Expedition Africa, the second race in this year’s Adventure Racing World Series, was contested last week in the landlocked and mountainous African Kingdom of Lesotho.
The winning team, Estonian ACE Adventure La Sportiva, completed the 416-kilometer course, involving trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, and a five-kilometer donkey-assisted orienteering relay in 80 hours and 15 minutes, having slept less than 1.5 hours. The race ended at the Afriski Mountain Resort, one of Africa’s few ski resorts.
“It was an amazing and enjoyable course. We had risky tactics, going two nights without sleep, then another night, but they worked,” Timmo Tammemae, the Estonian team’s navigator, said.
Thirty-seven teams with participants from more than 15 countries participated in the event, 24 of which completed the full course. Several teams were forced to withdraw after encountering heavy rain and sleet on the first trekking leg, and subsequently, thick and slippery mud on the 214-kilometer mountain bike stage, which included more than 6,200 meters of climbing.
The French 400Team Naturex finished in second place, 4.5 hours behind the Estonians, and Team Nordisk from Denmark finished third.
“It is rare to go so long without seeing anything manmade, just sometimes shepherds wrapped in their blankets watching goats on the hillside. When a dark night with an impressive starry sky was replaced by an amazing sunrise over the mountains we took a photo,” Team Nordisk captain Henrik Jorgensen said. “It is the first time I have ever stopped to take a photo in a race.”
Team ThisABILITY of the United States was the top-finishing American team, completing the full course in 141:55, while fellow U.S. team K2 was forced to withdraw to a team member’s illness.
The 2022 Adventure Racing World Series is comprised of 10 of the world’s premier expedition-length adventure races, taking place across five continents. The 2022 Adventure Racing World Championship will take place in Paraguay in September. For more information, see www.arworldseries.com.
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