With Chile celebrating its bicentenary, the 2010 race route was designed to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers who discovered routes through the region many years before. Race organizer Stjepan Pavicic came up with the most southerly course in adventure racing history – but reigning champions Helly Hansen-Prunesco still managed to become the first team to ever defend the title.
“The 2010 race was one of spectacular contrasts,” said Pavicic. “It took competitors from the incredible flat plains of central Chilean Tierra del Fuego to the brutal and rugged peaks of the Darwin Range and the frothing waters of the Beagle Channel. It proved to be a good test for a strong group of competitors.
“We are proud of our history, and it was fantastic to enable the competitors to visit some of the legendary places that are not really yet on the tourist routes. The Darwin Range, for instance, is an incredible wilderness – and it is so unexplored we had to name some of the valleys on the route specifically for the race!”
Starting from the shores of the Strait of Magellan, 14 international teams from the UK, Japan, USA, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Scandinavia and Spain followed a combination of mountain bike routes and treks south on wide open plains past the island’s scattered estancias, alongside expansive flamingo-filled salt lakes and into rolling hills.
They travelled through the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Karukinka Reserve and into the Darwin Range, where they enjoyed an otherwise impossible glimpse of the remote virgin wilderness and also saw first hand the devastation being caused by the Beaver infestation in the region that the race is run to race to raise awareness of and help eradicate.
The final test, a paddle across the legendary Beagle Channel, took them to one of the most famous regions visited by Charles Darwin, Wulaia Bay, before a trek up to the finish line on a headland at the top of Isla Navarino, the gateway to Cape Horn and the Antarctica Peninsula.
Explore & Discover
The WENGER PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE log is full with great adventures and unforgettable experiences that have marked the lives of not only racers, but the staff and the press as well. During the expedition races, we have discovered and explored one of the most untouched and isolated places in this world: Southern Chilean Patagonia, in the southern most end of South America. With eight consecutive editions we have covered over 5000 kilometers in race routes. However, what is fundamental in the WENGER PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE is not the distance, but the direct contact with wild nature that sets obstacles and day after day amazes us with fauna, magical landscapes and above all unpredictable weather. Athletes from over 25 countries have already taken part in this life time experience called the WENGER PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE, including USA, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, Turkey, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile.