Skip to content

exciting countdown to arwc 2023

By Bev MortimerSt. Francis Chronicle

The biggest adventure race in history, the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) 2023 championship in October, with an anticipated more than a million viewers dot-watching teams traversing vast parts of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, is set to occur in just over two months from mid-August.

A large media contingent, with more than 90 persons, will be following the teams on the ground, making this one of the biggest adventure events here, bringing many visitors and much excitement to the province.

This non-stop two-week event will see teams visiting 70 checkpoints, aka pit-stops, scattered over the Eastern Cape.

The top teams competing in ARWS 2023 – ( secured entries during the worldwide 2022/2023 qualifying rounds across the globe. Here are the best teams from all qualifiers, who have secured their entry to the world championship:

Photo by Enrique Blanco from Spain, accurately captures the ‘gruelling, tough aspects of the race. Blanco will be in South Africa in October for the duration of the ARWS 2023.

The winning team will take 5 days to finish this strenuous, gruelling race while the last team will take an exhaustive 10 days to cross the finish line on 28 October. Teams will cycle, trek, swim, abseil, plus do kayaking, rope work and orienteering to complete the route.
The first team to complete the whole course, with all the control points visited will be declared the winner.

The top teams competing in ARWS 2023 – ( secured entries during the worldwide 2022/2023 qualifying rounds across the globe. Here are the best teams from all qualifiers, who have secured their entry to the world championship:

Enrique Blanco’s photo shows a cyclist struggling across a raging river during an ARWS race.
  • Team Swedish Armed Forces from Sweden
  • 400Team Givaudan from France
  • Team Vidaraid from USA/Spain
  • Team Bend Racing/Skindoctor from USA /Canada
  • Team Endurance from Spain
  • Team Brazil Multisport from Brazil
  • Team Merrell Songlines from South Africa
  • Team Estonian ACE/La Sportiva from Estonia
  • Team Eastwind from Japan
  • Team Endurancelife from the UK
  • Northern Adventure Team from Finland.
    And many more.

  • Interesting facts of the Adventure Racing World Championships:
  • 35 Countries represented.
  • 115 teams
  • 460 competitors
  • 140 women athletes and 320 men athletes.
  • Average age of athletes is 41 years-old.
  • Youngest competitor is 16 years-old and the oldest is 76 years-old.
    Important info about teams:
    Teams consist of 4 members, one member is always of the opposite sex.
    Members must stay together in their teams throughout the race and do whole route together.
    Teams must navigate by map and compass. No gps.
    Teams are not allowed outside assistance or to accept any food etc from supporters.
    Teams must be able to operate in harsh remote environments in all weather conditions.
    Teams travel throughout the day and night. They can decide if, when and where to rest.
    Teamwork and team dynamics are essential. A detailed understanding of your teammates and of your own capabilities is essential.

    The length of the race is not revealed to teams.
    They know leg 1 is trekking, leg 2 cycle etc but they don’t have maps so they don’t know where the route goes.
    The Route is a secret and teams only get maps and route as they reach next stop. Media sign confidentiality agreement.
    The route is revealed in stages to teams as they progress in the race.
    The teams get their current stage maps at each transition.
    The route goes live on a live tracking portal to viewers once the race starts
    The winners are expected to arrive at the festive finish zone on 23 October and the festivities will continue day and night until the last team arrives on 28 October. All are welcome to watch at the finish line arch at the CSF Resort. Family and supporters are welcome to follow them on the live tracking link and to welcome them on the route as they arrive in Cape St Francis. They can be given a hug or High 5 but one is not allowed to give them food or drinks, or carry their backpacks (that is called outside assistance)
    “The teams will need all the support and love after this gruelling event,” Heidi says.
  • Partners with ARWS for this event are: Sarah Baartman Municipality,Kouga Municipality, Merrell, Cape St Francis Resort, Nissan, Spot, Smhart Security, Squirt Cycling Products, Buco – Cape St Francis, Bike Box, Radbag, Stanley, Led Lenser, Coimbra Cycle Centre, Forever Fresh, First Choice, Namaqua Wines, Africanyon, Racefood, St Francis Brewery, St Francis Chronicle, St Francis Links, St Francis Rotary, St Francis Sports events, and Woodlands Dairy.
    If there are any more companies or organisations out there that wish to align their brand to this major event, please contact Heidi at

  • Keep in touch with ‘What’s happening in the ARWS race:
     follow and stay in touch with what is happening in the race, stay tuned to St Francis Chronicle, part of the official international media team, and the official local media appointed for the event, as we will keep locals informed by PR releases, posts on social media and on X (aka Twitter).
  • And those who follow us on to get regular ARWS posts, will receive an email immediately, every time there is a new ARWS post or new NB race info sent to us by race organisers and our fellow media following the teams on site ‘live’.