Mark Webber has arrived in Tasmania for the multi-sport adventure race that carries his name, and is looking forward to joining the fray, albeit a few days late.
With a host of world champion adventure racers, Olympians, ironmen, surfers and AFL footballers on its starting list, the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge is once again living up to all expectations and, having travelled 'down under' from Brazil via Milton Keynes, Webber admitted that he was thrilled to be back in Tasmania with the chance to compete in the event that he began in 2006.
“It was a bit of an epic trip to get here, but it's just so awesome to see the Challenge in full steam,” Webber said of the fund-raising initiative that has, so far, produced over $1m for various charities, “The weather has been sensational and, while it's only early days, everyone is having a great time and the event is going well.
Webber said the extended F1 calendar meant he could no longer prepare for the Challenge as he once did, but he was still looking forward to getting out on the 2012 course.
“My preparation for this event is not at the forefront of my thoughts during the season, but the event runs so well now, with or without me on the course,” he conceded, “Everyone has a great time and, if I can get out there, then that's great, but, if I can't, then I can still be here in another capacity.
“It'll be great to get on the course on Friday and Saturday and have a look at it, and smell it and breathe it a little bit. It's the strongest field ever in terms of the elite competitors - we've got world champions racing against each other, and you can see that they're taking it as seriously as they've ever taken it.
“We've got people who have achieved many things on the world stage and have come down to test themselves on the course, so I'm really proud of that.”
The event continues for the next three days, finishing in Hobart on Sunday 2 December.