“Waar rook is, daar is ook vuur”. This was the first clue sending us scrambling up the koppie on the first 4km dash. With no map and no marked route this leg was chaotic as we searched for the clues.
Being a guest to Team LAVA for this race, and joined by a legend to the sport, Lisa de Speville, I feel obliged to say a few words…”WOW, what a race!
Although adventure racing is a multidiscipine sport, swimming is rarely included; well, not a swim of any significant distance. Sure, you see adventure racers in YouTube videos swimming – but they’re probably swimming less than 200m – with their backpacks – to cross a small dam or river.
Aside from wilderness navigation, the other element that makes this sport of adventure racing what it is is the unknown, where successful teams and participants are those able to adapt to situations and conditions as they arise.
The thought of paddling in the middle of night, in the middle of winter did not exactly *warm *me up to the prospect of doing this race. But Hardy’s promise of ‘old school adventure racing’ reminded a very race-rusty Team A2A that this is exactly the crazy kind of thing that Mr Darron Raw would dream up for Swazi X.
Despite its small size and publicity this Ystervark and Hooona Tand took us through some spectacular places and provided a sustained challenge both on the river and in the mountains. It matched if not exceeded my experience on much bigger races.
South African adventurers are accomplished; many of their achievements are documented as World firsts and records. Our adventurers have traversed and circumnavigated countries and continents; they’ve rowed across oceans; scaled mountains; cycled extraordinary distances and descended rivers.