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Tracking the Adventure Racing World Championship Pantanal


Adventure Racing World Championship Pantanal

This race starts as it means to continue with participants paddling up the Paraguay River. The river is a federal waterway so there will be massive amounts of river traffic for the competitors to dodge and weave among. Part way up the river is where the team's navigational skills will be required, as they will have to find a route from the Paraguay River through a small corixo to access Baia Vermelha which looks like a huge lagoon with calm waters that lead to first stage end on a beach, in front of a Bocaiuva plantation at Santa Teresa Farm.


Section two sees the competitors trek up hill and across country to the start of section three where they will be navigating a flatwater creek and Mandiore Lagoon. Once they find a safe place to land they will need to tackle the long climb up Morro Comprido. There are no official trails to the top meaning teams will have to think on their feet while ascending. After the long trek they will be rewarded with spectacular views.


The next stage is not for the faint-hearted. As the participants trek Serra Do Amolar there is a high possibility of coming face to face with a jaguar as they live in the valleys they will be traversing. The start of the trek has 8 kilometres of trail but after that there is no set way to climb the mountain. Serra do Amolar's mountainsides are steep with huge walls so safe navigation is crucial at this point. Once at the top they will have to follow the ridge, crossing springs, creeks and waterfalls along the way.


Once down the mountain there is the little matter of paddling 60 kilometres on the Paraguay River. There are many river communities along the route that are more than willing to offer shelter to the athletes should they need it, as the next stage is where the most difficult section of the race begins.


The teams will have to follow herdsmans' roads which seems simple enough but there is a twist. These "roads" only appear in the dry season and change year to year as the cattle will take the driest route. Although a flat trek, there will be many patches where the water will be up to waist height and participants will sometimes need to swim part of the way to their destination making sure to check for stingrays, with their mandatory trekking poles, along the way.


The next section is what will separate the wheat from the chaff as 50 kilometres in a inflatable boat in a region with countless trail possibilities will test the teams' orienteering skills to the max. Once ashore it is a short 26km trek across farm land to the mountain biking section of the course.


Again the navigational skills of the teams will be tested they are left to decide their own course over the 150k. There are courses which are shorter but wetter, longer but on good roads or medium but with sandy sections. Then again it is onto a water section. Kayaking along the Miranda River can be dangerous as it is famous for jaguars along its banks. It is also a long river with very fast waters which the participants will have to be mindful of. Competitors will find them selves back again in the Paraguay River and must reach Albuquerque bay for the start of the next section.


The teams will scramble from their boats back onto their now very familiar bikes for a 53km ride which sees them approaching Corumbá and Serra do Urucum, crossing roads, entering mining areas, and reaching the foot of the Morro do Urucum by following a railroad. Once there they will follow a trail amidst the forest, athletes arrive at the start of the Rope Section.


The rope section will be a 2.7km rappel down over ledges until they hit the bottom where once again their trusty mountain bikes will be waiting. They will mountain bike down the valley, reaching the Estrada Parque (Park Road). Then they ride through the APA Baia Negra until Ladário, a city neighbor to Corumbá.


The final stage see the competitors paddle single-trunk-sculpted canoes from Ladário. These canoes are known for their unstable nature, so getting to the finish line without swimming once or twice will be seen as a great achievement.


Each team will have a YB3 tracker upon their persons at all times. The trackers collect and transmit data through the Iridium satellite network so that organisers, friends and family can follow the competitors' progress on a race viewer.

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