The Thadlado Marimba Band festively welcomed all 39 Expedition Africa teams to the Cape St Francis Resort where they received their first set of maps before attending the event's opening ceremony.
After receiving the vital information regarding this year's exciting 500km adventure race at last night's race briefing, teams completed their compulsory gear check this morning. They were required to report to various stations providing their helmet, whistle, headlight, space blanket, waterproof jacket, life jacket, sleeping bag/bivvy bag, kayak glow stick, rope work equipment, medical kit and compass before meeting up for the flag parade.
The Cape St Francis beach was festively decorated by an array of international teams waving their respective countries flags all the way through to the Cape St Francis lighthouse. The local community cheered on participants and their families as they walked leisurely along the beach from the Cape St Francis Resort.
Keeping local communities at heart, race organisers Heidi and Stephan Muller selected SANCCOB as 2017's community project beneficiary. Cape St Francis is home to the Eastern Cape's Southern African Foundation for the Conservation and Coastal Birds, and specialise in building a better future for the endangered African penguin and other sea birds the organisation cares for.
A member representing each competing team placed a plaque upon the Expedition Africa landmark that will remain in the lighthouse grounds for years to come. Athletes and their families where then welcomed to visit the SANCCOB sanctuary where they had the opportunity of adopting a penguin in support of SANCCOB's work in the area.
Athletes and their families were able to enjoy their final Saturday afternoon before the chaos of this year's 500km adventure race hits the Cape St Francis Resort. Team captains have now had the opportunity to copy the control points off the master map and question any concerns that could arise along the route.
All 39 teams will meet on the Cape St Francis beach tomorrow morning ready for their beach start at 07h00. Teams will trek through to Port St Francis where they will then endure a sea kayak through to the Kromme River. There are many participating teams competing for a podium finish, which will account for an exciting dot watching experience for all supporters following the event via the live tracking site; www. expafrica.live. Supporters will also have the opportunity of watching the exciting start live via the Kinetic Event Africa Facebook page from 06h45.
Teams are in for an rugged yet beautiful race, bringing adventure racing back to its roots. "Teams will trek, kayak and cycle through extremely remote areas, venturing where few humans have set foot before. Expedition Africa 2017’s teams will explore through magnificent mountain ranges and onto beautiful coastlines of the Eastern Cape," said race organiser, Stephan Muller.
Image: Bruce Viaene // www.bvphoto.co.za