Ad­ven­tur­ers set new records

Multisport Mecca - - News -

TEN thou­sand dol­lars is al­ways good for mo­ti­va­tion. That lure helped boost the Hells Bells ad­ven­ture race to record num­bers, at­tract­ing in­ter­state com­peti­tors chas­ing the five-fig­ure bounty.

Team Thun­der­bolt, fea­tur­ing Ber­nadette Dornom, Hugh Sto­dart, Josh Street and Leo Theo­haris claimed a thrilling over­all vic­tory which keeps them in the run­ning for the big pay cheque and en­try to GodZone in New Zealand.

While most raced as teams of two, there were 11 teams of four who took part in the 24-hour ad­ven­ture race, many hunt­ing the A1 Se­ries $10,000 prize purse which goes to the best ranked team af­ter four races – in­clud­ing X-Marathon, Geo­quest, Hells Bells and fi­nally Wild­side, which will be staged near Can­berra dur­ing Oc­to­ber.

Start­ing from Golden Beach, this year’s race saw com­peti­tors moun­tain bike, trek, kayak and pad­dle their way through a 150km course. Fairy Bells was about half the dis­tance for novice teams.

Com­peti­tors were given maps to the course de­signed by David Schloss and Chris Dixon two hours be­fore the start, and the race in­cluded:

■ A short pad­dle on boo­gie boards to Bribe Island

■ 20km of beach and trail run­ning on Bribe

■ 18km kayak­ing in Pumicestone Pas­sage and Coochin Creek

■ 90km moun­tain bik­ing through Beer­wah State For­est, sin­gle track on Ewen Mad­dock Dam and back to Caloun­dra

■ Mid­night 12.5km trek in Du­lar­cha Na­tional Park.

Hells Bells at­tracted some of Aus­tralia’s best ad­ven­ture rac­ers, in­clud­ing Moun­tain De­signs Wild Women, Peak Ad­ven­ture, BMX Ban­dits, CBRAR and Tiger Ad­ven­ture French Con­nec­tion.

There were also some fa­mil­iar faces, such as Jan Lev­er­ton and the Tri Ad­ven­ture crew, Gary Suther­land’s Tiger Ad­ven­ture and Paul Elby’s The Peaky Blin­ders.

Af­ter nearly 14hrs and 50mins of rac­ing it came down to a sprint fin­ish be­tween the cur­rent na­tional cham­pi­ons Thun­der­bolt AR and Peak Ad­ven­ture, with Paul Elby’s The Peaky Blin­ders and Garry Suther­lands Tiger Ad­ven­ture fight­ing it out for third and fourth.

Fairy Bells was won by Happy End­ing in a time of 10hrs 15 mins with Jan Lev­er­ton’s Tri Ad­ven­ture Vin­tage with a close sec­ond.

On top of the usual fire trails and sin­gle track teams had a few sur­prises along the way with off trail ori­en­teer­ing sec­tions through lan­tana to dis­cover cliffs and creeks, barbed wire fences and creek cross­ings, and the old rail tun­nel at Mooloola.

“With Hells Bells now part of a na­tional se­ries we re­ally wanted to do some­thing new and dif­fer­ent and get­ting the rac­ers onto Bribe Island, while tough from a lo­gis­tics per­spec­tive, re­ally made the race. Es­pe­cially with the per­fect Sun­shine Coast weather,” or­gan­iser Chris Dixon said.

“Hold­ing the race close to the beach meant it was go­ing to be a fast, flat race, so we made use of every hill, mud flat, creek cross­ing and barbed wire fence we could find to en­sure it truly lived up to it’s name ‘Hells Bells’….and it did.

“While the win­ning teams are amaz­ing, its the tail end teams that cross the line at the 24 hour mark that are re­ally in­spir­ing – any­one that can prob­lem solve and nav­i­gate a 150km course with no sleep, tackle a re­ally tough course and ar­rive at the fin­ish line with a smile on their face is truly amaz­ing.”

For de­tails on next year’s race, visit race or­gan­iser Wild & Co’s web­site at www.wld­nco.com or visit face­book.com/wld­nco.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

Joe Cartwright un­der­takes the ini­tial pad­dle leg.

Moun­tain De­signs Wild Women Cass Kim­lin, Kim Beck­in­sale, Gina Duns­don and Ali Wright in ac­tion.

Ross Cat­tle and Matthew Wol­s­ten­croft.

Team Tiger Ad­ven­ture at Hells Bells.

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