A mix of all our India trips in 2017 as we create our first ever Expedition India adventure race. It was most probably the craziest thing to do but a great success!
Confessions from the Heart
For the Love of Adventure Racing, the outdoors and all things beautiful!
A collection of emotions washed over the Doringbaai shore this morning, where over 200 athletes readied themselves for this year's grueling adventure race, Expedition Africa. The 560km event featured on the Adventure Racing World Series circuit officially commenced at 09h00 this morning from the local fishing beach.
Supporters and locals cheered in support from the Doringbaai pier, as teams gathered along the shoreline. Local fisherman chartered their fishing boats and transported team captains to a marshal based at sea, where they were able to collect their team trackers.
The excitement upon the beach was electric; emotions were heightened and nerves had set in. Once all 52 team captains had retrieved their tracker and reunited with their team mates, they prepared for the official start, which kicked off with a 19km trekking leg.
The first leg of the eight, will explore athletes along the beautiful coastline well known as the Namaqua West Coast, collecting 14 checkpoints. A 50km paddle leg will follow venturing teams along the 'not-so-wet' Olifants River, colleting an addition three checkpoints before reaching Transition Area 2.
"Our region has gone through an incredibly difficult time with the recent drought, sucking so much energy and hope from our communities. Expedition Africa has truly given our region hope again, watching the 'sea of pink' in the form of this year's race bibs consume our little town of Vanrhynsdorp has been magic, and to top it all off the rain began falling all over our region yesterday" shares Monika De Jager of the Namaqua West Coast tourism.
"After dreaming of hosting Expedition Africa for the past two years, I cannot believe this day has finally arrived. Heidi & Stephan's dedication and passion for this sport and what they do is incredible to witness. The dedication and resilience from every single team taking part in this magnificent event is both heart warming and inspiring - there are so many stories to tell. Words cannot describe how much this event has moved me, and we have only just begun" further expresses De Jager.
Leading teams are expected to reach TA 2 by days end, where they will rest, refuel and get ready to tackle this year's 'monster leg' - a gruelling 198km cycle leg. A new set of maps will be handed out at Transition Area 3, where navigators will be required to plot and plan their way forward.
Jabberwock, East Wind and Merrell Mentored are amongst the teams to watch out for at this year's race, however it is said that this year's Expedition Africa is going to be exceptionally close between the top 10 ranked teams.
Activity on the www.expafrica.live site has increased since 08h00 this morning as dot watchers began tracking their favourite teams from the comfort of their home. Follow the excitement and stay up to date with the social media updates, video uploads and daily press releases that will also feature on this site.
Photo: Bruce Viaene