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Southern Traverse Encourages Future Chamions

Media Release
Queenstown, NZ
6th Jan '08
EMBARGOED FEBRUARY 7 2008

Fairydown Southern Traverse Encourages Future Champions

The Fairydown Southern Traverse is encouraging young athletes to enter this year's classic race at Hanmer in April in a bid to guarantee the future of adventure racing in New Zealand.

The Classic Southern Traverse will be held on April 11, 12 and 13 and the three day race is open to teams of two or four people. This reflects the traditional, original Traverse format but there will be added interest with the addition of a 24 hour race within the main event.

Race Director Geoff Hunt says the 24 hour component will allow teams and individuals, who do not want to commit to the three day race, to compete alongside Classic competitors in similar terrain.

"It will also hopefully encourage young people to try out adventure racing in exciting race conditions, providing them with a Southern Traverse experience. We hope that this shorter event, which follows the exact same course as the main race, will be well supported by tomorrow's potential New Zealand champions.

Race Director Geoff Hunt says it is timely to promote the event to younger athletes to start building a good base of athletes for the future.

"Most of New Zealand's adventure racers are older and we want to see some of the younger athletes coming through. Southern Traverse is putting the word out to young adventure racers who want to compete to put their hands up.

"We are offering complimentary entry to the Vasque under 23 North Island team and another under 23 team from the Dunedin region . We would like any other young racers to contact us so that we can offer the same opportunity to more teams."

"It would be great to see a North Island-South Island challenge. The Classic is an ideal starting point and we are aware that there are some potentially good athletes out there," says Hunt.

Sport Central co-coordinator and legendary adventure racer and multi-sport athlete Bill Godsall agrees.

"It is definitely time to start encouraging younger people into the sport because they are its future. Adventure racing traditionally attracts older racers but the Southern Traverse is offering a real opportunity with its offer for a complimentary entry to under 23 teams. I am sure there will be some very enthusiastic takers."

Southern Traverse is also targeting first time adventure racers, particularly those who have competed in the Coast to Coast, to participate in the 24 hour race.

"The 24 hour race will give athletes a taste of the main event with two mountain trekking stages, a paddle and two mountain biking sections. Invites are going out to people to take the cobwebs off their kayaks , take on the 24 hour challenge and enjoy the camaraderie of old friends at the final race party."

Only teams racing in the Classic event will however be eligible to qualify for the 2008 Adventure Racing World Championships in Brazil from October 30 - November 9. The winning Classic team will gain free entry into the championship hosted by Brazil Ecomotion.

Ends

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