Skip Navigation

The South African View

Rob Howard / 09.11.2018

On the morning of day 2 of the race I caught up with the Olympus Red Ants team from South Africa and briefly with the Merrell Adventure Addicts team. Both were leaving CP4 in Ciloas and they will be trekking fairly close together as the climb Piton des Neiges this morning.

Red Ants were sat outside the pool on the grass drying out some kit and attending to their feet, checking the map and fetching water.  Nicky Booyens told me.  “Man was that tough. It is such an incredible place, so many ups and downs and it’s hot and humid. The sweat is literally pouring off you when you are climbing. You are soaking wet all the time.”  She told me an Afrikaans word for how tough it was, then said I probably should not print it!

Leo Sorensen was studying the map intently, looking at where they might find water on the next part of the trek and at the pack raft stage. “This pack raft is complicated,” he said, “it’s hard to get a grip of and they’ve said the water is low so we might be trekking a fair big carrying the rafts.”  Booyens added, “With a 13 hour fastest time on the stage we might end up with 2 dark zones there. It’s tricky for us.”

She was busy putting lubrication cream on sore feet, and said, “This is Squirrel Nut Butter – the happiest squirrels are those who butter their nuts!”  Product placement in adventure racing!

Tim Deane was counting off the time for their stop but they were delayed as Alex Wagner went off to the shops to buy bags of fruit.  They told me they has seen small shops in Mafate and they will likely see many more as the move around the course, so there may be chances to buy food and drink in unlikely spots here on Reunion.

The teams have quickly come to terms with a few of the day to day realities of Reunion, like the cloud quickly building on the mountains after clear mornings (so far anyway), and the heavy fog in the evenings and dew in the mornings.  Several of the teams sleeping out this morning had covers for their sleeping bags as a result of this. Most are saying they are finding water on the course, but Tim Deane said, “You can get complacent and then not find any for a few hours, so still need to be careful.”

Merrell Adventure Addicts followed Red Ants out of the CP soon after and they told me, “Reunion is living up to expectations!” Grant Ross said, “That last rope descent was the best I’ve done in any race. You started down between two huge leaning slabs of rock and then it just opened up below you for 90m. It was awesome.” 

Hanno Smit just said, “It’s dramatic.”  He was struggling to find an adjective to sum up Reunion and a bit lost for words, but then it is a place which defies description, and one which teams are now just starting to come to terms with.

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue reporting on Adventure Racing then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

About The Author

Rob Howard
Rob is Editor of SleepMonsters.com. He's traveled the world reporting on and photographing adventure races and day-to-day he keeps his finger on the pulse of AR to ensure SleepMonsters is the heartbeat of the sport.

More About ARWC 2018 - Raid in France

Le Tour de Volcano; Team AVAYA Captain's Report


The 2018 AR World Championships on Reunion Island Comes to a Close


All Roads Lead to the Finish


The Russians Are Coming –Slowly


Mixed Emotions on the Finish Line


Czech Republic and Estonia Take 4th and 5th


On The Volcano With Team 20


A Sprint Finish After 120 Hours of Racing


Avaya - Champions Again!


The Denoument


One Step At aTime


Lost in the Land of the Volcano


Conflict at TA2


Chasing Shadows in the Canyons


All To Play For On Day 3


Through the Forests To TA1


The Circle of the Cirques


Night Stop at The Pool


Straight Off The Track


Hot Wheels and High Fives – The Prologue


Exploration and Magic – The Race Director' View


Lots To Think About After The Race Briefing


Village Life


Champions And Contenders For The World Title


How To Follow ARWC 2018


’l’île Intense’ Welcomes The Adventure Racing World Championships


Merrell Prepare For UPHILL Challenge at Champs


The ARWC Guide to Reunion Island


Our Patrons

Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Danish AR Union

Open Adventure

Rootstock Racing

TanzNavigation

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing

patrons


Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Danish AR Union

Open Adventure

Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Fiona McBryde

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Ivan Park

Klaus Mygind

Lars Bukkehave

Marco Ponteri

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov