Competitor Newsletter #2Dec 21, 2019
Please make sure and forward this to each member of your team. And have a happy holiday season! If you need to find a copy of Newsletter #1, you can find it here.
We will be staying at the Country Inn and Suites - literally the nicest hotel in Prineville, and the only one big enough to hold all of you!Racers entry fee includes a room (breakfast included) on the 11th and the 12th of May. Each room is equipped with double queen beds.The hotel is also equipped with wifi and a 24 hour hot tub area.Teams wishing more space (and additional room or room suite upgrade) must contact us at Bendracingor@gmail.com and we will book rooms using our group rate of $150 USD inclusive. Teams wishing to book at that rate for a room on the final night of the 17th (awards ceremony) must also contact us to secure that rate. Do so ASAP, if getting an extra room is important to you!Once this hotel is full, we can look at holding a block of rooms in the nearby Best Western.As a recap - each team is comped one room on the 11 and 12 of May. Bookings at the group ARWS rate must be done through us, and you will be billed during the final race invoicing.The hotel will also accept packages of gear (and store them) for free starting in April. More information in future communications.
Meet the teamsWe are pleased to announce the team list for the 2020 Expedition OregonO- Utah (USA)CheckPoint Zero (USA)Tower Racing (USA)Mountain Race Company (USA)Deviate (USA)Goals ARA (USA)Snap Energy Adventure Racing (USA)NYARA/MontBell (USA)Team Costa Rica (Costa Rica)Primal Extreme (USA)Columbia VidaRaid (USA/ESP)Fear Society (NZL)Bones Adventure (USA)Kolmarden Adventure (SWE)Castelli Racing (USA)Strong Machine AR (USA)Team Canada (CAN)Team Able Abels (USA)Team BendRacing/Canada (CAN)Youth Initiative - YARNZ (NZL)BC Wild (CAN)Missing Link AR (USA/SWE)Mannys Pale Ale (USA)Drink Water (USA)Precision Vikings (USA)Precision (USA)TanZ Navigation (USA)Kolifit (USA)Lozere Team2Raid (FRA)Eco-Peat (CAN/NZL)Lupine Racing (USA)Team Hussars (USA)Crazy Geckos (ISR)Ad Astra (EST)Lowland Leapord (NLD)Note: if you do not see your correct team name or country here, please let us know. We will send out a press release in the spring and would love it to be correct.
Rappelling - ability to safely rappel with gear, including the possibility of bikes and boats. May require makeshift chest harness, hanging gear below you, safety systems (prussic, etc), as well as ways to negotiate and prepare for the descent in dangerous and exposed locations where it will be required to use a PAS (personal anchor sling).
Whitewater packrafting (up to class III) - skills reading water, eddy, packraft patching, wet entry and exit, whitewater swimming, self rescue, boat set up (no full perimeter lines allowed), gear securing, river signals, aggressive swimming, etc.
Bike-rafting - Ability and plan for padding significant distances with your bike attached to you raft; and for pedaling with your raft attached to your bike (I guess you could carry it on your back if you like pain)
Navigation (at least 2 per team recommended). Ability to navigate with map and compass, and more importantly the ability to have a plan if you do get lost on how to get out to a known point for possible rescue or re-attack of the course.
First aid (at least 2 per team). Ideally we'd love at least 1 Wilderness first-aid or equivalent on each team, but at an absolute minimum we require 1 first aid trained person. We highly suggest that if you have never taken a some sort of wilderness medical training that you do so ASAP - after all you have chosen to take part in this event - and we'd love you to have the skills to keep each other safe. Pre-Race skills sheetSkill CertificationsTeams are hereby requested to show up for Expedition Oregon with many technical adventure skills. Remember that this is a EXPEDITION as much as a RACE. And for those of you that have done any real expeditions, you know that preparation is a huge part of whether or not you succeed.True expeditions require the the unknown - and although this course concept will have been created by others; your personal skills, the weather and conditions, and even route choice could see your team having a completely different experience than any of our course designers.Please know that each teammate will be required to sign a document attesting to competency during race check in. And our safety staff have the ability at any point to remove you from a section if they feel you are not up to the skill level required.But most of all, failure to meet these skills may result in serious injury or death during Expedition Oregon. And if you get injured, it means your team will not be able to continue racing officially, and that is always a bummer - especially if the reason is because you were knowingly underprepared.The first priority in any successful Expedition Adventure Race is to PREPARE. As the old saying goes..."If Fail to Prepare - you Prepare to Fail" Basic Bikerafting guide
"The best adventure races force you just outside your comfort zone and ask you to discover new realms of adventure you might never have otherwise considered"- Daniel Staudigel (Team Bend Racing)
Alpacka Raft Discount. CODE IS "ARexpeditionoregon2020". Good through end of MARCH.
(and all things packraft)The fine folks over at Alpacka Raft have once again partnered with Expedition Oregon to give a discount to racers who choose to purchase the highest quality packrafts available. The discount will be similar to prior years (15-20%), but due to the holiday rush, it will not be available to place orders until mid January. So please hold tight if you are dreaming of an Alpacka Raft. You'll save a few hundred bucks for your patience.Our favorite models for racing are:GNU RACE (2 person): comfortable ergonomic paddling position for both people. Huge carrying capacity, decent stability for up to class III whitewater, but certainly more difficult to maneuver in technical rapids or strong eddy lines. Takes practice for more serious WW. Strongly suggest back band and cargo fly option for carrying gear and most importantly for easy deflate. We have self modified these to be self bailing for bigger WW sections, but the verdict on wether it is worth it is still out. Weight: 10.5 lbs. Top sustainable speed on flat water 9 kph. Forager (2 person): Burly, and best 2 person boat for heavy loads and WW. Comes standard with cargo fly and self-bailing. Super stable, but not as fast as the Gnu Race. But if you are also into big expeditions outside of your racing, this is THE packraft for two. Weight 13.5 lbs. Top Sustainable speed: 8 kphExplorer 42 (1+ person): This is a great boat, that would be on the small side for this race, so it is not recommended as you will be doing extensive WW. Since it is listed as a 2-person boat, it IS ALLOWED, however we feel the weight savings (only 2 lbs vs. the Gnu) is not worth the size constraints. But we feel it would be possible for two smaller skilled paddlers to survive in this boat. Just not ideal or comfortable. And the bikepacking will be tight too.Classic (1 person): fitted with the optional cruiser deck and cargo fly, this is perhaps the most versatile packraft in existence. At under 7 lbs, the boat comes in 3 sizes so you can get you perfect fit. This boat paddles amazingly in WW up to class III+ and is very beginner friendly. This boat about as classic as it gets. Weight: 6-7.5 lbs depending on size and options. Top sustainable speed: 6.5 kphExpedition (1 person): This is the ultimate single person do everything boat - pulling from all the packraft innovations over the last 10 years. It has the WW performance of Alpacka's specialized rally hull, thigh strap and foot brace rigging, full whitewater spray deck (can also be self bailing as option), upturned bow and wide stable stern, and a built in cargo fly. If I could only have one boat for the next 10 years, this would be it - but it is more than you need if you only plan to race in it, as it is built for backcountry expeditions that are whitewater heavy. So yeah - it would work great for this race, but so would the Classic. Weight: 8.5 lbs, sustainable speed 7.5 kphNotes: These are estimated sustainable speeds based on our group of paddlers. And for context, we LOVE endurance paddling and pack rafting. Several of our vetting staff have been on the podium at endurance paddling events like the Everglades Challenge and Yukon River Quest (although not in packrafts!). Also, speed was measures on flat and calm water. In moving rivers, skill reading the water (and staying in the current) is FAR FAR FAR more valuable than boat speed.And yes - we have an admitted love affair with Alpacka - as they've been a part of our adventures for over 15 years now! But there are other places to get packrafts, but take a look at some historical Alpacka fun with the team! 2005 Nahanni Expedition (vetting a potential AR course that would have 100% been the hardest in the world!)Other BrandsThe brands that we have experienced are below - as well as any relevant notes about them.Kokopelli - Decent boats for sure. Comparable weights and speeds. We've paddled the Rogue, Nirvanna, and Twain. The Twain was actually pretty fun (but bendy) in some legit class II/III- whitewater, although it is not recommended. It also swamps easy, so consider making it a SB.MRS (Micro Raft System): These are a Chinese Alpacka knock off 100%. About 50% of the cost, come in as many "clone" options as Alpacka has. Tried one. Was not impressed. But it did float. Smelled strongly of chemicals.Aqua-xtreme: Tried and early proto of a single and it was a bit of a disaster, but that was a few years ago. The new Self Bailing X2 (2 person) looks interesting and like a possible low-budget option. It weighs only 8 lbs, but that is without seats, inflatable floor, thigh straps etc. They had decent customer service when I dealt with them, and free shipping.RENTALSOur packraft rental partner is Backcountry PackraftsThey will run out of packrafts, so inquire ASAP. You can have the rafts sent to you early, but to ease travel, we have also arranged for them to be sent here to us, and we will return them for you. There are also a few other packraft rental places that we have found on google, but not tried.
Email us to book extra room (if desired) for 11th and 12th, and/or to secure a room booking for the night of the 17th. We cannot guarantee extra rooms in the hotel as it will fill, but you will be notified and not charged if you do not get an extra room.Email us to change your team name/country if it is not correctCheck out the certifications and get busy training or preparing to gain skills you lack. You have lots of time still!Contact us if for some reason (tax purposes) you want to pay your remaining balance in 2019.Have a happy holiday season!