Teams to battle it out in new multi-day adventure on the South Coast

2014-05-19 00:00

IN just under a week, South Africa’s answer to a combination of adventure reality shows packed into one 500 km race along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast takes place.

Touted as part Survivor and part Amazing Race, Expedition Africa — a multi-day adventure race — is set to begin on Sunday, May 25.

Forty teams of four from 17 different countries including Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden will arrive at the Port Edward holiday resort and begin their journey on foot, mountain bikes and kayaks across various checkpoints along the way.

The event is all about adventure racing, an outdoor sport that sees teams navigating by means of map and compass to defined checkpoints and transition areas.

It incorporates multiple sports where each transition area marks a discipline change.

Expedition Africa is organised by husband-and-wife pair Heidi and Stephan Muller, who have raced together for a decade, competing in expedition-length races locally and abroad.

They presented their first Expedition Africa event in the Port Alfred area in 2012 and in 2013 the event took place in the Drakensberg.

“The South Coast has so many elements that the teams will appreciate. The coastline is dramatic, there are dozens of rivers, hundreds of animal and foot paths and it is definitely not flat,” said Stephan.

“We think that the foreign teams will especially enjoy the rural aspect and passing through small villages. This is something that they just don’t have in their countries,” he added.

Friends, family and adventure racers around the world are expected to follow the race online.

Teams carry tracking device can be followed day and night during the event.

Lisa de Speville, spokesperson for the event, said the teams are yet to know how the route for the race will be mapped out.

“On Friday during the opening ceremony the teams will receive notes about the first third of the race. The race, including the start and finish, is all kept confidential until the race starts,” she said.

Ranked second in the Adventure Racing World Series, New Zealand team Seagate, who have extensive experience, are said to be a team to watch closely.

Winners of the 2013 Expedition Africa event, Haglofs Silva of Sweden, are set to return to this year’s edition; as will American team Tecnu.

Representing South Africa, Merrell Adventure Addicts and Team Cyanosis have competed previously with excellent results in other Adventure Racing World Series events internationally, including World Championship events.

Also representing South Africa will be teams Black Diamond, Castle Lite, Olympus, Jabberwock, PennyPinchers and Warriors.

With sunrise just before 7 am and sunset at around 5 pm the teams are in for short days and long nights but weather conditions are expected to be in their favour.

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