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Adventure Racing World Champs set for NZ

2005 Adventure Racing World Championships Set For New Zealand's Rugged West Coast

August 11 2004: The West Coast of the Southern Alps will host the 2005 Adventure Racing World Championships.

The Queenstown based Southern Traverse company has secured the rights to stage the world championships on the South Island's West Coast next year, during the Adventure Racing World Series conference in Newfoundland this week.

"It is an amazing coup for Southern Traverse," says director Geoff Hunt. "There is intense competition for these events in the adventure racing world and we are delighted to be able to stage the world championships."

The world championships will be held November 11-18 2005 and the West Coast Development Trust is the principal sponsor.

Chief executive Mike Trousselot says the Trust is sponsoring this year's Southern Traverse, on the West Coast in November, and the world event is a logical extension.

"We are delighted to be associated with such a high profile event. Our region will provide a major challenge for contestants who will compete in our diverse alpine terrain, with its stunning lakes and native rainforest."

He says overseas media will converge on the West Coast for the world championships allowing the region to promote its unique scenery and tourism attractions to the international market.

The West Coast attracts 1,000,000 visitors a year and the established tourism infrastructure will provide visiting teams with a wide range of accommodation, activities and services.

West Coast Tourism chief executive Greg Howe is equally excited about the prospect of showcasing the area.

"The Southern Traverse this year will set the scene for the international race, and there are few places in the world more exciting than the West Coast of the South Island, to stage a race of the calibre of the adventure racing world championships."

The West Coast is best known for its famous Southern Alps mountains, its rugged coastline its wild and scenic rivers and its national and world heritage parks.

"We look forward to people taking the opportunity to come to New Zealand in November next year to find out for themselves exactly what the West Coast is all about," says Mr Howe. "We know they won't be disappointed."

Geoff Hunt says the support of the West Coast Development Trust is outstanding, and allows substantial prize money to be offered, which will attract teams from all over the world to the West Coast for the world championships.

Southern Traverse's reputation for staging challenging, professional adventure races in New Zealand was a significant factor in favour of them winning the bid for the world championships.

"We know that we can deliver a first class quality race. We anticipate that some teams will enter the Southern Traverse this year to get a taste of what the West Coast is about. It is a superb location and we expect strong interest once the word gets out."

ENDS

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