FROM THE WORLD’S MOST ELITE ATHLETES TO ROOKIES,
THE COMPETITION IS ANNOUNCED FOR ECO-CHALLENGE FIJI
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 7, 2002) – Eco-Challenge Fiji 2002 marks another banner year for race registration, as Eco-Challenge announced today the results of competitor registration. For many teams, the first challenge is just getting accepted to race – with over 1000 applications from around the world pouring in within the first 30 minutes of open registration, the competition is heavy for teams looking to compete in the world’s toughest expedition race.
From siblings to celebrities to the world’s best adventure racing athletes, this year’s roster promises some interesting developments to play out along the 500+km course. And with the race taking a decidedly “Indiana Jones” turn this year, competitors will be presented with a whole new set of roadblocks and challenges to tackle.
Banking on the assumption that what most adventure racers crave is more of the adventure, and not just the racing, Mark Burnett has big plans in store for competitors confirmed for Eco-Challenge Fiji.
“Teams will need to be fully prepared for a race unlike any other they’ve known,” Mark Burnett stated. “They should expect the unexpected, as they will be embarking upon a full-scale ‘expedition competition.’ Eco-Challenge is constantly evolving, and this move heralds a new and exciting chapter in our history.”
Further details on race specifics are being withheld, except for a new mandate that requires two members of each team to submit navigation and jungle travel certifications of ability. Judging by the number of applications, there’s no shortage of competitors hoping to experience firsthand the “expedition with a stopwatch,” as Burnett calls the race.
The top fifteen teams from last year’s event in New Zealand were invited to pre-register before open registration began, and thirteen of the fifteen teams are confirmed to race. Team Go-Lite/Eco-Internet of the USA will fight to keep their title of world champions, while facing stiff competition from the rest of the roster.
Eco-Challenge Fiji 2002 also has a well-rounded international roster. Teams from Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Fiji, Finland, France, Guam, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and the United States will all compete this October on one of the many islands that make up the Fiji archipelago. Fiji 2002 will mark the 9th annual Eco-Challenge race and will be a decided departure from past events as management aims to add a more “expeditionary” flair to the race.
Some of the top teams confirmed to compete in Fiji are:
USA: Team Go-Lite/Eco-Internet (formerly Team Salomon/ Eco-Internet): Winner, Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001, and the most winning team in Eco-Challenge history.
NEW ZEALAND: Team PureNZ.com: Second place, Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001 (by only 17 minutes)
FRANCE: Team Spie: 3rd place, Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001.
USA: Team EarthLink: 4th place Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001 (tie)
USA: Team Montrail (formerly Team Pearl Izumi): 4th place Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001 (tie)
U.K.: Team The North Face (formerly Team 9Feet.com): 7th place Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001, 14th place Eco-Challenge Argentina 1999; 2nd place Eco-Challenge Morocco 1998
CANADA: Team Subaru Outback: 8th place Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001, 9th place Eco-Challenge Borneo 2000
CANADA: Team Advair: 10th place Eco-Challenge: New Zealand 2001
FINLAND: Team Nokia Adventure: 5th place Eco-Challenge Argentina 1999; 13th place Eco-Challenge Morocco 1998.
*Note: Team roster and names subject to change.
While the world’s best battle it out for the prize purse, which totals US$100,000, the challenges faced by less-experienced teams will no doubt prove to be just as compelling as they tackle their first Eco-Challenge. From siblings to celebrities, people from all walks of life are attracted to the Eco-Challenge experience, and notable teams currently on the roster include:
TEAM FOREST PARK (CANADA): Hayden Christensen, best known for playing the young Darth Vadar in the blockbuster Star Wars feature “Attack of the Clones: Episode One,” will be racing with two of his siblings.
TEAM SUTER FAMILY/ SYCAMORE FARMS (USA): Another sibling team, consisting of two brothers, one sister, and the sister’s husband.
TEAM ROXY (AUSTRALIA): Sibling team consisting of a brother and sister, and their two cousins.
TEAM AUSSIE (AUSTRALIA): Winner, 1995 New England Eco-Challenge; 2nd place, Eco-Challenge Australia 1997 and Eco-Challenge Morocco 1998; and 3rd place, Eco-Challenge Borneo 2000, this team also consists of Captain Jane Hall racing with the three Hislop brothers.
TEAM ROAD RULES/ REAL WORLD (USA): Stars from past episodes of Road Rules and Real World banded together to form a reality powerhouse team.
*Note: Team roster and names subject to change.
Fiji is a land of duality, with both majestic tropical beauty and harsh rugged terrain. In October 2002, seventy-five, four-person, international teams will converge on the exotic islands of Fiji. They will explore and race through 500 kilometers of Fiji's most impressive and untouched terrain by bushwhacking through dense jungles, mountain biking on rugged trails, paddling down jungle rivers, trekking on ancient pig hunting trails to remote villages, climbing fixed ropes up raging waterfalls and exploring the uninhabited islands. In an evolution from years past, the 2002 Eco-Challenge will increase its problem-solving expeditionary nature, challenging competitors with more team decision-making and navigation.
For more details on the race, please log on to http://www.ecochallenge.com Copyright 1995-2001 Eco-Challenge Lifestyles, Inc. The Eco-Challenge name and logo are registered trademarks of J. Mark Burnett and may not be reproduced. Eco-Challenge™, The Expedition Race™, Expedition Racing™, Adventure Racing™ and Expedition Competition™ and all associated logos and service marks are all trademarks or registered trademarks of J. Mark Burnett in the United States and/or other countries.