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XPD Australia 2020 Announced – Cape York “Rivers of Gold”

Press Release / Photo : XPD Australia / 04.06.2019

The 2020 edition of the XPD Expedition Race is themed “Rivers of Gold”.  Adventure racing teams from Australia and around the world will step back in time to follow the legendary 1870s Cape York gold rush of the Palmer and Hodgkinson Rivers. 

This gold rush was described as “one of the wildest, most lawless and most dangerous gold rushes the world has ever seen. It was characterised by mountainous terrain, hundreds of kilometres of jungle track, violent aboriginal people, a dry season in which a man could die of thirst and a wet season that could wash away entire settlements to leave stranded men to starve to death”. 

The harbour town of Port Douglas is 2,000 kilometres North of Brisbane and was established to service miners seeking their fortunes on the Hodgkinson River gold fields.  The town has survived to the present day and will host the modern day adventurers of the 11th Edition of XPD from the 18-25th July 2020. 

Teams of four athletes will start on the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, stretching for over 2,300 kilometres along the North-East Australian coast.  Emulating the wild and harsh journey of a prospector heading to Goldfields, they must first paddle from the magnificent coral reefs to palm-fringed beaches of the mainland.   

The intrepid adventure racers will be then confronted by the formidable and famous Daintree Rainforest, part of the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent.  

Teams must prevail in a journey through boulder-strewn rivers, lush rainforest, and misty waterfalls to cross the Great Dividing Range at over 1,000+m in altitude.

Flowing West to the Gulf of Carpentaria are the remote Outback Australian “Rivers of Gold”.  Through the harsh interior of Cape York, bold teams will paddle these flowing and turbulent waters, mountain bike vast open spaces and hike over ancient landscapes, in search of the ultimate but elusive… XPD Gold!

Race Director Craig Bycroft said “It is fascinating to use the history of the Palmer and Hodgkins River gold rush as the backdrop to plan an expedition race course.  I think many of the original miners of the 1800s and the adventure racing teams of today would share the same spark of frontier adventure.  It will be like a connection across time.”  

XPD attracts both experienced adventure racing teams and enthusiastic amateurs attempting their first race. 

Teams arriving at the Cairns Airport on Friday the 17th July 2020 have the option of a transfer to the event headquarters at the Port Douglas Community Hall, located centrally in the resort town of Port Douglas.  A gateway to the Cape York of Australia, the town is a vibrate tourist destination with average July temperatures of 17-25 degrees Celsius. 

The XPD 11th Edition starts on Sunday 19th July and winning teams are expected to complete the 500km course in just over 3 days.  Remaining teams are permitted up to 6 days to reach the finish line.  Teams members must remain within 100 metres of each other for the entire race and complete all legs together.  They should be prepared to race non-stop in the disciplines of trekking, mountain biking, ocean kayaking, snorkelling, abseiling/rope work, river kayaking and navigation. 

The closing ceremony will be held on Saturday 25th July followed by transfers back to the Cairns Airport on the 26th.

Entries open on the XPD race website on the 17th October 2019 and a special Early Bird price extends for one month to the 17th November.  Teams can race as Premier Mixed, All Male or All Female.  There are three age groups, Youth teams with a cumulative age of less than 110, Open teams, and Masters teams with a cumulative age of 190 or greater. 

The event is also seeking volunteers to assist during the race.  Available roles include manning transition points, assisting with media and working with the logistics crew to move team equipment around the course.  More information at http://xpd.com.au/enter-the-race/volunteer-race-officials/ 

XPD is one of the longest running and most experienced events of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS).  The ARWS unites in competition the worlds best endurance athletes at premiere Qualifier events around the globe. The top team from each of these races gains a coveted position on the start line of the annual pinnacle of the sport, the Adventure Racing World Championship.

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