Race Report #1: Gearing Up and Heading Out

By: T.C. Worley

This is T.C. Worley, checking in from Punta Arenas, Chile. As you may know, I am here to follow and report on the Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race that is scheduled to start this Tuesday morning. My job is to follow or intercept teams of racers, reporting and photographing them in the Patagonian wilderness as they try to be the first team to cover the roughly 400 miles from start to finish. Photos taken by myself, or other members of the media team will accompany my reports. With the race a few days away, things are beginning to develop momentum.

Jason from Yogaslackers, preparing gear.

Teams have all arrived now. Each of them have tales of missing bags or bikes, or delayed and redirected flights. One team even had to make an emergency landing on account of a window that blew out of their plane. So, for most of us, just getting here was an accomplishment all its own.

16 teams worth of Gear!

Sunday morning the teams filled a warehouse on the Straight of Magellan to conduct the mandatory gear checks. Bikes were assembled, tents erected, and glow-sticks counted. The scene looked like an enormous adventure gear yard sale. Bikes, kayaks, packs and more filled the warehouse floor. Then it was on to the kayak self rescue practice. If you could perform this within 5 minutes, you were cleared to race. All teams passed!

Chelsey From Yogaslackers preparing to roll

Paddling in the Straight of Magellan.

So, bright and early tomorrow morning we will all board busses and head to the start. The first leg is kayak, followed shortly by a trekking section. The beginning of the course will be fast, so we expect some serious action tomorrow. Stay tuned for more of these updates as often as internet access will allow.

For more race photos, head to: WPER Home Page

—T.C. Worley