Raid Gallaecia - The 2021 Adventure Racing World Championship

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Interview with Camila Nicolau, Captain of Team BOA Brazil Multisport for ARWC 2021

Press Release / 27.09.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
The BOA team on the finish line at Expedicion Gurani
The BOA team on the finish line at Expedicion Gurani / © Expedicion Guarani

Interview by the Raid Gallaecia Media Team

There are only five days left until the starting gun of the Raid Gallaecia-AR World Championship 2021, which will be held from October 2 to 9 in Galicia.

A hundred women will take part and ten of them will captain their respective teams: Camila Nicolau (BOA Brazil Multisport), Natalia Manzhay (Blizzard), Carin Goldblatt (Raiders of the Lost Arc), Magdalena Stachura (Beskidy), Esther Pizarro (Silice Itaca), Melody Hazi (Renegades), Paulina Andrea Mosquera (Gallaecia Raid Aventura), Kate White (Strong Machine), Anna Clelia Ponteri (Freemind Italia) and Séverine Vandermeulen (Buval Belgium).

With 18 years of experience in adventure racing, seven victories in the World Series and several World Championships behind her, Brazilian Camila Nicolau (São Paulo, 1985) is an iconic athlete in her country.  A multidisciplinary athlete, she combines training and competition with the Multisport Office, a sports consulting company that she created with her husband, Guilherme Pahl, also a member of BOA.  And, for four years, Camila has been mother to Kilian.

You have practiced rafting, snowboarding, mountain biking ... and all with good results, but you have been in adventure racing for 18 years, what does this sport mean to you?

I have always liked doing sports, but I love adventure races because they are an analogy of life. I always say that five days of racing pass like five years of life. The lessons I get from this sport are unique and help me a lot to evolve as a human being.

 With at least one woman per team, adventure races are pioneers in gender equality.  Do you feel that your role is as important as that of men?

 Yes, it is something quite impressive in adventure racing. Gender separation does not exist in this sport and we walk together helping each other at all times. I have a 25% responsibility, like any other member of the team, and we are all important. But without a doubt in this sport we can show feminine strength and take advantage of our qualities, such as resilience.

Motherhood is a taboo subject in competitive sports. How do you manage racing as a mother.

My partner and I were already planning to have a child and I got pregnant at a very good time in my sports career.  At first it was a shock, but little by little I accepted it and I liked it. When Kilian was 3 months old, Vidaraid invited me to participate in the Guaraní Expedition.

 At first I refused thinking that I would not be able to prepare for five months, but with the help of Gui (Guilherme Pahl) I took an important step by resuming my training routine relatively early and travelling for my first race just eight months after giving birth. During the race I needed to breastfeed in the transition zones and I had the support of a friend who took my son and took care of him during the race. Now he is four years old, he understands very well when we have to compete and during our trips he stays with his grandmother (my mother) and they both have a lot of fun.

You have never competed in Galicia.  What are your expectations once some details of the route have been revealed?

 It will be a very tough race and very different from the ones we are used to. Unfortunately, a member of our team had an accident last week and we had to call another to complete the team.

We are now whole and confident again for this challenge. It will be my first time in Spain and that is why I don't want to create any expectations, just enjoy each of the long stages ahead of me, giving my best and working as a team to achieve a good result.

BOA Brazil Multisport arrives in a great form after winning the Guaraní Expedition Race in the World Series.  Do you feel like one of the favorite teams?

This will be a competition with more than 90 teams and there are several with chances of winning. I think that for the first time in many years there is no clear favorite and I count at least 10 teams willing to contest the highest position on the podium. We will be the only Brazilian team and for us it is a dream to take our flag to the top, but we are aware that we will have a lot of work and we respect all the great teams present.

With seven victories in the World Series in your record, you only need a podium in the World Championship, is it a dream for you?

Of course, it is a dream to win an ARWC.  Not only for the title, but it will be the reward of long years of work and dedication to this sport that transformed my life.

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