Schloss takes walk on Wildside at Geoquest and wins again
VICTORY has become a habit for Wurtulla adventure racer David Schloss.
Fresh from 40th birthday celebrations at Kenilworth only one week earlier, Schloss was back in his element helping team Thought Sports to a nail-biting win yesterday.
After more than 30 hours of racing, only one minute separated two teams in an epic Wildside Geoquest Special Edition adventure race that started and finished near Foster in NSW. Schloss, together with Thought Sports team-mates Damon Georke, Rob Preston and Kathryn Preston, secured the win despite a one-hour penalty for missing a checkpoint.
Finishing 1hr and 1min ahead of team Thunderbolt - which included High Stodart, Bernadette Dornom, Leo Theoharis and Joshua Street - Thought Sports were awarded the win. Thought Sports did reach the "tower" area required, but failed to find the control which was on a nearby fencepost.
The victory follows success for Schloss in March when he won XPD Bay of Fires as part of another team called Tri-Adventure Antelopes.
While the annual Queen's Birthday race doesn't attract an international field like an XPD race, it was still exciting from the gun.
"Physically it was tough because you couldn't take your foot off the gas," Schloss said.
"It was different this year because they didn't give us all the maps. Usually we get the maps on Friday, and we spend the afternoon planning before racing on Saturday morning.
"This time it was maps for the first three legs. You knew guestimated times for the other legs, and you knew what order legs were going to happen in, but you didn't know what it involved until you got the maps."
Starting in the dark at 6am, teams set a cracking pace down Nile Mile Beach to Forster before paddling against a roaring tide up to Wang Wauk.
That was followed by a challenging mountain bike ride, which saw Coast competitors Russell Stringer (team Wild Earth Tiger Adventure) and Sara Barrett (team Wild & Co Tiger Adventure) both sidelined after falling and breaking collarbones.
Wild Earth Tiger Adventure had been among the leaders early before the accident.
But for Thought Sports, a decision to charge ahead after collecting the maps at checkpoint four proved pivotal.
While Thunderbolt sat down and plotted their direction, Schloss and Georke combined their navigating skills on the move.
"It's good having Rob who is experienced and thinks on his feet. Because we have raced with and against those guys (Thunderbolt), it all comes down to those strategic decisions," Schloss said.
"No one team is exponentially better than the other, so a little nav mistake can cost you."
Going into a paddle in the dark on Saturday night, Schloss took over navigation while Georke began looking at the bike leg ahead.
Going into the lead, Thunderbolt AR stayed in touch until the second mountain bike leg when Thought Sports surged ahead and were never caught.
Schloss will now turn his attention to race advisor for the Sunshine Coast's own adventure race, Hells Bells, during August.
He will then make the journey to Reunion Island early November for the AR World Championship where he will again team with Goerke, Elizabeth Dornom, Tom Chadbourne for a tilt at the title.
The weekend's race was co-organised by Woombye-based event manager Chris Dixon.
Organisers had put GeoQuest on the backburner, but Dixon and his company Wild & Co took over the event in conjunction with the Fully Rad Adventures.
GeoQuest is an iconic event on the adventure racing calendar and has been held on the June long weekend annually over the past 16 years.