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:
STAGE 1 OVERVIEW
|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|
STAGE 2 OVERVIEW
|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|
|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.|
STAGE 3 OVERVIEW
|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.