International teams rushed to secure one of the limited 25 spots to the very first Asian Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) Demonstration race to be held in in the wild and remote Altay region of the Xinjiang province, in far North-Western China.
The spots filled in less than 48 hours and Mattias Nyström from Swedish team Haglöfs Silva was one of the lucky ones to confirm their entry “it is a unique opportunity to see this remote part of China that would be hard or impossible to visit as a tourist. This is also the first non-stop race in China including navigation. Normally there is a marked route, but as a navigating team, we are particularly looking forward to this element.” Aaron Prince of the team said “We will be racing with most of our normal teammates Robert, Mattias, myself and new addition Marika Wagner who we have never raced with before, but who we are confident will be a strong contribution to our team.”
In preparing to become a full Qualifier in 2017, the Xtrail China race will feature mountain biking across the vast nomadic plains, kayaking picture perfect alpine lakes and trekking through surreal granite landscapes of the Altay Mountains. Xtrail Expeditions of China will organise the non-stop, unsupported 300km expedition adventure race from 23 – 28 September 2016 with the support of ARWS staff.
World Ranked number 3 team Adventure Medical Kits are sending their A team to China and team captain Kyle Peter said “Originally I was thinking of sitting it out to focus on my World Championship training, but it is a new country for me to race in, a great opportunity for the team, and I couldn’t let Mari, Rob, and Jarad have all the fun without me.”
Teams from across the globe have registered, including from Sweden, USA, Australia, Estonia, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, UK, Italy and Denmark. They will carry satellite trackers and dot watchers can follow the race and their favourite teams through the live race coverage.
As it is a demonstration race, ARWS ranking points and qualification for this years AR World Championship will not apply. Xtrail Expeditions will however plan a non-stop and unsupported format, using the ARWS Rules of Competition and the ARWS Mandatory Equipment List.
Mixed teams will be racing for an incredible prize purse of $50,000 USD awarded to the top 5 teams (breakdown is 1st – $20,000 / 2nd – $12,000 / 3rd – $8,000 / 4th – $6,000 and 5th $4,000).
The ARWS will be producing a one hour special to air on National Geographic.