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Bungonia caving slows teams in the final stages

Seagate (NZL) continues to lead the Adventure Racing (AR) World Series Championships from Adventure Medical Kits as night falls on Day 4 of the race. The team rode 70km to Bungonia, commencing the caving leg at 2pm.

 

In Leg 10, the teams must navigate to find 5 out of 6 Control Points (CP) located in various caves around the Bungonia National Park. The caves are identified by a number on a metal tag outside of the cave.  All teams have a compulsory time of 5 hours, regardless of what time they take to complete the leg.  If a team misses a CP, there is time penalty of 4 hours.

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Seagate commenced the caving at night.    The team took the full 5 hours in the end, visiting all the caves.  One cave, “The Flatner” proved a little too much of a squeeze for Nathan Fa’avae, so the team was forced to go to the remaining cave to complete this section.  They then opted for a 3 hour sleep, in readiness to push on to pack rafting and the remaining legs to the finish tomorrow.

 

American Medical Kits (USA) were next to check in for caving.  The team is having a flawless race after making only one small error on the second mountain bike leg. Columbia Vidaraid (USA) was 45 minutes later after virtually no sleep in the last 24 hours, racing hard so they could maintain their place in the front.

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Caving and sleeping done, Seagate were onwards to the 44km pack rafting leg on the Upper Shoalhaven River and the Shoalhaven Gorge.

 

“We are expecting teams will make a route choice of hiking down the Green Track into the gorge, and along the spectacular Slot Canyon and down to the river” says Race Director Craig Bycroft.

 

The lead teams chose the expected route, boulder hopping over the huge boulders for 4 hours with their pack rafts, before reaching the river to paddle.  Some later teams chose a much slower route, choosing to hike back up the steep incline of the river gorge after reaching the CP, to then another trail down to the river.

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By mid afternoon Adventure Medical Kits are now only 1.5 hours behind Seagate.  With only 3 legs left to complete, the race for the finish line is on.

 

Current Standings at end of Day 4:

  1. Seagate (NZL)
  2. American Medical Kits (USA)
  3. Columbia Vidaraid (USA)
  4. Painted Wolf (RSA)
  5. Naturex (FRA)

Retired Team:

Thule Adventure Team (SWE) due to injury

 

Event Information:  live.arworldseries.com  and http://xpd.com.au

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