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Strong winds on the Spencers Gulf have forced race organisers to cancel the final kayaking stage of XPD, the Adventure Racing World Series event underway in South Australia. Teams will now complete the final leg of the race with a bike ride from Melrose to the finish line at Port Augusta.
Race Director, Louise Foulkes confirmed "Due to VERY strong winds over the next three days, the kayak leg has been cancelled. Teams will now ride direct from Melrose to Port Augusta".
In the history of the XPD adventure race series, this will be the first time that the course has not included kayaking.
This decision has caused some confusion for the two leading teams, Mountains Designs and the young team from New Zealand, Bivouac Colts. Both teams had commenced the kayaking leg last night before camping at the edge of the Spencers Gulf due to the enforced "dark zone" where for safety reasons teams are not allowed to paddle on open water after dark. These two teams will now be transported by car to the final checkpoint at Blanche Harbour and will kayak the final 30 km into Port Augusta.
Will a 30 km paddle decide the winner of this epic 700 km adventure race? Will it be an Australian or New Zealand team that wins the free entry into the Adventure Racing World Championships in Costa Rica?
For more details and low res images go to live.xpd.com.au
XPD 2013 - As Much an Expedition as a Race