NORCHA

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Now Where Did I Put That?  The Morning After The Night Before

Rob Howard / 24.09.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Team Jakob in Macedo
Team Jakob in Macedo / © Rob Howard

On the first night at Norcha teams had been trekking over the hills to TA2, set in on the side of Azibo Lake, and arrived on the morning of day 2 footsore and wet.  The lightning storms of the previous evening abated, but pulses of heavy rain continued to sweep through and low cloud and fog made navigation even more difficult.

“The rain would stop for half an hour and you would dry off a little bit, then get soaked again“, said Debby Urkans of Team FAR.  Her team mate Katrien Aerts added, “I made some nav mistakes, losing focus and perhaps an hour of time. It’s so much harder at night.”

It was the same story from most of the teams.  Rob Smart of Afterwork Athletes said, “We were following a bunch of teams who were only a few hundred metres ahead, and they all went the wrong way so we kept going. It was dusk so we didn’t have our headlamps on yet for them to see where we went.”  The team kept that advantage and gained quite a few places on the trek.

Pat O’Callaghan of Base Camp AR said, “When were we not lost!  We were not sure where we were a lot of the time last night!”  The two Irish teams are racing quite close together still and they are in a pack of teams all within a few hours of each other. 

The transition was set by a beach and visitor area on the side of lake Azibo, and teams transitioned here for a 6km out and back paddle around the picturesque lake.  Those who arrived in the early hours and dark found the paddle cold, but the day brightened and warmed up for those arriving later in the morning.  Once the paddle was complete the teams set off on the next 77km ride to Vimioso.

Some set off and came back!

The long night and no sleep meant some teams were slow to transition during the morning, and they were making mistakes. 

Team FAR set off on their bikes after their paddle, only for Yo Boechx to ride back some 30 minutes later to collect his backpack, which was sitting on the floor by the marshal’s desk!

Then a little later it was the turn of Team Jakob to ride back into transition, having left 45 minutes earlier. They had ridden into the town of Macedo, where there are 3 urban checkpoints, only to realise they’d left their routebook and didn’t know where to look for the checkpoints! 

When they returned to the town, they stopped by one of them at a war memorial and two of the teams laid out on the pavement to sleep, while the others went for food and to find a bike shop to make a repair.  Pernilla Gravenfors had been feeling ill and the team are slipping down the ranking after their fast start on the first two stages.

Team ForSure Indiketes were another forgetful team.  They left their tracker for the paddle stage and returned to the beach for it before setting off to start the paddle again. Only two of this team were paddling, and there have been a few withdrawals this morning.

Thomas Escobar of Mulamanca Almaventura decided not to go on, leaving his two Argentine teammates to continue and one of the racers from the French team Vaucluse Aventure Evasion didn’t do the paddle, but they did all continue with the ride.  One of the Portuguese Army team also pulled out. She had only joined the team at the last minute and the first night of the race was too much for her.

(Stevie Patrick from the Highroad Adventure team has also withdrawn due to hypothermia.)

 

 

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