17th November 2015
AFTER 2-YEAR HIATUS, PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE IS
BACK WITH A STRONG FIELD OF RETURNING COMPETITORS
PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE (November 17, 2015) — After a hiatus marking the end of a 10-year competition cycle (2004 – 2013), the Patagonian Expedition Race is making a comeback in February 2016. In this 12th edition of what the BBC deemed “The World’s Last Wild Race,” 21 international teams of four will trek, kayak and mountain bike across hundreds of kilometers of previously unexplored territory. With a simple map and compass, racers will navigate through one of the most iconic places on this planet.
In the past, racers have found themselves traversing the Southern Continental Ice Field, the Strait of Magellan, Torres del Paine, Tierra del Fuego and the Beagle Channel. This February, participants should expect to see dramatic landscapes, from steppes to the exhilarating stretches of the fjords. In keeping with the race’s tradition and adventurous spirit, routes are only revealed 24 hours before the start time.
Race director Stjepan Pavicic, a visionary who left his profession as geologist to create the expedition race in 2004, is not giving anything away about the new course. He promises, though, that the route will be just as challenging as the previous editions. “Patagonian Expedition Race 2016 will be another monster race that carries the same wild spirits throughout the past 11 editions,” he said. “We are eager to see how the racers will perform in the new course, whether with new strategies or simply with strong determination to win or complete. It’s going to be a tough fight!”
Pavicic is particularly excited about the strong group of teams coming back to defend their titles. The 2016 race will see the return of defending champion British team Team Adidas TERREX, led by Nick Gracie, who will race in pursuit of their 6th consecutive win. The team captain of Japanese contender East Wind, Masato Tanaka, is calm in the face of his upcoming challenge. “I don’t feel any pressure,” he said, “The goal is to win in 2016!” East Wind has moved steadily up the rankings from a 7th place finish in 2010 to a 2nd place podium spot in 2012 and 2013. They will go head to head with American team Yoga Slackers, captained by Jason Magness. Yoga Slackers finished 3rd in 2010, 2nd in 2011 and 3rd in both the 2012 and 2013 editions. “We are happy to make a comeback and to see the return of the racers who have waited a long time for The Last Wild Race,” Pavicic said. “It is like a reunion of a big, wild family.”
These three veteran teams will vie for places against a total field of 21, making the 2016 race the largest ever competition. More than twenty experienced competitors are returning to Patagonia, some racers with years of experience. Mark Humphrey of Team Adidas TERREX, for instance, is chasing his record smashing 5th personal win. Masato Tanaka, Yoki Tanaka, Jason Magness, and Chelsea Magness will also be competing for a record 5th time. With 84 participants representing 12 different nations, the Patagonian Expedition Race brings together some of the strongest competitors in world adventure racing. The official list of competing teams is:
About the Patagonian Expedition Race: An intense, multi-sport competition aiming to raise awareness for the region’s environmental concerns, as well as to promote eco-tourism. Since Stjepan Pavicic created the race in 2004, competitors from more than 30 countries have participated. In each edition, adventure race teams bike, climb, trek, and kayak through the spectacularly diverse terrain of Chilean Patagonia. Past courses have included crossing glaciers, plains, mountains, rivers, fjords, forests, swamps and lakes. The varied geography, combined with the region’s highly volatile weather, makes the Patagonian Expedition Race one of the toughest adventure races in the world.
International Press Distinctions:
National Geographic: One of the “Ten Great Races in Amazing Places”
The Telegraph: “World’s Wildest Race”
The New York Times: “One of the World’s Toughest Sporting Contests”
The BBC: “World’s Last Wild Race”
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