After 4 days of racing, covering up to 630km of mountain biking, trekking and paddling around the Shoalhaven region, Seagate (NZL) have stormed home to win the Adventure Racing (AR) World Series Championships at Ulladulla just before midday today.
A dominant force in the Adventure Racing world, they were always going to be the team to beat for the world title. As other teams attempted to match their feat… strategy, fatigue and errors, played a large part in the final placings.
American Medical Kits (USA) after finishing the pack rafting leg, were 1.5 hours behind Seagate. They had been maintaining the same time gap behind Seagate for the last several stages now. Despite a navigation error in an early mountain bike leg, the team seemed to be having a flawless race in pursuit of the leaders.
At the end of Leg 12, the 56km kayak down the Shoalhaven River, American Medical Kits arrived to find Seagate still in the transition area. Seagate had made a decision after their paddle, to prepare their gear for the next leg, and take a sleep before heading out on the final 2 legs of the race. This may seem a strange race strategy, but it would seem they had been looking at minimizing any errors in the final mountain bike and coastal trek.
As American Medical Kits came off the river, Seagate left the TA to mountain bike 99km through the Morton National Park. With a speedy transition, American Medical Kits left the TA to chase them down. However, suffering sleep deficit, the team had to stop shortly thereafter, for a 40 minute sleep.
Seagate, with sleep in the bank, forged ahead on the18km Coastal trek along Conjola Beach to take the win at Ulladulla 2 hours ahead.
A weary Columbia Vidaraid finished third. The team used a race strategy of minimal sleep. The team had started slowly and gained strength as the race progressed.
Estonia ACE Adventure (EST) were next to finish, however they received a 2 hour penalty, which will be added to their total time, taking them to 6th place.
In a close finish, Painted Wolf (RSA) and Naturex (FRA) sprinted to the line. Painted Wolf lost half an hour due to a navigational error, resulting in a wrong turn on the final mountain bike. This allowed Naturex to catch up. With a minute between teams, Painted Wolf held off Naturex to take 4th place.
The first Australian team to finish was Shotz Sports Nutrition in 7th place.
As the top teams continue to roll across the finish line, the teams of weekend warriors continue around the course, to finish by the 8 day cut off on Friday.
The next AR World Series Championship will be in Wyoming, USA in 2017.
2016 AR World Championship final placings for the top 5:
- Seagate (NZL)
- American Medical Kits (USA)
- Columbia Vidaraid (USA)
- Painted Wolf (RSA)
- Naturex (FRA)