Team Haglofs Silva here, we were unfortunately forced to retire last night after Josefina fell off her bike and dislocated her elbow. Luckily she is fine but to MTB and kayak are out of the question with her sore elbow She will get the elbow x-rayed to see if anything can be done. It is disappointing of course to withdraw from the race but there is not much we can do about it. We felt like we were going well, had slept a total of two hours already so were looking to push hard on the bike through to the compulsory stop and be close to the lead.
The race so far had been pretty but challenging, with long kayak stages and tricky navigation. The navigation seems to be tricky due to the maps being old, meaning we follow new roads that aren´t on the map and have to constantly keep track of where we are so that we know how to turn when we find a road we recognize. We lost a couple of hours at the start of the mangrove kayak when a control was place only 2-300m in the wrong place but that meant that we kayaked right past it. Other controls in the mangroves were hard to find as the channels we needed to follow were sometimes very indistinct, and the 3.5m tidal difference meant that some channels were impossible to navigate at low tide and there were strong currents to fight against at times. We also lost about an hour on the first cycle where it appears Thule were the only team to find a clean route, again because of roads on the map being totally overgrown and new roads adding to the confusion. The course Antonio has set is very ambitious, and we had been saving our energy for the long trek coming up which will likely be epic.
We had some great experiences along the course, which remind us why we keep coming back and doing these races. We have seen some whales, although unfortunately from a distance. There was also bright fluorescence in the water and spectacular stars during the two nights we spent paddling. We also had a small crocodile keeping us company when we were filling our water bottles before the mangroves, where we took with us 8 litres of water each, I suspect that tems who take less will become very thirsty in the mangroves. The mangroves were beautiful, but a challenging environment. At one stage we tried to drag the boats a low tide along with Seagate, but the knee deep mud meant the we soon gave up and paddled an extra 10km around instead.
The zipline was the quickest section of the race, we hung on a pully attached to a steel cable, 2km long and 400 vertical meters. Robert who is a bit heavier than most travelled at 140km/h. It was pretty cool doing it at night, flying through the treetops with the headlamp on lighting the way!