GeoQuest 2009 Reports
Look at the Line up 2009 - Contenders and Pretenders.
Mountain Designs GeoQuest is THE adventure race each year that brings
together the very best teams from across the country. Hopes are high but
in such a competitive field, few champions are crowned and the hopes of
many more are drowned. To sate your hunger, like Pringles and Coke at
2am, here is a preview of the contenders and pretenders for 2009. The
authors take full responsibility for inaccurate information and warn you
now there is likely more fiction than fact. It has been written over a
glass or two of red wine and proofing has been omitted. Enjoy the preview!
Contenders – Looking for a win
APEX (Christie Sym, Hugh Stodart, Simon Manson, Guy
These are the current super stars of GeoQuest. With the shortest odds
of all teams you can expect to see these guys laying down the gauntlet
to the others. Christie and the boys came second in 07 then left the field
eating dust to win in 08. Down a 4th team member, Guy has been promoted
from their high speed support crew driver to their fully fledged number
4. Apex are good at everything, always looking composed, and they like
to control and dictate the race from the front. Catch em if you can!
Mountain Designs (Gary Sutherland, Brett Stevens, Brit
Caling, Craig Stevens) (QLD)
Winners of the GeoQuest a couple of years ago, this team has been threatening
to retire ever since then. Each year though their wives and families nag
them to enter so they can go somewhere for a holiday (join them for a
glass of wine near the HQ tent!). Team Mountain Designs are strong in
everything, experienced and always pushing to the limit (as proof they
have finished on the podium 4 out of their last 6 GeoQuests). They will
be hoping for Rubic cubes during the race and sausages at the end to spur
them to victory.
Blackheart (Damon Georke…) (VIC)
While Damon is always holding an Ace up his sleeve, unfortunately he often
ends up with a team of jokers (so he tells us). Back in the early days
members of this team won the GeoQuest and these horses are looking to
bring back those glory days. As the current undisputed expedition AR champs
of Australia, the punters are starting to again throw some money their
way. Great strategy and tactics, top navigation and all round fitness
are this teams strengths – but it always comes down too… is
the race long enough?? Possibly as a tactic, Damon is keeping his team
a secret right to the last. Watch them, they are the Wiley Coyotes of
orienteering.asn.au/Blackheart (Rob Preston…)
While Rob is keeping his team line up a secret as well, authors guess
that he has big plans for this race. One of our countries recent jet setting
adventure racers Rob has been appearing as a ring in for many international
teams recently. He may even bring back some high profile international
racers for a crack at first place, who knows… With his orienteering
background this team is unlikely to get lost out there. Solid in the other
disciplines but with an unknown line up punters are sitting on the fence.
Hi Kerry, yes Rob is ok.
Pretenders – Possible podium
Nga Rakau (Tim Cochrane…) (NZ)
A gun team from New Zealand out to show the Aussies how to race. This
team won an entry to Geo through placing second in the very competitive
ARC 24hr in NZ. Concentration is their weakness as the have a tendency
to get distracted while racing (e.g. convincing innocent old ladies to
cook for them in the middle of the night). Their strengths are in longer
distances (4th XPD 08) so 48hrs may not be enough time to wind them up.
TBA (Mounty) (Sam Maffet, Richard Mountstephens, Kris
Plain, Katrin Van der Spiegel) (VIC)
OK – these guys are here to make an impact. Sam was in the winning
team in 07 and Richard has flirted with the podium. Kris and Katrin round
out the team giving a depth of individual multisport and mountain bike
talent. Don’t let your guard down around this team.
Keen Torqers (Stewart Cowey, Del Lloyd, Grant Suckling,
This energetic group scared a few teams at the XPD Whitsundays race by
spending some time at the front of the pack. Eventually they placed 5th
but being penalized into 8th place for some dodgy shenanigans on course.
Some good placings at other races give them a mention in this category
but being their first GeoQuest together this horse will draw long odds.
SCAR (Robbie Andrews, Danielle Gage, Rob Gowland, Mark
This team from the sunshine coast is yet to hit the big time at GeoQuest.
Being beaten by an all girls team last year has the author wondering why
they have even made it to this list? Well, based their form winning Hells
Bells 24hr race the last two years running, there is an outside chance
we will see these spritely competitors on the podium. Good across all
disciplines they are worth keeping an eye on. Watch out GOT, the word
nemesis has been mentioned once, or twice, or thrice…
The following teams amongst many other, should endeavour to keep the
field honest and make it almost impossible for a male team to crack the
top 10 finishers. Look out for the following dark horse teams – Tasman (ACT), Phoenix Adventure (QLD), Fugawhe (ACT), Austrelaps (ACT).
Cowgirls Tri Adventure (Jan Leverton, Kim Beckinsale,
Narelle Ash, Wendy Read) (QLD)
This is the strongest edition of the Cowgirls that Geo has ever seen which
indicates that the gauntlet is down. The all male teams can’t get
near them and the mixed category better watch out as well. There is one
small problem… their nemesis from across the Tasman is back! A close
race in 07 saw the Cowgirls and Girls On Top racing each other all the
way to the finish. The cowgirls lost that bout and with no re-match possible
the following year, in 2009 they want revenge!
Girls on Top (Debbie Chambers, Anne Lowerson, Britney
Ellesmere, Erin Roberts) (NZ)
Despite the humour in their bios, these girls are deadly serious competitors
and will trample any team in their way and laugh while they are doing
it. The depth of experience from Debbie and Annie form the rock of this
team. These girls kicked many egos last year by crossing the line in 8th
and beating all the Male teams to the finish line.
Team Red (QLD), More Training Required (NSW) and Echo (QLD) stand out
as the All Male teams to watch. A number of first time teams are also
entered in the male category that could cause an upset. However it is
hard to go past teams with previous Geo race experience – it really
does count for a lot.
2009 has the biggest field to date with 70 teams starting across both
the full and half courses. It is impossible to mention all teams and in
fact the wine ran out long before we could tackle the 27 odd teams in
the Geo-Half. I guess we will all have to eagerly await the results, either
at Forster or from the comfort of our keyboards following the live coverage.
We all look forward to an amazing race, be it for the podium, or just
for the finish line, see you soon!