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RESOURCES

NEWSLETTER 2

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WELCOME

Chapter 2 of Expedition AR Victorian Alps is shaping up to be a fantastic course even if we do say so ourselves. It's got all the right elements that go into an expedition race that means you and your team will be challenged and then rewarded with mountain top views, epic white water paddling and exciting mountain biking. 

COMPLETE YOUR FULL TEAM REGISTRATION

Your team entry has been secured by your captain via the Eventplus website.

This is our database to keep track of team members details, medical records, shirt sizes and the like. Please pass the details onto your team members so they can join your team and keep up to date. 

If you have not signed up yet, you need to team code and then click JOIN A TEAM. Insert the code, submit your details and answer the questions. 

Please update the database with each team member's details. This will allow our staff to know exactly who is in your team, and prevent them from getting asked by other prospective teams sniffing around for a better navigator.

TEAM FINDER PAGE

Did the packhorse of the team over commit to carrying heavy loads and rupture a disc, or has your navigator gotten lost and no one can find them. Do you simply not have enough friends that are as mad as you? We can help!

Submit an enquiry on the team mate finder form on our website here. If we can match you with our current contacts we will, or we will post on the site for others to read and be inspired to join your team.

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are a key part of putting the event on and we would love to hear from you if you are keen to come along. We will do our best to allocate a job to you that sits with your skills. If you are new to adventure racing, it's a great way to watch others and learn the tricks of the trade first hand. If you are keen you can indicate your interest here. 

LOGISTICS AND TRAVEL UPDATE

By now we expect most teams have probably sorted out their travel and accommodation plans. If you haven’t, then I’d suggest you lock in something very soon. 

We have a few questions that are worth answering and sharing for all teams.  

Q: We are an international team who hasn't organised transport yet, is it possible to get help traveling from Melbourne Airport?

A: Get in touch with the race organisation before booking your flights and we will see what we can organise

Q: Are transition bins (tubs) provided?
A: No, teams are required to bring their own, or they could purchase them in Australia at places such as here and collect in Wodonga. 

Q: Is there any assistance to help get transition bins (tubs)/bike boxes to the drop off point?
A: If you book your accommodation in Bright, then it won’t be hard to get your boxes to the drop off point- but we are not organising a taxi service. 

Q: Will there be somewhere to leave non-race gear for the duration of the event?
A: Yes, we will have space to leave gear if you do not have accommodation booked through the race. 

Q: My Mum is also looking at the possibility of coming over as well. Are you looking for volunteers? 
A: Yes, the best way for your family member or friend to see you on course will be to volunteer. We will ensure they are not stuck in a leach infested picnic ground for too long and they will have a better opportunity to keep informed if they are part of our team. 
 

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SCHEDULE

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NEW EVENT PARTNER

 

We’re excited to introduce On Track Meals as our newest event partner! We had the pleasure of sampling their delicious meals as we set the course. Let us assure you: On Track Meals are far from your typical dehydrated meals. In fact, they’re not dehydrated at all! These delicious meals are fresh, not freeze dried and have a 3 year shelf life, ready to satisfy your taste buds and most importantly provide much needed fuel.

 

They are heated right in the packet either submerging the entire packet in boiling water or using one of their heater bags that can heat. Of course they are heavier than a normal dehy because they already contain the water, but that’s not necessarily a deal breaker because they make a great option as TA food or when you are carrying extra water for your meals anyway. On Track meals are Australian made & owned with locally sourced ingredients and have vegetarian, vegan, halal and gluten friendly options.

 

On Track meals are sponsoring a Transition so every competitor will receive a hot meal: the perfect thing after a long packraft. 


If you are after any of these meals for the race or other adventures the good people at On Track are giving competitors a discount code - EXPEDITIONAR10 for 10% off- head to https://ontrackmeals.com/.

SOCIAL MEDIA STARS

We understand the appeal of turning off the computer and heading off-grid for a few days with your mates and removing the buzz of social media from your brains. However, to help grow our event, and the sport of Adventure Racing that we all love, we need some help sharing your adventures.
 

Please tag us in your teams training adventures using

@expedition_AR on instagram, 

or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ExpeditionAR.com.au/

 

Obviously we miss the influence of our big brother Godzone Adventure, but they started small and it takes time to build such a huge following. But with your help we can grow our profile, sponsorship appeal and help the event flourish.

SPONSORSHIP

ExpeditionAR is always looking for sponsorship opportunities as well as media coverage. If you or you know someone who would like further information on our event please contact us at myall@ thoughtsports.com.au or get in touch with us via the Contact Us page.

MANDATORY GEAR

Here is the mandatory gear list. It is pretty comprehensive but don't forget we are racing in an alpine area and you never know what the weather is going to do. 

 

We are adding a 120L waterproof duffle bag to the Logistics requirements. This will be dropped at a remote location and only seen once. You will likely fill it with some food and extra clothes. 

 

As mentioned in the last newsletter each team will require

 

4 x bike boxes

A typical bike box style used on an airline is what is required - Max dimensions 140cm x 80cm x 30cm - don't be the guy who brings a massive bike box!. Corflute (Fluted plastic)or cardboard (we suggest wrapping the cardboard in plastic contact if you don't have a Corflute one in case it rains). No sharp edges or protruding buckles, fixings or wheels. Maximum weight 30kg

4 x 100L tubs 

These need to be sturdy and able to withstand transportation over the course of the event. We recommend the type below available at Supercheap auto. These boxes have a 25kg weight limit

 

1 x paddle bag

This can be a tubular bag 50cm diameter x 150cm long and max weight 25kg.

Paddles may be transported separately if securely bundled together and labelled.

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COURSE UPDATE

The Victorian Alps, particularly the Bright and surrounding region, offers course delights and challenges in every direction. The fun part of putting together an expedition race is spending time on the course and that has been particularly enjoyable this year. The team is hard at work finalising the last few details to ensure that we maximise the adventure in this race. 

 

Chapter 2 will offer a good mix between the disciplines and the winners won’t be able to get away with any weaknesses. As the location name suggests- the Victorian Alps is going to have some elevation gain and loss. Getting out into the hills on your training sessions will be more important than laps up and down Beach Rd (Noosa main st, laps of centennial Park etc etc). 

 

There will be several dark zones in place for white-water paddling components, but we expect lead teams will get less sleep than Chapter 1. We have also thrown in some strategy for an epic Stage 2 Packraft. There will be some optional bonus CP’s that we expect the lead teams will chase, but will also allow all teams to play to their strengths- whether that be paddling or trekking, taking on tougher navigation or choosing to sleep more and preserve those vital brain cells. 

PACKRAFTING

 

It is important for teams to be prepared for carrying their packraft and packraft equipment during a packraft leg. There may be situations where deflating the raft and hiking is necessary, either to continue moving during a dark zone or for strategic reasons. We recommend practising this with enough time prior to the event to ensure everything will fit, and your pack selection is adequate.

 

Choosing a race date in spring means that the water levels in the rivers are more consistent and reliable, but it is obviously also colder. Teams will be spending some long days on the water, so to ensure safety and comfort, we remind you it is mandatory to have a wetsuit (Frogskin top and bottom acceptable) or a dry suit. These garments will provide insulation and protection from the cold water as well as offering some protection should you fall out during a rapid.

For those competitors that completed Chapter 1, the difficulty of the white water paddling will be easier than the Nymboida. However there are still the usual dangers posed by strainers, that may have fallen since the river was last checked by our safety team. There is also more flat water paddling in Chapter 2 so that should influence not only your gear choice, but the amount of time you contribute to training. 

 

We strongly recommend that all participants take the time to paddle their packrafts prior to the race and build their skills to have a good understanding of paddling in moving water, and when to decide it would be safer to bypass a rapid than to injure your front paddler. 

 

You must stick together when paddling. If you lose sight of your team mates, it may be incredibly difficult to get back upstream fast to see what has happened to them. Water can flow fast and the side of the river may be difficult to traverse. The rules state you need to be within 100m of each other at all times. It would be better to be within talking distance. With this in mind, try and optimise your paddling combinations so that you have evenly matched boat speeds. 

 

We understand that it may be winter and the idea of paddling is not front of mind, but we believe that adventure racers are tough and up for any challenge. If you have the means to practise and build your skills on your own, that's fantastic! However, if you require assistance, we encourage you to reach out to professional organisations that specialise in packrafting. They can provide valuable guidance and training to help you navigate the white water sections with confidence. Please feel free to contact us to be guided in the right direction.

 

Remember, preparation is key to a successful and enjoyable race. Getting familiar with your gear and honing your paddling skills will not only enhance your performance but also ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Talking of packrafts- if any teams are still looking to hire a packraft for the event, the deadline for booking this will be 31th August, 2024.

Bookings can be made on the Thought Sports Page here.

NAVIGATION

 

Holy Shit I didn't realise Rob Preston is the race director! Does this mean the navigation will be more difficult than any other race I have done? 

Well the answer is we don't know what races you have done, so maybe?

 

We can tell you that the navigation component in ExpeditionAR will be challenging- but it will not be an orienteering course. This challenge will come from negotiating terrain, making strategic and route choice decisions and understanding how to interpret map features to move most efficiently through a course. There is no “monkey forest” on the course this year, but the RD did find a section of forest that took over 90 mins to travel 1km. Is that section still in the course? You’ll have to wait until October to find out. 

 

We believe the fact that Rob is the race director should mean that the navigation will be challenging  in the right way. It is after all a key discipline of adventure racing and those who are good at it should be rewarded for the time spent honing their skills.

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FINAL THOUGHTS 

The course is shaping up nicely, the teams are entering and we are set to deliver another epic event like no other in Australia. 

Make sure you go back and read Newsletter one (insert link) there is some good information in there that still applies.

At this stage of the journey, we've observed that it's not uncommon for a few teams to face some challenges. Team captains will be circulating this newsletter to check in on everyone's training and preparation progress. While most teams will be excited and can't wait to get to race day, there may be individuals who admit that their training isn't going quite as planned. Work, family, and other commitments may appear overwhelming going forward.  We want to emphasise that you are not alone in feeling this way. It's a common struggle for many to find a balance between full-time jobs, family responsibilities, training, and maintaining a social life. However, it's worth noting that some of the best and most accomplished adventure racers are the ones with the busiest lives.

 

We encourage you to have open and honest conversations within your team. Share your concerns and challenges, and remember that support and understanding can make a significant difference. Together, you can find creative solutions and strategies to overcome any obstacles that may arise. It's important to remember that the journey towards the ExpeditionAR Chapter 2 is about personal growth, teamwork, and pushing your limits, as much as it is about the race itself. Embrace the adventure and enjoy the process. 

People who begin expedition events well rested often start slowly and finish strongly – that’s the perfect way to conquer ExpeditionAR. As an alternative, if you are a Pure team who is unsure about the magnitude of what lies ahead, why not consider moving to the Pursuit course? This will be just as epic, provide an incredible adventure, is a race in its own right but will be slightly shorter and realistically more achievable. Though we would need to know very soon if this is something you are considering. 

 

It is worth noting that there is nothing wrong with being daunted about what lies ahead. The fact that most of you have been biting at our heels for any bit of information you can get is a good sign you are engaged and looking forward to the challenge. We know the experience will be well worth the early morning sessions through a cold winter, and when you reach the finish line in Bright it will have been worth the sacrifices. 

 

Enjoy your training, prepare well as a team and if there is anything we can help you with in the interim, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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