Official Opening of Expedition Africa

The ‘BIG EVENT’ kicks off with Official Opening of Expedition Africa

The opening ceremony at 2:00 pm today is open to all so get yurself over to Cape St Francis and come and meet the teams participating in this exciting but gruelling event.

Expedition Africa logoAll is in place for the start of the biggest event yet hosted in our tiny enclave on the south eastern tip of the African continent. Today sees the official opening of the event here you can get to meet the organisers, the sponsors and of course the TEAMS!

The general public will get their first glimpse of the competitors tomorrow when they unfurl their team flags at the ‘flag ceremony’ before gathering at SANCCOB for the ‘stone laying’. The best vantage point will possibly be to gather at or near the lighthouse but maybe get there early as hopefully most of St Francis will be there to support this wonderful opportunity to promote our region and show our support for the competitors.

The race proper will start at 7:00am Sunday and although at time of publishing this article there was no word as to where the starting line will be, SFT has a sneaky suspicion it will start from the host venue, Cape St Francis Resort, or certainly in close proximity. If you can get your nose out from under the duvet early Sunday morning it could be worthwhile to make your way to the resort to watch and give these fearless adventurers an enthusiastic send off to their journey into the unknown.

Expedition Africa is not the only sporting event taking place in St Francis this weekend and the annual Kromme Descent also is being held this weekend. More’s the pity that there wasn’t a bit more coordination of the events for it really would have better to have held the events on different weekends. But too late for that now and possibly there may be a spectator spin off for again, and we (SFT) has no confirmation of this, we have a feeling the Expedition Africa route on day one may just see competitors kayaking up the Kromme.

If the EA and swimmers do end up on the river at the same time it may result in a little more boat activity on the river than normal at this time of the year and thus it may be an idea that boats either supporting spectating the swimmers respect the kayakers if they do indeed meet on the river.

The weather  is looking good for the weekend with sunshine forecast although the snow on the Southern Drakensberg may cause it to be a little chilly.

If you would like to track your team’s progress over the coming days there is a live tracking facility available at www.expafrica.live

Enjoy the weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. Let’s hope you are spoiled rotten and the family treats you to lunch as breakfast in bed will be out of the question as you will no doubt be supporting the Expedition Africa or Kromme Descent swimmers.

Meet the Teams

Meet some of the teams competing in Expedition Africa

Meet Team Cape St. Francis Resort from South Africa.  

They will be at Expedition Africa 2017 Baviaans.

This year two expedition rookies, Gina and Terence, team up with Nici and Ryan from Team Black Diamond (in the absence of James, who is getting married and Leon who is injured). They will race as Team Cape St Francis Resort.

Ryan and Nici have raced together for the last 12 years. In recent times they have competed in Quantum Leap 2012, EA 2013, 2014, and 2016. Gina is new to AR but has multiple MTB stage races and trail runs under her belt. Most recently she completed SKY Run and African X.

Terence is an International Adventure / Lifestyle Photographer and wanna-be athlete. After a few years of racing AR Terence focused his time on his trade instead of racing and has since been to 2 EA’s as photographer working with top teams. This is Terence’s first full length expedition.

In James’s absence, Nici will be doing the Navigation work and the Team is looking forward to covering some beautifully tough and rugged Baviaans terrain!  Hopefully our journey will not be too convoluted

 

Meet Team Buco Adventures from South Africa.

They will be at Expedition Africa 2017 Baviaans.

Team Buco

Team BUCO Adventures is a Plettenberg Bay based team with a mix of experience and fresh new blood. BUCO has sponsored the team this year as part of the take over from Pennypinchers.

Team Captain James Stewart and AR stalwart Netski Wylie are the experienced pair. Stef Le Roux and Andrew von Blommestien are no strangers to off road endurance events but are new to the sport of Adventure Racing. They will bring a new energy to this team who have taken part in all but one of the Expedition Africa Races.

The team placed 7th (22) in EA 2011, 4th (13) in EA 2012, 17th (31) in EA 2013, 25th (40) at EA 2014 and last year a credible 13th (53) in a strong field. They definitely have their eye on a top 10 position this year. The Team is looking forward to exploring the tuff and rugged Baviaans area.

 

Meet Team Misadventures from Ireland.

They will be at Expedition Africa 2017 Baviaans.

Team Misadventures

Team Misadventures are from Ireland and have been racing in the Irish AR scene for a number of years, but this is the first time this combination will race together. Taryn and Nigel are returning to Expedition Africa having raced in the 2014 edition (as Beast of Ballyhoura) and will be joined by Denis and Colin who both have lots of experience in 1-4 day races and having competed in the World Series race held in Ireland in 2016. Taryn brings the experience to the team, Nigel and Colin will be on the maps and Denis brings ropes skills together with bad jokes and singing.

The team are looking forward to exploring more of South Africa’s wilderness and know that Stephan, Heidi and the team will put on a great race showcasing the local area.

Other entries include teams from

  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Israel
  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Ireland
  • South Africa & Ireland
  • South Africa & USA

 

 

Cape St Francis Resort to host Expedition Africa 2017

Expedition Africa 2017 for Cape St Francis

The Cape St Francis Resort once again hit the headlines  as a top lifestyle destination with the announcement of its selection as the preferred host for the hotly contested Expedition Africa, one of nine international extreme adventure races that make up the Adventure Racing World Series for 2017. Touted as Africa’s most challenging adventure race, the event is expected to include over 50 international and local teams who will pit their survival skills against demanding terrain and an unforgiving environment, racing day and night towards the finish line.

Adventure sports enthusiasts, organisers,  media and supporters from around the globe will all converge on Cape St Francis in May next year as  the high profile event kicks off  with an opening ceremony, followed by a press conference and media briefing. All the athletes, organisers and their teams will be accommodated at the Cape St Francis Resort where the race will begin and end, before rounding everything up with a gala dinner and prize giving.

The event  will be highly advantageous for the entire Kouga area as the focus of the international sporting community turns to the region, increasing tourism prospects and awareness of the Eastern Cape.

“We worked hard on our bid and are really very honoured and excited to be hosting this first-class event that will expose not only the Resort but also Cape St Francis and its surrounding areas to fantastic tourism potential and publicity,” says Anita of the Cape St Resort.

Competition co-ordinators, Stephen and Heidi Muller of Kinetic Events Africa, say that all teams will be equipped with a live tracking device allowing spectators to follow the race over streaming media and other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Live tracking, videos, routes and news can be followed on the Expedition Africa webpage while each team is encouraged to garner their own supporter following through Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media pages. “ We must take ownership of this event and make the most of this opportunity,” says Esti Stewart, Marketing Director of the KLTO.  The race will be organised with the full support of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA), the Kouga Municipality and Sarah Baartman District Municipality

Data from this year’s competition shows that in excess of two million Facebook users followed the race while the Live Event Page shot to well in excess of 300 000 views in a week, representing extensive local and international exposure.

A further benefit  is the social upliftment project that is included in the event. Expedition Africa always keeps the local residents in mind and a community project forms part of the pre-race festivities, aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of the chosen organisation.

The fast-paced race pushes contestants to their limits as mixed teams of four are challenged mentally and physically to find various checkpoints and transitions by using only a compass and map. The tournament is non-stop, continuing through day and night, and includes a multitude of disciplines such as mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, rope work and orienteering, with contestants expected to have the ability to operate in harsh, remote environments and in all weather conditions.

“Although the event route is a tightly guarded secret that will only be revealed at the opening ceremony on the day before the race, we do know that it will include the greater St Francis and Baviaans areas and cover approximately 500 kilometres,” says Anita.

The teams are supported logistically by the organisers who transport their equipment from one transition point to the next.

Africa Expedition is one of nine international adventure racing events that will be hosted during 2017 with the winning team receiving free and automatic entry into the Adventure Racing World Championships in the United States of America next year.

Exhibition Africa 2017 at Cape St Francis Resort

Source: Cape St Francis Resort