The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 2009 - Unique and Universal

By combining an accessible stage format with a convivial race culture and exposure to local traditions, the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 2009 affirms its universal appeal by, once again, drawing widespread interest from teams around the globe.

Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge.  Foto: Sascha JurekFrom overall course design, rules and regulations to logistical support and cultural context, all aspects of The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 2009 are carefully fine-tuned to bring out the best in every competing team. The stage-race format allows athletes to give 100% during the day’s racing while benefiting from the restorative qualities of an evening bivouac.

Optional routes, included in the longer, more challenging stages, allow teams to maximise their physical effort by racing at their own rhythm, incurring a time penalty rather than dropping out altogether through exhaustion. If a team wanders off-course enough to require direct intervention from the organization, penalties are incurred but provision has been made to avoid exclusion from the race altogether. Winning is for one; participating is for all.

Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge.  Foto: Sascha JurekAlthough teams are free to bring their own equipment, the organisation provides top quality MTBs, and state of the art sea-kayaks to every team. All the logistics involved in transporting teams and gear between stages and serving hot meals in the transitional bivouacs is also covered by the organisation, eliminating the need for support crews.

Last year, this innovative and unique set of credentials attracted an exceptional field comprising 36 teams from no fewer than 19 different nations, establishing The Challenge as the world’s most cosmopolitan adventure race ever - a record well within sight this year as pros, seasoned amateurs and neophytes already flock to register for the 2009 event. Many “early adopters“ are completely new to the race with the likes of Arctic Explorers (GB), Dolphin Team Xtreme (NL) and Kinesium (FRA) joining ranks with returnees Salomon Crested Butte (USA) and Speleo Salomon (POL) to name just few.

Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge.  Foto: Sascha JurekA common refrain among newcomers is echoed by Dave Savvas, captain of expat Australians Southern Cross: “The format is unique and this really inspired us to get a team together for this year. The combination of events, especially the desert trek, is exciting and will definitely test us as a team. The environment is also unique and, whilst we are living in the UAE, there is no better way to really get a true appreciation of the environment…”

There are few arenas in the AR world that inspire both rookies and established champions – the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge is one of them.


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