masters team (190+ combined age, I drag the average of our team down).
Oct 31, 2016 6:30 AM # 
Who are the other APers who will be there?

Me too - on Endurancelife Tiger Adventure. 3 Brits and a guest-starring role for US-based Lena. Glad I've been doing lots of paddling - looks like we'll be spending a fair bit of time on the water!
Oct 31, 2016 12:05 PM # 
Course notes
Oct 31, 2016 5:14 PM # 
Hope teams have been paddling.
Oct 31, 2016 6:49 PM # 
Good luck djtom and Team Endurancelife Tiger Adventure! Remember to keep Facebook updated in the lead up. I'll contribute too.
Nov 2, 2016 4:32 AM # 
Looks like its finally getting warm. 29'C a couple of days before the start. Should make the racing a bit nicer, bring the minimums up and the snakes out into the sun.

Im sure the teams are busy googling caving on the south coast. My guess is maybe look a little further inland :)
Nov 2, 2016 5:55 AM # 
They are getting hungry
Nov 3, 2016 3:40 PM # 
Hopefully my team doesn't resort to cannibalism when they get hungry.
Nov 3, 2016 9:35 PM # 
I'll be there in a random Kiwi conglomeration sneaking under the radar.
Nov 6, 2016 6:19 PM # 
Live Coverage site

Nightly Broadcast (local time) from The Adventure Center - you can subscribe
Nov 7, 2016 4:21 PM # 
What's with the 10+ teams with "Tiger Adventure" in their names? I'm assuming that's a big company in Australia? Do they sponsor all those teams?
Nov 7, 2016 4:27 PM # 
@Strongmachine, I don't remember the details, but Trevor Mullins runs the organization and brings people together. He talked about it on Randy's podcast awhile back:
Nov 8, 2016 6:22 AM # 
Prologue is happening now. Randy posted a short clip of a relay where racers were running on a sandy beach in flip flops carrying a beer cooler around a post... I think?
Nov 8, 2016 9:40 AM # 
Yep. There was also a football toss cp, a Vegemite sandwich eating cp and a single elimination beach sprint. Flip flop relay was my favorite.
Nov 8, 2016 11:23 AM # 
Here is the prologue photos.
Nov 8, 2016 5:33 PM # 
Great shots, Randy! Good work on the flip flop relay, JayXC.
Nov 8, 2016 8:51 PM # 
In light of the fact that Fantasy AR does not seem to be happening this year, does anyone else want to pick their Top 10? Here's mine:

My top 10 for worlds:
1) Thule
2) Seagate
3) AMK
4) Columbia Vidaraid
6) Naturex
7) Bivouac Innov8
8) Torpedo7
9) Sweco
10) GODZone

If you're not up for picking the top 10 (what turned out for me at least to be a very long homework assignment), how about answering a simpler question: do you take Seagate or the field for the win? Actually a very tough call for me...Extremely deep field of contenders this year versus Seagate's total dominance of the sport lately...

Nov 8, 2016 9:36 PM # 
I can only handle a Top 5
1. Thule (So So strong but not sure about nav)
2. Seagate (So much paddling, and amazing nav)
3. AMK (been putting in all the work and Have Rob Naving (local star))
4. SAFAT (Strong and consistent but can't finish the deal)
5. Merrell Adventure Addicts (Experience and Race Prep)
Nov 8, 2016 11:11 PM # 
I'm take Seagate vs the field. Until there is a race with no paddling or nav (aka Mud run or triathlon) I think they have the advantage.
Nov 9, 2016 5:02 AM # 
I have talked with 5-6 teams that really think they can win. They all say it will come down to no mistakes.
FYI I will have pdf's of the maps I can download soon after the start.
Nov 9, 2016 5:40 AM # 
Awesome, thanks! If you can get instructions/rules as well, that will help with the dot watching.
Nov 9, 2016 5:40 AM # 
It's hard to bet against Seagate but as we're seeing tonight in North America, anything can happen.
Nov 9, 2016 6:01 AM # 
Here are my top 10 predictions:
1. Seagate
2. Painted Wolf
3. Columbia Vidaraid
4. Thule
5. Merrell
6. AMK
7. Estonian ACE
9. GODZone
10. Naturex

It is a super strong field, but I am hoping for a strong showing from our South African teams!! Watch out for Painted Wolf...
Nov 9, 2016 6:56 AM # 
Brian, I'm loving your call of Painted Wolf on the podium! Would love it even more if they could take the race to Seagate. All that paddling though... eish! Maybe Robyn is their secret weapon ;)
Nov 9, 2016 12:27 PM # 
only started really looking at this now.

WOW that is a lot of paddling, and since they're using packrafts on the 44km and some is offshore it is not going to be easy paddling either.

Seagate are known as a strong paddling team, they would be the odds on favourites for any course so particularly heavy weighted for this one.

beyond that the talent is deep, too close to call, and I don't believe forecasting these days anyway
Nov 9, 2016 12:35 PM # 
on page 4 of the info pack they have the kayaks being used.

double surfskis + triple person sit on top(with 2 people).

So basically you're going to have one quick boat, and one stable boat.
I can't really decide the thinking behind this, but it sure does make it interesting.
Nov 9, 2016 1:51 PM # 
Probably due to availability and ensuring a level playing field.
Nov 9, 2016 8:43 PM # 
Working on maps now!
Nov 9, 2016 8:45 PM # 
Randy let us after those maps!!!
Nov 9, 2016 9:13 PM # 
Teams are in lockdown now!
"Their course is now set out for them on the 40 laminated and waterproofed race maps and by the route book given at the start of Lock Down.

They will have two hours to study and mark their maps, and to make any final minor adjustments to packed kit boxes, and then it will be time to get on the buses for the start line."
Nov 9, 2016 9:15 PM # 
Course Outline from the Sleepmonsters article above (copied here for ease of referral):

The race begins at 12.30 with a 35km paddling stage at Jervis Bay, a short drive up the coast from Ulladulla. The bay is known for its beaches and cliffs and is a regular stop for migrating whales, so it’s likely the teams will see some, as well as dolphins.

Next is a 14km coastal trek, heading south and passing Hyams Beach, said to be the whitest in the world, though its likely teams will be here in darkness on the first night of the race.

Stage 3 is another paddle, this time 13km inland, still heading south towards CP5 at Sussex Inlet, and it is only here that they truly leave the coast for a 95km bike ride up into the hills and back down to the coast at Kioloa. They pass through an area of dramatic rock cliffs known as ‘The Big Brother of the Blue Mountains’ and descend to TA5 where most of the equipment will be set out ... it’s going to be a big, and a very busy transition.

Next it is back to the coastline again for a 38km beach and shoreline trek to Bateman’s Bay, still heading South, and this begins with a walk along Merry Beach, known as one of only two places in Australia where kangaroos gather on a beach. (There may possibly also be a large gathering of photographers too!)

After Batemans Bay transition the route now goes inland and stays there, with teams not returning to the coast until the finish line at Ulladulla. Stage 6 is a 37km paddle up the Clyde River, one of the biggest rivers in the state not to be dammed, and it is tidal all the way up to the take out.

Once out of the water its back on the bikes for a 57km ride to Yadboro Flat, and the race is now in much more remote and sparsely populated country, so there will be little chance to find places to stop for any food or drink.

Now teams are heading into the crux of the race and stage 8 will be a critical trek. The 48km route past the area known as ‘The Castle’ takes hikers 3 days usually, but even the slowest race teams won’t take that long. Race Director Craig Bycroft did still say it will be very slow and very hard going.

The destination at the end of this trek is Nerriga, a very small town, but it does have a pub ... and that’s where the transition is! Those who arrive at the right time will be able to get food there, and there will be a warm welcome at any time.

Leg 9 is on bikes again, on sealed road, as the teams head north to Bungonia and two more key stages in the race. The first of these is the mystery discipline, revealed as caving, with teams getting 5 out of 6 checkpoints in caves, taking anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. These are no show caves however, and there will be some tight squeezes ... and a few nervous racers.

Then leg 11 is the packraft with a tough trek to get to the Shoalhaven River followed by a 44km paddle down the deeply incised river in Karst limestone scenery. There are numerous class 1 and 2 rapids all the way down so there is a dark zone on the river here. Teams have to be off the water from dusk to dawn – but they don’t have to stop. They do have the option to trek along the riverside ... if they can.

From the Tallowa Dam the route continues down the Shoalhaven river to the regional capital at Nowra but with teams now in kayaks. (There are still a few small rapids, but no dark zone on this section.)

Stage 13 is a 99km ride, the longest on the race, finishing with a ride along the beach and past cliffs at Bendalong and there is then one final transition for the last 14km coastal trek to the finish at Ulladulla!
Nov 9, 2016 9:27 PM # 
Here are the Maps. I'll try to get a road book soon.
Nov 9, 2016 9:29 PM # 
Randy, that post right there was so worth the donation to GoFundMe! thanks for your great photos and quick uploading. have a great race!
Nov 9, 2016 10:21 PM # 
Here's pics of the route book. I'll see if I can get a pdf to post.
Nov 10, 2016 1:27 AM # 
Awesome, thanks! :)
Nov 10, 2016 1:43 AM # 
and they are off!
Nov 10, 2016 1:50 AM # 
AMK is in front on the paddle 15 minutes into the race! Great job - just need to hang on to the lead for another few days. ;)
Nov 10, 2016 2:11 AM # 
Jervis Bay, where the race started, is a popular vacation spot known for its fantastic beaches.
Nov 10, 2016 3:34 AM # 
Randy's photos of map preparation.
Nov 10, 2016 4:10 AM # 
At 2.5 hrs into the race, the lead group consists of Seagate, Painted Wolf, Merrell, Peak Adventure and AMK.
Nov 10, 2016 4:13 AM # 
Suzi Hitchon, wife and mother of two racers on Team Spirit Canada, posted these photos and a video clip of the opening paddle.
Nov 10, 2016 4:13 AM # 
I am bummed there is no fantasy. Strong Machine has had me thinking for a couple of days. Here are my final picks for top ten, because it's fun. Though an impossible exercise. I am counting at least 30 teams who all could realistically go top 10, maybe more.

1. Seagate
2. Thule
3. Yealands
4. Columbia
5. AMK
6. Peak Adventure
7. Painted Wolf
8. T7 NZ
9. Naturex
10. Ace Estonia/Black Hill (I just cannot decide. Feel like Black Hill is way due after some very strong moments and Ace has really come on strong in the last year or two.
Nov 10, 2016 4:18 AM # 
I see that Columbia Vidaraid is listed on the tracking map as an American team...?
Nov 10, 2016 4:25 AM # 
Columbia as American is not too far off since at least two of the team lives full time in the US. Not recalling the ARWC nationality rules, but maybe that's what forced their hand from either BRA or SPN?
Nov 10, 2016 4:26 AM # 
If anyone can explain why some teams have solo paddlers and some have three in a boat (see pics & vids of the starting boat launch and other FB pics of the paddle), I'd love to hear it.
Nov 10, 2016 4:42 AM # 
Two different types of boat for each team: double surfski + triple person sit on top. Maybe they've found different paddling configurations that work better than two and two.
Nov 10, 2016 4:50 AM # 
From Sleepmonsters during the map lockdown:

Nathan Fa’avae of Seagate said, “I guess we are a little disappointed there doesn’t appear to be much navigation on the course. We like it when you are constantly making decisions.” As they have Chris Forne on the team the harder the navigation the more advantage they’ll have, but he did add. “Having said that you never know until you get out there and see what it’s really like on the ground. All the races of Craig’s we’ve done in the past have had plenty of navigational challenge.”
Nov 10, 2016 5:06 AM # 
Yealands is also in the lead group now - although the chasing teams are very close behind so this info is really just for fun at this point!

With 99 teams, we're going to have to divide up the dot watching so here's an update on our Canadian teams. Team Canada AR is just arriving at CP E. Looks like they're around 25th place. A little farther back, it's Tecnu, then Spirit Canada, both more than halfway along the paddle between CPs D and E. There are still about 20 teams between CPs C and D.
Nov 10, 2016 5:24 AM # 
Stephan Muller (RD of Expedition Africa) posted these photos of the lead teams around the final paddling CP F. "Last cp on kayak leg. Merrel. Seagate. Painted wolf. Amk. All close together. All looking strong. Different paddling options. Two two or three in one boat and one in faster kayak. Go RSA"
Nov 10, 2016 5:52 AM # 
The lead teams are approaching TA1 and the end of the 35 km paddle. Next up is 14 km of coasteering, leading to a 13 km inland paddle, followed by a 95 km bike.

Btw for those of us in Ontario/New York, the local race time is 16 hrs later. The sun rises shortly before 6 a.m. and sets a little after 7:30 p.m.
Nov 10, 2016 6:08 AM # 
Thought I'd try to assemble some of the most useful online spectator links into one post. Any others? I can add them. (Tomorrow, that is. [Yawn] Over to the night shift. The election kept me awake late last night.)

Live Coverage

Nightly Adventure Center Video Broadcast


Route Book

Geocentric Facebook Page

Randy Ericksen Facebook - Photos and Videos

Many of the 99 teams have their own Facebook pages, some of which are being updated by others during the event.

Sleepmonsters Reports

Sleepmonsters Facebook

Event Schedule - winners expected to finish Monday Nov. 14 afternoon or evening

Pre-Race Course Overview
Pre-Race Information Package
Official Team List
Nov 10, 2016 7:03 AM # 
Perhaps Team Sweco dropped their tracker in the TA to coasteering? Sh!t!
Nov 10, 2016 7:26 AM # 
OK, here's a cut at the top teams from my many talented teams, and I don't know the Aussie / Kiwi teams all that well, so this was quite tough. Having a quick look at the maps, it looks like it might be a 5-day sprint for the top of the field:

1. Seagate - I'll never bet against them
2. Thule
3. AMK
4. Painted Wolf
6. MTN Designs
7. Columbia
8. Naturex
9. Estonian ACE
10. Godzone

...I think Yealands, T7, Tecnu, Merrell, or Outnorth could sneak into this lofty group and feel like Bones is due for a top 15 finish, too. My only other prediction is that FB of Team Spirit Canada loses his mind when he finds his glass jar of pickle juice has opened up during transport and is relegated to sucking the remnants out of his clothes. Keep him on the level, Hermes!
Nov 10, 2016 7:55 AM # 
i have
peak adv
painted wolf

all on the water for leg03

plenty close behind
Nov 10, 2016 8:30 AM # 
Hi all, since djtom is racing (Endurancelife Tiger Adventure) and has left me holding the baby (literally :-) down here in Sydney, I thought I might join you all and see if I can provide some night cover for the European/US contingent.

We've been at the race base for the last few days watching the teams prepare. The race organisation has been really very impressive with no visible hiccups. Unusually there was no briefing (everything was provided in the pre-race documents and route book) but Craig did emphasise at the start line that portages over headlands would not be permitted (due to private lands), and that teams could not cross/travel on ANY part of an out of bounds road (ie not between the X marks). No surprises there but lots of effort being made to avoid the controversy that has plagued previous races.

The boats the teams have been given could not be more different - a nimble 2-man surfski and a 3-man rudderless sit on top (with no backrest attachments). Teams were able to test out various configurations on the bay outside HQ over the last few days and balance the boats to their individual strengths. While most teams stuck with a traditional 2+2 format, EnduranceLife set out to CPA with 3 in the SoT and a towline to their 4th in the'll be interesting to hear how they fared...

Nov 10, 2016 9:02 AM # 
Darkness has just fallen here at 1930 and at this latitude it falls fast once the sun goes down. Teams are already spread out as far back as the end of the first kayak to halfway through the second kayak.

Just for interest, Seagate completed the first paddle in just under 4.5 hours (vs 5 hours predicted fastest time). The back of the pack have taken 6hrs40 (vs 8.5hrs predicted) which may be due to some pretty perfect paddling conditions.

Seagate's first trek was 1.5 hrs vs predicted 2 hrs - this race is already proving to be a fast one as predicted!
Nov 10, 2016 10:42 AM # 
Painted Wolf and Thule going walkabout - they should correct their error soon once they hit the farm up ahead hopefully..
Nov 10, 2016 10:49 AM # 
Aargh... past the farm and still going the wrong way!
Nov 10, 2016 11:09 AM # 
Back on track - 40 mins and 6 positions lost for Painted Wolf.
Nov 10, 2016 12:13 PM # 
I know, I know. Plenty of time for all sorts of things, but it sure looks like Seagate is starting to pull away a bit already. Considering that in loaded fields like this they often take some time to settle in before separating, this is interesting. Just that much better? Or moving too early?

I personally don't think they would make a mistake like pushing too hard too early, and it seems despite Nathan's comments pre-race that nav has already factored in for some teams. So, I'm just going to say they look to be on top of their game despite the quiet year.

And I've wanted to see more than one Kiwi team competing at worlds for years. currently 5 of them in the top 12. They really are at a different level nationally than everyone else. Amazing to see.
Nov 10, 2016 12:41 PM # 
It appears Teams 48 and 5 have gone awry after crossing Conjola Creek en route to CP8
Nov 10, 2016 1:28 PM # 
The early polling had Seagate in the lead - so far that's the status quo!

back to the boats - at first it seemed like quite an interesting tactical hurdle to give the racers, but I think the reason is more logisitical. With 99 teams, you'd need 198 identical 2 person boats at the start. Getting two sets of 100 boats seems easier.

Question for our NAmerican viewers - am I right in saying that Team AMK is basically the old team Tecnu? Then is the new Tecnu understudies, or a 'B Team'?
Nov 10, 2016 1:44 PM # 
AMK is basically the old team Tecnu, but the two are completely separate teams now.
Nov 10, 2016 1:47 PM # 
Shebeen -- Kyle, Mari, etc... broke away from Tecnu after Worlds last year (publicly, at least - not sure when the actual dissolution happened). They now race as Adventure Medical Kits. Doug Judson kept the Tecnu banner going with a new team roster, a mix of active racers and people who are returning to the sport. Most of the roster is now Canadian, though there are a couple from the US as well (and Benjamin Medina, who used to race with Buff - not sure where he's located).
Nov 10, 2016 1:47 PM # 
Oops, sorry for the redundancy - Britty responded as I was typing!
Nov 10, 2016 2:32 PM # 
Interesting pack of 8-10 teams sitting together behind the third position. Wonder if the pace is appropriate or if they are all pushing each other too fast too early.

Reminds me of what we saw in China last month: a ton of very good teams all killing themselves and each other. A few of them didn't make it to the finish line. I wonder if a team or two up there might be going too hard.

Especially since there are a few teams behind them that I would expect to be IN that big group: Thule, Columbia, Naturex in particular. Are they playing it "smart"? Going to move up? I like all those teams strategically.

It very well may be that it's appropriate and just a reflection of the depth this year, which is off the charts. I haven't studied the maps too closely to see if it seems like they really are crushing it or if it all makes sense.
Nov 10, 2016 2:40 PM # 
Ah, Columbia is up there now too...

Also, Bash, don't know if this was answered, but Barbara and Marco both live in the US. I BELIEVE Urtzi does too now. I don't know anything about citizenship. Nor do I know if the ARWS standards are about citizenship or residence. Pretty sure Jon Ander lives in Spain though. So, I'm guessing Urtzi has to be living in the US.

I think there at least must be a clause/loophole for residency in the rules since I'm pretty sure Barbara and Marco are both from Brazil while Urtzi and Jon Ander are from Spain. (and I feel like I remember hearing that Urtzi moved to the US not too long ago?).
Nov 10, 2016 3:17 PM # 
Seagate, relishing a bit of tarmac, almost carried on down the hill to Termeil but quick to realise their mistake, turned back and have found the crucial turn to CP9 on the Round Hill
Nov 10, 2016 3:28 PM # 
Tracking site leaves a lot to be desired: no tracks; no breadcrumbs; replay is not functioning... Sure be great if these features were fixed soon. They are most important as the race enters the later stages.
Nov 10, 2016 3:33 PM # 
Conman - tracks work just need to click on team name on the right. Can click on a tracking dot to get a time stamp.

Breadcrumbs - tricky with so many teams both would look a complete mess and would slow down the loading of the page..

Replay function - will raise this with Rob.

Constructive feedback is good and welcome..
Nov 10, 2016 3:35 PM # 
Thanks, Broots.

Tecnu has 3 Canadians. Greg and Denise McHale were top adventure racers more than a decade ago, often racing with Bob Miller, Tecnu's navigator when the team came 3rd at ARWC in Costa Rica. The McHales were racing with Bob when they placed 4th behind Robyn Benincasa in a sprint finish at Primal Quest. (Utah, I think...?) Greg and Denise live in the Yukon where it's expensive to get to races so they stepped back from AR, remained active, put on their own race for a few years and focused on other types of races closer to home. I last saw them at a 6-day snowshoe running stage race in Yellowknife, which they both won. They have been working and raising a young family. Team Tecnu's sponsorship has allowed them to return to the sport. They've done well this year in AR and other races but so far AMK has prevailed when they've competed.

Alexandre Provost (Jackson5 on AP) is also Canadian, a talented navigator and racer who has won Wilderness Traverse. In this forum, he may be best known for racing well with the Yogaslackers at the Patagonia Expedition Race this year.

Benjamin isn't Canadian and I don't know him.
Nov 10, 2016 3:35 PM # 
Stark RavingMad:
C'mon Team Spirit! Get back on track!! Backtrack and go South! Must be a tricky spot there, as a few teams have headed off course..
Nov 10, 2016 3:36 PM # 
if you push play from the bottom of the map it switches to replay mode. if you click on a single team, you can then click play and access their breadcrumbs as well.
Nov 10, 2016 3:38 PM # 
Big welcome to Nicki! It is so nice to have people in this forum who are at the race and understand the sport well. Thanks for joining us!
Nov 10, 2016 3:40 PM # 
Yep replay does seem to be working..
As above click play button.. not available on mobile version of site.
To isolate teams in replay - click star by name and then start at top of list this will just show those teams in replay. Wish we could find a way to make this favourites option more intuitive.
Nov 10, 2016 3:50 PM # 
Thanks all for the pointers on the tracking system. It does appear that all of the features I was looking for are there. Not as intuitive as expected, but figuring it out is more impt. than having it be easy to figure out.
Nov 10, 2016 4:03 PM # 
I wonder if it makes more sense for Spirit and their friends on Teams 33 and 70 to just continue up to the Tianjara Firetrail and loop around that way to CP8? They've already climbed 400m and if they go back down they'd have to do it again up to CP8 a second time? Looks like Team 70 just hooked a left back downhill on another connector, but Spirit pushed on to say hi to Team 33.

Maybe this was Spirits route choice all along? :)
Nov 10, 2016 4:05 PM # 
It is weird seing Columbia Vidaraid flying the US flag...though they are starting race more domestically (I believe they won the Gold Rush/NAARS championship this year over Journey Racing).

I just have to say once again, though I know it's a waste of breath at this point, that Seagate is just a remarkable team. The fact that they can pull away from a field this strong is amazing.
Nov 10, 2016 4:05 PM # 
Anyone figure out how to get actual times in/out for the CP's/TA's on the leaderboard? Understandably you can see each teams split for a various leg, but I can't figure out how to see actual times at CP's/TA's.....
Nov 10, 2016 4:11 PM # 
Getawaystix - sorry that data is just not being recorded by the trackers. The CP's / TA's are geofenced. In theory something could have been done with two points - arrival / departure. But as you can see the leaderboard is in danger of being a little overwhelmed and I can see very soon it will have to be changed to accomodate the data.
Nov 10, 2016 4:13 PM # 
@theorangedot, is the trail mail feature activated for this race?
Nov 10, 2016 4:16 PM # 
Looks to me like NZ Adventure, Peak and Mountain Designs are going the wrong way...
Nov 10, 2016 4:18 PM # 
...though maybe they were lured by the fun-sounding "Monkey Mountain Road"?
Nov 10, 2016 4:24 PM # 
Thanks theorangedot, I can imagine it would be quite the mission to keep the leaderboard up to date manually with all those teams.....Bash, think you could handle that job?
Nov 10, 2016 4:25 PM # 
Looks like Spirit and team 33 have turned around and are headed back to the main route. On the bright side it looked like a ripping descent for 70 as they're already back to the main track!
Nov 10, 2016 4:29 PM # 
abiperk - sorry its not been, not sure why.
Nov 10, 2016 4:31 PM # 
I hope Painted Wolf doesn't do the same thing but whip down the hill even further. I liked their pre-race interview whereby Mark Collins humbly mentioned that they're famous for making big errors...but I'm sure they've got the speed to make up for it most of the time. These little twists, turns, and intersections will be tricky to negotiate at 3h00 on this MTB!
Nov 10, 2016 4:47 PM # 
Now godzone and yealands going off track on the bike!
yealands back on course, godzone maybe not?
Nov 10, 2016 4:48 PM # 
Have to be impressed with AMK. They are hungry this year.
Nov 10, 2016 4:50 PM # 
Come back Powerbar and Spirit!
Nov 10, 2016 4:51 PM # 
The dreaded wrong turn on top of a wrong turn for Team Spirit and 33, ugh. :(

Their first walkabout of the race: "Walkabout historically refers to a rite of passage during which Indigenous male Australians would undergo a journey during adolescence, typically ages 10 to 16, and live in the wilderness for a period as long as six months to make the spiritual and traditional transition into manhood."

Hopefully their's doesn't last 6 months!
Nov 10, 2016 4:57 PM # 
Haha! Bob, never make me keep a leaderboard updated manually for 99 teams at Wilderness Traverse, OK? That said, I've always turned down the option of using geofencing.

I've just discovered that if you click on a team name in the list (or choose "More Info, Route and Splits" when you click on them on the map), it takes you to a box with their team photo and info, and if you scroll down (which I hadn't previously), you get arrival times (not splits) at the CPs.
Nov 10, 2016 5:21 PM # 
Depending on the map layer chosen, it still looks like Spirit and PowerBar can get back to the main route without a bike-whack or retracing...we'll see soon enough. Here's to hoping they find the a passage
Nov 10, 2016 5:23 PM # 
I REALLY hope there's a sneaky way east from the end of that trail they're on and stays north of Cajola Creek.
Nov 10, 2016 5:26 PM # 
FB, navigator for Spirit Canada, is one of the most experienced racers in the field so I never count him out. Fingers crossed this works out!
Nov 10, 2016 5:28 PM # 
According to the Google maps terrain Data, painted wolf and peak adventure just took a detour on the sheep track. Boys must be hungry this time of morning
Nov 10, 2016 5:56 PM # 
I m not at a computer, but looking on the tablet I put Seagate and amk at TA4 about 30mins ahead of 3rd. And then using the cp10 splits 3rd to 17th are compressed to about 50mins.

Early days still
Nov 10, 2016 6:09 PM # 
SAFAT has stalled coming down to CP11. Wonder if they have a bike mechanical issue?
Nov 10, 2016 6:13 PM # 
Re: my comments/questions earlier in the day.

It does seem to me that we are seeing some settling. Several teams, most notably the Aussie team Peak have already slipped off the pace of things up top while some stalwarts have been slowly or not so slowly moving up. Is Yealands slipping a bit too? Merrell?

On the other end: Godzone has seemed to make the biggest leap, but Thule is edging up as well. T7 NZ has also steadily climbed up into top ten contention. Naturex and Ace also are working their way up into the top ten tier.

Still waiting for Columbia to start asserting themselves. Maybe the biggest surprise to me right now. Will still be shocked if they don't pass a number of teams for a strong finish, but yeah, wondering what's taking them "so long":)
Nov 10, 2016 6:15 PM # 
Has anyone seen the rules of that, I mean the document that the teams get explaining the locations of each CP?
Nov 10, 2016 6:26 PM # 
Lots of new discussion so I'll repeat this post of useful links. Looks like the Route Book and Maps are the only CP info.

For those of us in Ontario/New York, the local race time is 16 hrs later. The sun rises shortly before 6 a.m. and sets a little after 7:30 p.m.

Live Coverage

Nightly Adventure Center Video Broadcast


Route Book

Geocentric (Race organization) Facebook Page

ARWC Facebook Page

Randy Ericksen Facebook - Photos and Videos

Many of the 99 teams have their own Facebook pages, some of which are being updated by others during the event.

Sleepmonsters Reports

Sleepmonsters Facebook

Event Schedule - winners expected to finish Monday Nov. 14 afternoon or evening

Pre-Race Course Overview
Pre-Race Information Package
Official Team List
Nov 10, 2016 6:30 PM # 
Drisc and Bones making some moves! Now solidly in the top 20 an they look to be moving up on Columbia and Shotz!
Nov 10, 2016 6:43 PM # 
AMK only 12 minutes back of Seagate through 12. Impressive. You gotta think keeping the Kiwis in sight is the strategy. If they can keep it up it will be interesting to see how it shakes out when sleep becomes an issue.

In other news, anyone else getting lots of enjoyment out of Aussie naming? Pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach, Wheelbarrow Rd, the aforementioned Monkey Mtn Rd, and Cockwhy. The entertainment value leaves plenty to do between dot movement!
Nov 10, 2016 7:02 PM # 
Uh oh, Spirit's detour with Power Bar Swiss Explorers has hit the news.
Nov 10, 2016 7:15 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I like the front run from AMK - four days estimated winning time seems too short to count on much fading from Seagate.
Nov 10, 2016 7:22 PM # 
US Team 4050 took the long way to get CP 6, costing them at least 10 spots and at least an hour.
Nov 10, 2016 7:22 PM # 
Time sheet at TA4, posted by Stephan Muller.
Nov 10, 2016 7:23 PM # 
My dark horse, Movistar, has gone a bit off course as well...
Nov 10, 2016 7:37 PM # 
Women...not just mandatory gear anymore ;) Some of them even tow and nav.
Nov 10, 2016 7:43 PM # 
Yep! They are a strong kiwi team. I THINK they normally race as a split team but not sure. Seriously thought about them as my third kiwi team for the top ten. As of now, I'm glad I picked T7, but still, good team and could end up in that top tier. Could see 4 Kiwi teams in that top ten. And I wouldn't be surprised if a fifth like the Bivouac Colts made a late run to move up.
Nov 10, 2016 7:47 PM # 
Sorry if I came across as chauvinistic, Britty! Deleted my previous post. Just wanted to bring some positive attention to a team I haven't heard much about. Sneaky Weasel Gang is majorly impressing me!
Nov 10, 2016 7:48 PM # 
P.S. - I think drisc should be mandatory gear...Bones is also doing great so far!
Nov 10, 2016 8:13 PM # 
can someone shed some light on the vegetation change that Spirit and Powerbar are heading for? thick to thicker? also looks like a cliff face in there too.
Nov 10, 2016 8:27 PM # 
Canadian Teams update:

Team Canada AR was the first of our 3 Canadian teams to reach TA4, the end of a 95 km bike leg and start of a 38 km coasteering leg. Tecnu has arrived and both teams are in transition at the same time. They were 10 minutes apart at the previous CP. The sun has been up for more than an hour so I'd expect them to have some coffee and head out for some coasteering soon! [Update: They just did.]

Spirit Canada is about 1 km from the road now but I wonder about Joe's question. Also, they may not know how close they are to the road because their map doesn't go that far west if I'm reading it right. (Slow country Internet.)
Nov 10, 2016 8:41 PM # 
Whatever that feature was, Spirit has turned back on the road and they're heading north. It's daylight now so it may be easier to see the best way out. Team Power Bar Swiss Explorer is still down there looking for a way through, apparently.

I take that back. The map just refreshed and showed them back near Power Bar Swiss Explorer about 1 km from the road. Is anyone else finding that it refreshes really slowly? I was able to click on their icon and see a timestamp in a different location but now I'm seeing that same timestamp at their current position. Bizarre.
Nov 10, 2016 8:47 PM # 
Yes, same thing is happening for me, Bash.
Nov 10, 2016 8:57 PM # 
We can't even blame sleep deprivation!
Nov 10, 2016 9:00 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Didn't Nathan retire, and say that he might just show up at a race here and there? Does retirement mean that he only does ARWCs? ;)
Nov 10, 2016 9:09 PM # 
Nathan really only missed one race - GODZone. We were discussing him and the rest of Seagate here during the Raid in France two months ago. Spoiler alert: they won.
Nov 10, 2016 9:22 PM # 
Woot, Team Spirit is back on the main track! About a 5 hour setback
Nov 10, 2016 9:52 PM # 
Joe - the bush here is pretty thick & spiky (mostly mid green for the orienteers amongst us), creeks are rocky & steep sided (with leeches!) and there are plenty of rock bands/cliffs to navigate.

As a general rule, sticking to trails even if a longer detour will be faster than trying to hold a bearing through the bush. When bushwacking, the best progress will be made on the high ground where the soil is thin and not much grows - teams that follow the edges of the cliffs and tops of spurs should move faster than those who opt to follow the creeks.

Here's a taste of what the bush looks like (though it'll be much much thicker in the race area)
Nov 10, 2016 9:57 PM # 
What's the tide situation for the upcoming up river stage? Starting as it starts to come out would not be nice.
Nov 10, 2016 10:00 PM # 
ok 3 hours till low tide so well timed for the leaders if I am reading it right.
Nov 10, 2016 10:03 PM # 
AMK slightly off Track.
Nov 10, 2016 10:20 PM # 
Just for geekery, Seagate completed the first bike leg in 8.25hrs (including TA3 transition) vs 8hrs predicted - good work by the race organisers!

At the back of the race, teams had to reach TA3 by 0400 to stay on track for Craig's Full Course finish. Two teams have already slipped behind this and I'm sure we'll see one or two more by the end of the long bike stage once sleep and nav errors get the better of some. Having said that, there is only one short course option so even the slow teams are going to have a hell of an experience getting to the finish line.

As a racer who regularly gets short coursed(!), it does strike me as a bit of a shame that these teams will miss the fun legs (caving, packrafting, Shoalhaven kayak) - but then this is the World Champs!
Nov 10, 2016 10:34 PM # 
oh dear, back of the pack #72 Munch Express have returned to TA3 having only just set out - a forgotten punch card/map or something more serious? Oddly their dot has also disappeared, though the breadcrumbs are still there.
Nov 10, 2016 11:32 PM # 
Looks like Team Canada AR stopped for breakfast in Durras North, just past CP14. Tecnu is now a couple of kms past them on the coasteering section.

Suzi Hitchon (Mrs. FB) just saw Power Bar Swiss and Spirit Canada (not in the same place) and Spirit is doing well. As Bob guessed originally, their detour was a conscious route choice that didn't pan out. Spirit has passed CP8 and is flying.
Nov 10, 2016 11:44 PM # 
Nov 11, 2016 12:14 AM # 
Seagate is now at TA5. Looks like low tide is in an hour from now, so perhaps AMK will have a slight advantage once they hit the water? In fact, the tide will be moving the fastest 3hrs after it turns, so those starting the paddle 4hrs from now will have the greatest advantage! I don't imagine the tide will have a massive effect higher upriver?
Nov 11, 2016 12:31 AM # 
Looking at tide times for Shallow Crossing (the take out), Seagate will actually arrive there before the high tide.... as they paddle so quickly, will they therefore get stuck in shallow spots on their way up? Bones and Tecnu will likely hit the put in just at max flood. :)
Nov 11, 2016 12:43 AM # 
tides remind me of "meanwhile, back in the mangroves..." :)
Nov 11, 2016 1:32 AM # 
Nice to see Team 66 Spirit alongside Team 99 Rubicon....hopefully they can channel their inner Lemieux/Gretzky.......both just had serious difficulty getting down the cliffs where there's a large cluster of teams between CP's 8 & 9. Wonder if the "flagging tape" that was supposed to be there has been taken down? Have lots of other teams been having trouble through here?
Nov 11, 2016 1:54 AM # 
Oh the mangroves...what I find remarkable about these champs is the sheer number of teams.
Nov 11, 2016 2:22 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
If the cap's high and qualifications are low, CBT 2017 could be huge. Who among us wouldn't, even to duke it out for random short course back of the pack?
Nov 11, 2016 2:28 AM # 
"Lottery" (might not be) spots for CBT will be very tough to come by, so I hear.
Nov 11, 2016 2:39 AM # 
That's OK. I was thinking of postponing my next trip to the U.S. until 2021 anyway. ;)

Here's the latest Sleepmonsters report. @Bob, it talks a lot about the place where teams have to hike-a-bike down the cliffs. It sounds like it's just really slow. Suzi and Team Spirit Canada get a shout out too!
Nov 11, 2016 2:45 AM # 
For those who missed it, here is the Sleepmonsters article that covered the first couple of legs. It mentions that some of the new ARWS race referees were in action!
Nov 11, 2016 3:09 AM # 
Canadian team update:

Tecnu (15) just arrived at TA5, the end of the 38 km coasteering section and the start of the 37 km paddle up the Clyde River. Team Canada AR is about 10 km back.

Spirit Canada is making up for lost time and will be approaching CP9 shortly on the long bike leg.
Nov 11, 2016 3:13 AM # 
Saw a video on Tecnu's page: they apparently held back over the first day believing the nav is harder later on while allowing teams to go harder on the easier to nav sections. Gearing up to move up. And they have, closing the gap to the top pack in the last couple of hours.

Also notable to see ACE and Thule move all the way up to the top of the field.

Columbia now moving up the field too.
Nov 11, 2016 3:42 AM # 
Tecnu's plan to start slowly makes sense, considering they've had trouble at both CBT and Xtrail with going too hard and paying the price for it. Still weird for me to see them flying the Canadian flag though...
Nov 11, 2016 4:29 AM # 
For what it's worth, it's weird for Canadians too! But we'll take it. It's nice to have 3 teams to watch.

What about other countries? Could some people out there in AP Land report for us on South Africans, Americans, Brits or Aussies...? There are too many dots to watch.
Nov 11, 2016 4:34 AM # 
More from Sleepmonsters, this time reporting from TA5 at the end of the coasteering section before the Clyde River paddle.

"Seagate were the first to arrive at 10.47, still racing a couple of hours ahead of the fastest expected schedule, and almost 40 minutes in front of second placed Adventure Medical Kits. Thule Adventure and Estonian ACE Adventure came in together 15 minutes later, having both gained places on the last couple of stages. Behind Seagate there have been a lot of position changes in what is a very competitive race and when Tecnu came in in 18th place later in the afternoon they noted there were 11 teams ahead of them all of them within 40 minutes."

Full article, which includes lots of news including an injury to GODZone.
Nov 11, 2016 4:46 AM # 
Team 11, Goldfish from Australia, is using a tandem mountain bike!

Geocentric has published some great biking and coasteering photos on Facebook. Like this one.
Nov 11, 2016 5:53 AM # 
Thanks Bash. A quick update on the South African teams:

Merrell currently lying in 7th and seem to be moving up well on this paddle (a significant strength in the team), having left TA5 in 11th place. Their box was missing at TA4 which must have been quite a blow to their morale and they went pretty hungry on the next leg. Apparently it has been relocated now.

Painted Wolf were going really well in the first 3 legs, placing in the top 5, but 2 navigation errors on the biking leg at night cost them about an hour, several positions, and probably a bit of their momentum as well. They have now settled into about 15th place on the paddle - let's hope they find their drive again and start passing some teams up ahead!
Nov 11, 2016 5:58 AM # 
Thanks, Stijn! From the Sleepmonsters article, it sounds like Merrell didn't get their gear box in time for TA5 either, although it has been located and should show up in future. There must be other important gear and clothing in the box that they'd like to have. Really too bad.
Nov 11, 2016 6:03 AM # 
In fact, I see Merrell clocked the fastest TA5 to CP21 split of the entire field (along with Peak Adventure), a whole 20 mins faster than Seagate :)
Nov 11, 2016 6:22 AM # 
Does anyone know why Spirit is now "Retired"?
Nov 11, 2016 6:29 AM # 
...and Godzone, too? I'm gutted for those guys if this is the case.
Nov 11, 2016 6:29 AM # 
NOOOOO!!!! :(((((
Nov 11, 2016 6:30 AM # 
This is all I can find so far:

Sportotal from Argentina are out. Team member with fractured shoulder.

Matin Flinta - Thule has a fractured rib but still going at the moment.

Dayne - Bivouac Inov8 has been sick since before the race.

Tom Gibbs of GODZone has a shoulder or collarbone injury.
Nov 11, 2016 6:31 AM # 
Here it is from the Geocentric Facebook page. Damn, so sad. :(((

"William Hitchon of Canada Spirit (team 66) had a mountain bike crash near CP 9 and sustained a collarbone injury. He has been taken to the hospital for further examination accompanied by his father who was also on the team."
Nov 11, 2016 6:33 AM # 
I just noticed that too, Phatty. :(
Nov 11, 2016 6:33 AM # 
Here are the details on GODZone:

"UK Godzone Adventure OMM (team 7) have withdrawn from the race at CP21. Tom Gibbs injured his collar bone during the Leg 4 coastal trek on day 2 of the race. He continued on the Leg 5 paddle but it became too painful to continue and he is going to the hospital for an x-ray."
Nov 11, 2016 6:37 AM # 
Bash, there are so many places to get news from... where did you find this snippet? Am I missing a news source?
Nov 11, 2016 6:41 AM # 
These both came from the Geocentric (race organizer) Facebook page - although I don't think I'm going to look there anymore because they're bumming me out. ;(

If you scroll up in this thread, you'll find a post full of links to general race info. I didn't include team-specific news sources because there would be too many.

On a happier note, go Bones!
Nov 11, 2016 6:44 AM # 
Yes, I saw all the links in the previous post, thanks. There are so many places to look for news and I guess that's just the name of the game now with so many teams having their own pages and sources of info. This dot-watching biz is hard work! ;)
Nov 11, 2016 6:46 AM # 
Our friends on AMK seem to making a wee detour?
Nov 11, 2016 6:49 AM # 
From Geocentric: "William Hitchon of Canada Spirit (team 66) had a mountain bike crash near CP 9 and sustained a collarbone injury. He has been taken to the hospital for further examination accompanied by his father who was also on the team."

Total bummer for those guys!!! Sad face times one million.
Nov 11, 2016 6:51 AM # 
Dot watching *is* hard work! That's why crowdsourcing here is so helpful. In the past, we got no information. Now we have too many places to look for information.
Nov 11, 2016 6:52 AM # 
Thanks, Bash. I knew I could count on 1h30 EST! I REALLY hope there's a way that Hermes, FB, and Chris continue.

I feel like such a nerd but it looks like a few of the live tracking's CP placements are a bit off in the next couple of sections. I only noticed this as I was trying to figure out why Team AMK is taking a long way to CP23.
Nov 11, 2016 6:53 AM # 
Both Seagate and AMK seem to have made strange detours along river road soon after leaving TA6 - perhaps just taking an opportunity to gawk at the chasing teams before disappearing into the hills?
Nov 11, 2016 6:57 AM # 
AMK is making a much bigger detour and I was just trying to figure it out. It looks like it might save a couple of contours - but not that many. Or maybe the road is better?
Nov 11, 2016 7:01 AM # 
You're right, Phatty. The placement of CP23 on the actual map ( does not correspond exactly to the tracking map.
Nov 11, 2016 7:08 AM # 
I can only guess that the dotted red roads are different enough to go out of your way to hit a continuous red instead. It appears AMK gained 11 min but biked ~2km more. This section at night could be a big challenge with so many roads, intersections, and twists to negotiate.
Nov 11, 2016 7:18 AM # 
Yup, CP26 is quite a bit off, too.
Nov 11, 2016 7:22 AM # 
At CP23, Seagate was half an hour ahead of AMK, and Yealands was 15 minutes behind AMK. Thule and the Estonians are close together about 3/4 of the way between CPs 22 and 23/TA6. No one else has started this 58 km bike leg.
Nov 11, 2016 7:22 AM # 
Looks like Yealands took the dotted line directly to 23 and has had the fastest split yet.
Nov 11, 2016 7:25 AM # 
The split probably includes TA time but regardless, good on Yealands! A little more than 1 hour till sunset now.
Nov 11, 2016 7:33 AM # 
The Leg 7 bike skirts the eastern edge of Budawang National Park, where I went camping with a non-camping friend of a friend one time. Not entirely successful but it was beautiful anyway!

Nov 11, 2016 7:49 AM # 
team spirit.... that sucks.
Nov 11, 2016 7:51 AM # 
Hi Simpy. It does. How's Germany?
Nov 11, 2016 8:00 AM # 
Swedish Armed Forces was the 6th team to start the Leg 7 bike, followed by Merrell.

Meanwhile back in the mangroves (if there are any on the Clyde River), Tecnu is about half an hour away from TA6, appearing to be in 16th place.

Team Canada AR looks about 1.5 hrs farther back on the river in 23rd place.
Nov 11, 2016 8:04 AM # 
Further news from Will Hitchon's Mom: They're at hospital now and doctors think he has a separated shoulder. That appears to be all - fingers crossed. She says GODZone fell at the same spot and another racer was apparently airlifted. I wonder if it happened at that cliff hike-a-bike.
Nov 11, 2016 8:08 AM # 
Nope. Here's Tom Gibbs explaining what happened to him.

Nov 11, 2016 9:15 AM # 
as at CP23 on the bike
first number is total race time
the number after name is gap to seagate
the last number is gap to next team

28:51:05 Seagate time to leader gap
29:23:00 Adventure Medical Kits 0:31:55 0:31:55
29:44:00 Yealands 0:52:55 0:21:00
29:56:21 Thule Adventure Team 1:05:16 0:12:21
29:57:13 Estonian ACE Adventure 1:06:08 0:00:52
30:39:35 Swedish Armed Forces Adventure 1:48:30 0:42:22
30:51:01 Merrell Adventure Addicts 1:59:56 0:11:26
31:07:45 Shotz Sports Nutrition 2:16:40 0:16:44
31:11:43 T7 Team NZ Adventure 2:20:38 0:03:58
31:12:41 Peak Adventure 2:21:36 0:00:58
31:29:00 2:37:55 0:16:19
Nov 11, 2016 9:35 AM # 
AMK seemed to have missed a turn off and will need to backtrack to CP25 if they continue. could be a route choice as distance will be marginally longer and a climbing might be less, also a chance to see seagate going past
Nov 11, 2016 10:22 AM # 
AMK turned back, and are now only about 5 mins ahead of Estonia Ace and Thule.

Also want to say that having country flags as icons for the dots is awesome
Nov 11, 2016 10:30 AM # 
Interesting - Team Shotz Sports Nutrition was the first team to take the northern route option on the MTB, and it was faster! They were with Merrell at CP23, and they popped out ahead of them. All the other top teams before them took the southern option... So, there is a bit of nav choice on this race...
Nov 11, 2016 10:40 AM # 
A bit on the 3 UK teams:

Godzone...already said above but such a shame for Tom and the team after working so hard to get back from his previous injuries. Prior to his fall they were moving well, working their way up towards the pointy end of the race and I'm sure we'd have seen them moving up further as the race went on.

EnduranceLife - 3 regular racers from the UK and a guest appearance from Lena from the US of A, put together by Tiger Team coordinator Trevor Mullins. They've been holding a good position mid pack since the start and seem to be working their way forwards now - I'm actually surprised they're not further forwards as they're all in good shape and Tom has a little local knowledge having been living and orienteering in Sydney for the last 3 months. They're aiming for the top third so with a current position of #47, they've got some work still to do. Here's hoping that they'll get in the groove and move forwards as other teams start to falter.

Peaklife Sport - I don't know these guys and gal but hear that they're regulars at the ARWC (though not so much at any UK races). Currently in position #71, they're hopefully having fun but likely to be short coursing later in the race.
Nov 11, 2016 11:02 AM # 
"Interesting - Team Shotz Sports Nutrition was the first team to take the northern route option on the MTB, and it was faster! They were with Merrell at CP23, and they popped out ahead of them. All the other top teams before them took the southern option... So, there is a bit of nav choice on this race..."

it doesn't look like a quicker route in terms of distance or altitude gain, so road surface must play quite a part.

looking at the map they do have a line for both options (as well as a third)
Nov 11, 2016 11:05 AM # 
If I have my maths right, tail teams have to be off the bike stage by 8pm tonight to stay on the full course timings...quite a few teams scraped in just in front of this but 5 teams are going to have to push harder if they're going to avoid the dreaded short course - Scouts, Tri Adventure M&Ms, HMGA, AR Coromandel & Intrepid. 3 of these teams are still out on the bikes at 2150 local time, with the other 2 now in transition. Sleep must be bearing down on them all by now...

Further up the race, it looks like Endurancelife are about half an hour from TA5 where they'll be able to get a few hours much needed rest while they wait for low tide at 1230am. Looks like quite the party with 10 teams there already & perhaps an opportunity to leapfrog forwards a few places for the strong paddlers.
Nov 11, 2016 11:14 AM # 
There is currently two CP26's on the tracking.

the new one is on the road, but is still much further south that what is on the map.
if it is where it is on the tracking, then there's a new route option to the TA

Peak adventure gone on a little adventure off course, 180' in the wrong direction and uphill, they have turned around - will probably cost 20/30mins
Nov 11, 2016 11:23 AM # 
AMK not having a great night here. they lost about 20 mins going down the wrong road, and have done it again just after CP25. ACE and Thule have passed them and they're down to 4th now, but it's about an hours gap to 5th
Nov 11, 2016 11:52 AM # 
Painted wolf took the southern option, naturex the north.

Naturex had 30min lead at CP23, they're now back together - so maybe route option really not making much difference and more down to varying speeds teams are travelling at
Nov 11, 2016 12:50 PM # 
fatigue is setting in after almost 36 hours on the go.
it's 10pm on the second night and the top 20 is going to have some shuffling tonight.

Yealands started this bike leg in 6th place, and losing just over an hour now sit in about 15th
Nov 11, 2016 2:31 PM # 
looks like seagate are taking a nap at TA7 - been there abut 2:10 now

thule arrived an hour later, and have moved onto leg8 (and into the race lead)

AMK arrived with Thule, and have stayed put
Estonia ACE just arrived

leaderboard has been tweaked to only show TA splits, not CP geofences (unless someone can help with that)
Nov 11, 2016 2:50 PM # 
Shebeen - the CP splits can be found on team profiles - just not enough room on leaderboard.
Nov 11, 2016 3:56 PM # 
Looks like all the lead teams are sleeping at the moment. Seagate, AMK & Estonia at TA7 and Thule at the trailhead just out of TA7.

Always intriguing to see sleep strategy: do you sleep in a TA where all the resources are there, but the kerfuffle of teams coming and going could affect your rest? Or, do you take your kip on the course where it might be sneaky and most likely quieter, but also without all your gear? Right now, Seagate and AMK know they are both resting, but nobody on the course knows that Thule has also taken a rest...they just know they left TA7 first. This is the epitome of why teams say they plan to race their own race and ignore other teams.
Nov 11, 2016 4:14 PM # 
A very nice video by the "Adventure Team" on the first day of racing:
Nov 11, 2016 4:41 PM # 
Seagate, amk and Estonia on the move. 6 teams in ta7 something up with merrel who have dropped a lot of places this leg
Nov 11, 2016 4:44 PM # 
re: Trouble With Merrell: Looking at AR Adventure Team vid, it looks like Tatum was struggling a bit. She is a tough cookie though so will hopefully bounce right back.
Nov 11, 2016 4:58 PM # 
Wonder if satellite tracking signals will become spotty on this next wilderness trek? Several lead team trackers have stopped updating as frequently as they had up to this point.
Nov 11, 2016 5:08 PM # 
Hopefully just a satellite glitch, but it looks like Tecnu has pulled a 180.... Maybe Alex dropped his Jos Louis? Hopefully all is ok!
Nov 11, 2016 5:09 PM # 
If you haven't been watching the Adventure Center videos, there are three of them now: Prologue, Day 1 and Day 2. (Strong Machine linked to Day 2 above.) You can find them all there. They're just under 20 mins each.
Nov 11, 2016 5:13 PM # 
Here's the latest Sleepmonsters article, reporting on teams still on the Stage 5 Coasteering leg.

"There was one more interesting water crossing before the end of the stage across a broad creek close to the finish at Batemans Bay but this time teams got a ride across on a kayak. The reason given was that sharks were breeding in the area! However, the marshal felt that the oysters on the river bed were more of a hazard as they would cut racers feet if they tried to wade."
Nov 11, 2016 5:16 PM # 
Check out Legendary Randy's Facebook page regularly. He has some great photos of racers and kangaroos, amongst other things.
Nov 11, 2016 5:17 PM # 
The map for the trek the lead teams are on looks fairly straight forward. Until you look at the Satellite view, things look a lot more complicated.
Nov 11, 2016 5:31 PM # 
A lovely public post made Suzi Hitchon, Mom of Will Hitchon of Team Spirit:

"Its with much sadness that I let you know that Team Spirit Canada has withdrawn from the race. Will had a bad bike accident and ended up being taken by ambulance to the hospital. He is THANKFULLY okay. Separated collar Bone, slight concussion and a bruised up face. Dave, Shannon Miller and Chris Laughren will make a decision to either go unranked or enjoy a vacation in Australia. Tough loss for them but their spirits are great and I am so grateful for their support of my son :) I have learned from watching Dave race for the last 20 years, that Adventure Racers are a rare breed showing kindness, toughness and support, never blaming their teammates and always having each other's back. While I certainly know I am not fit enough to do what they do, I have always been in awe and jealous of the intensity of their relationships and unconditional love they have for one another."
Nov 11, 2016 5:32 PM # 
Looks like maybe Tecnu just missed CP25 and had to go back for it. Back on track now.
Nov 11, 2016 5:37 PM # 
Open topo view on the map looks like a better representation fir the treck.
Nov 11, 2016 5:46 PM # 
Confused by Tecnu's recent track and their CP list. It's showing that they missed 24 (along with 17 and 21 for that matter). Not seeing missed CPs for other teams. Glitch in the system? Or is Tecnu backtracking to get 24? Looks like they went by it before so I would assume they had gotten it.
Nov 11, 2016 5:49 PM # 
Tecnu "missing" points is most likely a geofencing issue: their tracker did not report while they were in the vicinity of the CP (within the geofence). If they are moving toward the next CP, you can be sure they got the last one.
Nov 11, 2016 5:55 PM # 
Hopefully that's it. I assumed the CP updates came when teams dipped at the CP.
Nov 11, 2016 6:00 PM # 
OK about time we explained how the tracking is working on this event for dot watching geeks. Teams are carrying 2 trackers.. a GPRS tracker that records locations every 3-5 mins and a yellowbrick satellite tracker. For much of the event so far they have been in mobile coverage and the tracking you have been seeing has been served by the GPRS tracker.

Now we are getting to the part of the event where the YB tracker is coming in to its own (although Seagates tracker has very good mobile coverage right now). The GPRS trackers will still record the route and will update as soon as they get a sniff of mobile coverage.

What is awkward for us is that Australia is switching off the 2G network next month and they have done something odd leading up to this which seems to causing the GPRS trackers to have to work harder (trackers are draining considerably faster than they did in the ITERA).

But suffice to say everything seems to be working OK so far - and what glitches we have had none of you have noticed :-) and I wouldn't tell you anyway.


Conman - I'll ask Rob M to look at Tecnu's CP's, the leaderboard is based on Geofencing.. all subject to confirmation.
Nov 11, 2016 6:04 PM # 
James, I'm not sure about your comment re: trackers working well in ITERA...ours had us going considerably slower than we thought we were moving and showed us missing several mandatory CPs :)
Nov 11, 2016 6:09 PM # 
Strongmachine, I'm trying to think of a quick reply.. but nothing is springing to mind. Other than trackers don't really like working that well underwater.. which may have been the problem there.
Nov 11, 2016 6:13 PM # 
Can I just add - there is a layers button just under the zoom controls. Where the leaders are now, the open topo map has a lot more paths and seems to be clearer than google terrain.
Nov 11, 2016 6:20 PM # 
Thanks for stopping in here to give us background info. Much appreciated!
Nov 11, 2016 6:22 PM # 
Bones has moved up into a virtual tie for the 12th spot with a few others. Go Bones!!!

Bash asked for more updates for other countries, so here it is for the US. My overall feeling for the teams behind Bones is "experience" with the exception of Rev3.

Obviously we know what is going on up top, though I am relieved to see Columbia rounding into form and moving into the top five.

Behind the top three teams, Dart Nuun has steadily been moving, though I don't think the positioning has changed much. They are probably one of the more experienced teams in the race, though they aren't racing at the same level they did 5-10 years ago. Still might see them work their way up.

I am going to start paying closer attention to the Rev3/USMES team. This is a group of good racers from the US, though I don't think any of them have a ton of XPD experience, and I think a fair bit of what they do have comes from Cowboy Tough which is obviously a bit different than 10 days of XPD. I would not be surprised if they continue to ease their way up the rankings, which they do seem to be doing now.

Toward the back NYARA and 40/50 keep on plugging. Both teams have a lot of experience, and both probably will move up due to attrition and because of that experience. NYARA in particular with Mark Lattanzi, Amy Bartoletti, and Rodney Villella might make some noise in the back third over the next few days! Wouldn't surprise me if they work their way up toward the top half once everything is over. And 40/50 has JD, so I'm sure they're having a blast:)
Nov 11, 2016 6:40 PM # 
Kinda surprised about Sweco not being up higher...anyone have any info about them?
Nov 11, 2016 7:39 PM # 
The tracking is seeming a bit wonky at the beginning of this trek, but I think the current top positions and gaps are now:

1. Seagate
2. AMK ~40m back
3. Vidaraid ~30m
4. Thule ~5m
5. Estonia ~5m
6. Naturex ~10m
7. Painted Wolf ~60m
Nov 11, 2016 7:58 PM # 
Oh crap! Estonia has returned to the TA...and very quickly! Hope everyone is okay.
Nov 11, 2016 8:05 PM # 
I don't know SWECO per se, but having seen them in a few races and followed several more in which they race online, it seems like they are always right on the edge of things but on the wrong side, for whatever reason. No doubt they are good racers and great athletes, but it always feels like something fouls them up in big races. I am sure there are cases where that's not true, but it seems like something always happens.

The best example I have: ITERA Wales. They were in position to be somewhere in the top 5 of a very strong field, finishing full course. They literally walked/ran by a CP. Within a few/couple hundred meters of it. I think the tracker even picked it up (same system as is being used now). I never really heard a clear explanation for what happened, but it turns out they didn't actually visit the CP despite virtually being next to the thing on an open hill. Mistakes happen, some big some small. It just seems like something always holds them back.

I haven't been following them that closely in this one, so I'm not sure if they have had nav blunders or if they just aren't moving as well as they usually do, because they certainly are fast enough to be higher up. Wouldn't count them out though. They are a team that very well could turn it on and move up a bunch at any point.

As long as they are healthy? We've seen Thule and Columbia both assert themselves. Perhaps SWECO is waiting for their "moment"?
Nov 11, 2016 8:07 PM # 
Great comeback by Columbia vidaraid , without looking at the splits it would seem that they have moved faster than Seagate over the last two legs or just haven't slept or both!
Nov 11, 2016 8:12 PM # 
Brilliant to have race IT guru on our thread here, I've got a feeling that this one is lining up for an epic finish. Packrafting at night should really shake it up so keep some battery for that!
Nov 11, 2016 8:19 PM # 
SWECO - great team, those guys are nice as pie.. I hope they do well here. ITERA Wales was just a genuine mistake - they were following another team, 3 controls one after the other, mist was down - they missed a control. Took it well, but clearly disappointed.
Nov 11, 2016 8:33 PM # 
Canadian teams report:

Tecnu arrived at TA7 around 7 a.m. in 20th place so they will have daylight for much of the upcoming 45 km trek (Leg 8) through the Budawangs Wilderness.

Team Canada AR passed CP25 a little more than 4 hrs behind Tecnu. They'll start the trek in daylight but will miss a lot of the great scenery overnight.

Will Hitchon of Team Spirit Canada remains in hospital with his parents and is receiving good care. Apparently he flew about 10 m off his bike headfirst on a downhill so it's a huge relief that he wasn't injured more seriously. As his past teammate commented on Facebook, "It takes a highly trained athlete to land on his face so he can still walk out!" ;)
Nov 11, 2016 8:34 PM # 
Organizers estimate teams will take from 11.5 to 28 hrs to complete the Leg 8 trek and there are some interesting special rules:
- A maximum of 3 teams may travel closely together (within 100 m).
- No camping between CP28 and Mt. Bibbenluke.
- All human waste must be carried out.
- Helicopter access only, limited mobile reception.
- Rivers may rise rapidly in flood.
- Don't start this leg unless you believe you can finish it. It's difficult and remote.
Nov 11, 2016 9:00 PM # 
Human waste must be carried out?! That's a new thing to deal with(I assume they are OK with #1, otherwise will have to check bottles carefully)!

Also interested to how you would separate a 4th team, rock paper scissors?

Back to the race Estonia ace are at transition, must be serious issue to have turned back
Nov 11, 2016 9:20 PM # 
Team Yealands facebook:

We don't have any details about what has happened to the team or why they had to retire. So very disappointed for them. Will let you know as soon as we know something.

Brent Edwards (pcbrent on AP) was part of the 2008 World Champion team Orion.
Nov 11, 2016 10:19 PM # 
Next post on Yealands Facebook page is:

"Team is OK, unfortunately they've had to retire due to an irreparable bike mechanical issue. The team is obviously really gutted but had been really enjoying the race up to that point."
Nov 11, 2016 10:21 PM # 
On a similar note, here is a post from Nick Gracie on the GODZone Facebook page:

"Very sadly we had to pull out of the AR World Champs in Australia today as Tom had a bad fall on the coastal run and broke his collar bone (2nd time he has done it this year). We are all gutted but we really had no choice. On the positive side we were racing brilliantly and had got up to joint 3rd after the overnight bike stage and we had plenty in the tank for the later stages in the race where we had planned to push hard. Its the first time in 10 years that we have had a DNF (did not finish) and so to be fair with the amount of racing we have done we have been very lucky and its just one of those things in a very demanding sport.

Tom has not raced in 2 and a half years due to a bad knee injury but he was back on spectacular navigating form and we were really enjoying a great race in a very beautiful part of Australia. Tom is currently getting X-rays done and hopefully he will mend soon. Good luck to the rest of the teams on the course - its very tight with only 1 hour separating the top 5 teams. Its hard to bet against Seagate but there are a lot of other very motivated and hungry teams out there."
Nov 11, 2016 10:29 PM # 
There must be a tracker error for the Estonians. I can only see one breadcrumb on the trek, then suddenly they're back to the TA in 17 minutes, roughly 12 km away. No sign of roads on the Open Topo map.
Nov 11, 2016 10:40 PM # 
Canadian report:

Team Canada AR arrived at TA7 just 1 hr 45 mins behind Tecnu. Maybe Tecnu napped on the course during the hours of darkness, as the teams were 4 hrs 15 min apart at CP25 in the wee hours. Or maybe Team Canada AR benefited from riding to CP26 and TA7 in daylight. Looks like both teams are still in transition.
Nov 11, 2016 10:42 PM # 
A note on the Estonians website (translated....) suggests they lost their race jersey and/or tracker and tried to located it. Not sure what the other delay may be.
Nov 11, 2016 10:46 PM # 
I just noticed that CP29 is shown on the tracking map at least 2km SE from where it is on the racer maps. The racer map location makes a lot more sense (on a spur near the trail, rather than on the steep wall of a gorge).
Nov 11, 2016 10:58 PM # 
Photo of TA7 timesheet (page 1) by Stephan Muller along with the comment that Merrell has broken a derailleur and doesn't have a replacement so a team member will be riding single speed from now on. They had a "big night of troubles".
Nov 11, 2016 11:05 PM # 
It looks like the Estonians tracker just reappeared and they are in 5th place.
Nov 11, 2016 11:09 PM # 
So maybe it was a race jersey they left behind. Their Facebook page has some discussion about penalties for unintentionally leaving behind mandatory gear. Here is a translation of what seems to be the most relevant info. (And yes, I am including it here because Facebook translations make me giggle.)

"Unfortunately, yes. He lost his shit ace team jackets, it was found in the lane and was rushed in the immediate area. Ongoing information about the trek so probably can't. In addition, as the case may be for it to get the temporal punishment."
Nov 11, 2016 11:09 PM # 
The Estonian Facebook page also mentions that the captain of Thule may have a cracked rib but he is continuing to race.
Nov 11, 2016 11:11 PM # 
And...CP30 is at least 10kms too far south on the tracking map. Should be in the draw where the green route track makes a big pointy turn to the SW after heading North (according to the racer maps)...almost due North of Round Mountain.
Nov 11, 2016 11:13 PM # 
Here's the latest Sleepmonsters article. It mentions that Martin Flinta may have a broken rib. Also interesting is this: "A lot of top teams prefer not to sleep at transition as it can be noisy with a lot of disturbance, but the race here has set up sleeping areas for them which are strictly out of bounds for all officials, followers and media – a simple idea and a good one."
Nov 11, 2016 11:15 PM # 
Canadians: Team Canada AR wasted no time at TA7 and are already trekking just 3 km behind Tecnu at 10 a.m. local time. If I've counted dots correctly, they are 21st and 22nd now.
Nov 11, 2016 11:25 PM # 
Just looking back at Tecnu's track. It looks like they may have gone past CP25 and returned to it. I'd noticed a few comments earlier today about them going backwards but didn't have time to check it out. So that probably explains why they took so long to get from CP25 to TA7, and why they appeared to take a nap at TA7, which would have been unusual if they'd just napped on the course.
Nov 11, 2016 11:50 PM # 
Hey, look at that, now the CPs are in the right spots!
Nov 11, 2016 11:51 PM # 
First, thank you all for this commentary and being an escape from the US Election this week. Many, many thanks!

Wanted to share a synopsis of the Team AMK progress from the FB page. As a bit of history, Kyle did many of his early races in Michigan, and Mari is from Alpena. Shout out from the Mitten State!

The page is consistently talking about their hanging on to 2nd, despite the unfortunate misses on the trek. Looks like weather has become/started to become a factor seeing pix of rain and talk of serious heat and humidity.

My favorite comment on the page "I'm ganna have to let nathen no bug his me mate that u guys are commin in hot" :)
Nov 12, 2016 12:13 AM # 
Sure does mess with my enjoyment of the race when the dots stop updating. Both of the (now presumed) front teams have not updated for an hour or more. And three of the top 5's trackers are stalled. Hope they start talking to the satellites again soon!
Nov 12, 2016 12:21 AM # 
Conman - yep bugs me as well. We are not out of reach for GPRS so it is based on the 15 min YB updates, of which they seem to be thin on the ground. The GPRS trackers should be taped to the shoulder straps but I think the YB trackers can be placed on the outside of the pack. I'm guessing that its been buried or just not playing ball. Think next time need to get some bracelets to put round their ankles so not an issue.. :-)
Nov 12, 2016 12:40 AM # 
Is Bones going walkabout north of Bibbenluke Mountain?
Nov 12, 2016 12:43 AM # 
Lacking recent updates from Seagate and the Estonians, it appears that AMK and Columbia Vidaraid are travelling together in 2nd place with Thule about a km behind them. The Estonians are probably in 5th if they've kept up their pace, not counting whatever penalty they may get.
Nov 12, 2016 12:48 AM # 
Returning to my comment on Sweco (sorry not to have responded sooner; I was out on a run): Thanks to broots and JT for your insight. All of the members of Sweco were extremely nice when I met them in Ireland, and I'm rooting for them - bigly! Also, they're on my fantasy the super-secret league I'm not allowed to talk about.
Nov 12, 2016 12:51 AM # 
It looks like 6th through 11th place are Naturex, Painted Wolf, Peak Adventure, Shotz Adventure Junkie and NZ Adventure. Then a short distance back to the next cluster of teams.

And Bones is back on the main route - possibly just a tracker glitch.
Nov 12, 2016 12:57 AM # 
Looks like Team Canada AR is now just half an hour behind Tecnu. Salomon Suunto Czech AR is the only team between them. It might be energizing if they meet up and work together.
Nov 12, 2016 12:58 AM # 
From Geocentric Facebook:

"AUS Tiger Adventure Munch Express (team 72) have decided to withdraw from the race. Jo Thomae withdrew from the team after leg 3 moving them to the unranked category. Then after leg 4 mountain bike the remaining members decided to withdraw from the race.

Australia Proximity AR (team 61) have moved to the Unranked Category as Roland Trease withdrew from the race at end of leg5 trek due to an arm injury. The remaining members of the team will continue the race."
Nov 12, 2016 1:03 AM # 
Photos of CP28 from Stephan Muller with Merrell checking in.
Nov 12, 2016 1:08 AM # 
From Geocentric again:

"AUS Tiger Adventure Mongrels (team 96) have moved to the unranked category after the withdrawal of team member Gary Sherriff at the end of leg 4 mountain bike due to illness."
Nov 12, 2016 1:28 AM # 
Looks like seagate have just broken the elastic and surged ahead, well past cp29 on the map, if not on the leaderboard
Nov 12, 2016 1:45 AM # 
Seems a pity that yealands can't source a spare wheel,should maybe look in the godzone box quickly!

Another factor of international racing, merrel probably would have had a spare rd in a local race, but you can't take too much on overseas flights with excess baggage charges. They're going to have to dig deep on the final bike leg
Nov 12, 2016 1:53 AM # 
Looking on google maps for this leg, yardboro flats to nerriga, it's a 2:20 drive for logistics team, but they suggest the long way round as being quicker.

Incidentally the walking option is 12 hours!
Nov 12, 2016 1:56 AM # 
Have been waiting a long time to say this one, it looks like Thule have gone on a walkabout. Looks like a major wrong turn and now real way back on track if they don't turn back
Nov 12, 2016 2:50 AM # 
CP29 has relocated again, now in the valley maybe 1km SW of where it seems it should be on the spur. Was that an accident or what?
Nov 12, 2016 3:13 AM # 
Bones popped out way off course but are back now.

Looking at the map 21 leg08c, it seems cp29 was in the right place earlier. Can only think that Thule are placing themselves at "hidden valley",must be tough if they're making this error in daylight.

Speaking of daylight, seagate are going to finish this at about 2pm. The predicted 3:30 for leg 9 will see them starting the pack raft sometime after 6pm. Not sure how viable hiking during the night will be, but it could really compress the field
Nov 12, 2016 3:19 AM # 
Now CP29 has moved up the expected race route about 5km. What the heck? Is the flag attached to a wallaby or kangaroo?
Nov 12, 2016 3:26 AM # 
Poor racers, this must be confusing! ;)
Nov 12, 2016 3:42 AM # 
Anyone here know if the controls have e-punches or pin punches? Using the tracking data for splits is going to be pretty messy on this wilderness trek if only using pin punches. Maybe there's a picture of a team punching at one of the flags that I just haven't seen.
Nov 12, 2016 3:59 AM # 
I think they're all e-punches and I saw in at least one video that they all have cards (or dibblers, or whatever you want to call them). So each person needs to punch the CPs.
Nov 12, 2016 5:00 AM # 
I was just watching (and rewatching) around the 12-13 minute mark of the Day 2 Adventure Center video where teams visited a CP in the woods. It looked like one person on the team was using a pin punch and that was it. Maybe there's a mix of control types? They all seem to be wearing pink wristbands that could be used to hold individual SI cards.
Nov 12, 2016 5:04 AM # 
Really intrigued by the potential for teams to "rest" by caving slowly or get thru the caves with time to spare and get actual sleep during the neutralized time. I'm guessing that Columbia is banking on this as their first (only?) sleep for the race.

Another interesting detail is the packraft. If Seagate gets to the caves by ~1800hrs (currently about 2 hours out at 1600hrs), then burns their 5 hrs at the cave site, they will most certainly be hitting the dark zone segment of the packraft after dark. I'd put that at perhaps ~24:00 hrs since the transition from bike to packraft can't happen until after the 5hr time block. This means I expect they'll be hiking along in the river gorge until sunrise or until they reach the 24 hr river access segment of the packraft (after CP 37), whichever comes first.

Should be interesting to see how this shakes out!
Nov 12, 2016 5:15 AM # 
Speaking of Seagate, Sleepmonsters' latest article mentions they were 1st to the pub at TA8, the Nerriga Hotel Bar. The team said the mountains were really beautiful and Sleepmonsters talked to Chris Forne about the navigation so far:
When I asked about the maps and navigation Chris added, “It’s been pretty straight forward really, with no major route choice, but some will go wrong with unmarked tracks I expect. I disagree with Craig (Bycroft) about that. I think the maps should be updated for races where they know the tracks are wrong, but he leaves us to it. I guess it does keep it interesting for me as I have to concentrate on the contours.
Nov 12, 2016 5:23 AM # 
With trackers updating at different times (or not), it's hard to be sure but Bones might have snuck into the top 10. They're close, anyway.
Nov 12, 2016 5:25 AM # 
I suspect the next consistent update we'll get on timing for all teams is going to come at CP30, since CP29 is not in the right place and who knows what the geofence for it is doing.
Nov 12, 2016 5:29 AM # 
From Geocentric:

"AUS Synergy Tiger Adventure (team 59) had one member withdraw at CP20/TA for unspecified reasons. The remaining members of the race will continue in the Unranked category."

The leaderboard is currently showing 5 Retired teams and 4 Unranked (Non Comp) teams. That's about 10% - not too bad after 50 hours.

Geocentric says Seagate actually resisted the pub and made a quick transition to biking. Given Conman's comment about the upcoming dark zone, I might have used this opportunity for some real food. Darkness isn't going to matter much to them tonight. But Seagate tends to be pretty decent at strategy so I won't question them! They probably don't want to act as a visible carrot for the two U.S. teams chasing them.
Nov 12, 2016 5:40 AM # 
Didn't know this... The navigator on Team Shotz Nutrition is Kathryn Preston, wife of Rob Preston who navigates for Adventure Medical Kits. And depending on where the Estonians are with their unreliable tracker, she might be right behind her husband now in 4th place.

Columbia Vidaraid has pulled away from AMK on the road into TA8. They are about 2 kms apart with about 3 kms left to the TA for Vidaraid. Maybe they're hoping for a better selection of beer at the pub.
Nov 12, 2016 5:46 AM # 
I'm really pleased to see women navigating for some of the teams. Aside from Kathryn, I know I saw photos earlier today of a team whose maps were in the hands of a female team member. It makes no sense to me that almost everyone expects men to be the best navigators on teams. I'm pleased to say I have learned valuable lessons from the skills and different approaches to navigation and route choice of the women I've travelled with.
Nov 12, 2016 6:18 AM # 
The Estonians just tracked again so we can confirm that Shotz has moved into 4th place behind AMK, who will finish the Leg 8 Budawangs trek soon. Vidaraid is already at TA8.

Estonians are 5th, followed closely by Painted Wolf in 6th and Naturex in 7th.

After that, it looks like NZ Adventure and Adventure Junkies are close together in 8th or 9th (or 9th and 8th - only one recent track between them).

Then there is a group of 3 teams bunched together - Mountain Designs Tiger Adventure, Bones and Hoka in 10th through 12th spots.
Nov 12, 2016 6:27 AM # 
It makes no sense to me that almost everyone expects men to be the best navigators on teams.

I believe that is a hasty generalization in itself.
Nov 12, 2016 6:34 AM # 
Columbia Vidaraid wasted no time leaving TA8, the trek/bike transition. AMK has arrived and the two teams saw one another so I guess AMK will have to skip the pub too!
Nov 12, 2016 6:41 AM # 
Here's a post with photos of Adventure Medical Kits at TA8 and some detailed info about the Leg 8 trek. Ouch, look at those feet!

"The team just arrived at TA 8, the end of the big trek. They began this morning around 3am in a downpour, which continued until 8 or 9am as they climbed their way up into the mountains. The rain finally stopped and the sun came out to light up the vibrantly green jungle and huge cliffs, caves, and rock formations. There was an hour or two of frustration as the team searched desperately for a trail in the thick undergrowth, making painfully slow progress against the sharp, thick bushes. After finally finding the trail, afraid the bush whacking set them back a couple hours against their competitors, they were surprised to come across both Columbia and Thule, who had also been lost in the bushes. The team led a fast and furious descent off the mountain, with only Columbia keeping pace. Eventually Columbia pulled ahead, and the team finished the trek in 3rd, about 15 minutes down on Columbia and 2-3 hours behind Seagate. They are tired but in good spirits, even Erik who has some pretty bad feet. At least he will get to rest them a bit as they are taking off on another bike leg now, and then the caves!"
Nov 12, 2016 6:51 AM # 
Since they just mentioned Thule, I realized they were missing from the top 12 so I checked their tracker info. Their dot hasn't updated in awhile but they appear to be somewhere around 15th place. I wonder if Martin's cracked rib is giving them trouble. In the same vicinity are Sweco, Swedish Armed Forces, Merrell and Black Hill/Opavanet, all teams we have often seen closer to the front.
Nov 12, 2016 6:58 AM # 
I noticed that, too, and dug into their track. It appears that they've been scrambling around some steep and technical terrain, looking for the way northeast. They're note the only team to have had trouble in that area but certainly have spun around more than most. Their tracker is a bit old now so I have faith they've got themselves sorted out now.
Nov 12, 2016 7:15 AM # 
Interesting - they aren't alone in that area so that explains why.

Heading back to the front of the race... wow, look at Seagate fly! At 18:00, they're within 10K of TA9, the end of the 70K bike ride and start of the 5 hr caving section. After that, it's the 11-hr pack raft section with a ban on rafting at night. It's permitted to hike along the river or directly cross it wearing a PFD. It's another place where racers have to carry out any human waste.
Nov 12, 2016 7:20 AM # 
AMK chased down Columbia Vidaraid on the road and I'd expected to see them working together to chase down Seagate - but Columbia has just tracked in the same place 15 minutes after their last track. Bike mechanical? Napping away from the TA to psyche out AMK?
Nov 12, 2016 7:36 AM # 
Canada Report:

Tecnu has been trekking alongside R'ADYS from Switzerland. Because a couple of trackers behind them have been flakey, we can't know for sure but they could be as high as tied for 13th. Probably no worse than 16th. Great nav on this trek - they've passed a bunch of teams.

Team Canada AR is now about 2 hrs and 8 or 9 places behind Tecnu. Both teams are still near the front of the race. The back of the pack teams are finishing up the Leg 5 Coasteering so things are as spread out as we would expect by now.
Nov 12, 2016 7:39 AM # 
And Columbia Vidaraid just tracked for the 3rd time in the same location, which appears to be just off the road. So hopefully they're sleeping, not fixing a bike. There is still an hour of daylight and they could sleep during the mandatory 5-hr caving stop after this relatively short bike leg. So assuming they are asleep, they must really need it. Speaking of which... hope the night shift is out there! :)
Nov 12, 2016 7:43 AM # 
Can't resist this one last post from ARWS Facebook! This was done just before AMK passed Columbia.

Turned the clock back to the 20 hour mark and had a look at who was where then and where they are now.
Seagate NZ------------------------------Seagate NZ
AMK U------------------------------------Columbia Vidaraid USA (14)
Yealands NZ-----------------------------AMK USA
Thule Sweden (13)---------------------Sportz Shotz Aus (16)
Torpedo7 NZ-----------------------------Naturex France
Naturex France--------------------------Painted Wolf South Africa
Merrell South Africa (22)--------------AdventureJunkie Aus (11)
Mountain Design Aus (12)-----------Torpedo7 NZ
Painted Wolf South Africa------------Bones USA (17)
( ) where they are now.---------------( ) Where they were at 20hr
Nov 12, 2016 9:03 AM # 
Re the dibber question, the teams were issued a single punch card at the start, no electronic dibbers. Not sure what approach if any is being taken to ensure all team members go all the way to the CPs.

On this subject, Endurancelife are showing as having missed CP23 & 26 despite their breadcrumbs going straight past them...hoping this is just a technical glitch associated with the ever migrating CPs but doesn't seem to have affected other teams...
Nov 12, 2016 11:52 AM # 
And just like that, 3 American teams in the top 10! Dart is still going strong, and Rev3 has been moving consistently around 50th place for quite some time. NYARA and 4050 are at TA6 with a pack of teams.
Nov 12, 2016 12:42 PM # 
Not able to keep track of this or dot watch like I want due to life stuff but THANK YOU guys for the commentary! Sounds like a great race and what a huge field...

As for bowing out with a broken collarbone... they don't make em like d'Irish!**

**seriously though, I was rooting for GZ and shame they had to drop out when narrowing in on the pointy end.

Bash - do you adopt the sleep patterns of Seagate during this dot watching?!
Nov 12, 2016 2:34 PM # 
Does anyone know what time the darkzone lifts? Local time is currently about 1:30 am and sunrise is 5:45am. They've got 5k or so down to the river, so I would guess the top teams would start moving shortly after 4am.

I'm still trying to figure out the time of day/race time/tracking exactly, but seems like Seagate and AMK will be the only teams to have had extra rest beyond the 5 hour compulsory caving stop? Maybe Vidaraid also?

Then we've got a 30 hour sprint to the finish starting in a few hours.
Nov 12, 2016 2:41 PM # 
The route book Randy posted had blanks where the dark zone times were supposed to be listed. The word "night" was used though. Maybe someone at the race can answer? I've just assumed it will be close to sunrise/sunset.

@Shotgunmcos, I was up really late Tuesday night to watch the results of the election and I haven't been able to get back to a normal schedule yet. Great for dot watching though. ;)
Nov 12, 2016 2:43 PM # 
Teams don't have to stop during the dark zone. They can hike along the river and cross it directly as needed.
Nov 12, 2016 2:45 PM # 
Well Seagate are the only ones getting a rest at the moment having got though the caving. Not sure there 5 hour total is up yet. Every one else is just in or out doing the caving by the looks of things. I expect Seagate to take a little extra rest compared to the others and head off about 3.30. The bit down to the river proper looks like it may be tricky in the dark.
Nov 12, 2016 2:51 PM # 
From ARWS Facebook:

Team 89 PNG Reunion from Papua New Guinea had a broken bike. So they went to town and bought a new one. They are currently Non Competitive because one of their team mates got sick but obviously the other three are determined to carry on. They are doing the Leg 7 MTB at the moment. Explains why they needed the bike.
Nov 12, 2016 2:56 PM # 
Speaking of bikes, Team Spirit Canada's captain Dave Hitchon (FB) went to Race HQ to offer his bike to help a racer in trouble, e.g. Merrell. (Very nice to do that while his son Will is still recovering in hospital!) Turns out that would be classified as outside help so it's not allowed. Merrell could get a new derailleur from a team in the race but that's their only possibility - other than continuing on single speed.
Nov 12, 2016 2:58 PM # 
According to the race time clock on the tracking page we're coming up on 61:20 racing time. So Seagate have been there over 7 hours, AMK about 4:45, Vidaraid 3:50.

Add another couple hours before they head down to the river and subtract the estimated 3 hours for the caving and Seagate should get 6 hours rest, AMK 4 hours, Vidaraid 3 hours.
Nov 12, 2016 2:59 PM # 
And Columbia Vidaraid got some rest during the bike ride too.
Nov 12, 2016 3:01 PM # 
Some musing from ARWS Facebook:


I wonder if anyone will have wetsuits with them this year. They are not part of the mandatory equipment but could come in handy when most teams will be spending more than 24 hours on the water. Last year Merrell from South Africa got hypothermic and stopped on the banks of the river for the night losing about 8 hours and that in Queensland. The weather is due to turn colder on Sunday and Monday with over night lows of around 4 degrees.
Nov 12, 2016 3:09 PM # 
With tight squeezes in the caves being in there with other teams may not be so good. My only experience of caves in a race saw me leading 3 or 4 teams the wrong way to a squeeze I decided was too tight some of the people I knew were in the race. Getting everyone to back up was amusing but the followers did get to the missed turn first and get an advantage.
Nov 12, 2016 3:22 PM # 
Yikes, not good for anyone who is claustrophobic!

Just noticed that Thule is at TA8. Looks like they dropped to 17th after the Leg 8 trek. !!!

Canadian Report: Tecnu arrived 15 mins after Thule in 18th place. Team Canada AR arrived 75 minutes after them in 22nd.
Nov 12, 2016 5:02 PM # 
Looks like Seagate started moving about a half hour ago around 3:30 am. AMK must have slept first and looks to be finishing up the caving soon...

Will be interesting to see what Seagate does when they get to the water if they've still got 1hr+ of dark zone.
Nov 12, 2016 5:39 PM # 
I think Seagate will wait for dark zone to lift if they aren't too cold... Got a nice cushion, had some rest, paddle down river. No reason to battle hiking along a river bank
Nov 12, 2016 5:47 PM # 
JVD: Saw a note on FB that AMK did indeed plan to sleep first, then tackle the caves.
Nov 12, 2016 5:59 PM # 
re: Seagate cushion. I didn't think teams get any time credits for the "dark zone" as they are technically allowed to move forward during this stage. Am I wrong?
Nov 12, 2016 6:12 PM # 
Slice: definitely no time credits for resting until dark zone lifts. I'm just saying that their lead is comfortable enough for them not to risk anything now. If they had got to the river at 2am then it could have been an option to proceed on foot
Nov 12, 2016 6:18 PM # 
Saw another FB note: from Tom Gibbs -- darkzone is 8pm - 5am.
Nov 12, 2016 6:45 PM # 
Now that Seagate and AMK are hauling kit down to the river to begin the packraft, it appears they have about a 1hr split. Was about two or so when they got to the caves, so I think that means Seagate has banked an extra hour of rest.

By the way, the haul, while downhill, looks mighty slow. Do you think maybe the Red Track is "Red" as a warning to visitors?
Nov 12, 2016 6:49 PM # 
Pic of the Cave maps:

Teams are supposed to collect 5 of 6 available CPs to complete the segment. Six I guess they have to pick which one to skip.
Nov 12, 2016 7:30 PM # 
Interesting anecdotes... according to a post on their Facebook page, mark Collins from painted wolf did the entire buddawong trek in his cycling shoes....
Nov 12, 2016 7:39 PM # 
Note that CP35 & CP36 both have moved down the red track. They WERE in the right spots on the North edge of the caving area an hour or two ago...those wallabys are such a hassle.
Nov 12, 2016 8:06 PM # 
Canadian Update:

Tecnu arrived at the caves (TA9) at 4:45 a.m., the same time at R'ADYS and Peak Adventure. So although Tecnu is 17th on the leaderboard, it's more or less a tie for 15th.

Looks like Team Canada AR got some sleep overnight and hopefully a good meal. They arrived at TA8 at 4:15 and headed out biking around 6 a.m., shortly before sunrise. They arrived there in 23rd place.
Nov 12, 2016 8:15 PM # 
Today's first report from Sleepmonsters asks the question: Adventure or Racing?

And here's the most recent report. In sad news, Thule has pulled out. This article also talks about extremely sore feet for Columbia Vidaraid and AMK at the end of the long Budawangs trek.
Nov 12, 2016 10:37 PM # 
Wow, Thule out. Martin Flinta looked like he wasn't feeling well in the Adventure Team report. Any word on if his rib injury was what led to the WD?
Nov 12, 2016 11:41 PM # 
Next reasonably accurate update to the leaderboard on the tracking site will come from geofenced times at CP37, which is in the correct location and is along a linear feature (the river gorge) away from other race activity (teams won't get tagged when they go near it for other parts of the race = problem for CP35 & 36).
Nov 12, 2016 11:44 PM # 
Looks like Bones made a small nav error trying to get down into the gorge with three other teams right on their heels. Will be interesting to see how that cluster shakes out by the time the get to the river.
Nov 12, 2016 11:49 PM # 
Now that so many teams are beginning the packraft section, it sure would be nice to have CP35 and 36 back where they belong. It's obvious from team tracks that they are going to the CP locations on racer maps to punch those controls (see track for team 26, for example) but the geofenced splits are all messed up.
Nov 12, 2016 11:52 PM # 
Also observe that team 26 (adventurejunkie) took the ridge route instead of the gorge route "down" to the river after clipping CP36 at the top of "The Slot Canyon". Doesn't look like it gained them any time on Naturex or Estonia, but maybe it'll help with sore feet.
Nov 13, 2016 1:00 AM # 
After CP37, I wonder when the reservoir slackwater will begin. Until then, the downriver paddling should be reasonably fast. Once the flat water begins, "ugh" is all I can say about packraft paddling.
Nov 13, 2016 2:35 AM # 
Columbia didn't track for several hours and now seems to have disappeared. Makes it a bit more exciting to figure out how close they are to AMK...!
Nov 13, 2016 2:52 AM # 
Columbia is still in the same spot for me. Try to refresh. Or, maybe they were hiding behind another team's flag/dot.
Nov 13, 2016 3:25 AM # 
Ah, you are right...they still haven't refreshed for several hours, on mine at least.
Nov 13, 2016 3:35 AM # 
AH HA!! Columbia just updated and as expected are a bit behind AMK. Looks like their track skipped past CP37, but the geofence seems to have snagged them anyway, albiet on the back side of the CP rather as they approached it. They are more than 45min behind AMK, instead of the 30min indicated by the leaderboard times.

And, Painted Wolf must be right on their arses, perhaps within sight of them.
Nov 13, 2016 4:01 AM # 
Nice! Glad to see they are still moving. Awesome job to Painted Wolf, though, and AMK still seems to be moving strong as well. I am sure that packrafting has gotten old by now and they still have a long way to go.
Nov 13, 2016 4:20 AM # 
Need some translation here! From Sleepmonsters a few hours ago: "After falling behind, partly due to a minor nav error, Painted Wolf is now in hot pursuit in 4th. Here's the impressive bit: Mark Collins did the major trek leg in his bike shoes! He certainly knows how to vasbyt and then some (ask a Saffer for a translation)"
Nov 13, 2016 4:32 AM # 
Vasbyt... Afrikaans can be a really descriptive language, "grin and bear it" would be my translation.

In the day 3 adventure centre wrap up, he's the lead hiker who goes past Eric first before a quick interview. You can almost hear the clip clop of his cleats too.

Andre Gie on the team is a doctor, so I guess he'll be the foot care expert.

The Collins Brothers are event organisers themselves, they put on amongst others the country's premium trail event that was held about two weeks ago!

Painted wolf? The team is raising awareness for the endangered African Wild Dog ... I've got plenty more!
Nov 13, 2016 4:34 AM # 
Seriously? OK, now I'm a big Painted Wolf fan! Thanks. :)
Nov 13, 2016 4:38 AM # 
Nov 13, 2016 4:46 AM # 
Thank you! Just a reminder of where the leaders are and what is yet to come:

Seagate has just passed TA11, the end of the 44 km pack rafting leg (11) on the Upper Shoalhaven River. AMK just arrived at TA11 90 minutes after Seagate. This leg was estimated to take 11 hrs for the fastest team and 29.5 hrs for the slowest team. It's remote with helicopter access only and racers need to carry any human waste with them. Racers need to be off the water between 8 pm and 5 am.

Leg 12 is a 56 km kayak leg estimated to take 7.5 to 15 hrs. On both this leg and the previous leg, there are sections where helmets are required. Racers with sore feet must be extremely grateful for these long paddle sections. Hopefully they can air their feet out a bit.

Leg 13 is a 99 km mountain bike leg (7-18 hrs). Any team that may finish in the top 5 will serve any time penalty at the end of this leg.

Leg 14 is 18 km on sore feet (3-6.5 hrs) - ow, OW, OW!! There is some swimming too with the possibility of "dangerous currents". But after that, it's all sunshine, beaches and beer!
Nov 13, 2016 4:48 AM # 
From the latest Sleepmonsters report, we have both AMK and Vidaraid suffering with bad feet problems:

AMK - Rob Preston looked grim and Mari Chandler was looking after a very sore footed Erik Sanders. He was carrying his shoes and very gingerly treading his way through the grass at the roadside – every step a hesitant and painful one.

Vidaraid - Barbara Bomfim walking very gingerly on extremely sore feet – you could see every step was just about too painful to bear.

I wonder how they will fair on the 99km cycle and 18km trek to come with PW hot on their heels...
Nov 13, 2016 4:51 AM # 
Bash - you forgot sleep to go with those beers.
Nov 13, 2016 4:53 AM # 
They'll figure that out. ;)
Nov 13, 2016 4:54 AM # 
Post-trek foot photo from Team AMK
Nov 13, 2016 4:58 AM # 

Time penalties are pending for several teams, but in the front of the pack, the only one I see of consequence was issued to Estonia who will get a 2 hour penalty for losing their tracker (it was recovered and returned to them).
Nov 13, 2016 4:59 AM # 
@Strong Machine, yes, Thule dropped out because of Martin's rib injury. However, they made a major nav error in the Budawangs too, which couldn't have helped their motivation. They decided to drop out during the trek and skipped the final CP (30) on their way to the TA.
Nov 13, 2016 5:14 AM # 
Canadian Report:

Tecnu started pack rafting a little before 16:00. They'll have to pull ashore and camp during the dark zone tonight. Looks like they're still around 15th, tied with R'ADYS.

Canada AR arrived at the caving in 22nd place 6 hours ago and they're at the TA now so I assume they're finished and ready to head down for a little pack rafting before a long night of camping (and trying not to poop, haha!)
Nov 13, 2016 5:18 AM # 
Here's the latest Sleepmonsters article about the caving.

"At the sharp end of the race Seagate were the first to the caving at the Bungonia National Park and they found it a testing stage. The caves are tucked away in the gum forest and were hard to find, let alone complete. Teams had to get CP’s in 5 out of 6 caves scattered around the park and they are only identified by numbers on a simple sketch map. Once at the cave mouth the only thing identifying it was the right cave out of many hundreds was a 4cm square metal tag with a number on it, attached to the rock somewhere near the entrance! Not easy in the dark.

Seagate did all 6 caves in the end, taking the full 5 hours available for this non-competitive stage. The reason was that one of them was just too tight a squeeze for Nathan Fa’avae to get through! He had to back out and they tried another cave. With a difficult descent through the Bungonia Slot Canyon to reach the Shoalhaven river for pack rafting next they opted to sleep for 3 hours after the caving and may now try to push through to the finish without stopping again."
Nov 13, 2016 5:20 AM # 
I haven't seen the Day 3 Adventure Center broadcast yet but they're always good!

Nov 13, 2016 5:21 AM # 
Maps of the caves.
Nov 13, 2016 5:22 AM # 
From Geocentric:

"Team AUS Results Racing (team 80) have decided to withdraw from the race after Bethany Dunne injured her wrist yesterday. The team camped overnight at the end of leg 6 paddle at Shallow Crossing to see if her wrist would improve in the morning which it hasn’t."
Nov 13, 2016 5:28 AM # 
Clearer maps of the caves are here:

Just page thru them (to the right). Earring Doug of Tecnu Adventure Racing also has posted clearish pics of the cave maps if this link doesn't work.
Nov 13, 2016 5:31 AM # 
Much better!

While we focus on the front of the pack, there is still a group of teams on the first half of the Leg 7 mountain bike ride. *Lots* of teams are on the Leg 8 trek.

OK, I'm racing tomorrow so it's bedtime. Hope the night shift and day shift will be around to keep the news coming - thanks!
Nov 13, 2016 5:45 AM # 
Columbia MUST be very close to TA11 by now. Perhaps their once again stalled tracker will wake up in the next few minutes (while they are switching boats) to confirm that for us.
Nov 13, 2016 5:48 AM # 
Then, there's Estonia's stalled tracker. Going to guess they are somewhere in the vicinity of Naturex, perhaps ahead of them by a bit. Assuming they are moving, CP37s geofence will not pick them up, I expect.
Nov 13, 2016 5:50 AM # 
Geez, Team Shotz (AU)'s tracker is also stalled and is probably in front of both Naturex and Estonia. Silly canyon walls...why can't they amplify the tracker signals instead of deflecting and absorbing them?
Nov 13, 2016 6:02 AM # 
Yay! Columbia is back!
Nov 13, 2016 6:31 AM # 
And Painted Wolf is just 1 minute behind them at TA11! (Couldn't resist one last look at the phone.) The battle for the podium is ON.
Nov 13, 2016 6:42 AM # 
Next into TA11 should Naturex followed closely by Estonia then probably Shotz, within the next 15-30 min. if their pace has matched that of their competition. Hopefully their trackers will wake up when they get there, too.
Nov 13, 2016 6:44 AM # 
Painted Wolf and Columbia are now putting their kayaks into the river together apparently. This head to head battle might actually reel in AMK at some point, but odds are good given the amount of distance still remaining, it'll also wipe these two teams out and AMK will pull away again tonight on the bikes or on the trek in the morning.
Nov 13, 2016 6:55 AM # 
There's Estonia's tracker again; just a few minutes behind Naturex as they pull closer to TA11.
Nov 13, 2016 7:03 AM # 
It also appears that Mountain Designs and Bones will pass thru the dark zone (ends at CP37) without needing to get off the water. Not sure how many others behind them will have that luxury...probably Hoka and Blackhill? Everyone behind those teams is likely in for a night of rock hopping at the river's edges. Or lots of sleep. Nearest is Torpedo 7...T7...they might actually get there if they push and don't have any slow downs.
Nov 13, 2016 8:27 AM # 
Am always a bit relieved to see that the top teams also get foot issues! I'm guessing that the long trek in the rain was the culprit here.

I'd expect PW to be good on this flat waterpaddle, Robin Kime is one of the country's top marathon canoeists.
Nov 13, 2016 9:40 AM # 
Looks like Seagate have about 1.5 hours to AMK and then the same sort of gap back to Clombia and Painted Wolf in close formation. Not enough for any serious nav issues or mechanicals on the final bike leg before the run to the finish.
Nov 13, 2016 9:57 AM # 
Painted Wolf look to of had a little hiccup on the river letting Columbia back past them. Looking at the satellite view there is probably a rapid where they had there issue.
Nov 13, 2016 10:28 AM # 
PW and CV are back together. There was the chance of some mandatory portages at night so perhaps that split them up briefly.
Nov 13, 2016 11:44 AM # 
Painted Wolf has moved about 2 km ahead of Columbia on the river.
Nov 13, 2016 11:46 AM # 
Good to see Endurancelife have made it to the caves this evening (10pm local time) after another clean nav on the big trek and bike sections. Being all fairly small, they should be able to fit through the small cave squeezes - this might be the leg that they can say they beat Seagate!

TA9 looks like a real party town tonight which should be fun to watch as all the teams hit the river at first light tomorrow.
Nov 13, 2016 12:09 PM # 
Looks like none of the teams stuck by the river are trying to hike it. Radys and Tecnu are camped up on one side and Peak Adventure look to be just over the river 100m away. They are about 6km from CP37 so if it was passable on foot you could have a go but I guess it's not very appealing.
Nov 13, 2016 12:45 PM # 
Can anyone tell me why Haglofs Silva are not racing or are they racing under a different name?
Nov 13, 2016 1:21 PM # 
at the end of the 56k kayak paddle (TA12):

Seagate in 1st at 2330 local time according to leaderboard which isn't always spot on.

AMK in 2nd, back about 6k.

Painted Wolf back about 10k from AMK.

Columbia back about 5k from PW.

Naturex back about 4k from Columbia.

then a group of, Shotz, and Estonia about 4k back from Naturex. although Estonia's dot is a bit old so they may be closer to Naturex.
Nov 13, 2016 1:22 PM # 
and then Bones in 9th! woohoo!

Swedish Armed Forces rounding out the top 10.
Nov 13, 2016 1:25 PM # 
Nov 13, 2016 1:52 PM # 
Seagate and AMK both in TA 12 at the same time by the looks of the tracking. interesting what's taking the time for Seagate.
Nov 13, 2016 2:00 PM # 
Why does the leaderboard show AMK in front with a time of 84:14 at TA12 and Seagate in 2nd with a time of 106:59? Penalties or computer glitch?
Nov 13, 2016 2:04 PM # 
Think it was a glitch GD44. On mine, it's corrected.
That said:

"Team AMK - Adventure Medical Kits is about to discover they have caught TM Seagate who are sleeping at the TA."

If AMK happens to be able to jump on their bikes right now without sleeping, this is going to be a crazy ending. Did Seagate misjudge AMK? Should they have pushed on? Is AMK pushing it too far in regards to rest? Are they going to blow up? Things just got very interesting:)

Seagate has always been a step ahead of everyone else strategically, but they usually have more of a cushion to play with.
Nov 13, 2016 2:28 PM # 
From AR World Series FB wall:
"Word on the ground at the end of the kayak is that AMK are quietly putting their bikes together while Seagate are sleeping......"
Nov 13, 2016 2:31 PM # 
Kinda surprised Seagate are sleeping again...the paddle must have been tough!
Nov 13, 2016 2:34 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Seagate first out. Go catch 'em AMK!
Nov 13, 2016 3:06 PM # 
Looks like AMK is about 10 mins behind Seagate on the road...
Nov 13, 2016 3:12 PM # 
^^corrected now.
Nov 13, 2016 3:15 PM # 
Looks like SAFAT is closing in on Bones

Also: Estonia has not tracked in an hour. Breadcrumbs suggest they are therefore 2+ hours ahead of Bones. SO, their 2 hour sit out should not give away their lead entirely assuming they more or less hold position now. It probably does mean they won't be able to catch anyone else if teams run the last legs clean. THOUGH, I assume they will get 2 hours of sleep, so who knows. They might be able to run some teams down if others are wrecked and elect not to sleep.
Nov 13, 2016 4:07 PM # 
AMK seems to have stalled just at CP41; maybe the sleep bug has caught up with them?

FYI: CP41 is yet another CP that's in the wrong spot on the tracking map. Strangely, it also has not geofenced the two leaders. ???
Nov 13, 2016 4:07 PM # 
Uh oh, Is AMK having technical issues? They haven't moved in close to 30min....
Nov 13, 2016 4:12 PM # 
Maybe Bones can wave at AMK as they paddle past!
Nov 13, 2016 4:16 PM # 
Has anyone else felt like this race is fantastic in terms of the continuous level of competition? Aside from the now dark-zone induced gap at about 15th place, there has never been more than a 3 hour gap from anyone in the top 15 to the team ahead or behind. And, now, those gaps are less than 2 hours. Seagate has been holding firm to the lead for quite some time, but there is little margin for error among these leading teams.
Nov 13, 2016 4:27 PM # 
SCENE: boat launch, Seagate unloading their kit and moving their boats up off the water.

Seagate: How far ahead are we?

Marshall: Oh, an hour and fifteen minutes or so.

Seagate: Grand, let's get our bikes ready and then get an hour of sleep.

Bystander: But AMK will catch you in TA and then who knows what will happen? Do you really want to give up your lead?

Seagate: No worries. It's still a long way to the finish and we're going to need to sleep. If we sleep now, we can finish the race without sleeping again. And if AMK sees us they will be pressured to continue without sleep, which is going to be rough. And we're Seagate...

Seriously. according to social media they have banked more sleep than any of the leaders before that hour or so. Any question that this rationale didn't cross their minds? Or at least something like it? They have already nearly rebuilt their lead, and as much as I want to see AMK keep it interesting, I have a feeling the lead is going to extend now. Legends.
Nov 13, 2016 4:28 PM # 
And yeah, this race has been the best to follow in regards to competition and changes. Just imagine if some of those other top teams were still in it (Thule, Godzone, Yealands...). Still amazingly competitive!
Nov 13, 2016 4:51 PM # 
I'm going to say that Seagate are incredibly comfortable leading an AR and ARWC in particular. They don't really need to be racing other teams, and follow best strategy for themselves. There's a chance they've still got a bit in the tank incase it's required.

Overconfident maybe, but it sure does add a twist for the dot watchers
Nov 13, 2016 5:33 PM # 
I would say confident, omitting the 'over'. They've earned their self-awareness with years and thousands of kms of racing.
Nov 13, 2016 6:22 PM # 
Getting worried about MDs. Anyone know why they've been stopped at TA11 for so long? OH, nvr mind...they JUST moved downriver. Seems to me like they spent more than 8 hours at that TA.
Nov 13, 2016 7:27 PM # 
Conman: Gotcha, they just always seem to be on another hours nap isn't really that luxurious anyway!!
Nov 13, 2016 7:50 PM # 
Just watching the Adventure Center coverage of day 4 and see that MDs were struggling a bit with a sick team mate on the packraft. That has to figure into their long rest overnight at TA11.
Nov 13, 2016 7:58 PM # 
Looks like Painted wolf came into T12 about half an hour ahead of Columbia, but left about that after them. Looks like they then made a mess of CP41 so Naturex have caught up with them too
Nov 13, 2016 9:32 PM # 
is anyone else impressed by the gap Seagate's opened up on AMK on this final MTB leg? they started just a few minutes apart from TA12 (albeit w different amounts of banked sleep, not sure on comparison) and now Seagate is almost 2hrs ahead (and almost to TA13)!
Nov 13, 2016 9:37 PM # 
Yeah. Looked like AMK stopped for a bit after starting the bike, but even after they started up again Seagate has been widening the gap. Super impressive. AMK has run a very impressive race also, but has had a few small nav bobbles. Seagate appears to not have made any real mistakes again which has allowed them to rest and look to be finishing strong.
Nov 13, 2016 9:40 PM # 
Pretty sure that AMK stopped for a sleep at the first CP after the transition (41). Seems like that sleep plus the gap they already had from the transition has put the gap just about where it is now. Honestly think both teams are moving at about the same pace with just a smidge less sleep overall for AMK. We'll see soon how it all plays out!
Nov 13, 2016 9:49 PM # 
On second look, perhaps the climbing combined with less sleep is catching up to AMK.
Nov 13, 2016 9:58 PM # 
Seagate out on the final trek...
Nov 13, 2016 10:10 PM # 
Estonia is going to give up some slots if I understand this correctly:
They have to serve a 2 hour penalty at the final TA.

Earlier they had a big enough lead to absorb that, but Bones has closed the gap. Now Bones should be able to pass them in TA based on the current gap. Figure Estonia will sleep, so they will then be "fresh" to chase. Should be an exciting finish!

SAFAT also is going to be in a position to move up. Those guys have some serious speed it seems, especially on bikes. They already look to be eating into Bones' lead, so they too could catch Estonia with the penalty. Hope Bones has something left in the tank!

And the battle for 4th/5th is going to be good too.
Nov 13, 2016 10:12 PM # 
Also, Bones looks to perhaps have stopped roughly at the same spot AMK did...hmmmm....
Nov 13, 2016 10:13 PM # 
Oooops. Not literally the same spot, but roughly the same time after leaving TA...
Nov 13, 2016 10:28 PM # 
Yep. Super close for battle for fourth between Painted Wolf and Naturex and they're easily within strking distance of Columbia Vidaraid and 3rd place.

As I understand it Estonia serves their 2 hour penalty at the next TA? They're in a group of 3 battling for 6th, but would then drop back at the TA. Looks like SAFAT and Bones are right at 2 hours behind that group right now, so we may have a tight race for 8-10th running down the coast.

Very exciting.
Nov 13, 2016 10:34 PM # 
And SAFAT catches Bones. Bones has now been stopped for a good half hour. Wonder if they know SAFAT is nearby. Might be tough to catch those guys if they don't get a move on.

Looks like PW and Naturex are catching Columbia as well.
Nov 13, 2016 10:58 PM # 
Looks like Bones is on the move again and only stopped for 30-45 minutes. SAFAT is a strong biking team and all things being equal will be hard to catch, but I don't know where they are for sleep either.
Nov 13, 2016 11:09 PM # 
Naturex catches Columbia. Sounds like Columbia might have slept less than others. Paying a price now?
Nov 13, 2016 11:22 PM # 
anyone have an answer to this previous Q: Can anyone tell me why Haglofs Silva are not racing or are they racing under a different name?

also is the Kathryn Preston on Shotz married to Rob on AMK?
Nov 13, 2016 11:24 PM # 
I only know the answer to #2. Yes, she is married to Rob. We were talking about it a couple of days ago when their two teams were 3rd and 4th for awhile.
Nov 13, 2016 11:25 PM # 
P.S. I just got home and you guys gave me a start when I saw, "Seagate out on the final trek". English is such a nuanced language - and apparently I'm not that good at it after a tough race.
Nov 13, 2016 11:26 PM # 
Seagate is more than halfway through the final 18 km coasteering leg. Almost done!
Nov 13, 2016 11:36 PM # 
More details on how the caving works and a description of the hike to the Upper Shoalhaven River. It sounds much tougher than most AR caving stages.

This was interesting and explains why teams didn't leave after 5 hrs: "Once they collect all 5 CP’s teams can go back to the TA, set up in the National Park campsite, but are not given access to their bags until the 5hrs is up. They can go into the sleeping tents however." It hasn't been unusual for this section to take close to 5 hrs anyway.
Nov 13, 2016 11:39 PM # 
Regarding Silva, I can only say that they have not earned points at any ARWS race since the Brazil championships last year. Their FB page is here

and their website is here:

...with some digging, maybe you can figure out what they are up to these days.
Nov 13, 2016 11:41 PM # 
Here's the most recent Sleepmonsters article. It mentions that both Seagate and Painted Wolf slept before biking but the other teams in the top five did not. I wonder if that will come into play later when they're all so close. AMK looks pretty safe in 2nd, having just arrived at the final TA.
Nov 13, 2016 11:41 PM # 
Silkychrome, from their website:

"Unfortunately Team Haglöfs Silva are not taking part in the battle for the podium as the team has focused on the regrowth of our sport this autumn... We will be back in 2017!"
Nov 13, 2016 11:44 PM # 
Looks like Columbia has pulled back into third, and AMK hits the final TA. Exciting end to this race, it has been super fun to dot watch. :)
Nov 13, 2016 11:45 PM # 
Painted Wolf and Naturex are effectively tied for 4th right now, 2 km behind Columbia. Exciting!!
Nov 13, 2016 11:52 PM # 
Le Report du Canada:

Tecnu has finally dropped R'ADYS and is now tied for 14th with Peak Adventure, still early in the final paddle.

Team Canada AR is 20th, about 7 km from the end of the pack raft. I'll bet they're ready to get out of those things!
Nov 13, 2016 11:56 PM # 
Looks like Shotz is only about 6km behind Painted Wolf and Naturex. Can they catch them?
Nov 13, 2016 11:57 PM # 
Seagate on the final trek. More photos on the Geocentric Facebook page.
Nov 13, 2016 11:59 PM # 
@JVD, it only takes one flat tire! :)
Nov 14, 2016 12:01 AM # 
Day 4 Photos
Nov 14, 2016 12:07 AM # 
Bones still fighting. They've closed the gap! 1-1.5km behind SAFAT!
Nov 14, 2016 12:12 AM # 
Randy saw a wombat! And he also saw Seagate and AMK.
Nov 14, 2016 12:19 AM # 
AMK was on Facebook Live at the final TA.

And Seagate has entered Ulladulla, the finish line town!
Nov 14, 2016 12:28 AM # 
Columbia has been flying over the past 40 minutes! They have pulled well ahead of their chasers. Naturex and Painted Wolf are in 4th and 5th, now separated by 1.5 km.
Nov 14, 2016 12:31 AM # 
From CP43 to the coast is a LOT of downhil. See the elevation profile on map 32 here:

Nov 14, 2016 12:33 AM # 
mere moments to the first place finish...
Nov 14, 2016 12:33 AM # 
Right Conman. Looks like about 5k of climbing after CP43 then 35k or so going down 600m. Sounds like fun.
Nov 14, 2016 12:36 AM # 
It *is* going to be fun! Columbia started to pull away on the climb from CP43. Aren't they supposed to be the most sleep-deprived ones?
Nov 14, 2016 12:52 AM # 
Seagate have done it again. Flawless

Seagate of New Zealand have just taken out the 2016 Adventure Racing World Championship in a performance that can only be described as dominant, virtually leading from start to finish. Whilst they never had more than a three hour lead which in expedition adventure racing is not a lot, you always got the feeling that they were in control. They banked more sleep than other teams which gave them options after the Caving. They decided to have a sleep this morning after the kayak leg by getting their bikes and gear ready, so that as soon as AMK came off the river they could leave. AMK (USA ) transitioned very quickly and tried to give chase but they soon had to stop for a 40 minute sleep and the rest was history.
This is an unprecedented third straight win for Seagate, an achievement that may never be repeated again. It is hard enough to put one performance together that is good enough to win a World Championship, in a sport that is unpredictable with many variables, so to win three in a row is phenomenal.
While this is the teams third win it is actually the fifth World Championship title for each of the male members of the team, Nathan Faavae, Stu Lynch and Chris Forne. However Stu probably still has the bragging rights as this is actually his fourth title in a row having won with Thule in Costa Rica 2013. This was the first time Jo Williams has step up and raced with Seagate but obviously her solid back ground and experience in Adventure Racing made her more than qualified. She took on the task of filling the shoes of Sophie Hart, considered by many as one of the best female races in the World. This would not have been easy but I guess the motivation of becoming a World Champion probably helped.
Nov 14, 2016 12:55 AM # 
Who were the people who bet against them again? We'll have to forgive Kyle - he had his reasons. :) Finish time - Mon. Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Wow.
Nov 14, 2016 12:57 AM # 
Just under 4 days.
Nov 14, 2016 12:59 AM # 
Regarding the time penalty for Estonia, I believe that I read that only penalized teams in contention for top 5 finish will be held at the final TA. Curious if they'll hold Estonia just in case any team directly in front of them and not yet finished stumbles on the hike, allowing Estonia to possibly cross the line in a position out of alignment with the final adjusted ranking. I guess, we'll soon see.
Nov 14, 2016 1:01 AM # 
Photos of Seagate at the finish line. If you're FB friends with DoubleDownon_11, he posted more photos and a video.
Nov 14, 2016 1:06 AM # 
And more photos!
Nov 14, 2016 1:10 AM # 
I bet against Seagate. Shame on me!
Nov 14, 2016 1:18 AM # 
Nov 14, 2016 1:19 AM # 
Focusing on the mid-pack Americans, DART looks to be on schedule to easily get through the packraft darkzone before it falls again this evening. Rev3's prospects for reaching CP37 are good, but they can't dawdle.

Further back, NYARA and 4050 still have the bike leg up to the caves, so they'll likely be chilling out at the cave HQ until it's time to make the trek down the river tomorrow morning.

Keep at it guys!!!
Nov 14, 2016 1:22 AM # 
Adventure Medical Kits has arrived at CP48. It took Seagate 75 minutes from there.
Nov 14, 2016 1:23 AM # 
Oh no... has Painted Wolf made another wrong turn?
Nov 14, 2016 1:28 AM # 
Looks like Luncheon Creek Road goes through and PW will be fine...maybe just a wee bit o' bike bashing?

Recall that this section of the track on the first bike stage was where many teams wandered around for a while trying to find the right route. Maybe PW found some alternative roads a few days ago and is taking advantage of that knowledge?
Nov 14, 2016 1:31 AM # 
I was just going to say it looks like an intentional route choice after all. Interesting!
Nov 14, 2016 1:33 AM # 
(Although they're not on Luncheon Creek Road. That's the main route.)
Nov 14, 2016 1:35 AM # 
You have a good point; they're currently about 1 km from their bike route earlier in the race.
Nov 14, 2016 1:43 AM # 
They've bailed out to the main route now - back on Luncheon Creek Rd.
Nov 14, 2016 1:52 AM # 
Columbia is about 15 minutes from the final TA. Wonder how their sore feet are doing.

DoubleDown_on11 posted a video of AMK on the trek. It's obvious that Erik has sore feet. Maybe the others are hiding it better.
Nov 14, 2016 1:55 AM # 
Not a question that needs to be answered now, but definitely one that will be posed after the dust settles: Is Seagate the best team of all-time?
Nov 14, 2016 1:58 AM # 
Video by DD11 of AMK on the final trek. (I asked him if he would make it public for us and he kindly did.)
Nov 14, 2016 2:06 AM # 
Columbia is trekking now.
Nov 14, 2016 2:07 AM # 
Painted Wolf lost a lot of time on their walkabout. Naturex is well ahead now in 4th place.
Nov 14, 2016 2:10 AM # 
AdventureJunkie, Shotz and the Estonians are well back in 6th-8th but they're all within 2 km of one other. Farther back, SAFAT and Bones round out the top ten.
Nov 14, 2016 2:10 AM # 
AMK will do Facebook live as they cross the line
Nov 14, 2016 2:23 AM # 
Sleepmonsters report on Seagate's victory
Nov 14, 2016 2:39 AM # 
AMK finishing in next 5 FB feed kicking off any moment, I bet.
Nov 14, 2016 2:41 AM # 
Ready and waiting!

Naturex is at the final transition.
Nov 14, 2016 2:43 AM # 
Adventure Medical Kits has placed 2nd at ARWC 2016!
Nov 14, 2016 2:48 AM # 
They were just 2 hrs behind Seagate. Great job!

"Land Down Under" seems to be playing on a continuous loop. :)
Nov 14, 2016 2:49 AM # 
Mari says they only had 4 hrs 45 mins of sleep in total!
Nov 14, 2016 2:55 AM # 
Kyle is happy but he mentioned Cowboy Tough, next year's ARWC. "There's a goal and it hasn't been reached yet."
Nov 14, 2016 2:56 AM # 
Kyle was just chatting with a racer about her "wombat bike crash" where she hit her head hard.
Nov 14, 2016 3:09 AM # 
They saw no snakes but lots of kangaroos. Rob is a little disappointed; he'd hoped to show off the local wildlife to his teammates.
Nov 14, 2016 3:11 AM # 
They had "lots of leeches", including 2-headed ones that attached at both ends!
Nov 14, 2016 3:20 AM # 
Columbia is 75 mins from the finish.
Nov 14, 2016 3:24 AM # 
5th place Painted Wolf has arrived at the final TA. Naturex is about 2 km into the trek.
Nov 14, 2016 3:37 AM # 
That "wombat crash" racer was Jo Williams of Seagate.
Nov 14, 2016 3:38 AM # 
Nov 14, 2016 3:39 AM # 
Randy interviewed Chris Forne on the last part of the race course.
Nov 14, 2016 3:40 AM # 
Haven't seen official news on this, but Kiwi team T7 (#39) is traveling by car (or their tracker is) from TA11 to the finish. Hope everything is ok with them.
Nov 14, 2016 3:51 AM # 
StrongMachine, in my opinion, the answer to your question is deciding on who dominated in their era more...Seagate or Eco-Internet?
Nov 14, 2016 3:56 AM # 
Randy also interviewed Kyle on the race course. He mentioned his kangaroo attack.
Nov 14, 2016 4:05 AM # 
Columbia is in Mollymook on the outskirts of Ulladulla. They've earned the 3rd place on the podium.

Naturex leads Painted Wolf by about 3 km on the trek (4th and 5th place).

Estonians, Shotz and AdventureJunkies are all at the final TA, a 3-way tie for 6th place. Good job of catching up by the Estonians! They probably won't need to sit out their 2-hr penalty here since It's unlikely that they could overtake Painted Wolf.

There's a large gap back to SAFAT in 9th and Bones in 10th. The gap behind Bones to 11th place Black Hill/Opavanet is huge. The only other team who has started the bike leg is 12th place Mountain Designs Tiger Adventure.
Nov 14, 2016 4:16 AM # 
Rapport final de la journée sur les équipes canadiennes:

Les deux équipes font du kayak. Tecnu est en 15ème et Team Canada AR est en 20ème.
Nov 14, 2016 4:21 AM # 
Bones overtaking SAFAT? The race for 9th is heating up! Go Bones!
Nov 14, 2016 4:41 AM # 
Maybe the sleepmonsters overtook SAFAT... They look lost...
Nov 14, 2016 4:43 AM # 
SAFAT took a wrong turn near the place where Painted Wolf took its wrong turn - but they're on the opposite side of Luncheon Creek Road. Looks like they may have turned around now to head back to the main route. In the meantime, Bones has pulled away in 9th place.

On the trek, the 6th-8th place teams (Shotz, AdventureJunkie and Estonians-depending-on-their-penalty) are making time on Painted Wolf. They'll need to keep pushing to stay in the top 5.

G'night - passing it over to the night shift!
Nov 14, 2016 4:54 AM # 
With the Aussies pushing Painted Wolf on the last beach trek, it looks feasible that PW could catch up to Naturex...or Naturex will see them coming and pick up their own pace. Should be an entertaining next hour or so.
Nov 14, 2016 4:56 AM # 
Congratulations Columbia Vidaraid for your third place podium finish!! You guys have been incredibly consistent at worlds over the past several years. Top 5 for four or five years straight now if I recall correctly - amazing!
Nov 14, 2016 5:26 AM # 
Whoa, the race for 4th & 5th is going to be very, very tight!! I don't think Naturex knows they have four teams coming right up their backsides.
Nov 14, 2016 5:32 AM # 
For once it would be nice to have current speed on the tracking time stamp... Some are walking, others running!
Nov 14, 2016 5:35 AM # 
Painted Wolf has just about caught Naturex less than 3km from the finish and, as fate would have it, they are running on parallel roads through a neighborhood and neither probably knows it. I'm sure one team will notice the other any moment now.
Nov 14, 2016 5:38 AM # 
Somebody please tell the Adventure Center video crew to get on this head to head action. This could literally end with a sprint across the finish line.
Nov 14, 2016 5:40 AM # 
Just noticed that the Aussies of adventurejunkie have slipped off the pace. Seems incredible that any of them are keeping up with each other. I'm considering collapsing just watching their dots speed along.
Nov 14, 2016 5:42 AM # 
I'm positive that Naturex and PW are running neck-and-neck now as they pass CP49.
Nov 14, 2016 5:48 AM # 
PW have got a video and photo crew there....they will have this action down!
Nov 14, 2016 5:48 AM # 
shebeen: there a link?
Nov 14, 2016 5:49 AM # 

video of them going for it!
Nov 14, 2016 6:01 AM # 
PW in 4th?

Stephan Muller Beat the french by 100 meters
Nov 14, 2016 6:02 AM # 
Nov 14, 2016 6:02 AM # 
HOLY CRAP! PAINTED WOLF DID IT! 4th position! Running all the way across the line and looking over their shoulders at the last moment...
Nov 14, 2016 6:10 AM # 
Naturex must be so gutted to be caught so close the line. Amazing race for them as well: 5th in one of the most stacked fields ever put together on one adventure race course is incredible!
Nov 14, 2016 6:17 AM # 
Bones is in next!! Yay!!
Nov 14, 2016 6:27 AM # 
I just realized that Bones has a chance at 8th if they hustle. Estonia covered the trek in 2hrs and a few minutes. They apparently owe a 2 or 2.5 hr penalty which has not been assessed yet. Bones had already started the trek before Estonia finished. If they move at Estonia's pace, they will most certainly finish less than 2 hours behind Estonia on the clock. Add in the penalty time and voila!

Wonder if Bones has any idea of this potential?
Nov 14, 2016 6:32 AM # 
Ah good point!!!! Bones would have to finish by 19:00.... it's possible!
Nov 14, 2016 7:26 AM # 
Ugh.. don't know that Bones is going to make it. It seems their pace has slowed...
Nov 14, 2016 7:28 AM # 
Somebody send them a text to get a move on!!! ;)
Nov 14, 2016 7:38 AM # 
Returning to the Haglofs Silva question, from what I hear, 'regrowing the sport' is code for producing AR babies!
Nov 14, 2016 7:39 AM # 
There was talk of the Estonia penalty only being required at TA12 if they were in the Top5.

That seems a rather odd rule, and there was a point that they could have overhauled PW (or in the end Naturex) for 5th. Just leaves too much grey area in my mind, rules need to be absolute!

Don't want to be accused of betting against Seagate, their decision to sleep at TA11 totally vindicated. Also want to make mention of the 2011 ARWS Tasmania - when they also dominated the field, but mainly lost out due to a 4hr time penalty from forgetting their tracker early on.

Still taking it in, and trying not to place too much emphasis on what was an insane finish all across the Top 10, but I do remember that race being a real thriller to follow compared to the 2016 version.
Nov 14, 2016 7:44 AM # 
I was under the impression that time penalties had to be served at the last TA so this sort of thing wouldn't happen. Have I got that wrong?
Nov 14, 2016 7:47 AM # 
Rob Howard lays the penalty subject out here:
Nov 14, 2016 7:52 AM # 
" PENALTIES - Any time penalty received by a team who may finish in the top 5 places will
be served at CP46/TA. Time penalty will start once team checks out. No access box A."

So annoying!! Why not stop all the teams?
Nov 14, 2016 7:53 AM # 
Yes, I read that but like shebeen points out above (likely while I was writing my comment!), having a threshold that's in the top 5 seems a little strange to me given that the course is open for so long.
Nov 14, 2016 7:53 AM # 
So right now Bones is in a race for 8th and don't even know it. If Estonia had had to wait at the last TA, Bones (and all the other teams) would have known that they were fighting for another position up the leaderboard.
Nov 14, 2016 9:00 AM # 
Congrats to Bones who just crossed the line. Unfortunately, they did not manage to make it in within 2hrs of Estonia so they will still sit in a very respectable 9th place. The must be pleased!

I do wonder, however; whether they even knew that Estonia had a penalty coming to them. Too bad teams outside of the top 5 didn't have to wait out their penalties at the TA...
Nov 14, 2016 9:02 AM # 
For those playing catch up:
Seagate 95:04:00 Finish
Adventure Medical Kits 97:13:00 Finish
Columbia Vidaraid 99:04:00 Finish
Painted Wolf 100:25:00 Finish
Naturex 100:26:00 Finish
Estonian ACE Adventure 100:31:00 Finish
Shotz Sports Nutrition 100:35:00 Finish 100:36:00 Finish
Bones 102:57:08 Finish

Swedish Armed Forces Adventure should be in shortly.
Nov 14, 2016 9:52 AM # 
Wow just played it back. That was some hustle by PW to catch and pass Naturex in the last km. Also some battle for 6th to 8th! To have teams finishing 1 minute from each other in a race this length is nuts!

Well played AMK, your time will come
Nov 14, 2016 12:07 PM # 
At Wilderness Traverse, if we don't have an opportunity to make teams sit out their penalty, we do our best to inform nearby teams. If Bones talked to media or supporters over the past couple of days, it seems likely they would have heard about the penalty.
Nov 14, 2016 12:09 PM # 
Having said that, I don't see why penalties would not be served at the final TA by everyone - or much deeper in the pack, anyway.
Nov 14, 2016 2:30 PM # 
Check out Legendary Randy's "Unexpected" photos from a few hours ago. The vast majority of racers are still on course and they've had to deal with hail and heavy rain. "It's pretty damn cold", he says.
Nov 14, 2016 2:34 PM # 
The top 10 have finished although the leaderboard still incorrectly shows the Estonians ahead of Shotz and Adventure Junkie (6th place instead of 8th).

The only team on the trek right now is Mountain Designs Tiger Adventure (11th), who have almost finished. Black Hill/OpavaNET is just arriving at the final TA in 12th.
Nov 14, 2016 2:36 PM # 
Given that two top 10 teams (Painted Wolf and SAFAT) lost big time between CP44 and CP45 in daylight, it will be interesting to see whether later teams have trouble finding the best route, especially in the dark.
Nov 14, 2016 3:03 PM # 
Uh oh. Looks like Peak Adventure is fighting off the sleep monsters as they try to find the path to TA13.
Nov 14, 2016 3:17 PM # 
Yikes, they are way off track. They made a parallel error by turning onto Mondayong Road and they've just realized it and turned around.
Nov 14, 2016 3:33 PM # 
Kyle didn't do too badly with his predictions:

1 Adventure Medical Kits
2 Seagate

Got the first two switched around - but who can blame him? You can't go into this aiming for 2nd.

3 Yealands (Did well until bike troubles knocked them out.)

4 Columbia Vidaraid

Yup, they were next.

5 Thule Adventure Team (Did well until cracked rib knocked them out.)

6 Painted Wolf

They were next in line.

7 GODZone Adventure (Did well until knocked out by injury)

8 Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team
9 Estonian ACE Adventure
10 Merrell Adventure Addicts
11 Naturex
12 Bones

These were all top 12 teams except for Merrell, who had an uncharacteristically bad race that started with missing gear bins at two TAs, then they had to race with a single speed bike.

13 R'ADYS Team Switzerland
14 Shotz Sports Nutrition
15 Bivouac Inov8
16 Peak Adventure
17 Sweco Adventure Team
19 Black Hill / OpavaNET
20 CanadaAR

Some of these teams made the top 10. All except Bivouac are currently in the top 21.
Nov 14, 2016 3:53 PM # 
Maple Leaf Report:

After traveling a long time with R'ADYS, Tecnu finally dropped them during the kayak paddle. They arrived at TA12 with a half hour lead and started biking before R'ADYS but they were passed during the night and are now 25 minutes behind in 16th place. It looks like Tecnu may have taken a cat nap at CP43.

R'ADYS also snuck past Peak Adventure while they were off exploring roads to the north. They are now in 14th place with less than a 1 km lead.

13th place HOKA has returned from a 20-minute detour on Blackbutt Road, reducing their lead over R'ADYS to just a few kms. Another battle shaping up.

Back to Canadian news - I got distracted! Team Canada AR are in 22nd place early in the bike leg, about 6 hrs behind Tecnu.
Nov 14, 2016 4:05 PM # 
Sweco has just returned to the main bike route after spending just over an hour exploring Kangaroo Hill Link and Tianjara Fire Trail. This must be tough nav in the dark! Salomon-Suunto Czech AR Team rode past them into 17th place while they were off the main route.
Nov 14, 2016 4:07 PM # 
R'ADYS and Peak Adventure are riding together and are now less than 2 km behind 13th place HOKA.
Nov 14, 2016 4:10 PM # 
Meanwhile, back in the proverbial mangroves, there are three teams who have yet to finish the Leg 8 Budawangs trek. I read somewhere about a cut-off early Tuesday morning at TA8. I think it might have been 7 a.m. but I didn't hear what would happen to those racers. Anyone know?
Nov 14, 2016 4:13 PM # 
Aside from the finish line, the main hub for race action right now is TA9, the caving section. It's hard to count dots but it looks like 28 teams may be resting or caving.
Nov 14, 2016 4:48 PM # 
Don't know (could look but too lazy/tired) what happens with short course teams. I have assumed from day 1 they would bike NE out of TA8, skipping the caves and the big paddle. I'd even venture that they'd be expected to pick up the CPs from CP43 to the finish.
Nov 14, 2016 4:56 PM # 
I don't recall where, I think maybe on the scan of the course overview map (provided to racers), but the short course was marked on that. From TA8, if I recall correctly, they ride due east, yes, picking up with CP43 or 44. 43 makes sense.
Nov 14, 2016 4:56 PM # 
I can't see the info in the Course Notes Randy posted so I'm not sure where to look. I saw a comment on a Facebook post yesterday that mentioned the Tuesday morning cut-off but I don't know where to find that info in official race sources.

R'ADYS beat Peak Adventure and HOKA into TA13 by 10 minutes after a terrific bike leg! They are already trekking in 13th place after a quick TA. The other two teams are still at the TA.
Nov 14, 2016 4:59 PM # 
Tecnu will be next to arrive at TA13 in 16th place. They're just 45 minutes behind R'ADYS and 25 minutes from the TA so there is still potential for some racing in this group of four teams!
Nov 14, 2016 5:27 PM # 
One of the reasons I love following races with a worldwide audience on AP... I learned that Painted Wolf refers to the endangered African Wild Dog - an animal I didn't know about. Aren't they beautiful?

Nov 14, 2016 5:30 PM # 
Sweco has veered off the main route again, this time into the area east of Luncheon Creek Rd. where SAFAT lost time.
Nov 14, 2016 5:46 PM # 
Short course info:

See leg 9 in the rulebook:

Nov 14, 2016 5:55 PM # 
There must be a Swedish meatball stand just east of Luncheon Creek Rd!
Nov 14, 2016 6:02 PM # 
Thanks, Conman! I was looking at Leg 8 to see a finish cut-off, not Leg 9 for a start cut-off. The cut-off is now 2 hrs away.
Nov 14, 2016 6:05 PM # 
Nice story about 11th place Mountain Designs Tiger Adventure, a team that basically met for the first time right before the race. (Two of them knew each other through racing but weren't teammates.) Great job!
Nov 14, 2016 6:11 PM # 
@Slice, the Swedes on Outnorth Adventure Team are now in the same Bermuda Triangle zone. Let's see if they go off-route for the meatballs!
Nov 14, 2016 6:21 PM # 
R'ADYS continues to fly! They are 300 m behind 12th place Black Hills/OpavaNET on the opposite side of the Narrawallee Creek crossing. Tecnu has started trekking in 15th place or 16th place. HOKA hasn't updated recently, hence the uncertainty. Salomon-Suunto Czech AR has just arrived at TA13 in 17th.
Nov 14, 2016 6:27 PM # 
Merrell currently sits in 26th place at the end of the kayak paddle. They've been at the TA for 7 hrs. Trouble? Motivation fading?
Nov 14, 2016 6:31 PM # 
Swedish Outnorth Adventure resisted turning onto the Meatball Road. Now that it's getting light, teams should find it easier to stay on the route - although Painted Wolf and SAFAT might beg to differ.
Nov 14, 2016 6:32 PM # 
Merrell is waiting for ~8am local time to visit a nearby (~1km) bike shop for a new rear derailleur. They have opted to drop in the ranking over becoming unranked by borrowing an unranked/DNF team's bike.
Nov 14, 2016 6:32 PM # 
Wow, Salomon-Suunto Czech AR must have just thrown their bikes in a heap and started running! They've almost caught up to Tecnu already. Hoka just tracked and they are still back at the TA. So this is a battle for 15th.
Nov 14, 2016 6:35 PM # 
Teams only have to punch, drop bikes (not pack them up), and move out to complete the TA13 transition.
Nov 14, 2016 6:42 PM # 
Most teams have needed a moment to change shoes, throw their helmets into a bag, refill water and get some food. That was a great TA!
Nov 14, 2016 6:45 PM # 
Whoops, I spoke too soon about Outnorth Adventure. They turned back and are now visiting Slice's Swedish Meatball Shoppe east of Luncheon Creek Road.
Nov 14, 2016 6:54 PM # 
R'ADYS has fallen 2 km back from Black Hill/OpavaNET so it looks like they'll be 12th and 13th. Peak Adventure has crossed Narrawallee Creek and appears to have a lock on 14th.

Tecnu and Salomon-Suunto Czech AR are neck and neck for 15th place with lots of trekking to go. I can just hear them saying, "Damn - not a sprint!"

UPDATE: Tecnu was passed while I wrote that.
Nov 14, 2016 7:22 PM # 
Outnorth Adventure have returned from their 30-minute side trip to the Meatball Shoppe and they're making great time on the main route.
Nov 14, 2016 8:13 PM # 
Mont Adventure Racing has gone off-route in the Bermuda Triangle, this time entering the vortex west of Luncheon Creek Rd. where Painted Wolf went.

Black Hill/OpavaNET was able to hang on for 12th place in spite of a good push by R'ADYS, who seemed to fade a bit in the middle of the trek before finishing 8 minutes back in 13th. Peak Adventure took 14th place 20 minutes later. These teams all finished the race in approximately 4 days 18 hrs, as compared to Seagate's 3 days 23 hrs.

Salomon-Suunto Czech AR has crossed Narrawallee Creek and Tecnu is just getting ready to go. If Tecnu has any sprint left in them, they might be able to make a play for 15th place but they didn't give chase when passed so they have probably been giving their all.

Farther back on the trek, Hoka and Sweco are neck and neck in a tie for 17th. Outnorth has almost finished the bike leg in 19th.

Mont Adventure Racing is currently 20th but if they take too long to find their way back to Luncheon Creek Road, they could be passed by Cloud Base Nine.
Nov 14, 2016 8:40 PM # 
Adventure Center Day 5 focuses on the end of the race for Seagate and the finishes of AMK and Columbia (who had just 1.5 hrs of sleep!)

Nov 14, 2016 8:46 PM # 
The leaderboard has been updated to move the Estonians back to 8th place but with only a 30 minute penalty for a missing tracker. So Bones never had a chance.

Didn't Seagate get a 4-hr penalty for a missing tracker at ARWC a few years ago? OrangeDot was telling us there were two types of trackers. Maybe that has something to do with it?
Nov 14, 2016 8:53 PM # 
Although Mont Adventure Racing found their way back to Luncheon Creek Road before Cloud Base Nine got there, they were subsequently passed. It's still very close though so the final top 20 position could go to either team.

Team Canada AR is next, 2 hrs back in 22nd place.
Nov 14, 2016 8:58 PM # 
Tecnu's Greg McHale's favourite moment of the day - when Alex Provost fell asleep and toppled backwards out of the kayak!

Nov 14, 2016 9:46 PM # 
1st Canadian team Tecnu has just finished in 16th place in 4 days 20 hrs.
Nov 14, 2016 10:29 PM # 
After a 10.5 hr break including a likely breakfast stop in town, Merrell has started riding from TA12 in 31st place.
Nov 14, 2016 10:33 PM # 
Canada update: Team Canada AR just passed CP 44 tied for 22nd place with BMX Bandits, about 7 hrs behind Tecnu. There are a lot of teams in this race, and the spread in finish times is not as big as we've seen in many expedition races.

Team Canada AR is just entering the Bermuda Triangle of the bike leg. Stay on track, friends!
Nov 14, 2016 10:47 PM # 
A quick update on the remaining UK teams after Godzone's unfortunate early departure:

Endurancelife Tiger Adventure have been having a really solid race so far. Tom and Ben raced together in Costa Rica World Champs where they were doing well until falling victim to the mangrove swamp from hell - they're hoping to improve on that experience by finishing in the top third this year and not getting bitten on the arse by a spider. Right now they're in 34th at the end of the kayak stage so within arm's reach of their goal if they can catch a couple of teams napping in transition. Kevin is an exped veteran having already raced ExpedAfrica, ITERA AND Godzone this year and while Lena has only one exped (Alaska) under her belt, she is proving herself more than a match for the boys.

Peaklife Sport are hanging in at #60 and it looks like they've beaten the cutoff, having just got down to the river for packrafting. Will they have time to complete the full course by the final cutoff on Friday?

Of worthy mention in any discussion of UK racers is Sabrina Verjee who's racing under the Spanish flag on team Raid Gallaecia Fridama, currently in 24th position but only just behind Canada AR and BMX Bandits on the final bike. Sabs raced with this team at ExpedAfrica and has a huge amount of exped experience to her credit in the last few years as well as a growing list of ultrarunning wins in the UK. She's also beating her fiance Ben on Team Endurancelife which must have been one of their goals :-)

Good luck all!
Nov 14, 2016 10:47 PM # 
USA update, finished
AMK - 2nd
Columbia Vidaraid - 3rd (i've never thought of them as US but glad to adopt!)
Bones - 9th

pretty amazing!!

still on course:
Team DART Adventure Racing (#32) - at TA12, ready to start MTB and then the final trek. less than 24h to go for them? roughly 33rd place right now.

REV3Adventure/USMES (#90) - packrafting in a pack w Juggernaut, a Aussie Tiger team, and Type 2 Fun (also Aussie) roughtly 50th place right now

NYARA (#46) - i believe they have started packrafting!

4050 Adventure (#56) - i also believe they have started packrafting! which is awesome because they are borrowing my and Sami_11's Gnu. so i hope it treats them well! they are in the back of the pack but pretty sure that's of no concern to this bunch.
Nov 14, 2016 11:07 PM # 
From Sleepmonsters re Merrell:

South African ladies and gennelmen: start your engines! Well, the Merrell-supporting ones anyway. Merrell Adventure Addicts finally have their bike derailleur problems sorted (not that the first shop they visited showed them anything like service, thank goodness for the 2nd one) and are on the move.

In recent years, Merrell have been a top 10 team, so it must be disappointing not to have been able to deliver their best on such a race-oriented course, but they are full of smiles, and are certain to arrive at the finish midst much jubilation from their supporters.

Sterkte! [Translation please, Saffers?]
Nov 14, 2016 11:13 PM # 
Although Canada AR did not get sucked into the Bermuda Triangle, they tried a different route choice that didn't pay off. They've been passed by BMX Bandits, East Wind and Raid Gallaecia Fridama. The four teams are all biking within 4 km of one another near CP45 so there's time to recover. For now, they've moved from 22nd to 25th.
Nov 15, 2016 12:13 AM # 
Regarding Seagate and the 2011 ARWC in Australia, they do lose the race due to a penalty by forgetting their tracker. They led all stages except the last one following serving their penalty. Here is a photo of a joke from the race organizers related to it.

I think they used two trackers as a redundant system to try to minimize teams not updating during the race.
Nov 15, 2016 1:15 AM # 
Canada Update: Team Canada AR has just started the final trek. They're still with the same group of 4 teams, now trekking within 1.5 km of one another in 22nd to 25th.
Nov 15, 2016 1:19 AM # 
TheOrangeDot mentioned the reason for the two trackers way, way up in this thread. I'm wondering about the reason for the 30-minute penalty for Estonia vs. a 4-hr penalty a few years ago. I know the rules are updated regularly but that's a big change and we'd already heard it would be 2 hrs.

Here's the scoop on the 2 trackers. You're right - they were being extra careful and as a result, we got pretty good tracking.

"Teams are carrying 2 trackers.. a GPRS tracker that records locations every 3-5 mins and a yellowbrick satellite tracker. For much of the event so far they have been in mobile coverage and the tracking you have been seeing has been served by the GPRS tracker.

Now we are getting to the part of the event where the YB tracker is coming in to its own (although Seagates tracker has very good mobile coverage right now). The GPRS trackers will still record the route and will update as soon as they get a sniff of mobile coverage."
Nov 15, 2016 1:39 AM # 
Just saw some of the pix of hail and rain. Can't tell if the timing of the weather impacted some teams more adversely than others. I mean, excepting if the racers are so sweet they'd just melt. :)
Nov 15, 2016 3:04 AM # 
Looks like Team Canada AR is going to win the sprint finish for 22nd place ahead of the 3 other teams they've been dicing with! (Practising my SA vocab.) They're less than 1 km from the finish now, about 1 km ahead of East Wind. I'm looking forward to JayXC's report. I'll bet this was a seriously non-relaxing way to finish a race.
Nov 15, 2016 3:09 AM # 
Finished at 14:01! 5 days 1.5 hrs. 22nd place. Congratulations, Relentless, Frenchie, JayXC and Todd!
Nov 15, 2016 3:15 AM # 
Finish line photo of Canada AR by DoubleDown_on11.
Nov 15, 2016 3:20 AM # 
And a video.
Nov 15, 2016 3:22 AM # 
Ah the elusive Todd. Dig far enough back in my log and you'lol find references to 'Mountain Man'.

Way to go Canada AR!
Nov 15, 2016 3:26 AM # 
Here's one of Tecnu's finish line photos. Lots more on Tecnu Facebook.

And that probably wraps up our "Canada News" segment but most of the teams are still racing. It's impressive that after 5 days, only 9 teams have retired, 5 are unranked and 2 are short coursed. The leaderboard still shows 78 teams on the full course (including 24 who have now finished)!!
Nov 15, 2016 3:56 AM # 
Inspiring post by the ARWS feed on Facebook:

I just watched a video of the Swiss Adventure Racing team finish and there was no crowd or anyone else there apart from Louise and the person doing the videoing. They hugged, patted each other on the back You can see it on there FB page - Team Switzerland Adventure Racing.
These were my thought on it.
I love this because there is no crowd but it doesn't matter because often Adventure Racing is so personal. It's all about you and your team completing the course and sometimes it wouldn't matter if another living soul knew about it.
You know and that's all that matters!
Nov 15, 2016 4:11 AM # 
Really impressed by Merrell. So often you see a top team withdraw if things don't go their way but these guys are clearly in the race for more than just a result.

Bash: "sterkte" means "strength" ie "be strong" or "we wish you the strength to get through this"
Nov 15, 2016 4:16 AM # 
I like that. How do you pronounce it?

Agreed, really impressed by Merrell.
Nov 15, 2016 4:59 AM # 
Speaking of which, here's a wonderful AR moment captured on camera: Merrell in a bike shop getting Tatum Prins' derailleur fixed. Graham Bird is comforting her.
Nov 15, 2016 5:17 AM # 
DART (USA) is about to discover another team on their lonely bike ride over the mountains to TA13.
Nov 15, 2016 5:42 AM # 
Chinese team XTrail has headed down Swedish Meatball Road. There must be lots of tire tracks by now.
Nov 15, 2016 11:16 AM # 
@bash: stehrk-ter
Nov 15, 2016 11:33 AM # 
LMAO @ Swedish Meatball route :-) :-)
Nov 15, 2016 2:59 PM # 
@ Bash: "Seriously non-relaxing" :)
Nov 15, 2016 4:09 PM # 
Slice was the one who suggested there must be a meatball stand on that road! Three Swedish teams in a row went there. :)
Nov 15, 2016 5:13 PM # 
Looks like an adjustment to the Estonian ACE team's time has boosted Bones into 8th place by 8 minutes!
Nov 15, 2016 5:32 PM # 
Interesting! The penalty is now 2.5 hrs, which was one of the numbers we'd heard. I think this is the first race using the new ARWS referees. Perhaps a penalty decision needed to be finalized by the referees. Too bad for the Estonians, who had a great race otherwise but congrats to Bones!
Nov 15, 2016 5:44 PM # 
Merrell finished in 26th place with 30 bonus minutes, likely for their missing gear box. I'm sure the impact on their race was much more than that but maybe that was the time they actually waited for it. Good on them - that's still a terrific result for a team that dealt with major adversity, took a half-day break during the race for a bike repair, and toughed it out to the finish in the top 30%. Impressive.
Nov 15, 2016 5:53 PM # 
Randy got some great photos of Dart Nuun crossing the creek and arriving at the finish.
Nov 15, 2016 5:54 PM # 
He also got some really fun caving and pack rafting pics. That's a lot of mud!
Nov 15, 2016 6:42 PM # 
@ Bash: there's also more detailed penalties list now, posted by Geocentric - ( )
Nov 15, 2016 7:44 PM # 
That's really useful - thanks! So the Estonians got two penalties, 30 minutes for leaving trash in a kayak and 2 hrs for losing their tracker.

Sweco got a 2-hr penalty for a lost tracker too. It was added at the finish line.

Painted Wolf served a 30-minute penalty on course for leaving trash and Naturex served 30 minutes for wearing an unzipped jacket over a race bib.

There were several longer penalties for teams who were reported to have broken the 100 m rule, e.g. sending one teammate in to punch a control while the others waited. That's one of my peeves so it's nice to see RDs cracking down on it. It's hard to catch everyone who cheats that way but even if a few are caught, teams may be more careful in future and it will make the sport more fair.

And there were a few more! Sounds like the new ARWS referees stayed busy. It will be interesting to see if teams thought there were too many penalties.
Nov 15, 2016 7:57 PM # 
For our South African friends!
Nov 15, 2016 10:23 PM # 
As a race organizer, I'm impressed at the way they're managing so many teams that have spread out so much! The back of the pack teams on the full course are just starting the Leg 11 pack raft section now. Only half of the full course teams have finished - 39 out of 78. The course closes Friday at 13:00, which is more than 50 hrs from now. Then dinner and awards are Friday evening. Some teams will get to enjoy an extended Aussie vacation!
Nov 16, 2016 4:13 PM # 
Can someone confirm/clarify?
In the most recent sleepmonsters article, Rob says it's the last night on the course and it closes at 1PM "tomorrow". I BELIEVE he means in ten hours since he wrote the article "last night" and it's 3 AM over there.

On XPD's homepage it says the course is open until 1 PM on Friday the 18th. I believe it is currently 3 AM on THURSDAY in eastern Australia, which would suggest that the course is in fact open for another 34 hours....

I don't know the race documents well enough. Did they officially change what was published on their website? Does the race cutoff on Thursday at 1PM? Or was this a mistake by Rob Howard and it's open for one more night and day?
Nov 16, 2016 5:12 PM # 
Both the route book and the race website say the course closes Friday at 13:00. On the Sleepmonsters Facebook page, two people have commented to ask whether this story has an error. Given that the final ranked teams are still kayaking and haven't been stopped, I think SM miscalculated.
Nov 16, 2016 5:21 PM # 
I love this YB message sent out by San Juan Aventura (and listed in the penalties report):

Message - CONFUSION WITH 29 Position

I definitely relate...I don't know how many times have I complained, "Damn RDs putting the CPs in the wrong places! It says clearly on our maps that it should be HERE! Oh $#*&, never mind."
Nov 16, 2016 5:27 PM # 
:) As the person who has received Delorme InReach messages from our Wilderness Traverse racers for several years, this made me smile too. They sure aren't the first team to have that problem!
Nov 16, 2016 6:35 PM # 
I should have posted this earlier...but a great tool for tracking international time zones!
Nov 16, 2016 6:58 PM # 
Anyone else wish the cool spiral of teams that happens when lots of flags/dots overlap on the tracking map would sort the teams by current ranking order? Maybe with the leaders at the center working outward?
Nov 17, 2016 12:34 AM # 
From Sleepmonsters Facebook: "Yes, sorry, course does close on Friday at 13.00."
Nov 17, 2016 1:49 PM # 
OK, so the final dot:

by my rough math:
Team 55: Intrepid Tiger is second to last team out. They are approximately 8 hours behind team 63 who is on the first part of the trek. It's taking the back of the pack teams 4-5 hours to finish the trek. SO...8 hours+say 3 (which would be fast, but 63 is part way in): means 11 hours at least to get to the finish. This gets 55 in around noon with only 1 hour to spare. Going to be tight, me thinks.

Team 87, Coromandel, is about two hours behind Intrepid. Thinking they won't make it unless XPD allows the line to stay open into the afternoon for them. Which would be nice:)
Nov 17, 2016 3:00 PM # 
Sleepmonsters talks about racers' reactions to the race course and organization. In summary, most really liked it. Some would have preferred it to be longer and harder.
Nov 17, 2016 3:01 PM # 
Last year in Brazil, nobody had those complaints! ;)
Nov 17, 2016 5:25 PM # 
And our final teams are making things interesting still.

Team 87 has apparently decided to sleep at CP42. I'm guessing they either have conceded they won't make the cutoff, or they are trusting/assuming/know that they will be allowed to finish past the cutoff.

Team 55 has decided to go dark rather than allowing us to watch them battle the time cutoff...
Nov 17, 2016 8:42 PM # 
They must have heard you... Team 55 just popped up at TA13.
Nov 19, 2016 6:04 AM # 
It's all over. There were 77 full course finishers - a record for any expedition AR. Organizers let the last team, Adventure Racing Coromandel, finish 5 hrs after the cut-off - but they only placed 2nd last due to penalty minutes added to Scouts Tiger Adventure. Only 9 teams retired completely, 2 teams did the short course and 6 teams finished unranked. The finish line was kept open for 96 hrs - one hour longer than it took Seagate to finish the race!
Nov 20, 2016 2:16 AM # 
Carbon's Offset:
So great that they let them finish :)
After you've come that far, for so long... Nice to have your own conclusion to what you have endured.
Nov 20, 2016 1:09 PM # 
We (Mawson) won the Master's category. Next time I'm thinking of putting together a team of three 20-23 year olds and entering the Colts.
Nov 20, 2016 2:26 PM # 
Congratulations! Tell us more when you have time.
Nov 24, 2016 1:50 AM # 
For those who are interested I've written a report on our (Sneaky Weasel Gang) race on my log. I am interested to know what the comment about our team was that was deleted in retrospect.
Nov 24, 2016 3:59 AM # 
I believe it was from a gentleman who expressed admiration for your team having a female navigator and, intending to be complimentary, added that most adventure racing teams don't think of women taking the primary navigator role so it was great to see. Or something like that. If he is still reading this thread, maybe he can confirm. Upon reading a subsequent comment, he decided his comment had not come across as intended so he deleted it. It wasn't bad at all and didn't need to be deleted. He's just a nice guy who felt bad.

Congratulations on your race! Would you be willing to post a link to your race report in this forum?
Nov 24, 2016 4:08 AM # 
Haven't read your post, Georgia, but congrats on a great finish! I will defer to the author of the post to speak for himself if he sees this, but I personally believe the comment was a classic case of something that maybe came across as something different than intended when posted through short-form stream of consciousness format.

Ultimately (and I don't recall the comment's actual wording) I think the author was applauding the effort of your team. As you very well know, ours is a sport with interesting gender dynamics, and I think the author was simply trying to cheer for you guys as a team that buck the gender norms of our sport. I think that some may have interpreted the comment as coming from a place of "surprise" that a team that wasn't traditionally 3-1 male was holding their own. In fact, I think the author was simply highlighting how awesome you guys were doing.

I admit, I'm biased as I know the author and think he is a stand-up guy. I firmly believe from following his racing career and knowing what he thinks of the sport and its participants that the intention was truly to celebrate your team rather than anything else.

I'll leave my two cents at that. Ultimately, I think it probably sounds like something it wasn't!

Congrats on a great race!!
Nov 24, 2016 6:18 AM # 
Agreed, the primary purpose of the deleted comment was to highlight your team's good performance. I don't know the commenter in real life but he clearly meant well and would like to have a do-over with slightly different wording!
Nov 24, 2016 1:22 PM # 
Yes, there was nothing bad intended in the comment at all. I was just giving him a hard time in jest because of the way it was worded...didn't intend for anything to get deleted. Apologies for the sarcasm.

It was great to see several teams running with multiple women and more ladies taking leadership and navigational roles out there! Congrats on a great race Georgia!
Nov 24, 2016 1:38 PM # 
Your sarcasm *was* funny. ;)
Nov 24, 2016 2:20 PM # 
.... at EC '96 in BC we had two women on our team (of 5 back then). One of the women was our primary navigator and when Mark Burnett called our team up on stage to receive an award at the closing ceremony he asked (Rhonda) 'what's it like being a female navigator?'
I immediately started laughing in anticipation or her response, but she more or less let him off the hook with a sideways glance and replied 'I guess about the same as a male navigator'.... lot's of chuckles from the audience... for some reason it didn't make the final edit of the show. :-)
Nov 24, 2016 3:27 PM # 
Here's a link to my race report with Team CanadaAR.
Nov 28, 2016 4:56 PM # 
Sorry for missing my chance to reply to Georgia's question when she initially asked it, but Bash' and broots' explanations were correct. I was very impressed by the Sneaky Weasel Gang's efforts and especially excited since I also race on a team with a female navigator and two women racers.

To britty, totally got the sarcasm but the wording on my post was ineloquent, to say the least, so I decided to delete the original post.

Congrats to all finishers! Going to read JayXC's race report now...need my AR fix for the day.
Nov 28, 2016 7:19 PM # 
Thanks for that and appreciate the support :) My race report is here Although it is more my ramblings than a race report!

I don't think having two females slowed us down at all in this race although it made it harder for the guys having to carry more gear and assist when we had to portage the boats. We worked this out by having Anna and I do their transition for them while they did two trips carrying the boats.

I used to think the role of a female navigator was limited to slower teams and I'd have to get used to just following if I wanted to be in a top team. XPD changed my mind on that point. A lot of the competitive teams around us on the first two nights could have benefitted from having a better navigator in their team and I was keeping up just fine doing the navigating! Kathryn in Shotz seemed to be doing an excellent job too.
Nov 29, 2016 9:28 PM # 
I saved your report for today, Georgia. It was a great escape from work. Thanks for sharing and congratulations again on your great race!
Dec 7, 2016 4:37 AM # 
Our race report is now written - see here for details:

Not quite the result we had hoped for, but a fun race nonetheless!
Dec 8, 2016 5:27 AM # 
Here's the report from Adventure Junkies.
Dec 16, 2016 5:20 AM # 
Nathan Fa'avae's report from the winning team Seagate.

"Daylight was approaching, we were moving really quick, riding in a pace line around 35km/ph, on our way to win the ARWC, spirits were high. Then the wombat struck."

Once again, he says he has no intention to do any more AR but he admits he is not sure what he will do in future.
Dec 17, 2016 3:44 AM # 
Thanks to all who have done write-ups. I'm working my way through them, and they're all tremendously entertaining. While you have hurt my work productivity this week, I have no regrets.

On a related note, I found Uruguay Ultra Sports race report on their Facebook page. It's in Spanish but easily translatable via the Facebook "translate this?" button.
Dec 18, 2016 1:05 AM # 
StrongMachine. go to my videos on Facebook and you can listen to all my wonderful, insightful ramblings. It will kill another day
Feb 2, 2017 3:47 AM # 
Summary of the discussion at the ARWC athlete forum - in case you didn't hear Randy's podcast. Sample topics: Should sails be used in AR? What about pack rafts? You get the idea.
Feb 2, 2017 9:27 PM # 
Hey Bash,

Do you have any idea if and how these recommendations become implemented? In other words, what is the official governing process?

Considering this athlete forum only had elite-level competitors, it might be wise for the AR powers-that-be to do a more comprehensive survey of all ARWS racers via email. Not that I disagree with much that was said at the forum (thanks to LegendaryRandy for the podcast covering it).
Feb 2, 2017 10:07 PM # 
I don't know. Maybe someone who was there would have a better idea?
Feb 3, 2017 2:07 AM # 
My understanding from listening to Randy's recording of it is that this discussion was more of a general airing of ideas rather than a step toward implementation. I think Craig and Louise were listening with open minds, but I don't know if the intention was to then implement.

It was an interesting discussion to listen to, though I recommend doing so with better than normal audio as it was not always easy to hear everyone (i.e. maybe not the best for workouts or something with ambient noise).
Feb 3, 2017 11:58 PM # 
Sorry about the audio. I was doing it with one recorder for the room If only I had a budget...
Feb 9, 2017 4:52 AM # 
I was there (albeit I missed the first 20 minutes or so) - from what I understood the intent was for Craig and Louise to assess the strength of feeling on a number of issues. Nothing that was said was binding or was committed to by the ARWS team as an issue that was definitely going to change (or not), it was merely a sampling of opinion. The opinions expressed by the audience present (probably 75 people spanning a wide ability of racers and a number of ARWS race directors) will be used to guide any future development of the series, both in terms of amending the formal regulations and to provide guidance for race directors/planners.

It was an interesting session - some of the topics were surprisingly controversial. For example I expected everyone to be against the use of sails, but there was a large part of the room advocating their use. Who knew? Maybe people just hate paddling...
Feb 9, 2017 5:47 AM # 
Funny, I was amazed there was any opposition to the use of sails! I've done a number of wilderness paddling trips, and we've occasionally made sails out of tarps or tent flies on rare days when conditions were right. A bit of sailing has been part of paddling expeditions for a long time - not usually with real sails though. So for me, the podcast was an eye opener on that subject for the opposite reason!
Feb 10, 2017 7:48 PM # 
Thanks for the extra info, djtom!
Feb 13, 2017 3:30 AM # 
Problem with sails is that if you get on the river at the wrong time, they are useless, whereas another team may get a huge advantage or you could just be in a team that is crap at building them (my team at XPD Whitsundays). Yes I realise this applies to paddling in general in terms of wind and tide but I think sails could really weigh in a team or teams' favour.
Feb 13, 2017 5:07 AM # 
But there are so many aspects of the sport one could apply that argument to, if we wanted to go down that road. Racers who can afford more expensive mountain bikes may have an advantage. Teams that arrive at a tricky nav section in the dark may have a disadvantage. Teams that choose to carry better first aid kits may be better equipped to continue after an injury or illness. I've never seen a sail provide anywhere close to the same benefit as a favourable tide - at least not in the same consistent, predictable manner over several hours. I've only raced with sails once or twice but I can't see why I should stop other racers from carrying them.

And this is why there was such an energetic discussion at ARWC! :)
Feb 13, 2017 5:54 AM # 
I've proven time and time again that my $2k (road) bike kicks butt over a $10k bike ridden by a cyclist who hasn't trained as much as I have!

The first aid kit isn't comparable. If you go in underprepared then face the consequences.

You are right about nav at night though but such is the nature of the sport. You just have to be skilled enough to navigate in both day and night but yeah, I've had so many discussions with teammates during races where someone comments 'I'm glad we're not here at night!' Then we get to some other tricky section at night and get lost.

One reason AR organisers tend to supply boats is so that everyone is on an equal footing (also transporting them on the plane would be hell). In terms of other equipment, there's only so much benefit you can get from better gear, which anyone is free to purchase (if wealthy enough). You can't buy a favourable wind. We certainly couldn't in last year's ARWC and boy did that suck.
Feb 13, 2017 3:46 PM # 
Around here, there's been plenty of discussion about organizers providing boats too. Why should racers be on an equal footing on the water but not on bikes, often using boats that no one would choose to paddle for fun? Why shouldn't better paddlers get the same advantage as better cyclists? (Low hull speed of many AR boats takes away some of their advantage.) Even if we disagree that a better bike can take less energy to ride (something I've experienced personally), we can agree that a long hike-a-bike is easier with a lighter bike.

While I've rarely used sails, I just see a "no sails" rule as being really random in a sport where we accept that weather, daylight, tides and other natural conditions may affect teams differently. It is another example - like the first aid kit - of choosing to carry extra gear that may or may not benefit you, depending on what happens. Some teams set up their two boats to tow but they couldn't do that if conditions are too rough during their passage. Some teams use rigid poles to connect two boats into one but that could be precarious in the wrong weather. In Canadian terrain, teams sometimes carry pack rafts on trekking sections but lightning or fluctuating water levels may prevent their use at certain times. On bikes, teams choose tires before the race without knowing whether rain will make mud tires a better choice by the time they reach a particular section. Racers who carry extra-powerful headlamps might reach the tricky nav section in daylight. Racers who carry ice spikes could have a huge advantage after a mountain storm.

On a different note, teams have sometimes used sails (even just their mandatory tents) to help move a sick or injured teammate forward, which may not be faster than two people paddling but it's resourceful and consistent with the spirit of a sport where we celebrate Team East Wind moving an injured teammate through the mountains by wheelbarrow.

Anyway, it's not a big deal - just interesting to hear strong feelings on a subject that hadn't seemed controversial to me before. We've been getting a lot of that in North America lately - nothing to do with AR. ;)
Feb 13, 2017 4:10 PM # 
Agree with Bash. One of the most interesting aspects of AR (as a racer and fan) is strategic planning and gear hacks.
Feb 13, 2017 4:49 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
+1 for a good first aid kit :)
Feb 13, 2017 5:13 PM # 
Question: So are we able to use none sail gear (tent tarp) as a sail for either hiking or kayaking?
Feb 13, 2017 5:31 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
Sitting with really good posture and flexing latissimus dorsi muscles while going downwind?
Feb 13, 2017 7:21 PM # 
Yes! With sick lats and traps, you'd be unbeatable.
Feb 13, 2017 10:34 PM # 
Uh oh, I don't even have good posture.
Feb 14, 2017 3:34 AM # 
I was at the meeting in Ulladulla (I was also at the meeting in Cairns in '97 when Geoff H, and Robert N, and Steve G etc were trying to resolve some AR issues of the day... the 'birth' of the old ARA... I recall it being more safety related back then but similar 'vibe' to this discussion).

Now, as then, a lot of people have a hard time separating what they like and expect (based on their personal introduction to the sport) from what is fair, makes sense and is reasonable to manage/apply on the course. I can say I used to be very rigid as to what should be considered AR and what is 'acceptable', but I've since gotten old and soft ... especially around the middle :-)

Good luck getting everyone to agree on many of these issues and even when everyone seems to agree there will still be teams that feel they were disadvantaged or treated unfairly at times ... perhaps rightfully so in any given event. There were good examples of this at the November meeting.

One of the biggest challenges I see for AR is that what people want out of it varies greatly from team to team, person to person... and in my case at least, it even varies for one person over time. If you try to satisfy only one subset, you risk shrinking/restricting the audience/participants even further... would it still be AR? Depends who you ask.

IMHO the same thing that makes our sport great is the thing that will often leave some teams feeling slighted/abused/ripped off. Every race is unique. Even if you ran the exact same course on two separate dates the experience could be completely different.. and the longer the course the more different it would be.

My advice, (when it's asked) is to pick your races by the RD. If you don't like their race, don't go back.. or if everyone (you know) who does their races says it stinks, don't go. The good races will survive and thrive and the sport will benefit from the strengthening of 'good' events .. whether or not they have sails or camel riding or in-line skating or SUP's or heaven forbid OPTIONAL CP's!! :-)

... and for what's it worth, I've never been in an Expedition race where sails had a bigger impact (across all of the teams) than the ropes section did (due to line-ups mostly)

Wish I had the solution... don't know if there is ONE.
Feb 14, 2017 3:39 AM # 
Two words. "Mandatory Kickbikes"
Feb 14, 2017 3:51 AM # 
Beer mile every 24 hours!!
Feb 14, 2017 6:24 AM # 
My advice, (when it's asked) is to pick your races by the RD.

Yeah I know someone who won't race Alaska again purely because of the race director.

I've been stuck on roping sections too many times to count now. It's more of a novelty component than something that the good roping teams can make up time on, particularly if there aren't time credits for getting held up.
Feb 15, 2017 2:35 AM # 
tRicky. Someday I will tell you a story
Feb 15, 2017 3:39 PM # 
I love FB's comments and completely agree.

Why not let RDs decide what they want the rules of their race(s) to be, and let the competitors decide whether they want to be a part of a race or not?

As long as the race rules are clear in advance and racers know what they're committing to, I think the sport retains more flexibility and fun in letting RDs design the rules they think would work best for the course they've designed.

However, I do like the addition of official ARWS race referees. Seems like RDs are put in tough positions when their racers are also their paying clients ...
Feb 17, 2017 10:17 AM # 
One issue that came up repeatedly in the meeting (and this relates to both the packraft and sails issues) is the "barrier to entry" that each additional item presents to new teams. AR is a scary enough proposition with 3 core disciplines that you need to be competent in and have kit for. Start to include more disciplines or open up the rules, and you increase the amount of kit that is necessary to compete (or to be competitive), and you put off more and more teams from entering, as it is not only another skill to master, but more $$ to a) buy or rent the equipment, and b) pay excess baggage for on the flight to the race. This should not be underestimated - we are trying to grow the sport, not to price newcomers out of entering!
Feb 17, 2017 10:49 PM # 
Team Disoriented:
Amen djtom. For the newbie, the amount of gear and $$$ is daunting. I don't even want to think about how much we've spent trying to do this sport. I think if a RD wants to add a new dimension to the sport, they need to seriously consider how much value it's adding versus the cost to the athletes.
Feb 21, 2017 9:46 AM # 
One issue that came up repeatedly in the meeting (and this relates to both the packraft and sails issues) is the "barrier to entry" that each additional item presents to new teams.

Not only to new teams but even to those that (in the case of the 2016 ARWC) had already entered without even being given a hint of the new discipline added at a later date that cost most teams members an extra couple of hundred dollars!

This discussion thread is closed.