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Adventure Racing World Championships in Brazil

Brazil is hosting this year’s Adventure Racing World Championship in the states of Piauí, Ceará and Maranhão. It will be a challenging course of approximately 550 kms and is rated the ‘most expeditionary ever in Brazil’.

Teams from around the world have arrived in Brazil in the small town of Jericoacoara in the North West in the quest to win this years Championship which runs from the 29th October – 9th November.

Along with the Nike team, from the USA , who were last years World Champions in Scotland, Team Ertips and Quechua from France, and OrionHealth and Powered by Velvet from New Zealand, 22 other international teams will be competing along with 29 Brazilian teams who are determined to pit themselves against the world’s best in a bid to defend the honour of their country.

It will be a chance to experience the highest level of adventure racing ever seen in the country.

The disciplines will be: orientation, double kayak, sailing, trekking, MTB, rope skills and rappel.

The region where the World Championship will take place has a unique and exclusively Brazilian character. There are mangrove swamps which means LOTS of mosquitoes, great sand dunes, beaches and mountains – all these will hamper the athletes who will also suffer from the high temperatures – parts of this region have temperatures of 40*, plus water shortages, and sandy terrains liberally covered in thorns.

The race will be broken into the following disciplines:

Trekking – 130,8 km in total which will be divided into 5 sections. This discipline makes up 22.6% of the overall race. The athletes will be challenged by a variety of terrains – from dunes to mountains, and some really extreme areas known as the Caatinga – a place fondly called the Ecomotion Boiler for the sole reason that it is extremely hot and there is very little water. In fact, it is anticipated that a lot of teams will drop out at this point due to dehydration and heatstroke.

It will be absolutely vital that everyone uses sunscreen and stays well fed and hydrated at all times. Storing energy is going to be essential in this race.

Mountain biking – 277 km divided in 5 sections – as over 47,8 % of the race in distance. The course is very diverse and passes over tracks and roads, sandy terrains, beaches and single tracks. The most exhausting section will almost definitely be the one that crosses the Ecomotion Boiler where 40ºC in the shade is common. A comprehensive bike repair kit will be an essential part of the equipment carried by the teams as the local vegetation is covered in serious thorns.

Kayaking – 140 km divided in 2 sections – 24,1% of the race. The first part will be the most difficult, due to the location on a region that will require a healthy team knowledge of navigation and orientation, in addition to understanding the tides. There will be no drinking water available on ths stretch and the hours of sitting cramped in a double kayak in the blistering sun will be exhausting. The fastest team is expected to complete the first section of the kayaking in 13 hours.

The second section of this discipline is a whole different kettle of fish – canoeing a river which has been affected by drought so could mean a lot of carrying of kayaks from one manoeuverable stretch to another. Teams might be tempted to use the aid of a sail here – but they have been warned that the northeast regional winds do not always blow in the direction you will be wanting to go…

Rope skills – This is going to be another tough challenge with 150m of fractionated ascension and with horizontal progression passing over bridges, suspended platforms, 3 rope bridges amongst others. Good rope skills will be required.

The rappel, on the other hand, will be a more relaxed affair in a waterfall.

Sail – This will be 32 km long and is 5.5% of the total race. The teams will be using classic northeastern fishing boats, and the local owner of the boat will be the captain. The athletes will have to use their knowledge in navigation with maps and compass to guide themselves and reach the next CP/TA. During the course the team will be evaluated in order to establish a winner to the sailing discipline. The winning fishermen will receive prizes and will also be encouraged to work with tourism in the region.

Orientation – Orientation will be among dunes and mangroves. Navigation under the tidal influence will demand a lot of technical ability from the teams.

The total distance covered in the race will be 580 kms.

Good luck to them all…

Thanks to Edilson66 for this video. It will give you an idea of the terrain the teams will be covering over the next few days.

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