Chris Forne, Team Nike/Beaver Creek’s main navigator, reflects on the Adventure Racing World Champs 2009 in Portugal.
“This years adventure race world champs (ARWC) ended up being a pretty tough race for our team. The format was rather unusual, and no one really knew what the best strategy was for getting compulsory checkpoints, bonuses, or meeting cutoffs. This introduced more luck into the race, and although suitable for a fun competition, I don’t believe this format was suitable for the world champs. A result of this was that any of the top teams could have won if only they had done a bit less of the course and not attempted to get any bonus controls.
One of the main problems for our team was that we kept on only just making the cutoffs. This was not bad in itself, but meant we could not make use of our support crew for help or most importantly getting a good sleep. The result of this was that we wasted a lot of time hunting for somewhere suitable to sleep, and ended up not getting enough proper sleep during the race, causing us to slow down towards the end.
The biggest disaster for us however, was that I mis-read the instructions and got mixed up about when one of the cutoffs was towards the end of the race. We then decided to miss out all the checkpoints on the next section, as I didn’t think we had time to get any of them. This was reinforced by all the people at the transition incorrectly telling us that all the other top teams had done the same. As a consequence we missed out an easy checkpoint, which we could have easily got, that may have cost us the race.
Apart from this, I was pretty happy with our performance. No big navigational errors, and lots of fast racing, especially on the bikes and paddling. A big thanks to our support crew, for helping us out.”