X-Marathon disciplines. Update 1: Packrafting. Sponsored by Packraft.com.au

xm logoThree months to go till the X-Marathon 2018 and time to start getting excited. As it was promised the 2018 course will take you into some scenic and remote places you would rarely get on your own.

There were a lot of rumours about packrafting legs as well as questions coming into our mailbox. Therefore, we decided to start discipline description with them. 

Packrafting getting more and more popular over the last years in Adventure Racing as it gives an enormous opportunities to explore wild rivers, which have limited access.  Especially when it comes down to the races when a lot of boats have to be delivered to the start of the paddle and taken out from the river as well. So if you want to get into less known places and go exploring packraft is you choice.

If you have never been dealing with packrafts before check what these little beast are capable of

Of course we are not all full time white water specialists, so do not expect waterfalls, however, you will paddle across some grade 2+ rapids on a full on river.

In 2018 Full course teams will have two packrafting legs, one is pretty serious as it is said above with up to grade 2+ rapids.  The river will be moving quite fast but you are still expected to paddle as there are some flat stretches on your way. It will take you at least 3-4 hours with up to 6 hours for slower crews to complete the paddle section of the leg plus some hours to trek up to the river and to the transition area after the paddle (carrying your packrafts).

The river is seriously remote, so you need to have all pre-cautions taken in place to avoid disappointment: repair kits for all boats, good paddles, helmets, pumps, big enough backpacks, dry bags, PFDs, etc.  If you have a chance we would strongly encourage to have a try how it works- to inflate-deflate and carry your packrafts with all other gear. In case of packraft failure you will have to trek the rest of the leg instead, which will be much slower and harder.

Second packrafting leg will be less serious on a minor river with shallow water in it.  Short course teams will do this leg only, it is not that demanding in terms of distance packrafts will be carried and their performance requirements, so Short course teams can get away with some simpler craft options.  This leg will take about 2,5 hours to complete.  There is a small chance this leg will be cancelled due to low water level, however, by all current research the river has enough water to paddle over the hottest month. 

Packraft.com.au sponsors packrafting legs, providing us with a sweep boat, and a prize boat for the fastest crew on the first packrafting leg.  

They are Melbourne based company with a high quality performance packrafts, quote X-Marathon to them and get 10% discount of purchase price. New double packrat just getting released is the go, by all characteristics performing as AR best vessel. Unfortunately, they do not have a fleet for hire at this stage, so if you are planning to hire you will need to source somewhere else. Our short research brought us to packraftaustralia.com.au, they are hiring good rafts and they are in Melbourne.

Good article written by AR specialist Liam St Pierre about packrafts https://www.rogueadventure.com/packrafting-in-racing/   can help you with the choice of a boat. 

From our perspective when you are choosing your packraft take into account: weight, warranty, repair kit, shape. 

Happy training, the next update will be in about a month and will cover other disciplines  of X-Marathon 2018.