2007 XPD - Whitsundays

Location – Whitsunday Coast
Date – August 2007
Distance – approx 800km
Winners – Orionhealth.com
Winners time – 5 days 7 hours 16 minutes
Last Team – Home Brew
Last Time – 9 days 5 hours 50 minutes
Disciplines – trek, mountain bike, kayak, snorkel, sail, navigation
Started – 56 teams
Finished – 35 teams
Unranked Finish – 17 teams
Did Not Finish – 4 teams

Participated and completed in my 2nd XPD Race (the 3rd overall) in the Whitsundays. The course map is as follows: Course Map


Leg Discipline Distance Description
1 Kayak 30-50km Starting from Tancred Island near Shute Harbour, teams paddle through the iconic Whitsunday islands – snorkeling and improvised sailing will also be involved. Finish: Airlie Beach.
2 Trek 30km The Great Whitsunday Walk through the rainforest hinterland. Destination: Brandy Creek
3 Mountain Bike 47km Straight forward cycle through the night to Northern Whitsunday Group. Destination: Dingo Beach


Leg Discipline Distance Description
4 Kayak 43km Paddling in the Northern Whitsunday group. Starting from Dingo Beach, where the maps for Stage 2 are handed out, and finishing at the Yacht Club in Bowen
5 Mountain Bike 105km Teams enter the outback and will have to overcome some tricky navigation through cattle country. From Bowen this leg takes in some rough tracks and a ubiquitous “power line road” to finish at Sonoma State Forest
6 Trekking/
35km Starting and finishing at Sonoma, the orienteering section involves testing terrain and navigation through a rocky landscape.
7 Mountain Bike 145km The longest leg of the race will take teams deeper into the outback. Passing through red messa to finish at the Mid-Camp oasis at Eungella.


Leg Discipline Distance Description
8 Trek 43km Fast trek on the Mackay Highlands, great walk through rainforrest
9 Mountain Bike 76km Exciting and extensive downhill ride
10 Kayak 22km Paddle on the Pioneer River
11 Mountain Bike 91km Country roads and cane fields
12 Trek 90km Remote and difficult trek through outback properties and pockets of rain forrest with challenging navigation
13 Mountain Bike 60km Final ride back to Airlie Beach

We finished 16th over the line. Overall a good race. For me, it wasn't as "scenic" as Tasmania (my first XPD) and the journey route wasn't as adventurous. But the journey and the whole pushing the body to the limits had it's milestones. We had some good legs and some crap legs, I'll only try to remember the good ones! Good to see we made the media shots too: http://www.xpd.com.au/images/media/xpd3/highres/XPD_Whitsunday_Media08.jpg  

Things for the organisers to note for next time:

  • Wiers: They shouldn't be included in race courses or at least get the warning correct to racers
  • Get the story consistent between the officials and the race directors.

Things for me to note:

  • Don't fly Jetstar - they cost me a bucketload with excess charges (bike / paddle)
  • Know your team mates well before starting.

Although the race was also tainted by the officials changing the rules on us halfway causing us (and may others) to be disqualified - I'll still hold onto the 16th over the line.

Also, a good friend of mine, Justin Francis has made a video of the preparation, racing and post race.

I have found it the best bit of media of any adventure race and if you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.


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