The Wenger Patagonia Expedition Race came to an end last night with the defending champs of Team adidasTERREX/Prunesco claiming their third straight title and securing their place amongst the elite adventure racing teams on the planet. They were followed across the finish line by Team GearJunkie.com and Vaucluse Adventure Evasions in second and third place respectively.
The Patagonia Expedition Race has proven to be quite a challenging start to the big international adventure racing calendar over the past few years, but the 2011 edition may just have been the hardest yet. The race began over a week ago in the Torres del Paine region of Chile with sunny skies and fantastic weather. That weather degenerated quickly however, and the notoriously nasty storms of Patagonia arrived on the scene to play havoc with the teams. When the race started, there were 14 four-person, coed teams in the running, at the end there were just six left. Worse yet, the heavy rains forced the cancellation of a trekking leg that became far too dangerous, and three teams had to be airlifted from the course due to dangerously high rivers.
The three remaining teams that are out on the course, Croatia’s Ad Natura – Karibu, East Wind of Japan, and the international team of erdido en el Turbal are all expected to reach the finish line later today. At this point, it is a matter of pride that they finish what has become one of the most challenging races in recent memory, and I’m sure the post-race party to be held in Punta Arenas will be a wild one.
Congrats to adidasTERREX/Prunesco on another fine showing and to all the teams for competing so hard under such challenging conditions. It seems that the 2011 adventure racing season is off to a fine start already.
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