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XPD Adventure Race affected by extreme weather

Competitors in the Adventure Racing World Series in the Flinders Ranges this week had to contend with temperatures over 40 degrees, strong winds, sleep deprivation and blisters.

An emotional moment for Mountain Design’s Dave Schloss

120 competitors started racing last Wednesday from the far northern point of Arkaroola with the goal of trekking 750kms over a salt lake, climbing 50m cliff faces and mountain biking over rough mountain ranges.

The first team to cross the finish line on Port Augusta on Sunday was the Mountain Design team made up of Queenslanders Gary Sutherland, Leo Theoharis, Dave Schloss and one female competitor, Kim Beckinsale. The team completed the course in just over five days and will now go on to the World Championships in Costa Rica in November.

The Mountain Design team crossing the finish line

Only the top two teams, Mountain Design (Qld) and Bivouac Colts (NZ) were permitted to kayak before strong winds forced organisers to eliminate the final 87km kayak leg in the Spencer Gulf. The remaining teams were re-routed and will cycle from Melrose to Port Augusta.

Despite three teams having retired from the race due to severe blisters and challenges early on in the race, the remaining 27 teams are expected to complete the course and make it to the finish at Port Augusta’s Esplanade today.