The Race Director of the Charrua Challenge in Uruguay is Alen Pujol who has worked on ARWS regional races in other countries, is an ARWS referee and will take the role of reporter next month at the World Championship. This year the race he organises joins the ARWS South America calendar as well.
“We already have 6 years of experience in designing courses and at our previous 3 editions of the Charrua Challenge we were seeking as much difficulty in the course as possible.” He said. “This year we saw the opportunity to be part of the ARWS with a slightly easier format and we are excited with the response from the athletes!”
The race has visiting international teams from more countries than any previous ARWS S. America regional race, and only 3 races in all the ARWS regional circuits (all in Europe) have had more countries represented.
“There will be a total of 110 athletes, with 40 visiting racers from 6 different countries,” according to Pujol.
The venue is Punta del Este, which is the main summer city in Uruguay and one of the most important in South America, which is why it is common to see world jet setters on its beaches.
The Maldonado region is also the place with the greatest sports activity in the country and combines hills with lagoons, wide streams, wetlands and virgin native vegetation that offer a variety of very interesting route options.
The race will have a 24-hour format over 180 km starting on Saturday the 16th at noon from La Barra and a short 6-hour format for beginners.
In the ARWS 24 hour format, 14 mixed quartets will compete for ranking points and, for the winners, a place in the ARWS South America Championship at the MALACARA race in Brazil in December.
Pujol explained the teams to watch and what they can expect from the course.
“Among the teams that stand out are the local Sirius team, led by the experienced racer Federico Sosa, the Malacara team from Brazil that recently came 5th in PC12, Litoral SUICO from Argentina, the Chileans from Norteclaro REDFARMA, who are the team with the greatest participation on the South America circuit, and the Alquimistas CAC team, who combine athletes from Argentina and Uruguay.
“In the pairs race, 3-time national champions Sin Vergüenzas will undoubtedly make it difficult for any other team.
“I believe that the level is very even and very high, but the real difference in this race will be made by the 3 MTB stages that total 140km on easy-to-ride terrain where the stronger teams can push through at a good pace.
“As a novelty, one of the first stages of the race is a mixed rogaine in which there will be 3 urban CP’s, 5 rustic trekking CP’s and 3 rowing CP’s that add up to 160 points and 100 points must be collected by each team. It’s an exercise to evaluate the terrain, the conditions and to test team strategy.”
The route is completed by 1 more rogaine and 2 treks where the navigation ranges from simple to very complex and for the first time in Uruguay, there will be a satellite tracking on the Track the Race platform (using the Malacara Race trackers).
Looking forward to welcoming the teams Pujol said, “The opportunity to be part of the ARWS and the response from the racers inspired us to hold a top-level race with premium services and tourism proposals that include a tasting of Uruguayan coastal wines the night after the race.”
For more information about the race and for the live tracking link see http://charruaextremo.com/
You can follow news of the race on the @arwssouthamerica Instagram page.