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Adventure Racing World Championship 2005

Dorothy - 26/03/05

On August 11 2004 came the good news that the West Coast of New Zealand would be hosting the 2005 Adventure Racing World Championships. The Queenstown based Southern Traverse Company secured the rights to stage the world championships on the South Island's West Coast for 2005 during the Adventure Racing World Series conference in Newfoundland in August 2004.

Team Kathmandu, winners of the Southern Traverse 2004, trekking in the lush greenland on the West Coast of the Southern Alps
Team Kathmandu, winners of the Southern Traverse 2004, trekking in the lush greenland on the West Coast of the Southern Alps
Photographer: Michael Jacques.

"It is an amazing coup for Southern Traverse," said director Geoff Hunt. "There is intense competition for these events in the adventure racing world and we are delighted to be able to stage the world championships."

Date and sponsorship
The world championships will be held November 11-19 2005 and the West Coast Development Trust is the principal sponsor.

Chief executive Mike Trousselot says the Trust sponsored the 2004 Southern Traverse, on the West Coast in November 2004, and the world event is a logical extension.

"We are delighted to be associated with such a high profile event. Our region will provide a major challenge for contestants who will compete in our diverse alpine terrain, with its stunning lakes and native rainforest."

He says overseas media will converge on the West Coast for the world championships allowing the region to promote its unique scenery and tourism attractions to the international market.

The West Coast attracts 1,000,000 visitors a year and the established tourism infrastructure will provide visiting teams with a wide range of accommodation, activities and services.

West Coast Tourism chief executive Greg Howe is equally excited about the prospect of showcasing the area.

An ideal mountain setting
"The 2004 Southern Traverse set the scene for the international race, and there are few places in the world more exciting than the West Coast of the South Island, to stage a race of the calibre of the adventure racing world championships."

Team Port Nelson on a trek during the Southern Traverse 2004 on the West Coast of the Southern Alps
Team Port Nelson on a trek during the Southern Traverse 2004 on the West Coast of the Southern Alps
Photographer: Jeff McEwan

The West Coast is best known for its famous Southern Alps, its rugged coastline, its wild and scenic rivers and its national and world heritage parks.

"We look forward to people taking the opportunity to come to New Zealand in November this year to find out for themselves exactly what the West Coast is all about," says Mr Howe. "We know they won't be disappointed."

Substantial prizes offered
Geoff Hunt says the support of the West Coast Development Trust is outstanding, and allows substantial prize money to be offered, which will attract teams from all over the world to the West Coast for the world championships.

Southern Traverse's reputation an important factor
Southern Traverse's reputation for staging challenging, professional adventure races in New Zealand was a significant factor in favour of them winning the bid for the world championships.

Team Outward Bound crossing a river during the Southern Traverse 2004
Team Outward Bound crossing a river during the Southern Traverse 2004
Photographer: Jeff McEwan

"We know that we can deliver a first class quality race. We believe that some teams entered the 2004 Southern Traverse to get a taste of what the West Coast is about. It is a superb location and we expect strong interest."

The championship has a prize pool of NZ $100,000 and the winners receive $50,000, 2nd $25,000, 3rd $10,000, 4th and 5th $7,500.

Qualifying criteria
ARWorld Series director Geoff Hunt says there are a number of qualifying criteria for the world event.

"Teams who have placed first in ARWorld Series events automatically have free entry. Second placed teams have priority and a range of other criteria is applied which allows teams to enter."

There are still several events on the world circuit which teams can enter and aim to win free entry, or meet the second place qualifying criteria for the world championships in New Zealand.

They include the Bergson Winter Challenge in Poland, a new race to the series which will be held in March, the Appalachian Extreme in Maine USA in May, the new Wilderness ARC in England and the Terra Incognito in Croatia in September.

"They all offer a great opportunity," says Mr Hunt. "We are impressed with the professionalism surrounding the Poland event and the race in Croatia is established as one of Europe's premier events."

Additionally all the other events in the AR World Series offer different opportunities for teams to qualify as outlined on the AR World Championship website.

West Coast location a drawcard
Intense interest is expected in this year's world championship because it is being staged in New Zealand and particularly the West Coast.

"The West Coast has a fantastic reputation for its tough, often quite daunting terrain and the teams who competed in last year's West Coast Southern Traverse, were blown away by the course and the challenges it threw up."

The World Championship will be based in Westport and the course will cover 500kms with the disciplines still to be decided.

"But we have been investigating caving, abseiling, rope sections, tubing, and rafting as well as biking and trekking."

The first Adventure Racing World Championship was held in Switzerland in 2001 and the second in 2004 in Newfoundland, Canada.

"We believe the third championship will be the best yet," says Mr Hunt. "It's going to be a first class quality race in a superb location."

Teams who have so far qualified automatically for entry after completing ARWorld series races are - Nokia Finland, Cross Sportswear Sweden (Explore Sweden), Salomon Canada, Team Cyanosis South Africa (The Bull of Africa South Africa), Mitsubushi Salomon Quasar Lontra Brazil, Salomon Poavanet Czech AD Team (Eco Motion/Pro Brazil), Team Kathmandu NZ, Team Golite Timberland USA (Southern Traverse NZ), Hooked on the Outdoors USA, Simon River Sports Canada (New Balance Beast of the East USA).

The Adventure Racing World Series is an international circuit of premiere adventure races representing 10 countries creating a 12 month calendar of professional events around the world.

The series events are: Beast of the East-USA, Raid the North Extreme- Canada, EcoMotion Pro - Brazil, Appalachian Extreme - USA, Explore Sweden - Sweden, The Bull of Africa - S.Africa, Terra Incognita - Croatia, Bergson Winter Challenge - Poland, Wilderness ARC - Scotland and Southern Traverse -New Zealand. Adventure Racing World Series events are qualifiers for the Adventure Racing World Championship.

Southern Traverse Ltd is a premier international sports event management company operating elite events around the world, including the Adventure Racing World Championships, the AR World Series and the Southern Traverse.


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