Pantanal World Champs

By Alpkit

Nick Gracie of Godzone Adventure team (A recent new international sporting partnership between GODZone and Britain’s champion adventure racing team, Adidas Terrex) runs through the recent Adventure Racing World Cahmps in Brazil

The 2015 World Championships location was announced late in 2014 and we had been expecting a hard race ever since. It turned out to be the most brutal race we have ever done which is a view I think most the athletes would agree with. However, alongside the pain, we got to experience a truly magical place. Racing in Brazil’s Pantanal (the world’s largest tropical wetland area) was like racing in a zoo or safari park. I have never been surrounded by so many incredible animals and birds. We got really up close and personal with alligators and by the end of the week we were walking and swimming just a few feet away from them.

The World Championships is always the most stressful race of the year and the one that requires the most planning and training. Racing in the Pantanal had the added complications of extreme heat, numerous dangerous animals to be aware of and also very difficult navigation on 1:100,000 scale maps with little detail. There was also a new discipline in pack rafting which we had to master.

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We reached TA6 feeling good and had a quick transition to the packrafts to make the most of the daylight. This stage was always going to be the crux of the race and we started well following the route but we got to an area where we lost the track and although we spent several hours looking for it at night decided it was too high risk just to go for it and so we headed back to the TA to rest up and try again at first light (we had wasted 8 hours looking). In the morning we were told that the 5 teams on the stage were all taking a long time and Seagate, the leading team with the best navigator were 30 hours in and still not near the finish.

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It turned out to be a very tough race and not without issues, from moral concerns about the use of IV and ambitious, but maybe over estimation of stage timings that had a poor effect on what was so close to being an amazing race.... read the full report here.

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