Unless you are living under a rock, if you are by any means a fan of adventure racing you will be aware that the AR World Championship is about to kick off in Ecuador this weekend. If you are at all like me and keenly track the big expedition races around the world, the world championships are an exciting time as they are typically the one race each year that pit all of the world’s top teams head-to-head. Improvements in GPS technology and online reporting bring the race right to your computer screen making it ever easier to follow all the action of a race through photos, video, news reports and tracking. Some go-to resources include the race Facebook page, Sleepmonsters and Breathe Magazine blog.
Increasingly, teams are also sharing their race experience through social media. A quick look through the team list reveal that an incredible 33 of the 51 teams towing the start line are blogging about their race through team facebook pages. I’ve compiled a complete list of these teams with links to their facebook pages as they often provide a unique insight into the race itself. In the lead up to race in Ecuador, there has been a definite emphasis on acclimatisation by teams as they arrive early in Quito to prepare themselves for the rigours of racing at the altitudes that the course will throw at them in the first few days.
|BIB #||TEAM||NATIONALITY||WORLD RANKING|
|1||San Juan Aventura||ARGENTINA|
|3||Team Litoral Rayovac||ARGENTINA||97|
|7||Harpya-Advogado Aventureiro Pró||BRAZIL|
|8||KAILASH Brou Aventuras||BRAZIL|
|9||Raid International Gaspesie Osprey||CANADA||29|
|10||Explorer Colombia- Bosi||COLOMBIA|
|11||IDRD Bogotá Humana||COLOMBIA||17|
|13||Seti Traxion 1||COLOMBIA|
|14||Seti Traxion 2||COLOMBIA|
|18||Guambras: Biosil- Powerade||ECUADOR||11|
|26||Terra Aventura Fybeca – Discover||ECUADOR||49|
|27||Wari Moderna Benefit||ECUADOR|
|29||Odyssey Adventure Racing||USA||104|
|32||Tecnu Adventure Racing||USA||7|
|36||Green Caffte Costa Rica – UPS Adventure||FRANCE||36|
|37||Vaucluse Aventures Lafuma||FRANCE||33|
|38||Hombres De Maíz||GUATEMALA|
|41||Montagnat New Caledonia||NEW CALEDONIA||70|
|43||AR Team Polska||POLAND||35|
|44||adidas TERREX||GREAT BRITAIN||4|
|46||BLACK HILL / OpavaNet||CZECH REP.||27|
|48||Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team||SWEDEN||26|
|49||Team Peak Performance||SWEDEN||19|
|54||Cuy e Iguana||ECUADOR|
The world champs in Ecuador will also represent the first time that teams will race under a single national flag. It is exciting to see that Australia will have a team represented (team #4) for the first time at a world champs since the days of Blackheart. Indeed, Rob Preston formerly from team Blackheart will be racing with the American team Tecnu (#32) as their lead navigator and will be sure to put in a very competitive performance.
As far as race predictions go, it is impossible to go past Kiwi team Seagate who remain undefeated this year and are only looking stronger with the addition of experienced racer Stu Lynch. Swedes Haglofs Silva are a very experienced line up and are surely due a win in a world championship at some stage given that they are still a relatively young team (and are my pick for second place). Columbia Vidaraid with their Spanish speaking background and immense experience are my pick to round out the the top 3, however other class outfits such as Americans Tecnu, French team #36, the British Adidas Terrex outfit and Ecuadorian team Movistar are sure to give the front runners a solid nudge. Regardless of results, it is going to be some exciting racing to follow.