As I mentioned last week, the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge is currently underway in the United Arab Emirates, with 50 coed teams of four competing against one another on six-day, four-stage, race that has been a challenge since they hit the starting line last Friday.
Today, with 48 teams still racing, that level of challenge increased greatly thanks to high winds and rough seas, which forced a cancellation of a planned sea kayaking leg. That leg was suppose to be a major part of the final day of the race, but now the teams will compete on a different paddle – a sprint sea-kayak leg that will see them doing laps around the protected Lulu Island, which sits just off the coast.
Three-time defending champs Thule Adventure Team look like they are about to claim another victory. The team, led by adventure racing stalwart Richard Ussher, have been strong all week long, and were the first to come off the desert orienteering stage, which was 116km (72 miles) in length and ran through the Empty Quarter of the Rab al Khali Desert. This remote, and very desolate region, has sprawling sand dunes as much as 45-stories in height, and is roughly the size of France, Holland, and Belgium combined. Throw in hot temperatures and a blistering sun, and you get a desert trek designed to sap the remaining strength from the legs of the athletes.
With the Kiwis of Thule Adventure Team squarely in first place, the race is on for the second two podium spots. Currently in second is Thule Adventure Team/Europe with Wenger SUI-GER in third. The teams are currently resting and prepping for tomorrow’s big finish, which will also mark the end of a fantastic year of adventure racing in general.
I’ll post the final results when we have them.
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