The five-event Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) Africa Regional Circuit – an annual
series – kicked off the year with an event in the Mnweni area of the Drakensberg at the end
of February. Team Merrell Songlines took the top spot on the podium.
The event offered three course options of 6/12hr, 12/24hr and 24/40hr to cater for
beginners, teams looking to gain experience and for those teams preparing for longer
events later in the year. By the start of the third leg, Team Merrell Songlines was out in
front, having taken the lead from Team Truffle Hunters. With every kilometre, they pulled
away from the rest of the field.
For any event that takes place in the Drakensberg, teams can expect that weather
conditions will change. And they did. The blistering daytime heat gave way to a cracking
thunderstorm with heavy downpour on the Saturday night when several teams were on, or
preparing to get on, the water to kayak across Woodstock Dam.
While teams at the transition area could be held back for safety, French team Les Poulidor
and locals TightAchilles were already out on the water when the storm hit. As the teams
carry SPOT GPS tracking devices, supporters following the live tracking online watched
anxiously as these teams made it to shore and then began walking back to the safety of the
Team Merrell Songlines was already off the water and, with the paddling leg subsequently
cancelled by the raging storm, they were the only team to complete the full 24/40hr course.
This winning team sported a new team member combination with Tim Chambers joining
Kelvin Trautman, John Collins and Tracey Campbell for this event.
“It was lovely to be reunited with the South African Adventure Race community again this
weekend after a few months away from racing. It was also good to clear the race cobwebs
and take the race win. Our navigation was a little rusty and the long treks in the big
mountains definitely tested the early season legs. We also tested a new team combo this
race with Tim Chambers filling in for Lance Kime, who is on an overseas work stint currently.
Tim is a pedigree athlete and champion orienteer so it was real value-add having him join
the team,” the team wrote after the race @teamsonglines.
Team GoBadger won the 12/24hr course and the youthful pair of Team Trevi Mountain
Goats claimed their first place on the 6/12hr course ahead of the four-person team Sleepy
“This was a good start to the new adventure racing season,” says Heidi Muller, Event
Director of Expedition Africa. “The conditions were tough with the unforgiving heat and
challenging hiking legs. I am especially proud of the teenagers who took part.”
From the mountains, Expedition Africa takes teams to the sea with their next event in the
Hermanus – Stanford area of the Western Cape. They are offering discounts to School and
Student teams to entice more youth teams to take part in this event.
Visit www.expafrica.net/expedition-africa-hermanus for event and entry information.
Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) Africa Regional Circuit
RESULTS: Mnweni, 24-26 February 2023
|1. Merrell Songlines|
2. Truffle Hunters
3. Oosrand Skollies
5. WIHLS (pair)
2. Les Poulidor (France)
3. Fran, Diane & 2 Heros
4. Trevi Mountain Goats
|1. Nevarest (pair)|
2. Sleepy Dragons
Event: Expedition Africa – Hermanus
Date: 24-26 March 2023
Location: Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
Course distances: 6/12hr, 12/24hr and 24/40hr
Start times: 24/40hr: Friday, 24 March 2023 at 17h00
6/12hr, 12/24hr: Saturday, 25 March 2023 at 07h00
Team format: pairs and 4s
Live tracking: www.expafrica.live
Schedule of the 2023 ARWS Africa Regional Circuit sponsored by Merrell
24 – 26 Feb 2023: Expedition Africa – Mnweni, Drakensberg expafrica.net – COMPLETED
24 – 26 March 2023: Expedition Africa – Hermanus, Western Cape expafrica.net
21 – 23 April 2023: Mammoth Woodridge AR – Port Elizabeth, Eastern
16 – 18 June 2023: No Frills, No Fuss – Montagu, Western Cape
28 – 30 July 2023: Merrell Transkei Tuff, The Haven, Wild Coast www.aloeadventures.co.za
Africa Regional Championship 2023
16 – 29 October 2023: Expedition Africa 2023, host of the Adventure Racing World