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Hi-Tec cruise to victory

Tim / 26.11.2002See All Event Posts Follow Event
MSOQ Champions Team Hi-Tec
MSOQ Champions Team Hi-Tec
The result was almost inevitable as the teams entered the final day, which was dominated by a brutal run up South East Asia’s highest peak Mount Kinabalu. Hi-Tec started the day with a comfortable lead over their nearest rivals Team Nokia Adventure from Finland. The big race of the day would be between them and USA team GoLite. Only six minutes and 20 seconds separated the 2 teams, and with such a daunting task ahead anything could happen.

GoLite appeared first off the mountain; they were followed by Hi-Tec with Nokia in third. The Americans were on a charge, and with $6000 at stake, who could blame them. They continued to push hard on the next 45km mountain bike leg and second place was looking possible, but Nokia would not give in easily, they are known for their determination and fight. With only 15km of kayaking to the finish the teams were almost neck and neck, both knowing that first place was already decided but second was all to play for.

The battle went to the wire, in the end the Fins hung on by the closest margin. After 4 days of flat out adventure racing they took second by a mere 21 seconds from GoLite, a fantastic finish to a great race for both teams.

Team Saab Salomon was also having a good day. They ran well on Mt. Kinabalu despite some desperately tired legs after the first three days racing. They came off the mountain a close 4th place, but after them there was a big gap to the next teams. They too still had some work to do. Seventh place was by no means safe with Teams Montrail and Aubert/SPIE breathing down their necks, but for them the concern was with who was in front of them rather than behind. They had left a very big mountain to climb in order to achieve fifth, but with Team Argentina only 7 minutes ahead at the start of the day, 6th was still possible. The Brits dropped the Argentinean’s from the start of the climb and didn’t see them for the rest of the day. By the time they got to the finish they had put over 35 minutes between themselves and Team Argentina, this secured 6th place and with it an additional $2000 in the Team Saab Salomon bank account.

For the British team it has not been an easy race. “We should have known when they gave us bib number 13 that it wasn’t going to be our race, we’ve had more than our share of bad luck but it’s been great experience for us all and 6th place in a race this competitive is pretty respectable under the circumstances� were Ben’s thoughts on the result. He added “The race has been really competitive, possibly more than the Raid Series, but the Raid Series race courses are much more inspiring. Borneo is a fantastic and interesting place, but I don’t feel like I have really explored.� Helen gave her thoughts too. “It took us a day to learn the ropes, we lost loads of time on day 1 at the transitions, thinking that we had a compulsory time out at each one. We couldn’t understand why the other teams were in such a rush, it wasn’t until we got in at the end of the day that we found that there was no time out and the clock just kept on running.� “I think the best thing for me has been the teamwork. We have worked really well together; we needed to to get through it. We have had to overcome a good few problems, not least of all Adam’s illness, at one point we thought we would have to pull out. This makes the 6th place finish much more rewarding.�

Result will follow when they are produced from the race office.

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