With only four days until Africa’s Expedition Race, the MERRELL Adventure Addicts are packed and ready to head off to Port Alfred for what promises to be a tough but spectacular event. With the Expedition Africa now part of the Adventure Racing World Series, the race is the pinnacle of the Addicts local racing schedule.
The race is set to start in the Eastern Cape town of Port Alfred on the morning of the 7th May, with all the teams gathering during the preceding two days to sort through the maps, compulsory gear and food needed to get through a 500km non stop Adventure Race. The expedition will see teams navigating; on foot, on mountain bikes and in two person kayaks; non-stop through the wonderful adventure province in search of control points. The organizers are predicting the winning teams to take three days to complete the course.
The MERRELL Adventure Addicts are one of the premier Adventure Racing units in South Africa and the core team of Graham Bird, Tatum Prins, Hanno Smit and Donovan Sims have formed an uniquely tight and close team over the past few years competing all over South Africa and the world. Two weeks ago the team suffered a major wipeout when the teams “yoda”, Hanno Smit broke his collarbone during a MTB race. This paved the way for the addict’s reserve, Craig Carter-Brown to step in to fill the void.
Last week the team received further bad news that Tatum “Hobbit” Prins had picked up an injury that threatened to keep her from lining up at the start line. After a frantic week of looking for possible replacements to fill the small, but important, shoes of the Hobbit, the team was relieved to get news today that she will be able to take her place in the team on the 7th May. “This is fantastic news for the team,” commented Captain Graham Bird. “Tatum is a vital cog in the team and her passion and drive while out on the race course is a major motivating factor for the team”.
The MERRELL Adventure Addicts will be hoping to defend their title they won in Hermanus one year ago, though they will face stiff competition. “There are a number of great teams entered who are looking strong and will push all the way to the finish,” reflected Graham Bird. “We will need to be wary of Team Red Ants, Team Capestorm WCAD and Team Olympus.”