Friday, June 01, 2007
Team Nike re-crowned ARWorld champions for the 2nd year in succession at 0612 Today . yesterday they forced the pace over the Mountains of Glen Coe, leaving long time leaders Helly Hansen in their wake, so Large was the lead that they finished before the 2nd place team start the ascent of Ben Nevis.
French Team Wilsa Helly Hansen were unable to match the speed of Nike Who broke away from them crossing Rannoch Moor carrying Kayaks, and then extended their lead in the mountains surrounding Glen Coe
A Disappointed Balance Vector will cross the line behind them but they missed a crucial cut-off yesterday so are on a shortened route with a time penalty. Like many teams they had been caught out by the cold wet condition which caused many competitors to suffer from Hypothermia, requiring frequent stops in shelters to warm up a little.
Spanish Team Buff Colormax are fighting for a podium finish one and half hours behind Wilsa Helly Hansen and having a tussle with first stage winners Orion Health they rested prior to bike to the foot on Ben Nevis.
The race has had a high attrition rate like the Original classic races of Raid Gaulloises and Elf Authentique adventures, where it was survival of the fittest.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
The 4th Day began to look like a two horse race with Nike and Wilsa Helly Hansen trading places during the day, Nike Caught up with Wilsa Helly Hansen during the final bike stage of the day but spent less time in transition, However the paddle power of Wilsa Helly Hansen soon put them back in the lead during the first stage of a mammoth paddle and portage leg first down Loch Erich and then via connecting rivers to Loch Rannoch, a portage to Loch Laiden and a choice of portage or river to Loch Ba after which the going gets tougher as they follow lochs and bogs across Rannoch to the A38 and the West Highland Way.
Balance Vector and Orion Health are chasing hard hoping their Kayak skills will bring them back in touch with the leaders.
Navigation proved difficult across Rannoch Moor and Nike broke away from Wilsa Helly Hansen and grabbed some 3 hours sleep at transition 5 prior to starting their 25k trek along part of the west Highland way, they left before any other teams arrived this maybe the race winning break!. Balance Vector took some rest at a loch side refuge in
The pace and the weather gas been taking its toll and the teams were rerouted around the mountains via Fort Augustus as tracks became impassable, some teams returned to Foyers and retired. A total of 11 teams have so far withdrawn, and a further 3 teams are struggling on unranked. Those that continued via
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The third day of the ARWorld championship saw two teams beginning to break away from the chasing pack Wilsa Helly Hanson, who took over the lead yesterday and the fast improving Nike. Chasing hard and trying to close the gap was Bjurfors Adventure Racing some
30 minutes behind the leaders.
1st day Leaders Orion Health managed to get past Balance Vector crossing Loch Ness and Team Sole lost time at
allowed Spanish Team BuffCoolmax and Salomon Crested Butte to Catch them.
Someway back down the field Aberdeen Asset Management was attempting to close
in on tenth position.
The weather took a turn for the worse with rain continuing all day and when Team
Sole arrived at the canyoning section they found the stage cancelled due to rising water.
Teams navigating over the mountains to the next bike stage Transition 5 will have their navigation tested if visibility decreases as it is a barren landscape. Aberdeen Asset Management and Merrill Wigwan both made diversion to Loch Killin whilst searching for the correct route.
Wilsa Helly Hansen elected to sleep at Transition 5, which allowed Nike to take a two and half lead in their strongest discipline, but the previous leaders had banked in 3 hours sleep and began chasing at midnight overtaking Nike at Kinloch Laggan as they headed down the south bank of Loch Laggan for a 20K trekking which included a rope ascent followed by three abseils on the east face of Binnein Shaus.
Balance Vector regained joint third place overtaking Bjurfors Adventure Racing and took time out to sleep with Orion Health at Transition 5 at Laggan WolfTrax.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
On the 2nd day of the AR World Championship over half of the field was diverted on to a shortend course as they failed to make the cut-off in the first treking stage they continued to be ranked but picked up a 12 hour penalty. A lot of teams made wrong navigation decisions and wasted extra time and effort to get back on course, route choice is never easy especially in the dark.
During the early hours of the morning Sleepmonsters/Inov-8 retired from the race due to a team member taking ill, perhaps caused by the capsize on the first day.
The International teams who picked up two hour penalties in the prologue showed their class and by 0700 on the 2nd day Wilsa Helly Hansen were leading from Balance Vector and Orion Health with Nike disputing 4th place despite making errors. Team Sole were in 7th. Aberdeen Asset management had a bad night and had dropped to 16th place seeking their way out of a valley having missed the hilltop route.
Wilsa Helly Hansen arrived at Kinloch Hourn ahead of all the teams and were followed in by Balance Vector who opted to grab some sleep prior to the bike Stage. Orion health were in third. Nike's biking machine got into gear and managed to close the gap on the leaders.
There were two pauses on the biking stage one for a 20ft jump beside a waterfall and the other for a Tyrolean Traverse across a canyon, then it was onwards and downwards passing Invermorrison then along loch Ness to a 600m swim at Urquart Castle, with two members swimming and two in Kayaks.Then kayaking across the loch
Once across the Lock the teams headed south using trekking poles travelling along the loch side before a canyoning section at Foyers. The next challenge was to pass over the Monadilath mountains to the mountain bike transition
Monday, May 28, 2007
The 65K paddle to the mainland via the island of Eigg started later than intendedat 0820 by the time they passed the second of two checkpoints Orion Health had taken an early lead powering along at 5knots . Balance Bar Vector and Team Sole were fighting for second place travelling around 4.k knots, while Nike were in 7th Place travelling at 3 knots Team Halti were further back but catching up at 6knots.
It appears there were 2 early casualties team Sleepmonster/Inov6 capsised and recovered and Team North Face had a collision prior to the startwhich put a hole in their boat had to paddle hard to catch up.
Around Midday Orion Health reached the main land and turned North into the wind to head up to Lock Morah Narrows, Team Balance Vector were in close attentance with Wilsa Helly
Hansen, burfords Adventure racing and Sole not far behind.
Team Buff/Lake district outdoors had a structural problemin one of thier kayaks a and were picked up by rescue boat and transported to the mainland and continue unranked after the five lead teams had passed.
Teams at the back of the race were forced south by winds and current and Team Cancer Research were help back on course to join the North Face as tail end Charlie. During the night
some teams took to the beach to head up to Morar it being a very long and tiring time for the back markers. Team inov-8/intellident capsized in Loch Morar and went to a local farmhouse for help as one team member had damaged fingers from the prologue.
The Micro Navigation section (CP3) during the portage into Loch Nevis saw Balance Vector snatch the lead Meanwhile Orion Health and Balance Vector and the leading teams had to serve their time penalties at the end of the micronavigation course, this allowed a new leader to emerge Wilsa Helly Hansen.
Once accross Loch Ness the teams began the long trek twisting and undulating to the tip of Loch Horn, which started by heading SE to tip of loch Nevis where
all but Wilsa Helly Hansen had navigational promlems. Aberdeen Asset Management actually heading down to the Loch side. Team Balance Vector moved fast after correcting their
error to chase down the leaders.teams are not expect to reach Transition 2 until tomorrow morning.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The Marshals then stepped in at this stage and checked the compulsory equipment, and the leaders Orion Health and Balance Vector where penalised 2 hours for missing equipment. as other teams arrived protests were lodged and Nike was penalised for breaking the 100 metre rule(all team members must be within 100metres of one another) then to cap it all Lundhags, Buff Coolmax, SOLE, Salomon Crested Butte and McCain Adventure Addicts were all reported for taking a shortcut and lost 2 hours. So the question is how will this affect the race.
A number of injuries occurred from falls and at least two competitors have damaged fingers which will make the paddling extra difficult
The teams were introduced to the Scottish midge which seems to eat you alive, as they camped below the castle getting their last full nights sleep until the end of the competition
Today 100 kayaks will make their way past the