Patagonian Expedition Adventure Race Over, Brits Defend!

The Patagonian Expedition Adventure Race is billed as the “world’s toughest and wildest” race, covering more than 600 kilometers through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain on the planet. And for the past week, 16 coed teams of four have been trekking, biking, and paddling their way through Chile’s Patagonia, battling the elements, the landscape, and each other.

After a week of racing, the first team that crossed the finish line was the defending champs Helly Hansen-Prunesco. This British team has now proven themselves two years in a row, claiming the championship in 2009, and becoming the first team to ever successfully defend their title in 2010. The racers, Nicola Macleod, Andrew Wilson, Mark Humpfrey, and Bruce Duncan, completed a final trek along the Beagle Channel in the early hours of the morning today to claim their victory.

Meanwhile, the rest of the teams are still out on the course. According to the race website, many of them reached Yendegaia Bay last night, but a mandatory dark zone was in effect to prevent the athletes from heading out onto the Channel itself. Considering the reputation of those waters, it would be no picnic in a kayak during the day, let alone at night. More of the teams are expected to reach the finish line later today.

Helly Hansen took charge of the race on the second day, moving out in front on a long, and tough, mountain biking leg in the Darwin Mountains. From there, they simply put the pedal down, and didn’t let anyone else get back within striking distance, which is evidenced by the fact that they are now enjoying hot showers and warm food, while the rest of the field continues to play catch-up.

Congrats to the winners of this year’s race. Great job on repeating in one of the toughest adventure races on the planet.

Kraig Becker