The 2009 Adventure Racing World Championship has been won by Helly Hansen Prunesco, finishing the race at 9:30 AM local time in Portugal this morning. The team is from the U.K. and consists of veteran racers Nick Gracie, Tom Gibbs, Warren Bates, Nicola Macloed.
SleepMonsters has more on the big win for Helly Hanen, and you read their report here and their excellent ongoing coverage of the event by clicking here. If you’ve been following the event over the past week, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that there was an error on the leaderboard yesterday that impacted the final outcome of the race. The number of checkpoints that was collected by Helly Hansen was incorrectly reported on the low side, which gave Nike a false sense of security heading into the final stages. Nike elected to skip a few CP’s, thinking they had a padding, only to be told that Helly Hansen actually had several more CP’s. Before heading out on those final legs of the race, Nike already knew they had been beaten, which is an absolute shame. That said, Nike also admits they made a mistake in reading the race instructions, and skipped several CP’s thinking they were facing a time cut-off that didn’t exist.
I’ve been fairly critical of the race all week, namely because of the format allowing teams to pick and choose which CP’s they would go after. This unique approach does add a different element of strategy to the race, but made it nearly impossible for those of us following along at home to know exactly where the teams stood in the field. For a sport that already isn’t spectator friendly, these kinds of decisions don’t help the situation much.
None of that should have an impact on the big win for Helly Hansen however. Congrats to the new champs. You earned it out on the course and under the rules provided, and you beat the best teams in the world. Well done!
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