The Adventure Racing World Series has released their latest rankings update, including results from the recent World Championships in Spain, and 24-36 hour races around the world in the ARWS Regional Series from 3 continents.
At a global level, there is new world #1 team, and quite a few changes in the top 20, while in Regional races there are now 173 teams ranked, and the first ever ARWS-Africa Champions have been crowned.
The World Championships, staged by Raid Gallaecia in October, was one of the biggest ever, with 90 teams from 20 nations, and with 11 different nationalities in the top 20. It was truly a race held against the odds, given the travel difficulties still prevailing, and the double ranking points meant many teams were in with a shout of taking the world #1 ranking.
Going into the race 400 Team Naturex of France were #1, but they had a rare retirement, and as a result have now dropped down to 6th.
The new Adventure Racing World Champions, The Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team, claimed maximum points, but it wasn’t enough to secure them the world #1 spot as well. They moved up to second, their highest ever position, but it’s Team Torpedo Vidaraid (Spain) who are the new World #1 team in the Adventure Racing World Series rankings.
They took 4th place in the World Champs, and that was enough to move them up from 2nd in the rankings to the top spot, a position they last held for a year through to October 2015. They race regularly and at a consistently high level, so much so their points include 3 Adventure Racing World Series wins. (They will, however, be disadvantaged at the next World Champs in Paraguay, where team captain Urtzi Iglesias can’t race, as he is the Race Director.)
Another very consistent team, who race regularly, Estonian ACE Adventure – La Sportiva, has moved up from fourth to third, and there are now 7 nationalities from 3 continents in the top 10 ranked teams.
In other changes at the top, Orbital AR (Sweden) suffered a big drop, from 3rd to 15th, and there are now 3 Ecuadorian teams in the top 10, helped by the points scored in Huairasinchi, the Adventure Racing World Series race held in their home country.
Team BOA Brazil Multisport has claimed the highest placing for a Brazilian team for many years, moving up to 7th. (Sadly, former world #1 team Avaya of New Zealand drop out of the rankings altogether as they have been unable to race due to travel restrictions.)
After the 31st ranking cycle for the Adventure Racing World Series there are now 364 teams from around the globe who have taken part in an expedition adventure race to score points and achieve a current world ranking. (In total there have been 1,714 teams who have held an AR World Series ranking over the last 10 years.)
The First Regional Champions
Included in the Adventure Racing World Series rankings for the first time are points scored by teams in the Regional Series, which comprise shorter races (typically 120km), and which are held to ARWS rules and standards. These allow more national competition and a pathway for beginner teams to race and learn, and to move through to Regional Championships, and on to the full World Series.
Each region also has its own ranking and in today’s announcement the Oceania, Africa and South America rankings were released, with a total of 173 teams taking ranking points in their region.
Despite all of the problems for sports events relating to Covid restrictions, the Africa series has managed to stage a full series of 7 highly competitive races, with the last being the Regional Championships.
There was incredibly close competition for the top spot and it came down a sprint cycle finish over the last miles of the Championship race between DSV Cyanosis and Team Songlines.
DSV Cyanosis is a well established team, who have raced in the World Series many times, but on this occasion it was the newly formed Team Songlines who just managed to stay ahead. As a result, they are #1 ranked in the Africa Series, and go down in history as the first ever Adventure Racing World Series Regional Champions!
Commenting on their achievement the team said, “At the beginning of this year, Team Songlines was formed amongst a group of like- minded friends with the goal of being crowned the Adventure Racing World Series – Africa Series Champions. This past weekend this dream came true. It took 9 months, six adventure races staged across the country and a whole lot of type II fun and support to get there.”
As well as the title they won a coveted place at the World Championships at Expedicion Guarani in Paraguay next September.
The team has no international racing experience yet, but after their strong performances in the Africa Series, it will be fascinating to see what the new ARWS-Africa #1 ranked team can do on the World Stage. They finished ahead of 104 other teams who took part in the first ARWS-Africa Series.
Also released today were the Oceania ranking update and the first ever Adventure Racing World Series – South America rankings. Both have been hit by travel restrictions and enforced cancellations, so the rankings are from those races which were able to take place
The new Oceania #1 ranked team are Alpine Avengers, who recorded 4 results in their Regional ranking total, and just stayed ahead of Team Resicon Thought Sports, who had only 3 scoring races. Not far behind were Team Rogue and Thunderbolt AR.
In South America, across this and previous ranking cycles, there have been races in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay and Colombia, with the most recent taking place in Argentinean Patagonia.
In this region, it is BOA Brazil Multisport who is ranked #1, and they are one of the few top ranked ARWS teams to also feature in a regional ranking. (The Ecuadorian teams ahead of them in the World Series rankings have not taken part in any regional races. Not doing so may cost them in future as the Regional races will increase in number and could contribute more points to their global ranking.)
Reviewing the rankings Adventure Racing World Series Director, Craig Bycroft, said,
“Firstly, I’d like to thank all our Race Directors for their determination and hard work in staging races in such difficult and unpredictable times. Their passion has helped adventure racing to survive, and to grow, despite the pandemic and its consequences.
“It is fantastic to see so many new teams start on their adventure racing journeys in the Regional races, and to welcome many new Race Directors as well. The new teams are learning with each race, and new race organisers are benefitting from the advice and support of the well established ARWS community and framework.
“Congratulations to all of our ranked teams, especially those who have made it to #1. Competition is intense among the elite teams, but I hope all the teams racing ARWS can use the rankings as a spur to race more often and improve their performances.”
Currently, The Adventure Racing World Series has 47 races planned next year, across 23 countries, and there are many more to be announced early next year. All will feature in the rankings, which are revised every 4 months and the next revision will include the first ARWS-South America Championship (which will be held in Chile) and new races in both the Europe and Asia regions.
You can find out more about The Adventure Racing World Series at www.arworldseries.com, including full calendars and social media channels for all the ARWS regions.