A forthcoming visit to the Campo de Hielo Sur (Southern Patagonian Ice Field) will establish the route for the 2011 Patagonian Expedition Race, the most demanding and southernmost adventure race in the world. Held since 2004, this race combines mountain-biking, kayaking, trekking and climbing in the extreme south of Chile.
This news was communicated by Stjepan Pavicic, the creator and organizer of the event, during the launching of the ninth edition of the race in a meeting with foreign correspondents at Fundación Imagen de Chile.
In addition to Campo de Hielo Sur, extending over 13,000 square kilometers, making it the largest frozen territory of the hemisphere after Antarctica, representatives of the Patagonian Expedition Race will visit the fjords of the southern coastline of Chile.
The competition will take place between 8 and 16 February 2011, when teams of athletes from all over the world will cover close to 600 kilometers of the desolate virgin territory of Chilean Patagonia.
“When we plan the route, we ensure that it will be a good mix between virgin terrain and spectacular vistas. I can guarantee that the 2011 edition will not be an exception”, said Pavicic, who reveals the route only 24 hours before the beginning of the competition.
Ten teams have already signed up for the event. This edition is expected to increase the media impact achieved with the last version, where hundreds of publications appeared all over the world, including more than 740 hours of television time in over 150 countries, exhibiting the beauty of the Chilean landscape.
With 14 teams from all over the world, the eighth iteration of the Patagonian Expedition Race made it possible to consolidate the event not just as the southernmost competition in the world but also as the most demanding.
Compared by the specialized sports press to the FIFA World Soccer Cup or the Dakar off-road rally due to the international interest and prestige it has earned over the years, the 2010 version brought together 56 competitors from the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
The route followed the tracks of legendary explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Charles Darwin and delved into the heart of the Kawéskar, Selknam and Yagán cultures, crossing the Strait of Magellan, the mythical Tierra del Fuego, the Darwin range, the Beagle channel and Navarino island near Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world.
The event took place between February 9 and 17, 2010, and was marked by strong weather contrasts. Faithful to its demanding reputation, the route was completed by only seven teams and, in an exciting final, the British Helly Hansen-Prunesco team made history by winning the title for the second consecutive year.
Winds of around 100 kilometers per hour made it necessary to cancel the first section consisting of kayaking in the Strait of Magellan. These same winds were later one of the main obstacles to surmount during the mountain-bike stages. The greatest challenge, however, was trekking for 114 kilometers through the Darwin range, followed by crossing the waters of the Beagle channel in order to reach the finish line.