ADAC welcomes the world

December 7th, 2008: With a field of 37 teams representing a record of 21 different countries, the 2008 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge positions itself as the world’s most international adventure racing event.

Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge.  Foto: Sascha Jurek / FunsportingOn 12th December, a glittering field of 37 teams, representing no fewer than 21 different nations, are due to line up in Abu Dhabi city for the start of the 2008 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge. This remarkable turnout, the most globally representative of any adventure race in the history of the sport, not only establishes the undeniably international credentials of this race but also underpins worldwide interest in the sport itself.

Among the 37 are both heroes and legends from the illustrious past of adventure racing. On the team front, the indomitable NIKE (US) led by Mike Kloser, are back to try and go one better than their second place last year. Also back this year to defend last year’s win are Richard and Elina Ussher, accompanied on their quest by Jarad Kohlar and Henry Jay, racing under the aegis of Desert Islands (NZ).

Karine Baillet has drafted ace biker Marcel Hagener into Wilsa Helly Hansen, in a bid to improve on last year’s third spot. Top British squad Saab Salomon, no strangers to international success, are racing here for the first time and hoping to capitalise on their obvious speed over the ground to reap some delight from the desert. Adco Aroc (AU) make a welcome return to the international scene, sure to leave a competitive and emotional mark on this event.

Lundhags Adventure, with comeback captain Bjorn Rydvall, are one of three Swedish teams eager to take the honours while Orion Health.com (NZ), Salomon Crested Butte (US) and Spain’s Salomon Santiveri will give even the best a run for their money. Standing out from an impressive list of individual athletes are “hall of famers” like Marc Balaskovic, who can count among his long list of achievements an appearance in every Raid Gauloises. He will confront Karim Benamrouche, one of the sport’s most wellknown personalities.

First-timers are also in abundance, including the five lucky Adta Awards winners from Britain, Sweden, Slovenia the USA and South Africa. Handed a “golden ticket” to this prestigious event, by virtue of their international neophyte status and achievements on their respective domestic circuits, they will want to prove themselves worthy of a place in this world-class field. Competing against this field of rookies and adventure racing icons will be, among others, local teams from The Emirates, Brazil, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Poland and more; a tribute to the global appeal of this truly international event.

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