The Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) comprises a number of expedition-length adventure races that push the world’s best endurance athletes to their limits in a season of competition that tests their skills in a range of disciplines including navigation, trekking, mountain biking, paddling and climbing.
Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, marine navigation, aeronautic navigation, and space navigation.
Mountain biking is a sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. Mountain biking can generally be broken down into multiple categories: cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, freeride and dirt jumping.
Paddling with regard to watercraft is the act of manually propelling a boat using a paddle. The paddle, which consists of one or two blades joined to a shaft, is also used to steer the vessel. The paddle is not connected to the boat.
Mixed gender teams of four competitors compete in a series of up to a dozen races held in locations spread across the globe. These races culminate in the staging of the Adventure Racing World Championships, the winner of which is crowned World Champions.
A champion is the victor in a challenge, contest or competition. There can be a territorial pyramid of championships, e.g. local, regional / provincial, state, national, continental and world championships, and even further (artificial) divisions at one or more of these levels, as in soccer. Their champions can be accordingly styled, e.g. national champion, world champion. The champions
The competition's format provides that each of the individual events of the World Series function as a qualifier for the World Championships. The top two finishing teams in each event secure the opportunity to compete in the World Championships. The field of event winners and second place getters is then supplemented by the reigning world champions, who are given the right to defend their title, and a selection of wild card entrants round out the number of starters.
A wild card is a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that fails to qualify in the normal way, for example by having a high ranking or winning a qualifying stage. In some events, wild cards are chosen freely by the organizers. Other events have fixed rules. Some North American professional sports leagues compare the records of teams which did not qualify directly by winning a division or conference.
The actual World Championship race rotates each year. One of the qualifying events is singled out and designated as the World Championship event and this event provides a dramatic conclusion to the end of the World Series racing season.
In addition to the World Championship race, points are assigned to results from each of the qualifying races in the series to determine a World Ranking. Points are allocated on a teams best two results in a calendar year over a two-year period (with heavier weighting given to World Championship results), with the ranking cycle periodically refreshed every 4–6 months.
The Adventure Racing World Championship was the brainchild of Geoff Hunt and Pascale Lorre, long-time adventure racers who sought to "lend badly needed structure to the sport".Hunt and Lorre's vision was first brought to fruition in Switzerland in 2001 where 41 teams contested the Discovery Channel World Championship with the controversy-plagued event eventually won by Finland's Team Nokia Adventure. A team from New Zealand, including Kathy Lynch, came second that year.
Kathleen "Kathy" Lynch is a retired competitive cyclist from New Zealand who competed both on and off the road. With a talent for multiple sports disciplines, she won the canoeing events New Zealand White Water Downriver and Slalom Championships in 1987 and represented her country at the 1988 Canoe Slalom World Cup. Around the same time, she was also a successful triathlete, but did not continue with that sport. She bought her first mountain bike in 1988 at the age of 31 in order to compete in an adventure sport event, and within a year she had become the New Zealand national cross country champion. Around the same time, she also took up road cycling. She was included in the New Zealand team for the 1990 Commonwealth Games and was assigned as domestique for the top New Zealand road rider, Madonna Harris. Harris and Lynch finished in fourth and ninth places respectively. In September 1990, Lynch competed at the inaugural UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and finished tenth. In November 1990, she became a household name in New Zealand by winning a 22-day multi-sport race the length of the country that had prime time TV coverage every night.
After a two-year hiatus the Adventure Racing World Championships was next held in Canada in 2004 and has subsequently been held every year since.
In 2011 management of the series was passed to the Australian company Geocentric Outdoors.The 2011 World Championships - won by Thule Adventure Team - were staged at the XPD Expedition Race in Tasmania, Australia, where 90 teams drawn from 21 countries made for the largest starting field in the event's history. This is testament to the fact that the World Series hosts the very best teams in the world and "continues to grow and become more prominent". Geocentric Outdoors also instigated a number of new initiatives for the world series, including standardized equipment lists and logistics across the races, restrictions on mixed nationality teams at the World Championship race each year as well as the introduction of the World Series ranking system. These initiatives have encouraged larger international fields at the various races by lowering the logistical barriers for participation and rewarding participation in multiple events.
In 2012, the World Championships was held at Raid in France and were won by Team Seagate from New Zealand.The title of World Champion returned to the Thule Adventure Team at Costa Rica in 2013, before again being reclaimed by Team Seagate in Ecuador in 2014. Despite having never won a World Championship, Spanish team Columbia Vidaraid held the number-one position in the World Series ranking through 2014 and 2015 due to their string of wins in World Series qualifying races in addition to their second-place finishes in the 2013 and 2014 World Championships. Seagate regained the top position in the rankings in 2016 after dominating at the incredibly demanding 2015 World Championships, held in the Pantanal in Brazil, as well as in the Shoalhaven area of Australia in 2016.
|2001||Switzerland||Discovery Channel World Championships||Team Nokia Adventure||Sweden|
|2004||Canada||Raid The North Extreme||Nike ACG Balance Bar||USA|
|2005||New Zealand||Southern Traverse||Balance Vector||New Zealand|
|2006||Sweden||Explore Sweden||Nike PowerBlast||USA|
|2008||Brazil||Ecomotion||Orion Health||New Zealand|
|2009||Portugal||Portugal XPD||Helly Hansen Prunesco||Britain|
|2010||Spain||Bimbache Extrem||Buff Thermocool||Spain|
|2011||Australia||XPD Expedition Race||Thule Adventure Team||Sweden|
|2012||France||Raid in France||Team Seagate||New Zealand|
|2013||Costa Rica||Costa Rica AR||Thule Adventure Team||France|
|2014||Ecuador||Husirasinchi Explorer||Seagate||New Zealand|
|2015||Brazil||ARWS Brazil||Seagate||New Zealand|
|2016||Australia||XPD Expedition Race||Seagate||New Zealand|
|2017||USA||Cameco Cowboy Tough||Seagate||New Zealand|
|2018||La Reunion Island||Raid in France||Avaya||New Zealand|
|GODZone Adventure Race||New Zealand||March 2015||Seagate||New Zealand|
|Tierra Viva||Chile||April 2015||SAFAT||Sweden|
|Raid Gallaecia||Spain||May 2015||Haglofs Sliva||Sweden|
|Expedition Africa||Swaziland||June 2015||Merrell Adventure Addicts||Republic of South Africa|
|Expedition Alaska||USA||June 2015||Tecnu||USA|
|Cameco Cowboy Tough||USA||July 2015||Tecnu||USA|
|XPD Expedition Race||Australia||August 2015||Mountain Designs||Australia|
|Raid in France||France||September 2015||Raidlight||France|
|ARWS Brazil||Brazil||November 2015||Seagate||New Zealand|
|Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge||Belize||February 2016||Team Adventure Medical Kits||USA|
|GODZone Adventure Race||New Zealand||April 2016||Team Yealands Family Wines||New Zealand|
|Tierra Viva||Chile||April 2016||2 DSN 74 Hoka||France|
|Expedition Africa||South Africa||May 2016||Team Featherbed Painted Wolf||South Africa|
|Expedition Guarani||Paraguay||July 2016||Columbia Vidaraid||Brazil/Spain/UK|
|Cameco Cowboy Tough||USA||July 2016||Team Adventure Medical Kits||USA|
|ITERA Expedition Race||Ireland||August 2016||TEAM FMR||France|
|Raid in France||France||September 2016||Seagate||New Zealand|
|Xtrail Expedition (Demonstration Race)||China||September 2016||Thule Adventure Team||Sweden|
|XPD World Championships||Australia||November 2016||Seagate||New Zealand|
|Expedition Guarani||Paraguay||March 2017||Cyanosis||South Africa|
|Huairasinchi||Ecuador||April 2017||Terra Aventura – Finalin||Ecuador|
|Raid Gallaecia||Spain||May 2017||Naturex||France|
|Expedition Africa||South Africa||May 2017||Skylotec Adventure||Sweden|
|Xtrail Expedition||China||June 2017||Seagate||New Zealand|
|Raid in France||France||June 2017||Lozere Team2Raid||France|
|Cameco Cowboy Tough World Championships||USA||August 2017||Seagate||New Zealand|
|Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge||Belize||March 2018||Bones||USA|
|XPD Expedition Race||Australia||April 2018||Tri Adventure Antelopes||Australia|
|Expedition Guarani||Paraguay||May 2018||Columbia Vidaraid||Brazil|
|Expedition Africa||South Africa||May 2018||Blizzard||Russia|
|Expedition Oregon||USA||June 2018||Leki||Sweden|
|Huairasinchi||Ecuador||June 2018||Movistar - Terra Aventura||Ecuador|
|Nordic Islands AR||Sweden/Finland||August 2018||Swedish Armed Forces||Sweden|
|Shenandoah Tough||USA||September 2018||Mountain Race Company||USA|
|Raid in France World Championships||La Reunion Island, France||December 2018||Avaya||New Zealand|
|Expedition India||India||March 2019||Naturex||South Africa|
|Expedition Guarani||Paraguay||April 2019||Columbia Vidaraid||Brazil|
|Expedition Oregon||USA||April 2019||Quest AR||USA|
|Raid Gallaecia||Spain||May 2019||Team Yeti||Denmark|
|Huairasinchi||Ecuador||June 2019||Columbia Vidaraid||Brazil|
|Nordic Islands AR||Sweden/Norway||July 2019||Swedish Armed Forces||Sweden|
|ITERA||Scotland||August 2019||Lozere Team2Raid||France|
|Expedition Africa||Rodrigues Island||September 2019||TBD||TBD|
|Adventure Race Croatia||Croatia||September 2019||TBD||TBD|
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