Adventure Racing World Series Rankings – Swedish Armed Forces Team Return to #1 Spot

December 16, 2022

14 races are included in the lastest ARWS rankings update

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The latest update on the Adventure Racing World Series rankings has been published, with the addition of points won at the recent AR World Championship in Paraguay, and Regional championship races in Europe, Oceania and Africa. In total, points were added from 14 races around the world in the latest update.

These affect team standings in both the World and Regional rankings and while there have been some significant changes it is still the teams who race regularly, and those who perform best at Championship level, who rank the highest.

In the World Rankings there has been a change at #1, again. The Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team has moved back to the top, pushing the Estonian ACE Adventure La Sportiva team down to second. These two teams were disputing 2nd and 3rd place at the World Championship in Paraguay and it was the Swedish team who crossed the finish line first. They now have a strong points lead in the rankings to take into the New Year.

The new world #1 team are limited in the number of races they can compete in due to their military duties, but have recorded 4 scores over the past two years; two Qualifier wins (Nordic Islands and Adventure Race Croatia), and first and second at the last two World Champs.

It’s an impressive record, but they still want to go one better. Team Manager Maj. Jan-Henrk Bäck said, “SAFAT is still very motivated to reclaim the world title”, and he added, “The Swedish Armed Forces has recently given me another two years mandate to run SAFAT, and we hope to participate at Adventure Race Croatia and the World Championship next year.”

As it turned out, the Estonian team had a very tough finish at the World Championship, losing hours on the final trekking stage, resulting in them being passed by Team Brazil Multisport.

The Brazilian team made it to the World Championship podium and are now also third in the World Rankings. If they defend their South American Adventure Racing title at La Gesta (also in Paraguay) at the start of February, they may go higher at the next revision.

Team Captain Camila Nicolau commented, “This is the best result by a Brazilian team in the history of the sport and the fruit of a lot of dedication from our athletes.

“Being among the best in the world gives us the assurance that our work is paying off, but we are not satisfied, we want to fight to take our flag to the highest position. Our journey is long, we are not in a hurry, we know the challenges along the way are not easy and that’s just our incentive!”

The Vidaraid team hold 4th position, despite the big disadvantage of not racing the World Championship, where team captain Urtzi Iglesias was the Race Director. Life Adventure Imptek from Ecuador move up a place to round out the top 5, helped by their 13th place at ARWC.

The biggest movers are Team Merrell Songlines of South Africa, who finished the World Champs in 8th place, and are now ranked 6th in the world. They carry maximum points from their regional scores into the world rankings, and with double points for ARWC it’s enough to get them into the top 10.

The next World Championship is on home soil for this team and they will be inspired to train and race even harder next year for a shot at the World title at Expedition Africa.

[Any team aspiring to a high World Ranking can increase their ranking points by including up to two regional scores, provided they have raced at least one ARWS qualifier in the ranking cycle.]

The multi-national spread of teams seen at the World Championship is reflected in the world rankings where there are 9 different nationalities in the top 10 (from 4 different continents). Oceania is not currently among them, but the new World Champions this year are Avaya from New Zealand. Their convincing win in Paraguay put them back into the rankings in 16th place, after a 2 year absence.

The win assures them of a place at the 2023 World Championship in Kouga, South Africa, and if they take up the #1 bib they will be the team to beat.

Regional Rankings and Champions

The regional rankings have also been updated with new results from races in Australia, Malaysia, Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Spain, Uruguay and Chile.

Some of these were new races, established for the growing ARWS regional series and they included the Oceania Championship race in Gold Coast and the European Championship in Spain, hosted by Raid Gallaecia.

In Oceania, it’s Thunderbolt AR who keep their #1 spot ahead of Alpine Avengers, so there is no change there. Team 3 Points of Contact move up a place to third. Both Thunderbolt and 3 Points of Contact benefit from competing regularly and have 4 scoring races after an update which included scores from the Terra Nova, Hells Bells and Alpine Quest, and from the Oceania Championship race at Gold Coast.

That was won by Team Chipesti from Queensland, who move up to 4th in the rankings and will hold the title of Oceania AR Champions for the next year. The team had put in some strong performances against the established elite teams in Australia in the past, including at the last XPD Expedition Race, but before the Oceania Championship had yet to record a win.

They chose their time for a winning performance well. In some appalling wet weather they held off the challenge of the Alpine Avengers team to take the Oceania title, AUD$5,000 in prize money, and to claim a free place at the World Championship next year. After the win the team said, “Feels so good to finally pull off a win in the adventure racing scene! Bring on South Africa!”

In Africa the Merrell Songlines team have been dominant throughout this year, and last year too. Of the 12 races over the 2 year cycle, they’ve won 10 and defended the Africa Adventure Racing Champions title at the Expedition Africa race at Clocolan recently. As a result they have the maximum 3000 points available.

Team DSV Cyanosis stay in second place thanks to their strong performances in 2021, and that is despite not racing in the series in 2022. They will be back next year as they prepare their own World Championship bid.

There are currently 85 teams in the ARWS Africa rankings and this is reflected in the incredible South African entry of 53 teams for the first African Adventure Racing World Championship.

In the South American rankings this update included both the XC Challenge in Uruguay and the Desert Challenge in Chile. These races were won by Uruguay Ultrasport and Menetué Ejercito (Chile) respectively, but it is Team Brazil Multisport who keep their unassailable #1 position in the rankings. Like Merrell Songlines they have 3000 ranking points.

Teams from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile are in the top 5 ranked teams in South America, and there are 68 teams ranked in the region.

Races in the UK, Switzerland and Spain were included in the ARWS Europe update, and with the final race being the European Championship at Raid Gallaecia (scoring double points) there were significant changes to the positions.

Pyrénées Expérience (France) held the #1 spot going into the European Championship race thanks to their regular racing. Their points from two 4th places and a 3rd kept them ahead of three teams who had won one race each, Team France Expénature.Fr, Õnnevalem (Estonia) and Racing Denmark.

France Expénature.Fr didn’t compete at the European Championship, and both Pyrénées Expérience and Racing Denmark recorded a DNF, scoring one point for participation. The winners were Team FMR of France, who won after a titanic battle with the Spanish Brigantia Adventure Race team.

This shook up the rankings with Pyrénées Expérience slipping from first to 4th, and FMR moving up to second with 1500 points. However, the one point Racing Denmark earned was enough to keep them top of the European rankings on 1501 points! It’s the taking part that counts!

Õnnevalem are now ranked third thanks to their 5th place at the Championship and the Brigantia team moved straight into 5th in the rankings.

Next year there will be lots of racing and points scoring opportunities in ARWS Europe as the series expands to 9 races in 8 countries, with the first being the Montane Kong Vinter race in Denmark on January 14th.

The rankings for other regions will become active next year as the ARWS continues to grow around the world, and you can see all of the current rankings and news of all races on the website at www.arworldseries.com