Sept. 4-12 in the Midi-Pyrénées region
Nathan Fa'avae has come out of "retirement" to race with Stuart Lynch, Chris Forne and Isla Smith. Our friends from Team Endurancelife are on the list too. Most teams are French. No North American teams this year.
Team Intersport Lyon demonstrated their strategy in this pre-race photo. ;)
Sadly us lot from Endurancelife had to withdraw prior to the race for a variety of reasons. Ben and Sabs were having huge problems finding flights to get them there and back, and I've been sent to Australia for work (although there is a silver lining there in that it ties up with the Worlds quite nicely!)
Seagate are in the lead after the first 13 hours, and the course looks tough! Opening trek is 75km, which takes them to a grade 4 whitewater rafting section. Seagate might just manage this in the light, but the majority of the field will be in the rafts at night, which could be exciting.
There's also a column on the leaderboard for "rest taken", which is currently showing as 0h/11h for all teams. Looks like they have to take mandated rest, presumably at the TAs, but I haven't seen a route book so this isn't confirmed.
Not sure if there are any Attackpointers to cheer for then!
Legendary Randy interviewed Nathan recently on TA1. He commented that he really only missed one race (GODZone, which he helped to design) but now he's back to racing. One of the reasons he wasn't sure about continuing was that Sophie can't race this year. Isla is young and isn't expected to be able to fill Sophie's shoes yet and that's OK, but she has done GODZone 3 times and is a strong athlete from a background of mostly running. They (including Sophie) chose her over other strong women because she may have 10 more years of racing; they were thinking about the future of their team and the sport in NZ. Looks like it's working out well so far!
Sleepmonsters is covering it.
This from Facebook:
Raid in France 2016 update at 15:43-
All teams coming off the first trekking section will have to wait until 05:30 tomorrow morning before starting off to the following rafting section which will begin at 07:00.
The wait is because the French electrical company EDF will be releasing water and the teams will take to the water in 5 minute intervals based on their arrival time at the transition area.
Seagate still in the lead.
Nathan's blog the day before RIF. Last weekend, he and Stu raced with Isla for the first time at a 24-hr event in Denmark. Seagate finished 2nd of 150 teams.
Some info from the briefing about how the race works, including mandatory sleep rules:
Proud of the work accomplished during the year of preparation of Raid in France’s 8th edition, Pascal Bahuaud, race director, opened racers’ briefing mentioning a “return to the roots of Raid in France, with a Fier du travail accompli pendant une année pour préparer cette 8ème édition de Raid in France, Pascal Bahuaud, route going from the mountains to the sea”. The whole spirit of Raid in France is contained into these words: to offer a race that allow racers to enjoy the nature and landscapes crossed in the best way possible. He also really insisted on racers’ responsibility during the competition, as users and as territories ambassadors.
After that, he introduced the new elements of this edition. Firstly, 11 mandatory hours of sleep are to be taken on the Check points (CP) and Transition Areas (AT), by periods of 2-hours minimum and 5-hours maximum, at the racers convenience. Secondly, teams no longer will be out of ranking in case they miss a kite. Instead, they will be given a huge penalty but they still will be able to carry on their race in the ranking.
This year, the route of 430 km and the 16.000 meters of vertical gain will consist, firstly, in a trekking section in high mountain, with a summit at 3.000 meters, followed by a raft section on the Aude river (which will take place on Monday, September 5 since the river is forbidden at night), then a long mountain VTT section rolling along beautiful forest tracks, a mountain trek loop following by a new VTT section in medium mountain and to finish with this first part of route in the Pyrénées, a canyoning, speleology, a small trek and a rope section.
With the objective of joining the Méditerranean sea by Saturday, September 10 for the last teams, the route will go on a VTT section, then a very technical section of ropes and canyon following by a new and last long rolling VTT section in the Corbières before the final kayak section on the Aude river and a finish line through the sea on the Saint-Pierre la Mer beach.
Live tracking is here http://live.raidinfrance.com/
Interesting that there are very few teams outside of France taking part. I wonder if this is in part due to the insurance requirement for each team that must include repatriation cover?
I've taken part in events in France and they are very strict on medical certs, insurance and that kind of stuff. A lot of red tape IMO that would probably be off-putting.
after first trek, from Sleepmonsters:
1 - 400 Team Naturex at 19:17.
2 - Seagate at 19:35.
3 - Issy Aventure Absolu Raid 1 at 21:52
4 - RaidsAventure.fr came at 22:01
dark zone until 0700, a maximum of 5 hours was counted here out of the 11 hours total mandatory rest time.
after rafting, from Sleepmonsters:
1 - 400 Team at 08:38,
2 - Seagate at 08:39
3 - RaidsAventure.fr/Team2Raid at 08:48
4 - IssyAventure Absolu Raid 1 at 09:00.
Imagine how daunting this must be for Seagate's newest, youngest teammate, Isla! I'm cheering her on and hoping she has some fun.
Sleepmonsters article on Day (and Night) #1.
Looks like Seagate pulling away. If I read the map correctly they took 3-4 hrs rest after the bike and now pulling away at front again.
Here is an article from RIF talking about Seagate's move into the lead.
Seagate lead seems to be about 2 hours off the front at CP16. looking forward to some more updates. What I've read so far make it seem as though they've only done a few legs but the map makes that confusing for me. The many colour changes on the map makes it look like Segate has switched disciplines about 15 times??
That confused me too. The initial big trek had multiple colours. I figured out what was going on by locating TA2 and reading the stage description on the RIF website. I don't know why they didn't just choose standard colours for paddle, bike and trek!
According to Sleepmonsters half an hour ago, it is currently:
2) Team Naturex
Also, Seagate's Isla Smitth turned 22 today. There was a candle!
13 teams left on the full course. Heat has been an issue. Here's Sleepmonsters' report on today.
It looks like each stage on the live tracking map changes colour when it crosses a departement (i.e. state / county) boundary.
Makes it rather hard to understand!
1) Seagate by more than 5 hrs
2) 400 Team Naturex
4) Issy Aventure
5) Arverne Outdoor
Sleepmonsters article on Seagate's finish
"Isla Smith has been the main story throughout this race; all eyes were on her, wondering how such a young person would hold up in a sport that favors older athletes. She had been the subject of many media, organizers and volunteers’ conversations throughout the race; the slightest change in her expression or movements was quickly relayed through the adventure racing rumor mill. She has been the epitome of grace under pressure and I’m looking forward to speaking to her to discover the backstory of this talented young Kiwi athlete. Prior to the race Nathan told me that Sophie Hart chose her. This example of Seagate’s forward thinking in choosing to mentor a younger woman athlete and to use this ARWS race as a test ahead of the World Champs in Australia is one of the reasons that the Kiwis are likely to dominate this sport for many years to come. They are formidable opponents on all levels."