ARWS Africa Regional Final - Clocolan

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The 2022 ARWS Africa Series Concludes at Clocolan

Press Release / 08.11.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
The winning Merrell Songlines team
The winning Merrell Songlines team / © Shirleen Olivier

The long anticipated 2022 Adventure Racing World Series - AFRICA Championship race played out this past weekend in the beautiful Clocolan area in the Eastern Free State province of South Africa.

The race venue, a hidden gem called IMLA Guest Farm, and it's formidable personnel opened their arms to adventure racers from across South Africa and greeted, treated and spoiled each and every team with true, farm hospitality.

With meals made from free range lamb and beef, freshly 'picked' chicken eggs, true South African 'krummelpap' (porridge), freshly baked scones and homemade jam everyone probably ate a bit too much before the race!

The race venue, with its manicured gardens, offered a variety of cosy accommodation for all types of budgets. Guest house rooms, backpacker beds, a tented village and a camp site were on offer.

The weekend programme started on Friday, 4 November 2022 with the checking in of all participants. Re-supply boxes, kayak bags, paddles, race bibs, bike boards and goodie bags filled to the brim were collected by all, so they could start prepping their boxes for race day.

On Saturday morning, 5 November 2022 at 05:00, the action started with a jam packed but well thought out program: registration, gear checking, team introductions, race briefing and handing out of GPS trackers. Collecting the leg 1 maps and race passports were part of the task list to be ticked off by each team.

The farm community of the Clocolan area decided to start of the adventure race, at 08:00, by leading the racers with four horses and their riders for the first kilometre. This was a neutral zone, so no racers were allowed to pass the horses until they turned off from the suggested path as per everyone's topographical maps. This really added to the special occasion.

The race included two courses, the 60km course was over 5 legs of Mtb, kayaking and trekking, and so was the 120km ARWS course, but with each leg over longer distances.

Team Merrell Songlines were the winners of the 120km course, leading for the whole race and crossing the finish line after 12 hour 33 minutes. The team successfully defended the title of ARWS Africa Champions, and completed a clean sweep, winning all 5 series races this year.

The winners of the 60km course were the Treverton College team. This mixed team of 4 comprised Jarred van Alphen (grade 11), Kai Broom (grade 11), Gary Townsend, head of Outdoor Pursuits and Chanelle Oosthuizen, junior staff member. They put in an impressive performance to finish in 8 hours 45 minutes, nearly 2 hours clear of the second placed team.

The Treverton College team

Co-Race Director, Thinus Matthysen, from said; "I believe it was a tough course, the greenery was beautiful after the recent rains, the river flow was perfect and the still conditions and full moon at night was the cherry on the cake."

Joléne Matthysen, his wife and fellow Race Director was on a high when asked about her feedback of the race. "Aren't adventure racers just a special kind of breed?! They were all excited, humble, always have a taste for adventure and were ever so thankful after the race for making them tired and showing them the beauty of this area. We are very pleased with the way all our arrangements fell into place. With our amazing hardworking team behind us we were fortunate to deliver a championship calibre race."

Highlights of the race for the competitors were the kloofing (canyoning) section during the last kilometre of the race, the swimming across the river, the Meulstroom river’s tricky canal-choices by kayak and the variety of route options for the navigators to choose from.

Race results of the ARWS Africa Series:

1) The ARWS Africa Final results:

1st place: Team Merrell Songlines

2nd place: Team

3rd place: Team Terra Mater


2) The 2022 ARWS Africa Series Championship (5 events for the year)

1st place: Team Merrell Songlines

2nd place: Team

3rd place: Team Terra Mater


The 2023 Adventure Racing World Series - Africa dates were also released at the race.

There will be three distances to choose from next year, for the beginner, the intermediate and then for the teams who are preparing for the 2023 Adventure Racing World Series Championship of 700km's happening on home ground in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

The race was supported by the following sponsors;

* Merrell (main sponsor)

* Squirt Cycling Products

* RadBag bivy

* IMLA Guest Farm

* Grin & Bear it book by Peter v Kets

* BikeBox

* The Cabin

* Highlands scents

* Forever Fresh Food

* Review

* Eat Naked

* TurboVite

* Ben Nevel farm products

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