The winners of the 2012 Adventure Race World Championships arrived at the finish at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin just before midday today. Team Seagate of New Zealand paddled across the bay, past the waterfront hotels and cafes, through the bathers and pleasure boats and up to the pebble beach at the marina where a crowd of cheering supports and media were waiting for them.
On another hot, sunny day (there has been no other kind in this race so far) the team got to within a few metres of the beach when Nathan Fa’avae stepped across from one kayak to another and tipped his team mates into the sea! Sophie Hart paddled ashore laughing while the rest of her team enjoyed cooling off in the water where they all took off their buoyancy aids for the run up the beach and across the finish line.
The team ran through the finish hand in hand and Race Director Pascal Bahaud sprayed them with champagne before they talked to the press. Fa’avae was the spokesman. “We just came to run our own race and knew it would be highly competitive with so many great teams here, especially from France and Sweden, but felt if we ran our best race we could win. It’s a great feeling to be World Champions and to achieve our goals.
“It has been a fantastic race, a true World Championship course with some amazing sections … plus a few we wouldn’t necessarily want to come back and do again! I’m a bit of a paddler so I liked the rafting and kayaking day best, but some of the mountain biking was stunning too.”
Asked about lows he said, “I was really sick a few times, and those are always the low points. It’s not any particular part of the course which is the hardest, it’s when you have your own lows and how you deal with them.”
Both Fava’ae and Trevor Voyce had been ill with altitude on the high treks and Voyce said, ”The canyon was one of the best points for me, that’s when I was coming out of my lowest point and it helped get me going again.”
Chris Forne was surprised by how his team mates were affected. “I wasn’t expecting altitude to have such an effect,” he said, “I thought maybe you needed to be higher, but they were both really sick and not in a good way at all.” Forne has been a regular on the podium at the AR World Championships and was delighted to be back on top. “This is my second world title,” he said, “and it feels good after being second or third for the last 5 years!”
Sophie Hart had particular praise for the Race Director Pascal Bahaud. “It’s been such an amazing course and he has taken us to beautiful places and to the limits of our ability, allowing us to rely on our own resources and teamwork. It was a brave and challenging course and he is a great Race Director.” She also said to Fa’avae, “You’ll have to warm me if you going to jump out of the boat in future!”
Louise Foulkes of the AR World Series congratulated the team and said; “It’s definitely a world class course, tough and linear expedition racing and full of hard, technical sections. I can see why the French teams race so well when they have races like this – the course has been mind-blowing. We couldn’t be more pleased with the race as a fitting end to the World Series this year.”
Story by Rob Howard and Anne-Marie Dunhill (www.SleepMonsters.com)
Photo from Heidi Muller (FB) – she’s over at the race.
At midnight last night (Wednesday) Heidi emailed the following:
We are now at the finish waiting for Seagate and then the rest of the teams and I will try to say a few more words…
We have also visited all the Transitions and as many as possible PC points etc …so have an fantastic overview of the race and the organisation….
Maps and race book very difficult
Navigation very difficult
Route very difficult
No flat areas…only up and down…
A few confusion points and grey areas…but it looks like its sorted now
Not a lot of teams will do the full course – many early cut offs..to get all to the finish by Sat – it’s a very long line of race – so the race organisers are very stretched… (if I can say it like this)
Supply roads are very slow
8km hike legs take top teams around 8 plus hours…so its very slow…