A few words from the organizers.....

Adventure racing is fast becoming a world wide sport and being recognized by more and more people around the world. This year the 4th annual Wilderness Langkawi Challenge was truly an international event, with teams from all over Asia and from Australia, UK, Sweden, Spain and the US. This years challenge was, once again, the stage for a very real adventure.

The preparation day was an adventure in it self. The Bella Vista Hotel was a buzz with teams registering for the race and going through all the skills tests necessary to complete the race. Practicing Kayak capsize procedures, swim and ride tests and even a mini abseil out of one of the balconies in the hotel kept participants busy proving their capabilities. With safety being the number one priority, race organizers spared no expense in ensuring competitors would be ready for the Challenge that lay ahead the following day.

Sponsors also took the opportunity to show off what they had to offer with Chiropractors, Gear stores, Equipment suppliers and bike servicing all setting up booths to help the athletes fully prepare for the race that would turn out to be the biggest ever! Race day arrived and well over of 400 competitors, sponsors, marshals and media were transported from the hotel to the Ferry terminal for the 10 minute crossing to the Start line on Pulau Tuba.

With kayaks, bikes, ropes, harnesses, helmets, checkpoints, paperwork, food, water and marshals all organized and in place the race start was a welcome event! The Fast And Furious Category saw most teams heading straight up Pulau Tubas highest point to bag Checkpoint 1 and then on to the much talked about 70 metre abseil at Checkpoint 9 located close by. Bursting out of the jungle they were quickly humbled by the massive drop. Being adventure racers they quickly overcame any hesitations and as they waited their turn to lower them selves off the rock face they took in the beautiful views of Langkawi's Legendary Island of Pulau Dayang Bunting and surrounding Pulau Tuba.

The abseil slowed teams down as they waited their turn but on reaching the bottom they were off again through the thick jungle and thorny vegetation on a search for the quickest way out to the local road.

Meanwhile the Slow and Steady teams were racing hard on their kayaks heading for the Research Vessel "Reef Explorer" to be challenged by the high ropes course awaiting them. Tying their kayaks to the back of the ship and boarding the vessel they completed a series of high ropes challenges only to reach the bow of the ship and be faced with a "walk the plank" activity to reunite them with the sea! As nerves built, competitors encouraged each other to take the plunge and drop into the water many metres below. Upon splashing into the water the slow and steady competitors swam to the back of the mighty ship and boarded their kayaks for the paddle to surrounding island for more checkpoints.

As fast and furious picked up more checkpoints and charged out of the jungle they made their way back to their bikes for the next stage. Heading across the newly opened bridge to Dayang Bunting the support helicopter buzzed overhead shadowing them around and taking the opportunity to get some great film footage. With the race in full swing and competitors from both categories focused on grabbing as many checkpoints as time would allow, Base Camp was busy putting on its own challenges for locals and spectators alike. With Tele games for the kids, and entertainment it was all happening as people waited in anticipation to see which teams would return with the most checkpoints. As slow and steady began the jungle running stage, fast and furious were busy negotiating caves, swimming challenges and difficult to find checkpoints. The kayak leg was next for fast and furious and an impressive checkpoint awaited them along the way.

The Lili Marleen is a beautiful Tall Ship that sits proudly in the Kuah Harbour. As kayakers made their way to the majestic vessel they were met with several challenges. Firstly getting off the kayak and onto the boarding ladder proved very challenging as competitors arms and bodies were weak from the strenuous work they had done throughout the day. Boarding the ship they made there way to the fore mast and climbed the rigging for sensational views of Langkawi and surrounds.

Upon returning to the deck they were then faced with a Jump Ship Activity and swim back to the kayaks and on to further checkpoints. Returning to Basecamp the competitors were met with cheers as they made their way across the finish line. Adventure Racing is a test of endurance, skill, team work and courage. The competitors of the 2008 Wilderness Langkawi Challenge showed that they have what it takes and proved there worth by completing the day.

The day was a great success and all those involved managed once again to pull off one of South East Asias biggest and most exciting outdoor event.

Wilderness Malaysia 2008
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Wilderness Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Email : info@wildernessmalaysia.com