Vic­tory on the Wild side

Multisport Mecca - - News -

MIN­IMIS­ING mis­takes helped guide Wur­tulla’s Dave Schloss and team Thun­der­bolt AR to vic­tory at the Wild­side Ad­ven­ture Race last week.

Join­ing the team as nav­i­ga­tor with Ber­nadette Dornom, Joshua Street and Leo Theo­haris, they were first home in two days and 19 hours af­ter travers­ing more than 400km near Can­berra.

Fel­low Sun­shine Coast com­peti­tor Gary Palmer was part of the Wild Earth Tiger Ad­ven­ture team which crossed the line se­cond but fin­ished third over­all (af­ter re­ceiv­ing a time penalty for re­quir­ing ad­di­tional maps), while the Moun­tain De­signs Wild Women crew of Kim Beck­in­sale, Cass Kim­lin, Gina Duns­don and Alina McMaster were sixth and the first all-women team.

Staged in un­sea­son­ably warm weather, the race started at Lake Eu­cum­bene in the Snowies, head­ing past the gi­ant trout in Adaminaby, across Yaouk and Rocky Plain into the south­ern part of the ACT through the Na­madgi Na­tional Park.

Vic­tory to Thun­der­bolt AR de­liv­ered the A1 Se­ries win, se­cur­ing four ti­tles from as many starts (X-Marathon, Geo­quest and Hells Bells), which saw the team pick up a $10,000 prize purse that in­cludes en­try into the sold-out God Zone ad­ven­ture race in New Zealand.

Dave said while the team started off con­ser­va­tively on the 55km trek around Lake Eu­cum­bene, it was the third leg which proved de­ci­sive.

Tak­ing a ridge-line ap­proach saw Thun­der­bolt se­cure the lead and never look back.

“We al­ways knew that was the crux of the race, but at the time we thought we were go­ing so slow be­cause of the thick­ness of the bush,” Dave said. “Only three teams took the ridge-line and it proved much quicker.

“Leg num­ber three was tough phys­i­cally and men­tally. It was a typ­i­cal ex­pe­di­tion race where you have to keep trudg­ing on know­ing ev­ery­one else has to get through the same thing.

“And it was hot, ev­ery­one was bank­ing on it be­ing cold. It was down to zero overnight in some places so there were ma­jor tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions.

“We ac­tu­ally had to ask for more sunscreen be­cause we ran out.”

It wasn’t all smooth sail­ing with Joshua strug­gling mid-way through the race with what they be­lieved was heat stroke.

Dave said Joshua showed amaz­ing re­silience to get through, and while he was as­sisted at var­i­ous stages, did an out­stand­ing job to fin­ish the race.

PHOTO: JIM ZIRN

Dave Schloss leads team Thun­der­bolt AR at the piv­otal third stage of the Wild­side Ad­ven­ture Race.

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