Estonians second in extreme Expedition Africa adventure race
Estonian ACE Adventure Team came very close to winning Expedition Africa, a 500-kilometer international extreme adventure race.
Expedition Africa is part of the Adventure Racing World Series, a competition for the world's best endurance athletes. Adventure racing is a multi-discipline endurance sport where competitors compete in teams, navigating from control point to control point. Disciplines include mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, swimming, rope work and orienteering.
This year's Expedition Africa took place in the Kingdom of Swaziland. It involved teams from Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Israel, New Caledonia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US, among others.
In the finish line, Merrell Adventure Addicts from South Africa beat Estonia by 15 minutes, which in a 100 meter race would equal a few hundredths of a second.
The final 34-kilometer trekking stage of the race saw Estonia and Merrell overtake each other several times, but in the end, Estonians had to bow down to South Africans' better knowledge of the local conditions.
It took the winning teams 72 hours to complete the roughly 500-kilometer course. The course will stay open for a total of 170 hours, meaning the last teams have until Sunday to finish.
The ACE Adventure Team is made up of Timmo Tammemäe, Mariann Sulg, and Rain and Silver Eensaar.
Estonian team transporting their bikes before the start of the race (ACE Adventure Team/Facebook)
The Eensaar brothers are three-time world champions and Tammemäe one-time champion in rogaining, long distance cross-country navigation.
In November, the team will compete at the Adventure Racing World Championships in the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland area in Brazil.