Over the weekend, registration opened for the next edition of the event, with an entirely new location set to entice racers and viewers alike.
Mark Burnett’s relationship with Fiji
Because of executive producer Mark Burnett’s relationship with Fiji—his show Survivor is permanently filmed there these days—there was some speculation that Eco-Challenge would permanently set up shop on the island as well.
As it turns out, Fiji won’t be the only locale to host this revived version of the adventure race, as the 2021 event is set to take place in Patagonia.
2021 Event Takes Place in Patagonia
The rugged and remote region of South America will present an entirely different challenge from the one we’ve seen unfold in the jungles of Fiji, where heat, dehydration, and tropical storms have presented unique obstacles for the racers to overcome.
With the announcement of the new location, team registration has opened for those who would like to apply.
Can’t Wait to See Who Takes Part
It will be interesting to see who returns for this go around, as clearly there are some racers who took part in Fiji who were there out of the love for the original Eco-Challenge, mixed in with a number of younger teams who were witnessing the race for the first time.
Hopefully, the show will be a big enough success to lure entirely new teams who may not have ever heard of EC before but are experiencing it for the first time on Amazon Prime.
I had a chance to start watching over the weekend and I’m now about halfway through the race.
I Love Watching the Eco-Challenge
As someone who loved watching the original Eco-Challenge back in the day, it was a lot of fun to see it back in action. It was also great to spot some very familiar faces competing in the event, some of which I now call friends.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing how everything turns out, although even a few episodes in I can almost guess who the podium teams will be already.
Looking Forward to the Surprises
There is still a lot of racing to go, however, so I’m looking forward to some surprises. I also have a few new favorites that I’m cheering for too. Hopefully, some of these new emerging stars will come back in 2021 to compete once again.
It is probably too soon to know if Eco-Challenge has been a success for Burnett and Amazon, but hopefully, it is finding an audience. Personally, I think it is the best television coverage we’ve ever had of an adventure race.
I’m extremely happy to hear that we’re getting more in the near future. That said, it might be some time before Eco-Challenge Patagonia takes place.
Traveling will be Safe for Everyone
The producers are committed to making sure it is safe for everyone to travel and interact with one another, which may or may not be possible in 2021.
With a little luck, however, the pandemic may be more under control and a vaccine may be discovered, allowing all of us to travel more freely once again.
Until that happens, I’m pretty happy on the couch watching adventure racing at its highest level and in glorious 4k. We have Mark Burnett and Amazon to thank for that.
Update: Registration for Eco-Challenge 2021 closed just two weeks after it had opened. I don’t recall the same thing occurring when the return of the race was first announced two years ago.
That would seem to indicate that there is a lot of interest from athletes to compete in Patagonia, which bodes well for us looking forward to more adventure racing on television in the near future.
Find Your Squad Quickly
I know there are a lot of comments on this post for athletes looking for a team to join for 2021 or 2022. With registration already closing, it may be next to impossible to take part in Eco-Challenge Patagonia next year if you haven’t already found your squad.
It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the race that will take place after that, as planning, training and collecting gear all take time.
Obviously we don’t know where a potential 2022 race would take place yet, but it is never too early to start to look ahead.
Registration fees have not yet been published but we will update this section once they have.
“Late February” or “November” 2021 are the current dates being tossed around as referenced on the FAQ: https://ecochallenge.com/faq/