Updated – August/2023
I. Rules and Regulations
Article 1.2 – Rights and Obligations
Article 1.3 – Race Director
Article 1.4 – Official Language
Article 2.2 – Minimum Age Requirement
Article 2.3 – Team Composition Requirements
Article 2.4 – Captain
Article 2.5 – Nationality
Article 2.6 – Team Name
Article 2.7 – Replacements
Article 2.8 – Assistance
III. Registration Requirements and Equipment
Article 3.2 – Refund Policy
Article 3.3 – Requirements, Certificates and Practical Evaluations
Article 3.4 – Insurance
Article 3.5 – Withdrawal from the Race
Article 3.6 – Mandatory Equipment
Article 3.7 – Tracking
Article 3.8 – Forbidden Equipment
Article 3.9 – Reason for Ineligibility Prior to the Race
IV. Race Development
Article 4.2 – Clothing
Article 4.3 – Separation of Team Members
Article 4.4 – Dragging or Pulling of Team Members
Article 4.5 – Checkpoints (PC)
Article 4.6 – Dark Zones
Article 4.7 – Withdrawal of a Competitor
Article 4.8 – Race Time
Article 4.9 – Penalties
Article 4.10 – Classification and Ranking
V. Safety Rules
Article 5.2 – Assistance Other Teams
Article 5.3 – Safety Equipment
Article 5.4 – Changes in the Race Course
Article 5.5 – Competitor’s Health
VI. Environmental Rules
VII. Penalties and Complaints
I. Rules and Regulations
Patagonian Expedition Race® is an adventure race carried out in a non-stop expedition format through the wild nature of Southern Patagonia, usually also called “The Last Wild Race.” The expedition is completed in mixed teams of four members that must remain together throughout its duration, covering distances greater than 500 km while facing sections of mountaineering, trekking, trail running, mountain biking and kayaking. Fundamental aspects of the race include, but are not limited to, teamwork, orientation skills, sleep management and nutrition, first aid knowledge and race strategy. The race route is revealed 24 hours before the race to all teams at the same time, where teams must complete cut-off times in predefined control points.
The obligations and rights of the participants and the organizers of the Patagonian Expedition Race® will be run according to these rules and regulations and its modifications. The organization reserves the right to modify these regulations at their discretion at any given time and all participants will be informed of such changes before the commencement of the race. The universally valid regulations will be those, signed by the organization and each team member before the race start. Upon registering, competitors accept that any photos taken or filming done during the race may be used for commercial, promotional or advertising purposes in all types of media and others.
The highest authority of the Patagonian Expedition Race® is the Race Director. It will be his sole responsibility to make final decisions on any controversial situation or difficulties of any kind that may arise during the race, in addition to any other race-related matters and/or decisions. The Race Director also has the authority to modify the following: 1) the race route at any time; 2) modify the dark zones, both location and schedule, for climatic conditions or cases of force majeure; 3) terminate the race at any time due to climatic conditions or other reasons under force majeure.
The official language of Patagonian Expedition Race® is Spanish, which is the official language in Chile – the host country. However, being an international sporting event, English has been established as a second language, and hence all documents generated for the competitors and press representatives will be available in both languages, Spanish and English. According to this, all ceremonies or official meetings will be realized in both languages.
Any person related to or working for the Race organizers including spouses, partners and such-like, will not be eligible to enter into this race.
Minimum age to compete is 18 years old.
The teams must be mixed and composed of four members, i.e. at least one male and one female team member. The names of the four-team members must be provided to the organization by the specified date, without prejudice to Article 10 regarding the replacements of one or more members of the team.
A captain must be appointed by each team from one of its members, who will conduct all communication and team decisions prior to and after the event.
One team may include members of one or more nationalities. It is understood that one team represents the country, or group of countries, which correspond to the nationality of its members. In the case of representing a group of countries, the country that corresponds to the team captain will be indicated first. After, the countries corresponding to the nationalities of other team members will be indicated in alphabetical order, except for in the case of teams with members of three different nationalities, in which case preference will be given to the country that has two members in the team.
The official team name must be provided to the organization by specified date. The team name is subject to approval by the Organizers and it and should comply at least with the following points:
- It may include the name of the sponsors
- It must not be longer than four words
- It must not be the name of a website (Exception: Country code domains, such as .CL (Chile), .US (United States), .UK (United Kingdom), etc. will be permitted; however, names including .ORG, .COM, .NET, etc. will not).
One or more members of a team may be replaced up to 48 hours before the start of the race. The substitute(s) must comply with the same requirements as the original member(s) and must have passed all medical and technical tests and anything else required by the organizers. The teams must remain mixed according to Article 06. No replacements will be accepted after the start of the race.
Third party assistance is forbidden. The organizers will provide the necessary assistance for competing teams throughout the race, particularly the transport of equipment and materials to the Checkpoints (PC) for the next stage of the race or transitional areas. Each team is responsible for the transport of their provisions and mandatory equipment.
III. Registration Requirements and Equipment
Teams interested in participating in the Patagonian Expedition Race® must comply fully with the registration procedure:
- Complete the registration form (registration for the 2024 edition will open soon), being sure to fully read and understand all the instructions and policies listed within it.
- Upon clicking SUBMIT, the user will be redirected to Welcu, where he/she MUST pay his/her team’s pre-registration fee of $50.00 USD through an international credit card. The organization will not review a team´s application until payment is finalized.
- An email will be sent to the Team Captain, advising him/her whether their team has been accepted or not, within one month of completing registration, which will be accompanied by a special code and link in order to pay the registration fee should the team be accepted. Should a team not be accepted, there will be NO refund of the pre-registration fee.
- Once accepted, each team must pay at least 50% of the total registration fee, depending on the current stage of registration, within 15 days of receiving the registration code and link. If a team fails to pay within 15 days, their spot is not guaranteed and could be given to another team.
- All teams should note that payment of the second 50% should be made within the same payment period, which can be found on the registration page. If a team fails to pay the second 50% within the same payment period, the team must pay the difference in the total price, which will depend on the current payment period.
- The team can either elect to receive, within 30 days of notification, a refund of 50% of the total payment paid. Meaning, should a team have paid 50% of the total registration and then be unable to participate, the team could be refunded 25% of the 50% paid.
- The team could also elect to credit 100% of the total paid towards the next edition. There would be no refund given, but, should a team choose neither to participate nor a 50% refund, it would only be available for the next edition. Should a team only have paid 50% to guarantee their team’s spot in the race, the same rule would apply, meaning the entire amount would be credited towards the next edition.
- Should a team withdrawal from the race after the specified date there will be no refund given. A team has the option of finding a replacement member for their team, dependent upon still fulfilling the aforementioned team requirements; however, should the team be unable to acquire a replacement, 75% of the previously paid total will be credited towards the next edition. If not used for the next edition, it will be lost.
- All competitors must have the physical and health conditions which correspond to the demands of this race. An accretive medical certificate, issued by a qualified physician, must be submitted. Certificate must be not older than 6 months. Teams that have participated in previous editions cannot use their previous certificates.
- All competitors must be able to swim. Registration in this race implies that the competitor can do so.
- All competitors must have knowledge and experience in sea kayaking, and at least one of the team members must present a certificate issued by a qualified instructor, school or institution.
- All competitors must have certified knowledge, meaning issued certificate, and experience with handling ropes, including crossing rivers, rappel techniques, fixed rope ascending with mechanical ascenders.
- At least one member of each team must have knowledge and experience in orienteering, reading maps of any scale, UTM grid system, compass (including declination) and expertise in triangulation techniques.
- At least one member of each team must possess first-aid knowledge for which a certificate, issued by a recognized institution, must be submitted.
- All team members must pass the practical evaluations in specific techniques during the days before the race starts (example: rescue techniques for sea kayaks and rope work).
All competitors must have international health insurance with full medical and hospital coverage in Chile in the event of an accident. Each competitor must provide the organization with a digital copy of these documents no later than specified date.
Should a team withdrawal from the race after specified date there will be no refund given. A team has the option of finding a replacement member for their team, dependent upon still fulfilling the aforementioned team requirements; however, should the team be unable to acquire a replacement, 75% of the previously paid total will be credited towards the next edition. If not used for the next edition, it will be lost.
Teams must have the mandatory equipment which is listed in detail in the corresponding section of the official website of the Patagonian Expedition Race®. Additions to the list can be made by the organization until one month before the race. The mandatory equipment must be carried by the competitors throughout the race and can be checked at any given time. The Race Jersey provided by the organization is part of the permanently mandatory equipment.
The organization will require a team to use a tracking device, such as InReach, Spot, etc, for organizational purposes, both at any time and for any specified duration of time, along any part of the course. Should a team wish to use a form of tracking not already approved by the race, they must request its acceptance into the race from the organization BEFORE the race’s start. All Tracking devices entered into the race by the teams will be subject to revision, and must not include any features cited in the forbidden equipment.
The following is prohibited:
- The use of GPS (Global Positioning System).
- The use of any maps other than those provided by the organization.
- The possession of any weapon with the exception of the mandatory knife.
- The use of night vision devices
- Any means of transportation not authorized by the organization for the corresponding section.
- The use of any communication equipment not authorized by the organization. This includes using permitted equipment, such as the mandatory iridium satellite phone, which is ONLY to be used to contact the organization for cases of emergency or assistance (See Article 30), to perform personal calls and / or external communication.
- For both security reasons and to maintain a fair and level playing field, the Pack Raft or other similar inflatable devices are prohibited.
- The use of sails or any other form of propulsion other than paddles is strictly prohibited.
- Making a fire of any kind along race route or during duration of the expedition. It is both forbidden and illegal in the race’s region, and therefore, against the expedition’s rules to create fire of any kind.
- Making a fire DOES NOT include the use of gas stoves for cooking; however, any type of gasoline or benzene is prohibited for use of any kind, including for cooking purposes as well.
Reasons for disqualification before the start of the race:
- The team does not have all the mandatory equipment listed.
- The team has not provided all the previous experience and certificates that certify their technical expertise and state of health compatible with the physical demands of this type of race.
- That one or more of the team members fails to present the practical evaluation of specific disciplines, such as sea kayaking and ropes.
- That one or more members of the team do not present the insurance required in article 15 of present regulations.
- That one or more members of the team do not sign the Disclaimer / Waiver of Liability.
IV. Race Development
The competitors must have with them, at all times, an official document bearing their photo and name, verifying their identity. This can be checked at any time.
Each team must wear uniform clothing; the race badges, including their corresponding race number, must be permanent and visibly displayed in the positions as indicated by the organization. If a competitor is seen without matching clothing or the race jersey during the race, his or her team could be penalized.
Members of each team must stay together during the race. The first and last member cannot be separated by more than one hundred (100) meters.
Members of a team are permitted to push, pull or drag each other.
Throughout the race there will be checkpoints (PC). The teams must go through these checkpoints in the mandatory sequence. If a team misses a checkpoint, they cannot check in at the following and must return to the missed checkpoints following the mandatory sequence. All team members must pass through each PC together. A team’s race passport will be officially stamped at each PC. The race passport will be given to the team captain before the start of the race and in it will be registered the dates and hours of arrival or departure from each PC. The passport must be returned to the race organization at the finish.
Dark zones (DZ) are described as the section of the race course, which will be designated by the organizers, where the teams cannot advance during the night. Within the dark zones, the official race time will not be paused / stopped, and will continue to be counted toward the team’s final time. Both the organization and the Armada de Chile will decide the dark zones, as teams, for example, cannot enter the water between 20:00 hrs. and 06:00 hrs. Therefore, teams will have to have already entered the water within the calculated time to complete a kayak section to safely exit the water BEFORE the dark zone hours BEGIN. To provide an example, if the kayak section is projected to take three hours to complete, the team will have to have entered the kayaks before 19:00 hrs. to be out of the water before 20:00 hrs. The organizers can extend a dark zone to include daylight hours if the climatic conditions are potentially dangerous for the competitors.
If, for any reason, a member of a team cannot continue competing, the rest of the members must abandon the race and remain together.
Organizers will start a chronometer at the start of the race and will stop at the time and date established for the official ending of the race. Time will be recorded in hours, minutes and seconds. The team’s final time will be that of the slowest member plus any extra time added for penalties.
In the event that a team is penalized with extra time, according to the rules, this time will be added on at the end of the race unless the Race Director decides that the penalty time should be carried out at a PC, which will be specified at the time.
The team that crosses the finish line in the least amount of time will win the race, taking into consideration the additional time for penalties, and as long as they have passed through all the PCs in mandatory sequence. Teams will be ranked according to the time taken to finish the race. If a team doesn’t finish the race before the official ending time, the last PC time will be used instead, taking into consideration any additional time for penalties.
V. Safety Rules
Each team must carry at all times a satellite telephone, and in addition to the maritime sections, two-emergency VHF radios (Channels 12, 14, and 16 (International Emergency Marine Channel)). The equipment is to be used ONLY for the following reasons:
- To contact the organizers if there is any danger to a team member’s health or life.
- If any team member requires assistance of any kind.
- If any hazardous or dangerous material, either man-made or that occurred naturally by nature, is present on the route.
- Any other emergency-related reason.
Any communication outside the scope of the expedition and its organizers is strictly PROHIBITED, and will result in immediate disqualification.
Teams must, at all times, assist any other team in need of help. The assisting team, according to the delay suffered, can request time bonuses.
The competitors must use the safety elements indicated for each discipline on the official list of mandatory equipment. For example, in mountain biking, helmets must be worn and bikes must be equipped with a white light in front and a red light in the back; in kayaking, dry suits and life jackets must be worn; for ropes, a helmet and gloves must be worn. All the safety equipment must comply with the technical specifications stated on the official list of mandatory equipment.
The organizers have the right to suspend race-sections or modify the route at any given moment for safety reasons.
A competitor’s participation in the race is related to his/her physical fitness and health. Each competitor is responsible for his/her own safety and health which requires him/her to evaluate whether or not (s)he is in good enough physical condition to continue the race. On the other hand, if the Race Director or official race doctor decides that a competitor is unfit to continue, the team will be ineligible to continuing the race. This decision cannot be appealed.
VI. Environmental Rules
Campfires are strictly forbidden at any time for any and all reasons, and will result in immediate disqualification.
It is forbidden to litter or leave equipment on the race route. All inorganic and if possible, also the organic waste must be carried by the teams and left at the PCs.
Any action causing harm to the flora and fauna is strictly forbidden.
VII. Penalties and Complaints
Teams may be penalized or disqualified if:
- A member of the team abandons the race for any reason whatsoever.
- The team uses ANY form of GPS.
- The team uses any communication devices not included in the Patagonian Expedition Race®’s Mandatory Equipment List or has any external communication / assistance.
- There is a separation at any time during the race of more than 100 meters between the first and the last team member.
- Teams will be penalized for failing to wear the official race jersey as the outermost piece of clothing.
- The team uses or is in possession of any forbidden element (Article 19).
- A member of the team is aggressive or verbally abusive towards members of his own team, other teams, the organizers or third parties.
- The team makes a fire.
- The team leaves any materials, garbage or inorganic waste along the course.
- The team harms the flora or fauna.
- The team requires assistance from the organizers or any third party for one or more of its members.
- One or more members of the team cannot produce his identification when checked by an organizer.
- The team does not have the mandatory equipment unless the Race Director deems that the missing element is not indispensable for the team’s safety, in which case the team will receive a time penalty.
- The team does not assist another team in distress.
- The team uses sails or any other form of propulsion other than paddles for the kayak section.
- The team does not follow the instructions indicated in any of the official race documents.
- Any member of a team acts against the spirit of the event.
The organizers can implement a doping control system. If required, all competitors shall submit to doping control by the organizer’s medical team. If one or more members of a team refuse to be tested, the team will be disqualified. Should drugs or prohibited substances (according to the World Anti-Doping Authority list) be detected, his or her team will be disqualified, and the competitor will not be able to participate in future PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACES®.
Other violations of race rules and principles not contained in the previous articles can be penalized with additional time.
Only the team captain can make complaints about any decisions made or procedures followed by organizers and collaborators of the race. Complaints must be in written-form, and can be presented up to one hour after the official finish time of the race. The Race Director will resolve them.