The town of Hermanus is synonymous with whale watching and specifically of the Southern Right whales. Hermanus is situated in Walker Bay, which provides a natural shelter for the migrating whales that breed and calve in the area through the winter and spring months. Fortunately, for the teams taking part in Expedition Africa’s event this weekend, the whales will not yet be around. The two- and four-person teams can fly past the many land-based viewing sites and keep focus on their race as they trek, kayak and mountain bike through this beautiful area.
This weekend, the second of five events of the 2023 Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) Africa Regional Circuit sponsored by Merrell takes place.
The event starts and finishes at the Wortelgat Outreach Trust in Stanford, a campsite located on the Klein River lagoon. A popular spot for watersports, teams can confidently assume that they will paddle on the lagoon. Trying to guess where the mountain biking and trekking legs will take them is futile as there are many nature reserves and tracks in the surrounding Kleinrivier Mountains. They can be sure that Stephan Muller’s course planning will take them into this imposing terrain.
“Hermanus is special to us because in 2011 we had our first Expedition Africa event there,” says Stephan Muller. “Now, 12 years later we are hosting the AR World Championship in the Kouga region of the Eastern Cape in October.”
After this Hermanus event, the Expedition Africa duo of Heidi and Stephan Muller turn their focus to the course and final details for their AR World Championship event.
Speaking about Hermanus, Stephan says that it is “one of few places on the coast where you have everything in very close proximity to a town: the mountain, river and lagoon, long white-sand beaches and typical district roads”.
All courses will take teams through the historic town of Stanford, where they will enjoy an orienteering-type section past interesting sites.
He explains that the cycle leg for the 24-40hr course is a long loop with similar terrain to that of the AR World Championship that they are organising later this year. This makes it excellent race preparation for the teams building up towards that event.
This event has a good turnout with numerous two-person and four-person teams. Interestingly, in the 6-12hr event, the number of pairs is double that of teams.
Long course teams start at 17h00 on Friday evening. Those lining up for the 6-12hr and 12-24hr events will set off at 07h00 on Saturday morning.
Family, friends and supporters can follow the race online. Teams carry a SPOT GPS tracking device that relays their position and updates regularly. Compare route decisions and cheer – from afar – for the participants. Note that tracking will not be available on Friday night to prevent teams starting the next morning from seeing where the long-course teams go. Tracking will be visible from 07h00 on Saturday morning. Check our social media platforms for insights and observations on Friday night and through the weekend.
The ARWS Africa Regional Circuit is sponsored by Merrell. A long-established outdoor brand, Merrell’s extensive range of performance footwear and apparel is well suited to the adventure racing environment where racers depend on their gear delivering performance throughout the day and night and in changing conditions. The brand delivers on their statement that they ‘Share the Simple Power of Being Outside with Everyone’.
To watch the race unfold at Expedition Africa – Stanford-Hermanus, follow the live tracking at www.expafrica.live and visit on Expedition Africa’s Facebook page facebook.com/expafrica.net and Instagram profile @ExpAfrica over the weekend for updates, photos and results from the race.
Event: Expedition Africa – Stanford/Hermanus
Date: 24-26 March 2023
Location: Stanford-Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
Course distances: 6-12hrs, 12-24hrs, 24-40hrs
Start times: 24-40hrs: Friday, 24 March 2023 at 17h00
6-12hrs and 12-24hrs: Saturday, 25 March 2023 at 07h00
Team format: pairs and 4s
Live tracking: www.expafrica.live