Nathan Fa'avae is a very determined man. He is also tough as nails and super dependable - that is why our support of him and his mighty Hilux is a great match - they both just go and go and go!
Nathan is also a multiple World Champ at Adventure Racing - a sport that often requires athletes to endure 3-5 (or sometimes longer) days continuously racing other teams in the most extreme places in extreme conditions with minimal gear. It is amazing to say the least when you start diving into this world to think that we have an icon of what could arguably be the world's toughest sport, living on our doorstep!
So here we are. In under 2 days Nathan and his team, Team Seagate, will be defending their title in an attempt to make it 3 in a row. What is Nathan doing as a part of his preparation? Sending emails and pictures to his sponsors! This guy is awesome, and it is this determination and dedication that gets him to where he needs with the help of sponsors who can share in his journey as it happens!
Check out his pre race report below. It is inspiring.
Kia Ora Sponsors and Supporters
I write this with less the 40-hours to go until the start of the 2015 Adventure Racing World Championships being held in the Pantanal region in Brazil.
I’m here with the core team and defending World Champion squad, Stuart Lynch (Auckland), Sophie Hart & Chris Forne (Christchurch).
We’ve been in Brazil for a few days getting ready in what I’d say has been a very chilled out and relaxed build up, possibly a reflection of the team and our experience at the big competitions, or maybe because the place we’re based at, Corumba, on the border of Bolivia, is a chilled out place, despite it being exceptionally hot, temperature wise.
We’re looking forward to the race and equally to the adventure, it really does feel like we’re heading to the wilds, and each day closer to the start time, the danger of the environment gets more real, and a tad concerning - the unavoidable truth, we’re heading into remote tropical jungle where many things will see us as a threat in a predatory manner, or just something to eat. Tomorrow night we take a navy boat for 12-hours upriver and into the remote interior, where there are no roads and very little human inhabitants, the first half of the race shall we say will be ‘out there’.
The race is said to be 715km and the winning time about four and a half days, which to be honest, we’re very skeptical of. In our experience, you can’t race over 700km in that time regardless of the terrain, except perhaps the salt plains of Utah, we’re preparing ourselves mentally and physically for a long epic race where the terrain, wildlife and effects the tropics has on ones body, will be far more of a focus than racing other teams.
Staying safe and healthy is priority number one, finishing the race number two, racing to win is third.
We’re in good shape, we’ve trained well and we know how to win this race, the world championships. An interesting fact, which holds us as pre race favourite, is at least one of our team has won the World Champs six times in the last decade, starting when I won in 2005. Chris won in 2007, Stu in 2008 (in Brazil), then again in 2012, 2013 (Stu) and 2014. Those statistics give us confidence, especially given we finished on the podium for every one of the years we didn’t win. The challenge for us in many ways to extract that experience and learning and apply it to a race winning bid, time will tell.
One thing is for certain, we’ll be giving it our best shot, for ourselves, our sponsors and New Zealand.
We’ll be kept busy with 14-stages, mountain biking, kayaking, rope skills and hiking, navigation is also a major component and new for this year, the sport of pack-rafting. We’re going to be travelling through vast areas of wetlands and we anticipate the navigation and route choice options will make much of the racing quite random, every team will have hits and misses and I suspect keeping calm under those pressures will be vital.
Heat related illnesses and foot issues will be a given, management of those aspects will be vital for any team to walk across the finish line.
From a competition aspect we think the Swedish Team Silva Hagloffs to be the main contender to take the title. They are a very experienced team and with Kiwi Aaron Prince with them, they have all the qualities and skills to succeed. They have not finished the last two World Champs due to injuries but that’s not reflective in anyway of their potential, they are an excellent team. The current World Ranked number one team Columbia (Spain/Brazil) should be competitive and will have some local advantages.
Added to that, there are strong teams from France, UK/NZ (former World Champions 2009), South Africa, Australia and USA. As with any major event, anything can happen and that’s the exciting part.
We hope you enjoy watching us race!
The event website is: www.arwcpantanal.com
Nathan & Team
TEAM SEAGATE SPONSORS
Seagate, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Absolute Wilderness Freeze Dry Meals, GU Energy, Wildside Travel, inov8 footwear, Gloworm Lighting, Tineli, Em’s Power Cookies & Bars, ReadySetGo Antichafe, Bowater Toyota, Nordenmark, Revelate Designs, Pics Peanut Butter, Bridgedale Socks, Torpedo7,