Nathan Fa’avae captain of all Kiwi team Avaya reflects on winning another Adventure Racing World Championships after crossing the line first yesterday in Reunion Island with team mates Chris Forne, Stu Lynch and Fleur Pawsey. It took the Kiwi’s 117 hours to traverse around and over Reunion island off Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
“It’s extremely satisfying to win here in Reunion. For me it’s special after being away from that level of racing for 2-years to come back and still be competitive. I owe that to the team of course, they raced outstandingly and with total commitment to the goal.
Fleur was super tough out there, given she only had 7-weeks notice to race, she endured some massive challenges within the race to get through, but she’s tough and did what was needed, we were really grateful for her tenacity.
The heat and the steepness of the terrain made the biggest natural obstacles, it was over 30-degrees at times and you’re bashing through jungle dripping with sweat, the brutal and unrelenting nature of the course meant that there was some long periods of dealing with discomfort.
Fresh drinking water was very scare out on the course too. Our pre race plan was to take it easy for 2-3 days, look after ourselves and look for an opportunity to take control of the race.
That came after the major pack rafting stage in the middle of the race. We’d essentially been quiet until that point just ticking off the hours and stages, but when we exited the pack rafts with a lead, we decided to have a go and apply some pressure.
From that point on we felt in powerful position and we’d used our mandatory sleep wisely, plus taking additional sleep to the 12-hours.
We never dropped our guard though, we knew the dams behind us were excellent racers and always close enough to change roles if we made any errors.
Chris was flawless with the navigation with Stu backing him up, together they form such a solid partnership, of skills, strength and technical ability.
Our only blip was when Chris was removing his belay device from an abseil when the rope was pulled up causing him to drop it into a deep dark pool, not way of retrieving it, we got a 30-minute penalty for that.
We are enjoying the rest now and reflecting on what was an epic course that asked a lot from us, we gave it what was required, but we’re pretty knocked about from it, nothing some ice cream won’t fix.
It feels very good to have a NZ team hold the title for yet another year”.