2019 A1 SEASON SIGNS OFF AT WILDSIDE
The 2019 Mountain Designs A1 Racing season culminated recently with another epic adventure, this time Wildside Adventure Race Southern Highlands Edition throwing out the challenge to all-comers. Wildside is organised by Fully Rad Adventures and they gave us a full wrap-up of how things went down over the gruelling 185km course.
The Pain Is Real
Wildside Adventure Race Southern Highlands Edition was always going to be a tough race. The NSW Highlands has such challenging and remote terrain that brutal legs are virtually inescapable. This year's Wildside course, with its finish line in Kangaroo Valley, did not disappoint, pushing teams in all three races but in particular truly testing the 36-hour A1 teams as they tackled a gruelling 185km course.
A taxing 185km course through the Southern Highlands of NSW lay in front of racers in the 2019 Wildside adventure race.
Early Start & An Early Front Runner
The final of the 2019 A1 series started at 6am beside Tallowa Dam with an easy 7km paddle to the start of Bundanoon Creek. From here the race really began with a 12km trek up a river gorge and onto the top of the escarpment. The fastest team managed these first two legs in just under five hours, the slowest in nine hours. Unexpectedly it was this leg that impacted the rest of the race. There was a curfew of 11am at TA1 with teams arriving after this having a reduced number of checkpoints to collect. At the time of setting it was expected that the top teams would be in before this time, however this was not the case. With only one team - Rogue Adventure - making the curfew, they were effectively the winners, assuming they collected all checkpoints and completed all legs. It was now a race for second with Alpine Avengers, Mont Adventure, Resultz Racing and Tiger Adventure all pushing the pace. After a quick mountain bike rogaine through the forest, teams then descended back down into another river gorge for the trek back to their kayaks. Slightly longer than the first trek, this second leg pushed teams hard as day turned into night. Navigating a steep river gorge at night is tough. Arriving back to their kayaks, racers then had a 24km paddle down Lake Yarrunga to the next transition area and their bikes.
The first-up kayak leg at Tallowa Dam set the scene although racers had much ahead of them once they were on foot.
Mountain Bike Leg
Alpine Avengers and Mont Adventure pushed hard on the trek and paddle arriving one after the other into the transition area. Resultz Racing, Rogue Adventure and Tiger Adventure were not far behind. From here teams were back on their mountain bikes with a 65km leg along the valley then up the escarpment, through the forest, passing the picturesque Fitzroy Falls then descending back down to the finish. However, midway on this leg they had a 15km foot rogaine to contend with in the Meryla State Forest. It was on this leg that Mont secured the lead, pushing hard and navigating well, finishing the rogaine in 5hrs 32min.
36-Hour Race Results
First across the line in the 36hr race was Mont Adventure crossing just after midday with a total time of 30hrs 25min, Alpine Avengers were second across the line, not long after, and third across the line were Tiger Adventure. Final results however are a little different due to the rogaine cut off times. First overall was Rogue Adventure, second was Mont and third Alpine Avengers. Rounding out the top 5 was Resultz Racing in fourth and Tiger Adventure in fifth.
24-Hour & 12-Hour Race Results
The 24-hour race presented teams with an equally tough course with the winners JRPCA.com crossing the line in 22hrs 35min, second place Not Fast, Just Furious coming in two hours later and third overall another two hours after that. The 12-hour race was won by Belrose Bicycles, their third Wildside 12-hour win, with Over The Hill from New Zealand in second and Zarch in third.
The verdict overall from teams was that WildsideAR 2019 delivered on its promise of one great big adventure. Plans are now underway for WildsideAR 2020 with a new date for its A1 race as well as its traditional October long weekend edition - that means double the adventure. For more race reports and photos, go to https://www.wildsideadventurerace.com.au/ or the WildsideAR Facebook page.
All images courtesy of Fully Rad Adventures & Wildside AR
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