Team Rogue-Samurai will be fielding two separate teams at GeoQuest in Forster this year. Built from a squad of adventure racers from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, this will be the first Geo for a number of the team and will serve as a great introduction to the race. I’m pretty pumped about the amount of enthusiasm shown by the guys, and there should be some great training missions in store for us in the lead up to the race.
GeoQuest makes a return to Forster and the Great Lakes region of NSW. This was the site of the 2009 race HQ where team Rogue (racing under the team name “Echo”) took out their first win in the all male division, placing 13th overall. It was certainly a kayaker’s race, with a total of 5 paddle legs, not including the white water leg that was cancelled at the last minute due to dangerously high water levels. Here’s hoping for another race where paddling features heavily. You can read the race report, including the team’s exciting sprint finish, here.
It looks like the discipline of tubing is set to make a return again this year. This includes transporting the team bikes over a span of water on a raft made of 8 car tire tubes and rope, which should be an “interesting” experience. Being a winter race, these legs where you can find yourself in the water for a significant amount of time, often at night, can make or break a team. Wetsuits can help keep you warm, but from experience I’ve found they are slow to get on and off in transition and are heavy to carry if you have a long leg ahead of you at the end of the swim. I’m almost in favour of going light and fast and relying on your mandatory thermals to get warm, but this is something the team needs to decide. I’ve certainly seen other teams fall apart and have to withdraw from Geo due to hypothermia, so it’s not something to be taken lightly.
With two teams entered comes the joy of double the logistics. GeoQuest is almost harder to prepare for than an expedition race given that teams require their own kayaks and support crew. However, it looks like we are a green light with 4 boats, two cabins at HQ booked, a number of people willing to support and 16 car tubes on order (thanks Alan for that last one). Hopefully it all comes together and both teams will have a great race. On a personal level I would like to go at least one better than our 9th places from the last two years.
Full details about GeoQuest can be found on the race website. The team has pulled a training calendar together, which can be found here, to plan weekend sessions and races in the build up. Contact us if you want to join the squad for training.