Mark Webber is hoping to keep his competitive juices flowing even after the end of this year's F1 commitments with Red Bull Racing, by taking on the best adventure racers in the world during his Tasmania Challenge event.
The supremely fit Australian reinstated the race last year following the hiatus that resulted from his leg-breaking accident on the 2008 edition, and is looking to fly in a join the fun over the final three days following the last round of the F1 season in Brazil.
The five-day course includes running, ocean and river paddling, orienteering, mountain biking, as well as a number of other still secret activities, and has already attracted 14 elite teams and 26 made up of adventure race enthusiasts.
“While the course is over 350 competitive kilometres, it is more than the distance itself that defines this test, as each stage has a special twist,” Webber explained, “The course looks awesome. The details remain a secret until each morning of the race - last year was brilliant, yet this looks even better.
“Really, there is no better place anywhere in the world to do an adventure race than Tasmania. It doesn't disappoint when it comes to the locations we can find to test people and that's why it is such a great place for the race. Year after year, we have sensational locations.”
A celebrated field of Olympians, sporting icons and world champion adventure racers will spearhead a list of over 80 competitors who will push their bodies to the limit in the challenge, which starts in Launceston on 28 November.
“This is by far the strongest field we've ever had for the Challenge,” Webber confirmed, “I just can't believe the interest we've had this year. It's definitely one of the best, if not the
best, multi-sport adventure race in the world."
Arguably the world's greatest multi-sport athlete, New Zealand's Richard Ussher, will be joined by countryman Braden Currie in Team Tasmania. Ussher, a two-time World Adventure Racing champion and five-time winner of his home's Coast to Coast race, will be hard to beat.
However, current World Adventure Racing champions, France's Myriam Guillot and Jacky Boisset, who will take part as Pure Tasmania, will be a real threat to the Kiwis. The duo won their world title in Tasmania last year and they know the local conditions.