More teams expected to finish Expedition Africa today

Those looking to support the participants in Expedition Africa on the Wildside, at the lighthouse and Cape St Francis beach are in for a treat this morning for at least six teams should reach the finish line during the course of the day. There is presently a heavy fog over the coastline that may slow the progress of the teams on the last leg of the race but this should lift offering a sunny but cooler day.

Four teams are home and dry with Skylotec Adventure (Sweden) crossing the finish line first and completing the 514km Expedition in 82 hours and 11 minutes with Thunderbolt AR (Australia) 2 hours 27minutes further back in second and the first South Africa team, Nevarest Jabberwock, coming in third 45 minutes with Nantes Adventures (France) in fourth place.

The one hour penalty imposed on both Skylotech and Thunderbolt on the second to last leg of this arduous race saw Nevarest Jabberwok make up good ground on the leaders but not enough to take line honours. Well done Nevarest Jabberwok for you can proudly hold the South African flag aloft on the podium.

Possibly the achievement of all the teams whether they finished or finish in four, five or even seven days, should be put into perspective with something many of us are more familiar with, the Comrades marathon. 500 kilometres equates to about six Comrades and although the teams will have travelled on foot, bike and kayak, none of it was on a nice level paved road with the direction clearly marked. Rather their travels took them through thick bush, uneven terrain including mountains, valleys, streams and rivers. To further challenge their progress they have had to navigate their way to each of the many checkpoints where the slightest error would result in losing time and slowing their progress. Added to this is that every team could only be as fast as it slowest team member in any particular section.   Certainly the cycle legs make up a lot of distance travelled and speed up their progress but the three kayak legs of some 65kilometres (almost a Comrades in itself) had teams paddling against incoming tides and headwinds, making their progress all the more remarkable!

But spare a thought for those teams who still have to endure another night or two out in the open battling the elements and the terrain. These are the true heroes of the race for as with any event be it the Comrades Two Oceans or the school cross country, the glory may go to the front runners but the guts goes to the competitors who make up the backbone of any event.

Don’t forget to get to Cape St Francis Resort on Saturday evening for the “Welcome Back Party” where  both live music and a DJ will be there to help celebrate the end to this epic event that has captured the attention od so many throughout the Kouga region.