re-sized madway south team

MadWaySouth’s adventures continue – and a draw is declared

“It only takes a nano-second lapse in concentration to let a kite drift from safety into the power zone and imminent danger.” Steve Gurney

The 1,000 km line crossed
With deep relief the team left Western Sahara. It had been a crossing fraught with tension. The knowledge that if you strayed as much as 10m of the road you were in landmine territory allowed no loss of concentration. Despite being a beautiful desert with miles and miles of saltbush, acacia thorn and sand dunes – ideal for kite buggying, it was also a desert with absolutely no tracks. Humans and animals alike stick to the road in this desert. The Russians and Chinese have laced the country with mines.

The Kiwis, now only the one – Craig Hansen, entered Dakhla 90 minutes ahead of the Aussies, but since the Kiwi team was now down to one with Steve Gurney taking a couple of days off to recover from being smashed into a lava rock, the Aussies were, on a technicality, ahead of the Kiwis.

Some decisions needed to be made. A pow wow was held and, bearing in mind the enormous damage to the kit – there were now no spares, it was decided to call the race a draw, but to continue the journey helping each other along the way and nursing the equipment. Being realistic, the team realised that they would not make it to the end if they did not do this and they were still determined to be the first men to cross the Sahara using  wind only for power.

This decision was also made because the area was not only sowed liberally with landmines, but bandits abounded and the feeling was that to stick together would make it safer for everyone.

Having made this decision the next day was a personal best for the team – 201 km – despite the fact that they were closely watched by a rough-looking team of bandits who were trying to decide whether they should attack or not!

By the 22nd August they had 1,700 kms under their belt and took a well-deserved morning’s break, and then continued another 55km along the beach where a camel herder had arranged a Kiwi – Aussie camel race.

These guys really want saddle sores!

On the 24th August, the team were 3-7 good kiting days away from Dakar… If you have time you really should read their blog. Go to www.madwaysouth.com

When they have completed they will have covered 2,500 km across the Sahara Desert, crossing the borders of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and ending in Dakar, Senegal… that’s quite some record.

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