Adventure Racing World Series

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The Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS [1] ) comprises a number of expedition-length adventure races that push the world’s best endurance athletes to their limits [2] in a season of competition that tests their skills in a range of disciplines including navigation, trekking, mountain biking, paddling and climbing.

Navigation The process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another

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 bicycling sport

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.

Champion victor in a challenge, contest or competition

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". [3] 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. [3] A team from New Zealand, including Kathy Lynch, came second that year. [4]

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. [5] 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. [6] 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". [7] 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. [8] 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.

World Championship results

YearCountryRaceWorld ChampionNationality
2001SwitzerlandDiscovery Channel World ChampionshipsTeam Nokia AdventureSweden
2004Canada Raid The North Extreme Nike ACG Balance BarUSA
2005New ZealandSouthern TraverseBalance VectorNew Zealand
2006SwedenExplore SwedenNike PowerBlastUSA
2007ScotlandWilderness ARC [9] NikeUSA
2008BrazilEcomotion [10] Orion HealthNew Zealand
2009PortugalPortugal XPD [11] Helly Hansen PrunescoBritain
2010SpainBimbache ExtremBuff ThermocoolSpain
2011AustraliaXPD Expedition RaceThule Adventure TeamSweden
2012FranceRaid in FranceTeam SeagateNew Zealand
2013Costa RicaCosta Rica ARThule Adventure TeamFrance
2014EcuadorHusirasinchi ExplorerSeagateNew Zealand
2015BrazilARWS BrazilSeagateNew Zealand
2016AustraliaXPD Expedition RaceSeagateNew Zealand
2017USACameco Cowboy ToughSeagateNew Zealand
2018La Reunion IslandRaid in FranceAvayaNew Zealand
2019Sri LankaCanceled--
2020ParaguayExpedition GuaraniTBDTBD

2015 Adventure Racing World Series

GODZone Adventure RaceNew ZealandMarch 2015SeagateNew Zealand
Tierra VivaChileApril 2015SAFATSweden
Raid GallaeciaSpainMay 2015Haglofs SlivaSweden
Expedition AfricaSwazilandJune 2015Merrell Adventure AddictsRepublic of South Africa
Expedition AlaskaUSAJune 2015TecnuUSA
Cameco Cowboy ToughUSAJuly 2015TecnuUSA
XPD Expedition RaceAustraliaAugust 2015Mountain DesignsAustralia
Raid in FranceFranceSeptember 2015RaidlightFrance
ARWS BrazilBrazilNovember 2015SeagateNew Zealand

2016 Adventure Racing World Series

Maya Mountain Adventure ChallengeBelizeFebruary 2016Team Adventure Medical KitsUSA
GODZone Adventure RaceNew ZealandApril 2016Team Yealands Family WinesNew Zealand
Tierra VivaChileApril 20162 DSN 74 HokaFrance
Expedition AfricaSouth AfricaMay 2016Team Featherbed Painted WolfSouth Africa
Expedition GuaraniParaguayJuly 2016Columbia VidaraidBrazil/Spain/UK
Cameco Cowboy ToughUSAJuly 2016Team Adventure Medical KitsUSA
HuairasinchiColombiaAugust 2016FairisEcuador
ITERA Expedition RaceIrelandAugust 2016TEAM FMRFrance
Raid in FranceFranceSeptember 2016SeagateNew Zealand
Xtrail Expedition (Demonstration Race)ChinaSeptember 2016Thule Adventure TeamSweden
XPD World ChampionshipsAustraliaNovember 2016SeagateNew Zealand

2017 Adventure Racing World Series

Expedition GuaraniParaguayMarch 2017CyanosisSouth Africa
HuairasinchiEcuadorApril 2017Terra Aventura – FinalinEcuador
Raid GallaeciaSpainMay 2017NaturexFrance
Expedition AfricaSouth AfricaMay 2017Skylotec AdventureSweden
Xtrail ExpeditionChinaJune 2017SeagateNew Zealand
Raid in FranceFranceJune 2017Lozere Team2RaidFrance
Cameco Cowboy Tough World ChampionshipsUSAAugust 2017SeagateNew Zealand

2018 Adventure Racing World Series

Maya Mountain Adventure ChallengeBelizeMarch 2018BonesUSA
XPD Expedition RaceAustraliaApril 2018Tri Adventure AntelopesAustralia
Expedition GuaraniParaguayMay 2018Columbia VidaraidBrazil
Expedition AfricaSouth AfricaMay 2018BlizzardRussia
Expedition OregonUSAJune 2018LekiSweden
HuairasinchiEcuadorJune 2018Movistar - Terra AventuraEcuador
Nordic Islands ARSweden/FinlandAugust 2018Swedish Armed ForcesSweden
Shenandoah ToughUSASeptember 2018Mountain Race CompanyUSA
Raid in France World ChampionshipsLa Reunion Island, FranceDecember 2018AvayaNew Zealand

2019 Adventure Racing World Series

Expedition IndiaIndiaMarch 2019NaturexSouth Africa
Expedition GuaraniParaguayApril 2019Columbia VidaraidBrazil
Expedition OregonUSAApril 2019Quest ARUSA
Raid GallaeciaSpainMay 2019Team YetiDenmark
HuairasinchiEcuadorJune 2019Columbia VidaraidBrazil
Nordic Islands ARSweden/NorwayJuly 2019Swedish Armed ForcesSweden
ITERAScotlandAugust 2019Lozere Team2RaidFrance
Expedition AfricaRodrigues IslandSeptember 2019TBDTBD
Adventure Race CroatiaCroatiaSeptember 2019TBDTBD

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