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Discussion: Expedicion Guarani

in: Adventure Racing; News

Mar 6, 2017 3:09 PM # 
In case you're still hungry for more AR action after GODZone, the second (first?) race in the 2017 ARWS series, Expedicion Guarani, started this morning in Paraguay.

Live-tracking here:
Mar 6, 2017 5:23 PM # 
I'm in! Allez, Allez, Allez!
Mar 6, 2017 7:52 PM # 
First trek underway and already (before the first CP) a few lead teams have made mistakes and backtracked. Going to be an interesting nav section with so much flat terrain.
Mar 6, 2017 8:02 PM # 
Any Attackpointers or other racers we might know? I see Cyanosis is racing and Columbia Vidaraid includes Nick Gracie and Sarah Fairmaid this time.
Mar 6, 2017 8:33 PM # 
Sleepmonsters posted the route book in English as a series of photos on their Facebook page. I can't see an easy way to link directly to the group of photos though.
Mar 6, 2017 9:46 PM # 
Those are the only english route book images I've seen. For the racers see: ... Tecnu is not racing due to injuries.
Mar 6, 2017 9:50 PM # 
The navigation is madness right now as it gets dark in Paraguay. Several teams have completely bypassed CP3...expect them to turn around and go in circles any moment. Of the teams looking for CP4 already, few are doing well...they appear to know they are nearby and beginning to reorient, but how long before there are tracks going in circles at this CP too?
Mar 6, 2017 10:41 PM # 
Screenshots of the route book.
Mar 7, 2017 1:04 AM # 
Columbia, my race favorites along with Cyanosis, really seem to have struggled early on in this trek.

Anyone figure out whether we can see breadcrumbs? Would love to see what teams have done thus far! Will go look again, but so far, no luck.

And looks like Cyanosis really nailed things so far!
Mar 7, 2017 1:04 AM # 
Ignore. Third time is the charm, and Immediately sorted out the track function...I think...
Mar 7, 2017 2:46 AM # 
Maps look tough to work with but fun. Assuming the images on facebook are the actual maps, combo of terrain, satellite and GPS. Imagine this could be maddening at night. Poor Columbia got hung up on a road that doesn't appear on the map but shows up on the online mapping function. And now they are looking for what I believe is a "vegetation boundary" using a satellite the the wrong vegetation...And Cyanosis keeps on rocking! They're going to have a good lead in the bank early in the race and a potentially massive one relatively speaking on Columbia.
Mar 7, 2017 4:35 AM # 
Anyone see how to find the scale for the tracking map?
Mar 7, 2017 1:39 PM # 
Nope, but it will be fun watching Columbia move now that they are out of that trek. At one point they were only ahead of four teams. Now they are up to 8th and closing in on more teams. More than seven hours back at TA2. Will they shave time off the leaders? And the Spanish team, Euskat made some nice moves to close with Cyanosis. Already more fun and movement than in Godzone;)
Mar 7, 2017 2:29 PM # 
Euskat now shown ahead of Cyanosis just prior to the TA. Vidaraid into 5th.
Mar 7, 2017 3:01 PM # 
And now 4th...
Mar 7, 2017 3:04 PM # 
Seems like extremely tricky nav. Think they're missing the kayaks? At least they were on a river then and couldn't really get lost...

With nav this tough, you gotta believe Columbia is definitely still in the game. Mistakes up front could bring them right back into it.
Mar 7, 2017 4:39 PM # 
For sure, will be interesting to see if this next trek is as tough as the first one.

As for nav: Nick Gracie is a very capable navigator, but he doesn't normally do lead nav. So if the lead teams nail the nav like they did last night, it might be very hard for Columbia to make up that ground. I think they need to eat away some time on this next leg which is the last trek and get themselves closer. After that it's biking and paddling to the finish. Looks like Columbia will finish the bike leg somewhere between 6 and 7 hours back. That's a lot of time to make up at the pointy end unless both lead teams run into significant issues.

I'm rooting for Columbia to make it interesting, though it would be impressive for either of the top two teams to take the win!
Mar 7, 2017 4:53 PM # 
Unable to access social media at work. On the maps, any indication of what the dotted line is that more or less parallels the next trek to the south? I'm assuming from the map that it is a boundary line?
Mar 7, 2017 6:31 PM # 
Looking at the same area in Google Maps suggests that the dotted lines are boundaries between "departamentos":
Mar 7, 2017 7:51 PM # 
Euskat's tracker hasn't updated in over an hour. I'm guessing they are right with Cyanosis still.
Mar 7, 2017 10:38 PM # 
Well, Columbia shaved off 2-3 hours on the bike!...but they seem to be throwing it away again on the trek...
Mar 7, 2017 10:40 PM # 
I think they took the long way around for some practical reason...maybe stay on the roads for a easy run instead of bushwhacking? Maybe feet are mashed? Maybe they know the feet are going to be mashed soon enough and protecting them with a little diversion? And, they are still 7 hours behind Cyanosis based on their TA checkin times. LOTS of catching up to do if that's their ambition.
Mar 7, 2017 11:48 PM # 
Conman, maybe I'm missing something? On the leaderboard (CP tab on the tracking map) it looks like Columbia was 4.5 hours behind the leaders, compared to 7/7+ earlier. So, they cut into the lead a fair bit, I think? And I think I saw the RDs reference this on facebook as well. I THINK they are moving up, and yes, I agree, looks like they did their little wander on purpose and then moved away from the team they were "passed" by.
Mar 8, 2017 12:19 AM # 
You are right, broots. The leaderboard jumps around while you are looking at it and I thought Columbia was San Juan Aventura, b/c I couldn't see the team names at the same time as the time stamps.
Mar 8, 2017 6:43 AM # 
Us South Africans are keeping a close eye on this race, more especially because Cyanosis are now way out in front. Nicholas Mulder is an excellent navigator, and his class and experience has shown on this race with flawless navigation so far. All other teams (including Columbia) are doing a few circles out there... the Cyanosis facebook page is keeping the feed going
Mar 8, 2017 1:36 PM # 
I know Cyanosis is a good team, but this is an impressive showing! briangardner, have they won an ARWS race before? I know they are usually at the top of the heap.

Considering the nightmare other teams are having with this nav (and it seems like many are struggling even with daylight) it's that much more impressive.

Columbia is slipping again. Looks like four teams have made it through CP28 ahead of them with 2-3 more potentially "ahead" now. Not looking like they are going to pull off a comeback this race. Though there should be a good battle for the rest of the podium.

According to the replay, Cyanosis was around CP28 approximately 14 hours ago. So massive lead on everyone since everyone is basically there or further behind. Euskat is a bit further along, but still a double-digit lead. And considering that Cyanosis is that far ahead and still not through with the trek, it seems very likely that everyone else will have to deal with more darkness before reaching TA. It's already 130PM local time...
Mar 8, 2017 2:13 PM # 
The CP section of the leader board has updated Euskat at exactly 10 hours behind Cyanosis at CP30 (although map doesnt quite have them there yet), that means that they have lost about 8.5 hours between CP24 and 30. The mess of paths going on at CP 27 and 28 is something else!

Nick on Cyanosis is a silver medalist at World Rogaine Champs in 2010, and multiple time national orienteering champion.
Mar 8, 2017 3:15 PM # 
This is exciting! Go Cyanosis!
Mar 8, 2017 3:22 PM # 
Ughhh....Columbia still doesn't seem to have made their way into CP28.

Carnage...It will be interesting to hear reports. Was this nav "fair"? Hard to argue it's not when Cyanosis has handled it so well. But man, it looks really tough considering the routes everyone is taking.
Mar 8, 2017 3:41 PM # 
Are the actual maps they're using available anywhere?
Mar 8, 2017 3:50 PM # 
On facebook, they post images of what I THINK the racers are getting. I know the maps down there aren't great. It looks like the race maps are hybrids between topo and satellite. They look like they could be challenging, but not quite as challenging as what we are seeing in real time!
Mar 8, 2017 3:51 PM # 
And two teams look to have slipped by Euskat!
Mar 8, 2017 4:23 PM # 
One of those teams looks to be in the Adventure class though...
Mar 8, 2017 4:49 PM # 
Final thought and then I really need to grade some outlines...

RDs said they estimated 17 hours for this trek. 40 hours for the slow teams. Based on the TA3 times: Cyanosis has already been at it for 20ish+ hours. Seems like they have put on at least 10 hours on others. The next batch of teams might be somewhere around 32-35 hours for this leg. How long will it take the back-pack teams?!
Mar 8, 2017 4:57 PM # 
Racer maps of the big trekking leg (Stage 4) are here:
Map 1
Map 2
Map 3
Mar 8, 2017 5:10 PM # 
At least they're on foot and not in packrafts (this time).
Mar 8, 2017 6:54 PM # 
Someone noted earlier that a team had made it to a checkpoint on the leaderboard without having made it quite yet on the map.

Looking at it now, I"m almost positive CP30 on the leaderboard correlates with CP 29 on the tracking map. Don't know if all of the CPs are one off or just this one...
Mar 8, 2017 8:30 PM # 
Time between arrivals at TA3 and TA 4 for Cyanosis: <29 hours. Includes TA3 transition (I think).

12 hours over the expected fast time.

With relatively flawless navigation.

Oh boy...
Mar 8, 2017 9:02 PM # 
Sunset in Paraguay according to google is at 715.

According to the trackers, it's 8:45 PM "UTC" Google says it's 6PM, which seems more accurate to me.

So, 1.5 hours until dark. It took Cyanosis roughly 10-11 hours to get in from the location of the second place team. Long night ahead...Cyanosis could be close to done with the bike before anyone else is ready to ride!

I'm betting that most teams will collapse at TA4 and sleep for a while!!
Mar 8, 2017 10:03 PM # 
Meanwhile, back in the mangroves...
Mar 8, 2017 10:19 PM # 
Did NATURKOMPANIET POINEERS just quit? Or are they just trying to get out of the jungle? Maybe they're sneaking ahead to the Stage 5 bike leg!
Mar 9, 2017 12:03 AM # 
#12 NATURKOMPANIET POINEERS and #11 URBAN TEAM are now listed as Expedition Short Course on the leaderboard. They needed to make it to TA3 by 0400 on Wednesday, according to the route book here:
Mar 9, 2017 12:58 AM # 
Cyanosis on the move with perhaps 2 or so hours of sleep. Their tracker danced around a fair bit while in TA, so not clear whether they were sleeping or exploring town, but they were there for a bit. Next teams are roughly 8-9 hours out based on Cyanosis' tracker, but it's dark, and it seemed like Cyanosis moved slower through these last few CPs.
Mar 9, 2017 1:24 AM # 
Short video on facebook of Cyanosis trekking up for the final point. Looks like one of the team was a bit low, needing some help and struggling. Might explain why they seemed to slow.

Considering the heat and the fact that most teams are going to be out for at least two nights and probably at least 35-40 hours, it's going to be ugly in that TA. I wonder how much extra food teams are able to find along the various access roads and trails that line this section. Hope they are meeting nice locals because I don't think anyone is going to have enough food!!
Mar 9, 2017 3:17 AM # 
I'm getting the sense that the beginning of the "bike" doesn't have much biking. Cyanosis is moving so slowly out of town! I'm sure some jungle hike-a-bike is just want they want to be doing right now!
Mar 9, 2017 4:55 AM # 
This looks so brutal. I hope they're having at least some fun...
Mar 9, 2017 6:33 AM # 
Most certainly a brutal race! Cyanosis have never won an ARWS race outside south africa. I think they won one of the first Expedition Africa's, but not too sure actually. Will need to check that! This would be the first South African team to win an ARWS outside of Expedition Africa, if they pull it off, and I'm not betting against that now! Merrell Adventure Addicts have 2 x 2nd places at Aussie XPD, but that is closest an SA team has come to an international (outside SA) ARWS win. Nic Mulder is an excellent navigator (multiple SA orienteering champ and podiums at world Rogaine champs), but have never shown off his skill at an international ARWS quite like he has here! GO CYANOSIS!!
Mar 9, 2017 1:22 PM # 
Looking at some of the race photos and videos, it's clear why the nav is such an issue. You can't see where you're headed! The foliage is mostly over head-height and the topography is pretty vague, plus it doesn't look like there is a clear path, so even in the day I guess I'd be moving on a bearing from point to point trying to find catching features. And at night???

Please could some of you team navs on here share how you would approach this?
Mar 9, 2017 1:52 PM # 
Leaderboard has updated to show Trangoworld in second place, almost 17 hours behind Cyanosis based on time clocking into TA4. I'm guessing they'll head out soonest to take advantage of remaining daylight and try and cement their second place, sleeping by the roadside after sunset. Unless they're so broken they'll just sleep in daylight anyway. It would be a hard decision, because they hiked for 40 hours! Brutal.

Meanwhile, Cyanosis seem to be about 75% through the cycling stage to TA5, moving steadily.
Mar 9, 2017 2:16 PM # 
So the top 10 standings at the moment seem to be:
1. Cyanosis
Big gap
2. Trango (17hrs back from Cyanosis)
3. Nossa Vida (30mins back from Trango)
4. Euskat (still out there but not far back)
5. Columbia (ditto)
6,7,8 three teams together namely San Juan, Ansilta and Sportotal
9. Tubaina
10. Uruguay Natural

The remaining teams are fairly spread out all the way back to CP33. So they'll still be out there tonight.

Current "Lanterne Rouge" team Expy actually clocked into TA3 before Trango. So Trango did extremely well. From CP30 to TA4, times so far were 17hrs (Cyanosis), 22hrs(Trango) and 21hrs(Nossa) so it's probably fair to say that Expy are going to be out there for another 20hrs+. Which would make the whole stage close on 48 hours for them.
Mar 9, 2017 2:18 PM # 
I completely understand Nick's approach with Columbia. Walking on a bearing is virtually impossible in that vegetation w/o a machete. The trick is keeping track of where the little trail you are following is taking you and how fast you're moving on it.
Mar 9, 2017 2:41 PM # 
Have Columbia given up? looks like they have skipped Cp 36 and are looking to skip 38?
Mar 9, 2017 2:45 PM # 
I do wonder, however, if things were not as thick as you might expect: featureless, yes.

I wonder because Cyanosis nailed the section, more often than not by straight-lining. not literally, but their route suggests they did plenty of direct attacks unlike many other teams, including Columbia who tried to be much safer and use the roads and trails. Also, the short video of them heading to the last CP suggests that at least at times the underbrush wasn't that bad. I'm sure that it was horrible in places, but Cyanosis really seems to have nailed this section as an orienteer might: i.e often shortening distances and knowing exactly where they were. It seems that other teams who went around more still had plenty of struggles with their attackpoints...

It's a great question: how to attack it. When you look at the maps, it doesn't SEEM to be nearly as hard as it clearly was. Doesn't look easy due to the nature of the maps, but I am shocked at how hard it seems to have been for a lot of great teams and navigators.

If it was me, I'd probably do as much straight-lining and pace counting as I could. Bear off a fair bit and pick up trails and roads. Not worry too much about spiking every landmark because I suspect that would be nearly impossible. Just get myself onto the roads and trails.

This said, I have a feeling there might be a load of additional trails and paths out there which very well might be what is killing teams and disorienting them so much. So, easier said than done. But yeah, I suspect Cyanosis was pace-counting all day long!!!
Mar 9, 2017 3:12 PM # 
16 RAIDARAN-TRANGOWORLD are on teh move, 3 NOSSA VIDA not far behind
Mar 9, 2017 3:18 PM # 
Thanks Broots. Next time I find myself in the bush without a clue, I'll whip out the ole compass, take a bearing and start counting steps! That will probably be in May at EA!

@thenjdk: I suspect you're right - leaderboard shows Columbia checked into TA with at least CP36 missing.
Mar 9, 2017 3:36 PM # 
I suspect the leader board is just using a geofence rather than actual check in times (hence teams "checking in" and seeming to be some distance still on teh map. They seem to be circling back to get CP38 now.
Mar 9, 2017 3:42 PM # 
Also, i ran the playback, and Columbia's tracker froze just north of the CP36 for about 2 hours and the jumped to some distance ahead of it. They either slept a little and then forgot the checkpoint after they woke up, or their tracker went on the fritz. I hope its the later.
Mar 9, 2017 3:50 PM # 
Oh you're right, they were just taking the longer, safer approach on paths. Glad they're still in the race.
Mar 9, 2017 6:18 PM # 
The nav question reminds me of Pantanal. I actually get the impression Pantanal may have been more difficult in that they didn't have satellite, and I THINK it was literally flat. There actually appears to be some clear terrain in this trek.

JayXC can probably confirm or tell me I'm wrong.

Point is: I seem to remember a certain stud navigator on a certain team from New Zealand talking about just following bearings and keeping track of distances and known features. Feels like the same thing here where one team just goes for it and nails it while the others really struggle.
Mar 9, 2017 11:20 PM # 
2 hours ago on facebook:
"There are just over 12 hours to reach the second cut of the race, located in the ta5."

Columbia is 9ish hours away based on Cyanosis' time. They may be the last team in line to make the cutoff. And not much wiggle room...and they have to deal with darkness and sleepmonsters. I suppose that team 10 may also have a shot. Could get interesting for Columbia!
Mar 10, 2017 7:43 AM # 
Looks about 90 mins left for cutoff, Columbia and Sportotal are in, as are Nossa Vida who are already on the paddle. Raidaran Are going to be on the bubble
Mar 10, 2017 9:33 AM # 
Raidaran made it, one of only 6 teams that made the cut. The rest are now short-coursed. This includes the likes of Euskat who were leading the race briefly, San Juan and Tubaina.
Currently 4 teams at TA5: Columbia, Raidaran Trango, Ansilta and Sportotal.
Nossa is a fair way up the river already, looks like they've won the battle with Trango for 2nd place. They put in a fast biking leg of 14 hours (Cyanosis was 20) to pull ahead. Currently about 11 hours behind Cyanosis.
Go Cyanosis!
Mar 10, 2017 9:47 AM # 
Getting back to the nav question - Columbia's fail-safe "brute-force" approach of heading out to dependable trails and then only going back into the forest for CP's managed to get the job done under desperate circumstances. So here they still are, with a very viable shot at the podium.

Granted, that method was definitely nowhere near as optimal as Cyanosis, but it works when all else fails. And the team feels better because they are on actual paths.

To do what Nic Mulder did (assuming he worked on dead reckoning) you (and the team) have got to have so much confidence in your own ability. Which they clearly do, and rightly so. Broots you're right, it's reminiscent of Chris Forne in Brazil a few years back.
Mar 10, 2017 1:03 PM # 
Cyanosis have checked into the final TA after 20 hours of paddling.
Now it's just the final bike stage left for them.
Mar 10, 2017 1:57 PM # 
So, what is happening with Columbia? Any facebook updates?

They came in tied for third and ahead of 4th and 5th by no more than an hour...yet their tracker is still in TA and is updating there...

Are they dropping out? Are they just wiped and sleeping? Did they continue on without their tracker? I understand sleeping and letting the other go a bit, but 3rd place is now 6+ hours ahead of them.

Unless they are dropping, this feels like a forgotten tracker?
Mar 10, 2017 2:44 PM # 
@broots- Relative to Brazil, the leg 6 and leg 7 areas were relatively wide open which did enable you to just follow bearings. For the deep jungle sections similar to the locations for all of the controls on the trek Cyanosis crushed yesterday it was nearly impossible to do that (hours/km). Very impressed with Nic.
Mar 10, 2017 3:58 PM # 
Just posted on Sleepmonsters' facebook page:

"Columbia Vidaraid have clearly decided to retire, as they are being driven back to the finish line. This race has certainly been a tough one for them, and no doubt we'll receive a proper report once they're rested."
Mar 10, 2017 3:58 PM # 
And that looks like it for Columbia. Interesting. They fought hard to get back to third place, and they were close enough to maybe make it interesting for 2nd with some help...

Yet it now looks like they are in a vehicle heading to the finish...not the race they were expecting.
Mar 10, 2017 4:40 PM # 
I guess it's good that you both came to the same conclusion anyway. ;-)
Mar 10, 2017 4:53 PM # 
Looking forward to hearing what Columbia has to say!
Mar 10, 2017 5:26 PM # 
They (CV) just tweeted that the GPS was left behind, in response to a SM tweet. No verification of this situation anywhere else, so not sure where they are getting the update. Waiting......
Mar 10, 2017 5:37 PM # 
Vidaraid facebook page says that they've gotten "local info" that the team is on the river, despite the GPS suggesting otherwise.
Mar 10, 2017 5:39 PM # 
yep, saw that straight after, lol :)
I hope so.
Mar 10, 2017 5:47 PM # 
confirmed by the race. CV still in it, but with a penalty no doubt to follow
Mar 10, 2017 5:59 PM # 
Thanks for the updates!! Will be interesting to see how they resolve this one.

And yes, JayXC, abiperk and I are on the same wavelength more often than not, even when we aren't even in the same town...
Mar 11, 2017 3:00 AM # 
Columbia is on the move! Race is on for 2nd and 3rd. I am thinking Columbia will have the motivation and wheels to run down Nossa Vida and secure 2nd. But it should be fun to watch...though I'm going to bed!
Mar 11, 2017 4:37 AM # 
It's actually a really fun and interesting finish, if you still have any energy left after watching the previous five days of this race unfold.

Columbia, needing the 2nd place finish to get to worlds, is attempting to track down Nossa Vida, and have company themselves with Ansilta Viento-Andino hot on their heels.Columbia actually arrived at TA6 in second place, but I believe they had to serve their two-hour penalty for forgetting their tracker, meaning Nossa Vida got out with a little head start.

I'm fascinated enough to find out how it will end that I just might stay up to watch...

There will be a good idea of the split times at CP 45. Nossa Vida just passed through there in 112:42, and it appears as if Columbia is 45 mins to 1 hour away from CP 45 now, so they do have some catching up to do. But if Nossa Vida screws up its nav at all...

As an aside, I usually don't see the punishment in making a team serve a penalty on course. It gives them a chance to rest and recuperate, which could be a really big advantage in some situations. Can anyone explain to me why it's general AR practice to have a team serve a penalty on-course rather than having it assessed after they finish? The only argument I can think of is you don't want the second-place team crossing the finish line first.
Mar 11, 2017 5:11 AM # 
@SM, that is one of the arguments - that teams should cross the finish line in a meaningful order if it can be done. It's better for spectators and media since the sport makes more sense that way. It's a buzzkill for the general public to cheer the first team to arrive, only to learn later they are really in 4th.

A more important argument is that after serving their penalty, the penalized team is now racing in their correct position, which can make a difference. Other teams will see them and be motivated to try to pass them - or maybe they'll work together on a bike section or navigation problem, which could improve/worsen the race result of both teams.

When it gets dark, the penalized team is with other teams in the same place in the pack - not 2 hours ahead, having benefited from extra daylight. If it rains or the tide goes out, the penalized team experiences the same conditions as other teams with similar ranking.

You're right that the penalized team gets extra rest but most people consider that to be the lesser of the two problems. It's common for teams to serve their penalties without access to gear bins so they may not be super comfortable. I've only served one penalty, and we had no gear bins and insufficient warm clothes to sleep in damp race gear. We weren't cold enough to be hypothermic but it depleted us rather than resting us.
Mar 12, 2017 1:51 AM # 
Thanks Bash. I get it...I guess.

In case anyone hasn't seen the news, Nossa Vida held off Columbia Vidaraid by 16 minutes. Awesome finish!

This discussion thread is closed.