Mark Webber has rated the 2012 edition of the Tasmanian adventure race that carries his name as his best yet.
The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge finished on Sunday, having attracted a record 40 teams, including some of the world's best adventure racers as well as Olympians and other high profile athletes, and the Red Bull driver admits that he could never have imagined how successful it would become.
“I didn't think it would be this big when I started it ten years ago,” Webber said, “It's become way bigger than my wildest dreams.
“I'm rapt with this year's event - it's just gone so well. To have so many Olympians and past Olympians, as well as the adventure racing fraternity with world-class athletes here has just been great.
“The format we've adopted is now really good and I'm very happy with it. The number of competitors we've got is ideal and, to be honest, we can't really have many more than what we've got.
“With the amount of racing we've done here, and the ruggedness of the terrain and how brutal the weather can be, that's about as many competitors as we can have as far as safety is concerned and having the exclusive element to it.
“The course was an awesome test for everyone and Tasmania continues to provide the perfect backdrop for this event. The weather we've had has just been the icing on the cake.
“It was a huge week for everyone with some pretty long days. But I want
it to be tough, as it's got to be an event that people turn up to and absolutely respect. I reckon we were pretty spot on this year with that, but we're not taking anything for granted or resting on our laurels. We've got to keep working hard, but I'm stoked with how it's gone.
“The event has a great future. We've got world-class partners that we've got who've been involved, and the Tasmanian government have been great. Everything is now working seamlessly and, next year, we're going to be doing a little bit over on the west coast of Tasmania, which we're excited about.”
Webber's event raises money for charities through the Mark Webber Foundation, with Whitelion and Save the Tasmanian Devil Fund this year's nominated beneficiaries.