Publié le 16 November 2018
The Adventure Race World Championship 2018 have been completed this Friday, November 16th with the arrival of the final teams, including the Reunionese team Run Zourit who completed the whole race in 8 days non-stop. It is a major achievement for this island shaped by the sport’s history of Grand Raid and they discovered with surprise and generosity that we could also go cycling, climbing, paddling at sea or in rivers.
Adventure racing is not like any other sports given. Indeed, it is all a question of endurance, non-stop competition, personal investment, personal commitment, the mandatory team spirit, the necessary sleep management, progression in full-autonomy… all of these are telling stories whatever the outcome is and will remain everybody’s mind for a long time.
As the 2018 edition’s motto claims, this Adventure race was « magic ». All the racers have experienced intense moments that some of them share with emotions on the finish line and others keep it secret. Once again, Avaya the reining multi-worlds champions from New-Zealand made the history of the front-race and managed their progression with the regularity and lucidity. Among those four lengedary heroes, Chris Forne, amazing navigator and Stuart Lynch, the quiet force, have pinned a seventh race-number on it. On the podium next to them, the Swedes from Haglöfs Silva and the French from 400Team Naturex who crossed the line only two minutes later after five days of race.
On the general ranking, 28 teams had achieved the whole route, 425 km and 16 000 meters elevation gain. Reunionese team Run Zourit touched the graal of the full race after an 8,5 days non-stop progression in the jungle of the island, its volcanoes, its rivers, its coastline. “This is a crazy race, said Thomas Barbereau on the finish line. We have discovered our island in a different light, with the eyes of tiredness. Carry the bike instead of getting on it, upwelling rivers instead of descending, try the Piton de la Fournaise heat and then heavy rainfalls… Progress, together, for one week, manage the sleep as well as possible, tiredness blows, doubt! What an incredible adventure !”. All the racers lauded the Reunionese sense of hospitality. Here, an inhabitant that shows them the way; here another who offers to eat… the liven up of the little story in the great story.
And now, let’s welcome the world championship 2019, planned in one year in Sri Lanka. Once again, an island, made of rainforests, arid plains, mountains and sandy beaches where beautiful epic stories will be written.
Publié le 16 November 2018
Daniel Masy, Team Belgium (48).
There are only four teams left in the race this morning, including the Belgian Team Belgium and the local adventure team, Run Zourit, who will cross the finish line at the Corail village around 10am. Led by the legendary Daniel Masy, who competed in the 10 Raid in France and several Raid Gauloises – at the origins of the sport – the Belgians are regulars of adventure races. The Reunionese team Run Zourit, for their part, are running a magnificent race. Indeed, they might be amongst the last ones to cross the finish line but they have competed the entire course, which puts them in the Top 30 of this Adventure Racing World Championship. It is a real achievement that Olivier Gautier, Thomas Barbereau, Loïc Hue and Alexandra Renaud have done there.
Publié le 14 November 2018
No doubt, it was a tough day for the teams still racing today due to very rough seas and heavy rains in the volcano region as well as in the south-east of the island. We often witness a strange phenomenon during adventure races : a gradual deterioration in weather conditions, impacting in a somewhat unfair way the back teams. To the length of the race are added cold, rain, fog…
This strange law has once again been confirmed at this world championship: the back and middle teams of the ranking suffered today! And the organization was on tenterhooks to find solutions to ensure the safety and the rest of the race. “The weather won’t necessarily get better tomorrow, so we decided to take early action’’ explained Pascal Bahuaud, the race director.
First decision: the sea kayak portion between Saint-Pierre (AT7) and L’Etang Salé (CP17) was removed. The teams are now starting the kayak section from L’Etang Salé towards Saint-Leu (AT8). The teams affeted by this decision are the following ones : Arverne Outdoor Inoprod (33), TUC Tri Absolu Vaincre la Muco (38), Adeorun (26), Vertical Dissidents (43), Outdoorvalley DSN74 (49), XTT Raid 63 Le Mont Dore (41), Uruguay Natural US (16), Team Belgium (48), Stomlonauts (45), Creps Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Ternua (61), Los Bomberos 81 (47), Olympus Red Ants (59), Intersport DSN-74 (42), Run Zourit (5).
But beware, not all these teams are in the same boat : some are still racing on the full course; others have been caught up by the time zones (cut); and others are out of the ranking because they are progressing with three teammates only.
Publié le 14 November 2018
On Tuesday, November 14th, a challenging day awaits the middle teams of the ARWC 2018 on the island as the team DSN74-Hoka (17) just crossed the finish line and ranked 9th. Those still on the last mountain bike section of Maïdo or the ones on the sea kayak section, they will have to manage their effort, energy and their impatience to arrive. For the teams who have not yet reached Saint-Pierre – the city where the sea kayak starts – the challenge will be to find the cuts installed along the race.
These cut-off time points allow teams to cut some sections of the racing track and push them further to finish line. A first cut (C) is scheduled tonight at the Transition Area 5 (AT5) in the Piton de la Fournaise at 10 pm. We already know that the back teams not embarking on the kayak section by noon tomorrow won’t make it on time for the following cuts. Therefore, the stakes are high for the racers who are still on the mountain bike section of the Fournaise.
Further down the rankings, seven teams were taken by the organization from TA4 (Saint-Philippe) to TA6 (Saint-Pierre) yesterday: the teams 40, 44, 46, 50, 54, 55 and 60 (other are being transferred: 43 and 49). They left early in the morning to the Coral Village.
Publié le 13 November 2018
The second place of this Adventure World Racing Championship resulted in a sprint. After five days of progression in the Reunionese jungle, from one river to another, from volcano to volcano, the final sprint took place on the Hermitage beach and there was only a two minute difference betwen de second and the third team. Haglöfs Silva took the second place of the podium and 400Team came in third. The two teams were in a daze when they reached the finish line, exhausted but also moved by this strange finish line in such a particular context. “This was a crazy Raid and a crazy final” said Sébastien Raichon, 400Team Naturex captain. We have been training for this Island for years and we knew this race was made for us. From the packraft, the volcano ascent, coastering after l’anse des Cascades, the ride up to the Maïdo in mountain bike; even if barely managed to put one foot in front the other… it was awesome”. Extremely exhausted and moved, Nicolas Seguin nicknamed the Phoenix by his teammates because of his ability to rise from the ashes, reassured the public, the volunteers and the families present on the fact he will enjoy this third place. This is the first time ever that 400Team is medal-winner on an Adventure Racing World championship.
Publié le 13 November 2018
Nathan Fa’avae, Chris Forne, Stuart Lynch et Fleur Pawsey have just added a new Olympic title to their strong track record. On Tuesday, November 13th, they have crossed the finish line of the Adventure Race World Championship at 3 am. The iconic team captured its 7th title since 2011. They ended up the race after a 425km race and 16 000m positive altitude change. “Reunion is such a fantastic place. I had never heard of this place before the official announcement. The diversity of the landscapes gave us an awesome racing experience!” Stuart Lynch
Publié le 11 November 2018
In this fourth day of race, the teams were all gathered in the eastern part of the Island: the front teams have begun the ascent of the Piton de la Fournaise whereas their pursuers were still in the packraft section on the three rivers between Saint-Benoit and Saint-Philippe with a stop via Anse des cascades.
The Progression speeds quite stick to the forecasts, even if Avaya (1) team, several time world champion, seems to be on a roll. In one day, they went down the entire east coast by mountain bike or by foot, they went along the most recent crater hole formed by the Piton de la Fournaise (called enclos Fouqué) and they rode along the Rivière des remparts passing through the Mapou lava tunnel cave. In total 120 km with one single goal in mind: reach the city of Saint-Pierre where the sea kayak section starts, because on this 37km kayak section to Saint-Leu, navigation is only allowed from 5:00am to 7:00pm. Behind them, podium seems to take shape with the French 400Team nature (3) and the Swedish Haglöfs Silva (6), followed by 9 teams including Estonian Ace Adventure (4) and the Chinese The North Face Adventure Team (34), who are doing a beautiful race.
A dozen of mid-ranking teams had not started yet the ascent of the Piton at the end of the day. While the back teams were ready to spend a night of rest on the East rivers which is closed to navigation at night. On today’s withdrawal list, one may find: the Swedish Armed Forces Adventure team (5), Oskar Svärd fell off his mountain bikes and broke his rib; My Tower Aquitaine Safety team (37) because of a leg pain for Olivier Mariande (his teammates are continuing the race); and the Racing Denmark Adventures team (51) for overall tiredness of all teammates.
Publié le 11 November 2018
Today the front teams will meet the island star. The third section of trek (37 km and 3 150 meters of elevation gain) will lead the racers at the top of the Piton de la Fournaise (2632 meters). This section deemed difficult will take the teams to very wild paths in an unreal scenery of great beauty: the Plaine des Sables, a vast lunar expanse of golden brown and reddish reflections delimited by two ramparts named Rempart des Sables and Rempart du pas de Bellecombe. New Zealanders’ Avaya (1) began their ascent at 8:07, followed by the French 400TEAM Naturex at 9:29 am.
Behind, 8 teams led by Haglöfs Silva (6), Estonian Ace Salomon (4) and Lozère Team2raid (21), are trying to follow the pace imposed by the leading duo. They are currently progressing on the second trekking section, between TA3 and TA4, on the paths crossing the lava flows formed by the successive Piton de la Fournaise eruptions, including the spectacular 2007 lava flow.
At the rear of the race, all teams completed the first section of trek and embarked on their packrafts. They are sailing down the three rivers of the second section. Except from the team Louves des 2 Alpes (63) who decided to take the cut*. The 100% female team is “cut” on a shorter itinerary: they will not complete the B section of packraft, between AT1 and AT2. The four girls will go directly to the mountain bike section (41 km) through the sugar cane fields and the 1977 lava flow.
* Cuts are time zones which allow to regulate the race and minimize the gaps between the front and back teams. Thus, if a team reaches some specific transition areas (AT) or check points (CP) after these cuts, it will be steered towards another CP/AT.