Archive for November 18th, 2008


Extreme Sport weekend in New Zealand

November 18, 2008

Wow … what scenery. What terrain to run an extreme race through.

Southern Traverses’ Macpac 24 Hour weekend got off to a flying start on Friday night at midnight at the Greenstone, with a 14km trek to Lake Rere and Mt Bastard. There was a full moon and clear, calm conditions.

Two of the teams were out of the bush by 6.00 a.m. and had started the 10km paddle from Greenstone to Kinloch by 6.00am.

A 21km mountain bike stage took competitors from Kinloch to Paradise and this was followed by a 9km trek in Paradise Conservation Park alongside the Dart River which proved to be tough going.

Once having reached the Dart River the competitors paddled across to gain access to an 11km trek on Sugarloaf.

“It was incredibly windy by this time but the temperature remained in the 20’s, says Hunt, “so it wasn’t unpleasant racing, just a bit tougher coping with the wind.”

A final paddle followed the Dart River for 7kms to finish at Paradise with a 2km run to the finish line where champagne awaited the winners.

Aurum Survey represented by New Zealand orienteering representative Bruce McLeod and top multisporter Phil Wood, won the race as predicted. They completed it in 19 hours 42 minutes.
“Their combined orienteering and multisport skills definitely made them the strongest team on paper and they lived up to expectations,” says Hunt.

But the exciting event was the placing, on the podium, of an Under-23 team,, a team made up of Dougal Allan, Mike Walker, Mattie Graham and Emmah Ussher, who finished the race in 22hrs and 21 secs, finishing runner-up to the experienced and talented two man Aurum Survey Queenstown team.

“They were chuffed to finish a Southern Traverse course and with the sort of talent they and the other Under 23 competitors are displaying New Zealand adventure racing is in good hands,” says Hunt. “ beat some other very experienced teams and these are the athletes who will carry on the tradition of the sport. At the World Adventure Racing Championships in Brazil in October the New Zealand team Orion not only won the event but seven out of the top twelve racers competing were Kiwis, numbers which speak for themselves.”

The eight hour adventure challenge introduced for the first time this year began at the Greenstone with a rough paddle on Lake Wakatipu at 8.00am on Saturday.

“There were a few capsizes but the Wakatipu Coastguard did an excellent job getting everyone back in the race again,” says Hunt.

The eight hour race involved paddling, trekking and biking and was won by Mike Kelly from Queenstown in 4hours 09 mins ahead of Aaron Scott of Christchurch in 4 hours 22mins.


Extreme urgency

November 18, 2008

As you know this blog is about extreme sport – I think we have now been talking and writing and reporting about extreme sports – spelt XTREME – far cooler – (pun not intended, see below) for over a year and occasionally my co-editor or I will go off on a rant about ‘something’.

Of course the cool thing about the word extreme is that it is both an adjective – there was an extreme drought –  and a noun – the drought was extreme. As this site evolves, and believe me big things are happening, we will use the word extreme in its many different guises and so develop the brand. Of course the adjective will be more useful – just think of the number of extremities you could have – after sport it could be food or fashion, weather or wealth, hotels or holidays, sandstorms or suffering, poverty or philanthropy and so I could go on adnauseum, which I won’t but I trust you get the drift.

Today I revert to one of our more favoured extremes and that is climate and want to relate below some of the extremes that we are experiencing and more pertinently the effects of these extremes:

at the current rate of carbon emissions global temperatures will rise by 2 degrees centigrade by 2050 – big deal I hear you shout, then read on numbskull:

  • 250 million people will be forced to leave their homes between now and 2050. 
  • Acute water shortages for 1-3 billion people
  • 30 million more people going hungry as agricultural yields go into recession across the globe
  • Sea levels edging towards increases of up to 95cm by the end of the century
  •  1990s was the hottest decade since records began
  • Warmer, wetter weather will see malaria, which currently kills up to 3 million people a year, spread to new territories
  • since 1995 more than 90% of glaciers have been in retreat. Once they are gone, they cannot be replaced
  • 90% of the victims of weather-related natural disasters during the 1990s lived in poor countries
  • Over the past 35 years, storms of the force of Hurricane Katrina have almost doubled
  • Most people reading this will live in a degree of comfort that will probably mean they just run the air conditioner for a few more hours a day but let me tell you – and its not only me in truth, far worthier individuals and organisations like the UK’s defence chiefs –  also fear the consequences are mass migration. You will never have experienced starvation or thirst, nor have I, but what are you going to do if you are starving or dying of thirst. You are gonna get off your boney butt and move.

    Migration of 1-3 billion people – where to – who are they? Well they will come to where there is plenty – do I need to say more and they will be ‘the poor’. (Actually they are people like you and I, they eat, drink, sleep and procreate a family but maybe they don’t have a BMW). This will cause huge tensions – it is what is hapening in Darfur, on a much smaller scale, migration as a result of water shortages. And what is Darfur – it should be called Daftwar – yes it is WAR.

    OMG I get weak at the thought – come on guys, we’ve got to change, we’ve got to put pressure on our ‘world improvers’ to get off their fat comfortable asses and indeed improve the world.

    Enough said for today – I leave you with a video from Darfur – thankyou rosary films.