Australia has a new Adventure Race on the calendar, Explore Gippsland Adventure Race, which has joined the Adventure 1 Series for 2020. Race Director Rob Preston has been an ambassador for the first 3 years of A1, and captained the 2018 champions Team Thought Sports. Rob is now excited to share his experience and passion for the sport through Explore Gippsland.
Explore Gippsland will be based in the small town of Erica just 2hrs drive East of Melbourne, Victoria.
“I moved to Gippsland 12 years ago and I’m continually amazed by the variety of landscapes. The hardest decision has been choosing which area I would hold the first event. But I settled on the Walhalla and Mountain Rivers district because it was the first area I fell in love with” Rob explained. “I wanted to organise a race a long time ago, but just got addicted to racing and never committed the time.”
Walhalla is one of Australia’s most famous gold-mining areas with over 4000 residents in the late 19th century before the gold ran out and population dropped to 20. The town has been revived as a tourist destination with mining tours, ghost tours and a narrow gauge tourist railway.
“The region was severely affected by bushfires last summer, but the forest is just so beautiful as it regenerates. I just can’t wait to share this amazing course”,Rob explained. “The event is un-supported format, and we aim to make the weekend as logistically easy as possible, yet still cover some very remote areas.”
Each discipline has some challenges, both physically and navigationally. But just because the race organisers have a background in orienteering doesn’t necessarily mean there is an excess of navigation. “To me, it’s more important to have a fair course, on accurate maps and where the race is unlikely to be decided by luck.” Rob explained.
Rob Preston has raced 25 expedition races around the world since 2007 including multiple AR World Series wins and 2 AR World Championship medals. Rob and wife Kathryn have also won a World Rogaining Championships together and represented Australia in Orienteering since for 15 years at the elite level.
Join Australia’s best adventure athletes for the opening round of the 2020 Mountain Designs A1 Adventure Series.
Dates: 29 Feb-1 March, 2020
Location: Walhalla and Mountain Rivers, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
A1 Series- 30hr- Premier Mixed, Female and Male teams of 4.
A2 Series- 13hr- Premier Mixed, Female and Male teams of 2.
3-6hr (Sprint Distance)- Premier Mixed, Female and Male teams of 2.
Core disciplines: trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, packrafting (30hr only) and off-track navigation.