Report on Adventure Challenge for Schools 2015
STANFORD LAKE COLLEGE AT THE ADVENTURE CHALLENGE FOR SCHOOLS™ IN ZAMBIA 2015
This epic journey took a total of 12 days and over 4000km – 4 days of travel each way and four days of adventure racing. Stanford Lake College took 2 teams to compete in the Adventure Challenge for Schools™ in Zambia from the 4th to 8th December 2015. Nine teams from 3 countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, competed in this event. Adventure racing is a multi-disciplined, non-motorised sport where mixed gender teams of 4 compete. It takes months of gruelling dedicated planning and training to prepare for these events. The venue for the Zambia competition which was at Mulungushi Dam, situated about 200km north east of Lusaka.
But to start at the beginning ………… 2 Stanford Lake College (SLC) teams, 4 teachers and several parents left on the 30th November 2015, making their way first through the Botswana border at Groblersbrug and then on through Botswana the next day to Kasane. Here they enjoyed a boat cruise on the Zambezi River. After clearing the border at Kazungula into Zimbabwe they camped at Victoria Falls. The next push was to Lusaka and on day 4, they finally arrived at Mulungushi Dam Boat Club and set up their camp.
It was an exciting four days of fast paced intensive activities. Day 1 activities were at Mulungushi Dam. The teams moved on water via canoe between the different activities – mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, high water jumps and various initiative exercises. Day 2 was spent in a gorge just below the hydro plant with activities such as gorge walking, running, hiking through river beds, abseiling, slack lining over water pools, more water jumps, Tyrolean traverse, raft building, rock pool diving, problem solving, cooking, map work and orienteering. The Grand Challenge was over the last 2 days and was a continuous race of about 100km which included all the activities they had done during the first few days – all as one event! Not a lot of rain and high temperatures made things even more difficult! After four days of racing, various activities involving a lot of blood, sweat and gears; it was a close finish between Zimbabwe’s Falcon College senior team (Bushtic Gladiators) who took 1st place overall, with the SLC senior team (Ubuntu) in 2nd place by 21minutes. The SLC Junior team (Tshanduko) came home in 3rd place – 25 minutes behind their senior team. A great achievement indeed!
The second placed Ubuntu team were Austin Johnson (C), Sarah Pogrund, Aidan du Preez and Benno Prinsloo. The Tshanduko members (3rd place) were Casper Venter, Bryce Reed (C), Matthew Wilkinson, Reese Bain
After the prize giving and braai, the group headed home via Victoria Falls. As if they hadn’t had enough high adrenaline activities during the race, they took the opportunity to go white river rafting down the mighty Zambezi River at Victoria Falls – with 3 members doing it in kayaks (and YES, there IS water at Victoria Falls, contrary to all the photos and rumours!).
Next stop was the Matopos Hills near Bulawayo. This is a World Heritage site and the terrain was just perfect for some more fun on the mountain bikes! The final leg of the 4000km round trip was home!
A huge thank you to all the sponsors: Trophy Toyota, Trappers Trading in Mall of the North, PPS in Tzaneen, Falconwood Water and Adventure Zone in Victoria Falls. Then to all the teachers and parents who came along for the adventure – their assistance and support was truly appreciated, we could not have done it without them! Thank you!
Last but not least – to our 2 teams, Ubuntu and Tshanduko. Well done on finishing the year off on a high note and for your dedication throughout the year to put in all the hard training that is essential to achieving your excellent results. We are all very proud of you! What an incredible experience enjoyed by all!
Adventure Challenge for Schools™ 2014 : 4 to 7 December 2014
Stanford Lake College once again hosted the annual Adventure Challenge for Schools™ which was held from 4 to 7 December 2014. The event consisted of many disciplines, including rafting, mountain biking, trail running, swimming, kloofing, obstacles, first aid, rope traverse and structure building, to name a few. Teams from Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa went head-to-head over the 4 days.
This year (for a change!) we were blessed with very nice weather for the first two days. The Grand Challenge was over the last two days of the event and was a 120km race. Navigation played a big part in this Challenge. The race started at 04:00 on Saturday morning at the Debegeni turn off, up Forest drive, around the top of Dap Naude dam and eventually back to Stanford Lake College. Here the teams had to do more challenges including tree climbing, Foot orienteering, a kaskar race and raft orienteering. Three teams finished the first day very close to one another and everything was on the line during the last day. This was make or break for the overall honours! The last morning was a 40km race and the teams pulled out all the stops!
Team Ubuntu from Stanford Lake College finished in 2nd place overall being beaten by their junior team Tshanduko by 23 minutes! The Bushtick Gladiators from Falcon College in Zimbabwe finished in 3rd place.
Stuart Lunt doing the rope traverse. Team Tshanduko – Michael van Zyl, Reese Bain, Bryce Reed
& Matthew Wilkinson
Well done to all the teams who travelled so far to come and compete, especially the Zambian team who were on the road for 3 days to get here. Congratulations to all teams and their seconds, and a huge thank you to all staff, parents and sponsors who helped to make the event possible.
Last but not least, a big thank you to our main sponsor, Trappers, for all the prizes for the various challenge events and activities. Also to Outdoor Medical for the medical standby and all the officials who assisted during the event.
The Adventure Challenge for Schools 2015 will be in Zambia.
The Adventure Challenge for Schools is the premier high schools adventure week in SADC. Teams from all over SADC joined us for an exciting 4 day challenge, pushing themselves way beyond the ordinary!!
Adventure Racing Nationals Report – 2014
Stanford Lake College hosted the SA Schools Adventure Racing Champs on Saturday 11 October. A total of 32 school teams from all over South Africa – as far as Kidd’s Beach and Lilyfontein in East London – came to compete. The event was split into 3 categories: U/13; U/15 and U/19. The U/13s raced a total of 30km, U/15s covered 60km and the U/19’s course was over a distance of 80km. The races comprised of mountain biking, hiking, obstacle crossings, navigation, foot orienteering, kaskar, raft building, bum slide, swim and a water jump.
The race for the U/15s and U/19s started at 04:00 on Saturday morning, after the race briefing which was held on Friday.
In typical form, the mountain weather for the event was misty and windy which made the visibility very bad. Due to these conditions, the race was a lot slower than planned, with some of the last teams finishing during Prize Giving at 17:00! The U/15 team of Stanford Lake College – team Tshanduko – did very well and finished in second place overall behind the winners from Helpmekaar College after leading the event for a while! Unfortunately, the senior team – team Ubuntu – had a disappointing race, as they encountered a lot of unlucky mechanical problems, but that is part of adventure racing! Despite this, they showed real fortitude to fight on and still complete the race.
Thank you to all the parents who were seconding and supporting the teams. Despite the foul weather the event was a huge success!