The Adventure Racing World Series rankings have been revised and upgraded. There is a new world #1 team, and there will be significant changes to how the rankings work going into next year.
Before those are implemented, however, the new rankings had to take account of the Covid disruption this year, and the ARWS decided to count the whole of the past year as one ranking cycle and add those points in. “It’s a sad, and unique situation,” said ARWS Director Craig Bycoft, “and we felt it was the best way to recognise teams who had been able to race, and to reset for the new year of racing ahead. A year, which we hope and expect, will be a much better one for international sport!”
With the points recalculated (as of Dec. 1st), the new #1 world-ranked team is now ‘400 Team Naturex’ of France, who take over from ‘Team AR Sweden’. The Swedish team has now dropped to 3rd, behind ‘Vidaraid’, who won the last ARWS event, the Patagonia Raid.
Scoring points from that event was clearly an advantage to the top two teams, but with results counting over the past 2 years the new rankings still reward the teams who have been competing most regularly.
Both ‘400 Team Naturex’ and ‘Vidaraid’ have scores from 7 races in that 2 year period (with 4 counting). ‘Vidaraid’ are South American specialists and have 3 wins there (Huairasinchi, Patagonia Raid, and Expedición Guarani), but the French team still come out ahead with a better result at the last World Championships on Reunion Island. ‘400 Team’ also have the biggest squad and are one of 6 French teams in the new top 20.
The biggest movers in the new rankings are ‘GymcityAR’ from Poland, who jump from 42nd to 11th place, scoring points at Adventure Race Croatia for the past 2 years, Raid Gallaecia, and at the Patagonia Raid.
One change implemented already, is to give all the teams more points! A zero has been added to all the totals, which doesn’t affect existing scores or positions, but will now make it easier to separate the lower-ranked teams. For example, in the past teams from 20th to 24th all received 10 points and were grouped together, now they will receive 100, 98, 96, 94, and 92 respectively.
“We know all the teams are racing right to the line,” said Bycroft, “and we’ll now be able to rank their performance more accurately.”
Regional Races Arrive and Will Count in the ARWS World Rankings
Preparations for the launch of the 2021 ARWS Regional Series races have been moving forward quickly. These are annual races of 12/24 hours, covering 125/250km. Both the Oceania and Africa regions held races in 2020 and the rankings for those regions are now on the ARWS website. The current #1 ranked regional teams are ‘Jabberwock’ in Africa, and ‘Thoughtsports.com.au’ in Oceania, and more regional rankings will be released in the year ahead. Full race schedules for all regions for 2021 will be finalized soon.
Each Regional Series will have events throughout the year and its own Regional Championships. Teams from the Regional rounds will compete at the Regional Champs, and the winners there get a place at the World Champs, so there is a new route for teams to reach the highest level of competition.
Teams can earn ranking points for competing in both ARWS (Tier 1) and Regional (Tier 2) events, and these count towards their Regional and World rankings. Tier 1 events include the AR World Championships and international ARWS Qualifiers, and Tier 2 is the Regional events.
In each tier, teams must compete in one race in that tier to be ranked, and up to 4 scores can count across a two-year period, but teams must keep within the same 7 members. So there will be Regional rankings and champions, and World rankings and champions, and teams with consistent squads, and racing regularly, will do better in the rankings.
The 2 year period is split into a rolling programme of 6 ranking cycles, and rankings now will be re-issued on a regular schedule at the end of each cycle; on April 1st, August 1st and Dec. 1st.
Teams can use up to two of their regional results towards their World ranking, and similarly, they can count up to two ARWS Qualifier results from their region into their regional ranking.
Points will be multiplied by a ‘Competition Status’, which is a measure of the difficulty of the event. So, a Regional Round will be multiplied by 0.5, while the Regional Champs will have a competition status of 1.0, so will carry the same weight as a full ARWS qualifier. The World Champs have a Competition Status of 2.0.
Points won in the regional events will count from now on but, to allow teams around the world an equal chance to take part in all the new races, they won’t be added into the World rankings until the Dec. 1st revision next year.
“2021 is going to be an exciting year for the ARWS,” said Bycroft. “The regional races will give teams more chance to compete nearer to home, and still be part of the ARWS community worldwide, while the new rankings will ensure every race and every place counts. They will also encourage new teams to race more often, gain experience, and in time, step up from regional events to full expedition races.
“Allowing the points from Regional events to carry across to the World rankings will also make it much easier for teams to register 4 scores, and make for an even more competitive ranking at all levels.”
ARWS Racing Restarts This Month
ARWS racing, and the next ranking cycle, restarts with Huairasinchi in Ecuador on December 6th, and moving into next year, many races are already sold out, some with record entries.
The full ARWS calendar for next year includes 12 races across 5 continents, with the racing year, finishing at the AR World Championships at Raid Gallaecia in Spain next October.
Full details of all the regional events will be on the ARWS website soon, and there are already 23 new Regional races listed there, with many more to come. The Regional races start in February in South Africa and India.
For full details of all events, and the upgraded ranking system see www.arworldseries.com