Kiwis taking on the World
Kiwis taking on the World
Fifteen kiwi adventure racers will leave shortly to challenge for a world title in the 4th Adventure Racing World Championship. They will be part of 33 teams assembling in Hermavan, Sweden for the event that is held during the 16-23rd Aug
Since the emergence of adventure racing the kiwi racers have been world leaders in the sport, and the tradition continues. A few of the 'old guard' have retired but the depth of multisport and adventure racing in New Zealand sees fresh faces travelling to take on the world.
Balance Vector, the winning team from last years championship event on the West Coast of New Zealand, led by Nathan Fa'avae and including Kristina Anglem, Richard Ussher and Marcel Hagner, have split as Fa'avae has retired and Anglem moved into full time kayaking in preparation for the Bejing games.
The 2005 Coast to Coast winner Richard Ussher, and Balance Vector team mate, has teamed up with American team mates Ian Adamson, Dave Wiens and Monique Merrill racing under the team Nike Powerblast banner. He heads a line up of Kiwi racers selected to compete in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Sweden and Norway.
Other kiwi adventure racers have continued to race for overseas sponsors. Team Golite / Timberland is led by Aaron Prince from Christchurch and he will joined by USA racers Billy Mattison and Isaac Wilson (USA) as well as Sara Wallen (a Swede resident in NZ).
Also competing for a USA sponsored team are Neil Jones (Whakatane) and Jeff Mitchell and Ian Edmond from Christchurch. They race under the Team Merrell / Wigwam banner.
These three teams finished the recent Primal Quest event in the USA first (Nike Powerblast) , second (Golite / Timberland) and third (Merrell / Wigwam) and must enter the World champs as favourites.
In recent events, another couple of teams have been racing with the support of New Zealand sponsors. The OrionHealth.com sponsored team led by Wayne Oxenham (Auckland) with Brent Edwards, Sonya Clark and Stuart Lynch finished 8th in the Primal Quest, while the Port Nelson / Grizzlytours.com team of Paul Chaplow, Tony Bateup, Keith Riley and Lisa Savage finished 12th.
With these recent top place finishes and the well known calibre of the kiwi teams they will be watched closely by the other racers. But they will be facing the toughest competition of the year. The Scandinavian teams of Buifors (ex Cross team), Team Lundhags, and Team Finland plus other strong Scandinavian teams, as well as teams from the rest of the world including the USA sponsored team Spyder will give them real world championship racing.
The reports coming form the race course indicate that the competitors will face one of there toughest tests on a long course that will take them over glaciers, along fiords, and across the high mountains of the remote border area between Norway and Sweden.
The teams will be racing for prize money of 360,000 SEK (almost $50,000US)
For further information on the racing during the next week, and to follow these kiwi racers log on to www.arworldchampionship.com, or www.arwc2006.com or the official ARWorld Series web site www.sleepmonsters.com
The Casio Protrek is the official watch of the ARWorld Series.
The Adventure Racing World Series is an
international circuit of premiere adventure races
representing 10 countries creating a 12 month calendar of
professional events around the world.
The series events are: Beast of the East-USA, Ecomotion/Pro - Brazil, Appalachian Extreme - USA, Explore Sweden - Sweden, The Bull of Africa - S.Africa, Bergson Winter Challenge - Poland, Wilderness ARC - Scotland and Southern Traverse -New Zealand. Adventure Racing World Series events are qualifiers for the Adventure Race World Championship