Conflict at TA2
This morning two teams, who camped out overnight on the River Marsouins, arrived at Transition two at the football field in Saint Benoit, and neither was very happy.
The Red Fox Adventure Team came in first and had a tale of misfortune to tell. Andris Ansabergs said, “We were late starting from TA1 because we thought you could not leave until 05.15. The book said no navigation before that time, but all the other teams went down and completed the abseil to be on the riverside for 05.15, so we were late.
“Then we were doing OK and still trying to make it, but we punctured the raft on the second descent. Then we patched it, then we tore it again very quickly. So we couldn’t make it out of the canyon.” Another racer asked him if he got some good sleep and he replied, “Yeah, sure it’s really comfortable in the canyon ...”
Not long after The Swedish Armed Forces team came in and they were very unhappy. Last night they appeared to be at the point at the end of the canyon where the dark zone ended and they could walk. Yet they camped the night.
Sam Clarke gave me the story. “We got there and were sure it was the right place, then walked to CP10 but they told us we hadn’t made it in time and had to walk back and camp at the spot we could walk from. In the morning we checked again and it was the right place. We could have done without spending a night out there for no good reason.”
As he was speaking Johan Hasselmark was confronting Race Director Pascal Bahuaud and a difficult exchange followed. The team captain said they were in the right place at the right time, but the Race Director replied. “We put a person there to check and he said you were not there in time. It’s the decision of the organisation.” Hasselmark was sceptical. “We didn’t see anyone and I don’t believe this.” He replied.
The team tracker had stopped working but he wanted to keep it as proof of where they went and this caused another disagreement and in the end he reluctantly returned to his team having asked how to refer the matter to the jury and referees. (The referees were not at the TA at the time.)
The Transition will have teams coming in throughout the day today and the large verandas on the clubhouse will be used as it is rainy day. It will be open for a third day as well as more teams move through the pack raft stage, camping out overnight along the way.
Meanwhile at the front of the race the lead pack have completed the cycle stage to TA3 and received the route book and maps for the remainder of the course. The leaders have completed the following trek to TA4 and are now embarking on the Section E trek which takes them up the flank of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise with a 3150m elevation gain within a 32km trek!
Avaya of New Zealand continue to lead ahead of 400 Team Naturex (FRA) despite having taken more sleep (they stopped at TA3 for 4 hours while Naturex slept for 2). Third placed Haglofs Silva (SWE) have had much less sleep than the two teams they are chasing and Estonian ACE Adventure are close behind them, having managed their sleep well and made two 4 hour stops.