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Teams Get Ready to Explore the Macleay Valley Coast at the Mountain Designs Geoquest

Press Release / 07.06.2021Live TrackingSee All Event Posts Follow Event
Navigation is a key skill at Geoquest
Navigation is a key skill at Geoquest / © Wild and Co./Geoquest

The 2021 Mountain Designs Geoquest adventure race will take place this weekend from Crescent Head on the Macleay Valley Coast of NSW.  Teams of 4 will race for 48 hours; trekking, mountain biking and paddling on rivers and the ocean, as they tackle Australia’s oldest and premier adventure race.

The race has ‘full’ and ‘half’ competitions, both allowing teams plenty of time to complete the course.  The ‘Full’ teams will cover 50-60km of trekking, 110-130km on mountain bikes and 40-50km in kayaks, while the ‘Half’ teams cover shorter distances and don’t kayak on the ocean. 

All the teams will use map and compass navigation to find the checkpoints, and while the winners might finish in 30 hours of non-stop racing, the teams do have a final time limit of 52 hours to get back to the finish. The aim is for everyone to have the best chance to finish, and to allow elite and weekend warrior teams to both compete together and enjoy the entire course.

Unfortunately, some teams have been affected by the new Covid Lockdown in Victoria, and these include the winners of the past two races, Team ThoughSports.com.au.  So, the race will have new champions, and the favourites are now ‘Team Rogue’ and a new team made up from ‘Alpine Avengers’ and ‘Thunderbolt’.  Those two teams would have been expected to battle out the podium places against each other, but they too have lost members to the lockdown, so those who can travel have now combined into the new team. 

Dave Schloss commented, The sport is still relatively small, so we all know each other and away from the race we are all great friends. So with our normal team mates unable to attend, it makes sense to combine the teams to make one that can make it to the start line. Although we have never raced with each other before, we have raced closely over the years and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“We always look forward to Geoquest as it’s like getting the extended family back together each year.  The weather always adds to the racing at this time of year. Sometimes it’s floods, others it’s wind, this time it’s an intense cold snap sweeping the area, but whatever the weather we are really looking forward to grabbing the maps and getting out and exploring the northern NSW coastline.”

Many of the racers have been attending for years, and the race history goes back to the first Australian adventure race in 2002.  (This was put on by Craig Bycroft and Louise Foulkes who now run the Adventure Racing World Series).  The winners list is a who’s who of world class Australian adventure racers and many have since established their own events around Australia as the sport has grown. 

While it is a significant and historic race title for the elite teams, Geoquest is equally important to those whose aim is to finish the course with their team mates. 

Before her team sadly had to pull out due to the Lockdown restriction Deanna Blegg of ‘Team Happy Chickens’, said; “The race was the highlight on my calendar this year and I imagine we’d have finished mid-pack.  After years of racing hard I now embrace the ‘journey of the event’ rather than the ‘finish’, and Geoquest is the perfect event to do this. It highlights the beauty of the area and teams get to experience it first hand on foot, bike and at sea. It’s my ‘Happy Place’ mixed with some awesome people.”

The course area this year was last visited in 2014, when the race was won by the World #1 team, Seagate of New Zealand, and there is a lot for the competitors to look forward to.  The small beachside town of Crescent Head will warmly welcome the teams this time, and the event has the support of the Kempsey Shire Council.

The area has a series of wild, rugged headlands, from Grassy Head in the north to Point Plomer in the south, and Race Director Chris Dixon of Wild and Co. says the headlands create perfect, sheltered bays for the ocean kayaks to launch from.  He added, “The Macleay Valley Coast is an outdoor adventure playground and the coastline, stunning hinterland and pristine waterways are perfect for an adventure racing course.”

For those taking part it promises to be a memorable weekend of incomparable experiences with their team mates.  Friends and family will be able to follow their progress with live satellite tracking on the race website, and there are $3500 worth of Mountain Design’s gear prizes up for grabs.

Teams will also score points in the Adventure Racing World Series Oceania rankings, through which teams can qualify for the Regional and World Championships.

You can find out all about the race and see the link for the live tracking at; https://www.geoquest.com.au/

The race is organised by Wild and Co. who run adventure sports competitions throughout the year (https://www.wldnco.com/) and is part of the ARWS Oceania series (https://arworldseries.com/arws-oceania/).

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