Team to have girl power

South Africa’s adventure racing website,, has received confirmation of their third consecutive entry to the six-day Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge (ADAC) in December 2010. Every year places on this team have been opened to applications from the adventure racing community. Although this year is no different in terms of the application process, the team’s composition will differ.  Going against the usual one-girl-three-guy team format, Team’s captain, Lisa de Speville, is looking for two women and one man to accompany her to Abu Dhabi.

“I had superb teams in 2008 and 2009,” says de Speville. “Both teams had a mix of youth and experience and the international experience that these six racers gained at ADAC will stand them in good stead to build their own teams and lead them to international events in years to come.” Some of these racers plan to bring their own competitive teams to ADAC this year.

South Africa has a shortage of competitive female racers with distance experience. “That’s why I want a ‘girl power’ team this year,” she adds. “We need to develop more strong women with experience in multiple disciplines and longer distances to feed into local competitive teams – with a view to see them racing abroad within the next few years.” The team will have one male team member, complying with race requirements for a mixed-gender, four-person team. “He will be one lucky guy to race with three women,” de Speville laughs.

Entries for Team are open and racers are invited to complete and submit their application form by mid-May. De Speville will choose a small squad of racers to begin training immediately in the race disciplines of paddling, running and mountain biking. The squad will be required to participate in various events including Swazi Xtreme in early August, after which the final Team for ADAC 2010 will be chosen.

“I am very excited about this year’s team already. The squad setup is daunting and I don’t look forward to having to select the final three, excluding the rest,” says de Speville. “But, with eight months to go to Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge I’ve got time to ‘groom’ a bunch of eager young adventure racers. The final three will be chosen for the best combination of personalities, compatibilities and competence for the team.”

The application form and additional information can be found on and the team’s blog at

 ENTRY FORM – Entries close at 12h00 on Friday, 14 May 2010

About Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge

The fourth edition of the annual Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge takes place from 10-15 December 2010. This six-day race is staged and supported where teams sleep each night after completing long and challenging stages and race organisation provides most – not all – breakfasts and dinners. ADAC provides teams with mountain bikes and double sea-kayaks, minimising the hassle and expense of travel and the teams’ equipment is transported, during the race, from one stage to the next by race organisation. Most of the stages are long and challenging, especially the 120-kilometre sea kayaking and 36hr desert trekking stages.

About Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority Award

Team’s participation in the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge is made possible by an Award entry from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, which sponsors the team’s flights and entry fee. Four other countries also receive Awards, which are awarded “to help and encourage new, strong teams and competitors who wish to pursue their racing career internationally”.


Lisa de Speville

Tel: 082 936 2509