Paraguay has turned up the heat for the AR World Series Qualifier Expedición Guaraní and it’s the South African’s of team Cyanosis who have stoked the fire.
At 8am local time Race Director Gustavo Borgognon set 34 teams off on the first leg of the Expedicion Guarani, a 55km lake and river paddle. Cyanosis showed their paddling prowess leading from the start and putting a gap into the field by the first checkpoint on the opposite side of the lake.
Temperatures quickly hit 35 degrees Celsius, and combined with high humidity, this had many teams concerned whether they had packed enough water to get to the end of the leg – drink from the brown waters of Rio Salado (Salty River) was not appealing! Undeterred Cyanosis maintained their lead throughout the paddle and arrived to the first Transition Area in the lead, 8 minutes ahead of Spanish team Euskat Raidaventure.org, and followed a further 2 minutes later by the Argentinean team Sportotal.
Race Favourites Columbia Vidaraid finished the leg comfortably in 6th. Nick Gracie echoed many other athletes saying “that was hot!”. Knowing what it is like to race in Paraguay, the race organisers are providing fruit and cold water at each transition area. Race Director Gustavo Borgognon said “The food and drink is just a small thing but I want all the teams to feel the friendliness and generosity of the Paraguyan people”.
A number of athletes received medical attention at the first transition due to some dreadful chaffing on their backs. It looked that due to the heat they chose to wear just their Personal Flotation Device (PDF) with no shirt underneath causing friction against their skin. Lucas Masman from Argentina team San Juan Aventura smiled and said “it is ok” despite wincing at the pain as he unsuccessfully tried to put his backpack on in the transition.
The second leg of the race is a 34km trek into the night involving quite difficult navigation across open wetland plains. Cyanosis have consolidated their lead in the early part of this leg, while many other teams are cracking under the pressure and making time consuming navigational errors. Unfortunately to the global audience of Dot Watchers the dark doesn’t hide these mistakes as their every move can been seen through the online tracking portal at http://www.expedicionguarani.com
Watch the live website, or social media and see how the race unfolds.
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Released 6 Mar 2017 by Craig Bycroft, Adventure Racing World Series
Photo by Craig Bycroft