CONGRATULATIONS TO TEAM GEARSRACING.COM FOR WINNING THE RAID THE NORTH: FRENCH RIVER!
At 12:35am, Saturday June 12th, under a starry sky and peppered with countless black flies and mosquitoes, 33 teams embarked on the first Raid the North Series event for 2004, held in the beautiful French River Region. Water levels rose over a couple of feet last week, flooding the regions waterways. Teams from across the country travelled 160 km to the start line from Base Camp in Alban, Ontario, to a location fondly named “Bummer’s Roost”. Bummer’s Roost is an historical lodge on a local trade route that apparently got its name from a man by the name of Roost, who was jokingly known by his friends as perhaps not the most motivated of people - a “bum”.
Racers started on bikes and headed north past Bummer’s Roost towards the town of Commanda, outside of Nippising. With a 40km trail, plenty of choice off the bat and a marsh to negotiate, the competitors were well spread out with a 1 hour and 13 minute gap between the first and last teams to arrive at the first Check Point. Despite the gap between the 33 teams, the first three to arrive were close on each others' heels. Not surprisingly, biking enthusiasts gearsracing.com arrived in first place at 01:42. Followed very closely behind was ARC/Earth Adrenalin at 01:44 and EAS/Hammer at 1:46.
From Check Point 1, competitors continued on bikes to the first Transition Area of the race outside the town of Nippising. Arriving first to the Transition Area, and first to leave, was ARC/Earth Adrenalin, coming in at 02:57 and leaving at 3:12. Followed closely behind was Enduro Sport: One Week Before arriving in at 03:06 and leaving at 03:20. Right behind Enduro was both EAS/Hammer and Simon River Sports. Despite EAS/Hammer arriving 13 minutes after Simon River Sports, Both teams departed the Transition Area at 03:40, proving that a succinct transition can be a great advantage!
Teams are currently making their way through a trek which will really start to test their navigation skills. Swamp, bugs, bushwhacking and trail running will challenge them for the next few hours.
Saturday News Release:
It has been hot, unrelenting, bug infested day. All teams are through CP4 / TA2. Lead teams are currently approaching the rappel site at CP 10.
The first trek challenged teams, hunting through a network of ATV and old logging trails. This threw even the most experienced teams off course. Bob Miller, Course Designer was confident that this section would distinguish the teams with the most confident navigators. To add to the challenge of the trek, teams were seen leaving CP4 / TA2 with inflated pack rafts. First into CP3, halfway through the trek were veterans Team Beowulf followed closely by GearsRacing.com, EAS/Hammer and Simon River Sports. Teams arrived at CP 3 through the bush from the east, on trail from the south, and six innovative teams arrived via packrafts down Sand Lake from the north. The first team to arrive at CP4 / TA2 was Gearsracing.com who had the fastest trekking split of 5hrs. A surprised second place into CP4 / TA2 was Storm Racing who completed the second half of the trek approximately 30 mins faster than any other team. The second half of the trek took teams anywhere from 2 to 7 hrs. Teams were found decidedly off-course 10 km south of the described course on highway 524.
CP 4 / TA2 was located at a boat launch in the breathtaking Restoule Provincial Park, where teams were met by their smiling support crew. Teams paddled out of Stormy Lake down the Restoule River into the Dokis First Nations Reserve. This was an incredible paddle along part of the original trade route that Samuel de Champlain pioneered with local indian guides. Well positioned Team GearsRacing.com made an impressive charge to gain a significant lead over the chase pack, consisting of skilled teams Storm Racing, Beowulf, EAS/Hammer and Simon River Sports.
Limited information has reached basecamp from CP 5 to CP 9. We will update this section as volunteers are relieved of their duties and stories start to pour into Base Camp. This part of the course consisted of many short legs, including a zip line / trek, mountain bike and paddle.
“Gearsracing.com has maintained their one hour lead throughout this section with EAS/hammer leading the chase pack.
Ten teams took the advanced section which offered teams at least three route choices to reach CP10. The first option is a canoe ferry onto 18 Mile Island followed by a 16 Km Trek. The second a 15 km packraft down the French River. The third is a conservative 26 km run on the north side of the French River along gravel and paved roads. Gears Racing.com, Beowulf, and Simon River Sports have opted to run on the north side of the French River. Team Storm Racing has taken the canoe ferry onto 18 Mile Island. Team Young, Younger, Hot, Sexy are a few hours behind the leaders, but it is being reported that they are inflating their packrafts at CP 9A.
At approximately 21:00 HRS radio silence was broken by EAS/Hammer reporting that Robyn Tindale was vomiting and feeling extremely nauseous. The team have pulled themselves from the race and have requested to be picked up by their support crew. Her condition is stable and they have not requested further medical assistance.
The race for the finish line is intensifying. Gearsracing.com reached the rappel site at 23:29 HRS. Team Beowulf has staged an impressive come back and checked in to the rappel site at 23:53 HRS. The next two teams, ARC/Earth Adrenalin and Infiterra Sports arrived at the rappel site simultaneously at 00:24 HRS, both are on the regular course. With twenty minutes separating the top two teams - the race for the finish is on!!
Sunday news update:
03:20 HRS, in the early hours of Sunday, Gearsracing.com still hold the lead into CP12. At this CP, teams pick up their bikes for a sprint finish home. At this point there is no news of Beowulf or Simon River Sports, who are fighting for second place.
Gearsracing.com crossed the finish line at 04:05 to claim First Place in Raid the North French River. Simon River Sports moved a place ahead of Beowulf into CP 12 and came into the finish approximately half an hour after the strong leaders.
Congratulations to the three leading teams for a fantastic race.
LEADER BOARD (Top Twenty)
Rank Finish Time
Gearsracing.com 04:05 ADV
Simon River Sports 05:13 ADV
Beowulf 05:25 ADV
Hunger 08:25 ADV
Young, Younger, Hot, Sexy 08:44 ADV
Endurosport one week before 09:35 ADV
Unskilled, Unsponsored, Unrelenting 09:57 ADV
Terranuts 10:41 ADV
Storm Racing 11:50 ADV
ARC / Earth Adrenalin 05:13
Infiterra Sports 06:57
Six Screaming Carrots 07:20
What the Frik is a Firkin 07:28
Flash Five 07:33
Lather, Rinse, Repeat 07:19 (8:49 with time penalty)
All over the map 09:37
Natures Source 09:58
Tree Huggers 10:15