ARC Adventure Race 2018 - Excalibur edition


ARC Adventure Race 2018 clues on secret course - How well do you know the wilderness beyond the comforts of Hahei, Tairua and Pauanui?

If you want to test your knowledge, or perhaps you are curious to explore rarely-visited areas of coastline, mountains and harbour in your backyard, then you will want to take a look at the upcoming Adventure Racing Coromandel race on 10 February 2018.

Pauanui is the base for Excalibur, the next ARC Adventure Race which has been put together by the highly experienced Coromandel-based Spirit of Coromandel Trust.

This week, trustees Keith Stephenson and Andy Reid spent some hours scouring the landscape in their quest to set a course that promises to be immensely challenging and spectacularly beautiful at the same time.

Contestants will be pushed to their physical and mental limits in teams of four as they abseil, kayak, mountain bike, run and rock hop across some of the most challenging terrain you never knew existed on your back doorstep.

The long course will take teams around 18 hours to complete while the short course is expected to take between six and 10 hours. Teams will need compass and survival skills if they wish to succeed – and there will be guaranteed moments where relationships are tested.

“This is no walk in the park,” says Keith, who has organised and run the event at a different location mostly on the Coromandel for 18 years. “There will be times that teams have to turn back – sometimes 10 minutes after a wrong turn and sometimes 2hrs, which can be pretty devastating.

“But they wouldn’t thank us if we made it any easier. The reward is so great for those that manage to complete the course.”

It is testament to the skill of the organisers that in the years that the event has been run, only once did they have to put a Search and Rescue team on standby – and they were stood down before they were called upon.

“Some of the SAR teams actually compete in order to brush up their own skills,” says Keith.

Through hours of challenging terrain that will include coastline, the tops of mountains, rivers and harbours, competitors must work together in a spirt of teamwork to ensure all members cross the line or they face disqualification.

Apart from the obvious teamwork and leadership skills that this imbues, the event is notable for how participants get to experience true wilderness – man or woman vs nature - in the heart of the Coromandel wilderness.    

 “Just when you thought you knew every corner of the Coromandel, the ARC race might surprise you,” says Andy.

“Every year we are constantly finding new unexplored corners of the Coromandel and even for us that’s a lot of fun.”

Find out more by visiting the website or get in touch with Keith or Andy in Coromandel Town.