Scott Scudamore, A Man to Remember

It’s been an emotional few weeks as we’ve read about the accomplishments and memories inspired by long-time XTERRA Ambassador Scott Scudamore, who passed away on December 28, 2013.

Remember ScudWe read the tribute written by his friend Sal Ruibal on the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame website, browsed through the posts on his Facebook page, and worked our way through the websitewww.scudfries.orgdedicated to celebrating his life and legacy.

There are a wealth of stories shared by friends painting a vivid picture of a life well lived and a whole lot of love shared.

The XTERRA Tribe knew “Scud” well for his outgoing and welcoming spirit.  He was the prototype XTERRA ambassador.  He calmed racers nerves at the start line, fixed their bikes, gave them words of encouragement and helpful tips, was the ultimate training partner, and guided the XTERRA crew every chance he got.

“Scud was never afraid to express his opinion on anything,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.  “If he thought we could improve something or if he found a place on the course that he did not think was marked properly – we heard about it.  There were numerous times he would find us, and with that big booming voice, let us know that he found something that had to be changed.  Scud never did it maliciously or with anything but the best of intentions and we often found what he noticed was true.”

And he knew what he was talking about.  He was an icon in the Mid-Atlantic mountain bike scene, built trails, conducted how to ride your mountain bike with confidence clinics, and taught newbies how to ride.

Scott was retired but hardly stood still. He was on the local water rescue team and had recently learned how to surf a kayak in white water.  His volunteerism efforts were off-the-charts, perhaps most notably his connection with Trails For Youth, a program that connected kids to the natural world around them.  You can get a glimpse into the heart of the man by reading this story shared by Pat Childers.

He served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a captain.  He was famous for his fries, for making people smile, as a soccer coach, and a family man. He left an undeniable mark on this world, and will be greatly missed by his extended family within the XTERRA Tribe and far beyond.

Scott “Scud” Scudamore is most certainly, a Man to Remember.

Top 10 XTERRA Stories of 2013

A look at some of our favorite tales from the off-road (click on the embedded links for more on each piece)…

1. Putting it all in perspective – Kim Cross, a racer/mom/author from Birmingham, Alabama made us both laugh and cry in her wondeful piece titled “Learning the Art of Losing” which was posted online by espnW.  Her perspective on racing and life and parenthood is akin to a big breath of fresh air. There’s a terrific video that goes with the story too, check it out.

Julie Dibens2. The Comeback Kids– We are constantly inspired by those who overcome adversity.  This year there were several notable XTERRA racers who did just that…

Julie Dibens – returned to tri at the XTERRA Mountain Champs in July and brought a barrel full of laughs for the XTERRA Tribe with her.  Always a treat to have the witty and uber-talented Brit along for the ride, AND she actually led the bike through the first 10 miles before Shonny Vanlandingham took over.  Don’t ask what happened in Hawaii.

Ron Hill – Our XTERRA Warrior award winner crashed hard on the downhill in Maui last year and crushed his pelvis.  It’s not an easy injury to recover from, not when you’re 30, definitely not when you’re 75, but Ron did. He spent weeks prone in a hospital bed, graduated to a wheelchair to a walker to light jogging to racing again in July to winning his second XTERRA World title this October.

Jamie WhitmoreJamie Whitmore – One of our favorite comebacks of all-time.  She’s conquering the world again, and still shaking things up at XTERRA too.  This year J-Dawg had big fun with the Tribe at XTERRA Guam.

Ryan DeCook – Talk about a guy that doesn’t give-up or give-in.  The 10-year XTERRA vet bounced back from not one, but several gnarly injuries to mix it up with the best in the business yet again in 2013.

Shonny Vanlandingham – After blowing out her knee in 2011 it was hard to imagine the 2010 XTERRA World Champ returning to form, especially at 44-years-old.  But she did, in convincing fashion by winning the XTERRA Mountain Championship for the fourth time in five years in July, then posting the fastest bike split at XTERRA Worlds in October.  Perhaps her best is yet to come!  ESPN wrote a great article on Shonny title “age is no obstacle” this September, read it here.

Dan Hugo – Following nearly a year off the XTERRA circuit in 2012 due to injuries Hugo rejuvenated his career and passion for the sport by traveling to 14 XTERRA races in nine countries.  He finished in the top three at 11 of those – and his victory at the XTERRA East Championship in Richmond was cause for celebration for his friends, family, and XTERRA fans worldwide.

3. Life Re-Imagined – Cindi Toepel took the “age is no obstacle” theme to a whole new level this year by winning the women’s overall at XTERRA Iron Creek AND the 60-64 division at the same time.  Cindi also won her unprecedented ninth XTERRA USA Championship (seventh in a row).

4. Caveman wins 7th World Title – The legend grows.  After cutting his hand open at the season-opener in Vegas Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz battled through a series of ensuing injuries that forced him to pull from the run in ‘Bama, then not even start at one of his favorite all-time races in Richmond.  Living up to his mantra “never give up,” the Caveman pulled off an improbable win at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship in the sands of the Netherlands – his third straight ITU World title to go with his unprecedented four XTERRA crowns.  For good measure, he beat Europe’s best XTERRA racers in Italy a week later.

5. Looking to the Source – Tom Dhans gave us a glimpse into the strength of the human spirit this year as he raced at XTERRA Worlds in honor of his 16-year-old daughter who passed  away in an auto accident.

Ben and Jacqui6. Ben and Jacqui – What a year it was for the reigning XTERRA Warrior award-winners.  Ben won an unprecedented seven XTERRA World Tour championship events, they both won the Asia-Pacific Triple Crowns, and with a heavy heart after losing her beloved grandfather Jacqui won the XTERRA England Championship in his honor in front of an extended collection of family and friends.  It was the first triathlon her father had ever been to.  Tim Carlson captured the essence of this duo just a few weeks ago in an article title “Family Matters in Life and Sport

7. Streakers – No, not that kind, we’re talking about winning streaks like Lesley Paterson, who won seven straight XTERRA races from the 2012 USA Championship through to the 2013 USA Champs. In Europe, the distinction belonged to Helena Erbenova who won five straight (Greece, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Czech) on her way to capturing the XTERRA European Tour for the second year-in-a-row.

8. A decade of excellence – In 2004 the Stillwater Sport & Entertainment team introduced XTERRA to South Africa in Grabouw, a mountain paradise situated in the Western Cape atop the Sir Lowry’s Pass. The sport, and lifestyle, has grown spectacularly ever since.  Aided by a magnificent base of sponsors, athletes, and media coverage, this year’s XTERRA South Africa Championship weekend accommodated close to 3,000 racers…“There is little doubt this is the biggest XTERRA on earth,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.

9. The Professor – 2005 XTERRA World Champion Nico Lebrun announced his retirement from professional racing this year and shortly after became the first European inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame.  He was nicknamed the “Professor” and will now use those strengths to help others in his new ventures with OrgaNICOach.  So many great Nico stories to remember…like the time he fell and broke his wrist on the rocks just before winning worlds.

Brent Bieshaar10. XTERRA Across America – Brent Bieshaar truly captured the “Live More” spirit of XTERRA this year by turning his bucket-list idea into reality.  He did 22 XTERRA races in 23 weekends and an unprecedented 24 overall during the year.  Along his 50,000-mile journey he made a lot of friends, raised thousands of dollars and hope for those touched by Lou Gehrig ’s disease in the name of the Blazeman Foundation, and taught us all a lesson on how to “adapt and conquer.” Read his blog

Honorable Mention: Josiah Middaugh becoming the first American to capture the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series since 2006; Marcus Barton cancelling his weekend plans to drive three hours to work on repairing trails effected by XTERRA Hickory Knob; this shot of Craig Evans face-planting in Richmond (he’s OK); Ben Allen offering to lend his bike to a traveling age grouper who lost his in transit to Greece just so he could pre-ride the course; Lesley Paterson’s remarkable life and diverse passions; and Conrad Stoltz saving Anthony Snoble from falling down the side of a trail in Richmond.

Trust that we only scratched the surface with this list.  The XTERRA Tribe is filled with some of the greatest people on earth and we are humbled to provide them with a sport they can thrive in.  Here’s to many more adventures in 2014!

EPC Coaching Back At It in 2014

It’s back and better than ever! Group Coaching specifically designed for the 2014 XTERRA Southeast & East Championships, XTERRA Mountain Championships, and XTERRA USA & World Championships.

WHAT IS GROUP COACHING?

EPC CoachingSimply put, EPC’s Group Coaching is a training plan taken to the next level. Imagine getting a detailed monthly training plan that takes you through all of the necessary training phases to have your reach your peak for you target event(s). Pretty cool. You can find plenty of great training plans online, in book, magazines, from your local stud or stud-ette athlete in town; but it’s up to you to decipher the plan, stay on track and maintain overall motivation. Well, take this killer training plan developed by professional racer, coach, family man, Cody Waite; and include with it a monthly conference call where you can listen in and learn all the ‘ins & outs’ of the plan, gain additional wisdom and insight from the man himself, and even ask the specific questions you’re going to have with any training program. Pretty rad! Now what if we put the proverbial ‘cherry on top’ of the program by including email access to Coach Cody throughout the entire process? That’s right, you have a question about a piece of the plan, or ‘if you should add this local training race in’, or ‘eat this piece of pie'; you can contact Coach Cody by email and get your questions answered! You’re probably thinking, “Holy crap this is good stuff.” Why yes it is, thank you.

WHO IS GROUP COACHING FOR?

For 2014 we have two individual programs available: one for the XTERRA Southeast & East Championships and one for the Mountain Championships. That’s right, we have a program designed specifically for athletes on the eastern half of the country that are afraid of the cacti at the XTERRA West Championship and are terrified of the altitude and elevation gain that comes with the XTERRA Mountain Championship; this eastern program targets both the XTERRA Southeast and East Championships in Alabama and Richmond, respectively. The second XTERRA program is for the folks on the western side of the country that love the beauty and grandeur of the Rocky Mountains and the courses that come with it (or those that happen to live in the west and have to “climb that damn mountain at Beaver Creek” because it’s their championship race). After their first ‘peaks’ of the season, both XTERRA programs include a continuing program to take you all the way through to the XTERRA USA and the big show at the XTERRA World Championships for the second peak of the season. That’s 10 months of training plans, conference calls, and direction!

WHEN DOES GROUP COACHING START AND WHEN DOES IT END?

The XTERRA programs run January through October (10 months). These take you through the build up and peaking for the Regional Championships, and then a rebuild for Nationals and Worlds.

WHAT DOES GROUP COACHING INCLUDE?

  • A highly detailed Training Plan (delivered on a monthly basis)
  • A private Basic Training Peaks account for program access & log (or link to your own Premium account)
  • Monthly Live Conference Call (and recorded version)
  • Email Q&A Support
  • Suggested ‘points’ races to include in your schedule
  • EPC Group Training options and ‘pre-rides’ throughout the year for Denver athletes
  • Attendance to open water swim practices, Denver training camps and clinics put on by EPC
  • EPC Sponsor & Partner Discounts

WHAT DOES GROUP COACHING NOT INCLUDE?

  • A training schedule created around your schedule (you can move the workouts around to best fit your needs)
  • Workouts designed specifically for you (they are self-modifiable in duration & intensity to fit your needs)
  • Every race you plan to do throughout the year (you learn how to add additional races to your plan as desired)
  • Training evaluation or accountability (we’ll help keep you motivated but it’s up to you to follow the plan and stay on track)

WHEN DO I START? CAN I JOIN IN LATER?

The programs officially begin in January, and the earlier you join in the better off you’ll be. However,  you can join in at any time. Keep in mind our programs are very progressive and the training and workouts build upon the earlier training performed. If you miss our official start date in January, as long as you are not coming off the couch in spring and expecting to get in shape two months before a goal event, you can join in mid-program and make the most out of the time you’ve got with us.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Great question and one I knew was coming. We are offering a one-time flat fee option for those that want the best deal, as well as a monthly payment option for those that are either ‘late to the party’ or don’t have the lump sum available upfront (but trust us, it’s a way better deal to pay up front!). The fees are the same for both programs: XTERRA Southeast/East & XTERRA Mountain

  • A done deal at $400 for the 10-month program
  • or $75 per month (paid on auto debit), jump in any time
  • No membership, no set-up fee, no other monies required!

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Champion System and XTERRA Races to Release Co-Branded Apparel Line

A full line of custom designed cycling, running and triathlon clothing available through online store and select retailers nationwide.

HONOLULU, HI – Champion System, a worldwide leader in custom technical apparel will produce a co-branded line of clothing with Team Unlimited/XTERRA for the 2014 season.

“Champion System is excited to team with the XTERRA family of events. Their longevity within off-road racing and their depth of events makes our relationship a perfect match with our extensive technical triathlon, cycling and running apparel,” said Champion System Co-Founder Scott Kaylin.

Men’s and women’s cycling, triathlon and running apparel in a large range of designs, are being offered through an online store and at select national retailers. Limited edition designs will also be offered throughout the season.

Champion System / XTERRA“We are most excited to have Champion System join the XTERRA team and develop state of the art cycling and running tech wear products. Scott Kaylin has been a leader in the endurance sports world and has a great and innovative design team which will help to accelerate the XTERRA brand,” said XTERRA CEO Tom Kiely.

XTERRA is a series of premier off-road triathlons and trail running races with events worldwide. 2014 will be the 14th year running of the XTERRA America Tour and stands to be one of the longest running series in the USA in the sport of triathlon. With these two companies doing a co-branded line, the depth of experience within the endurance sport world is deep.

Champion System will also supply custom gear unique to the XTERRA Ambassador Program.

“Our XTERRA Ambassadors share the ‘Live More’ spirit far and wide for us and they’ve done a tremendous job of making us look good through the years.  We’re happy to return the favor, and make them look good in custom-made gear from Champion System,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark.

The full line is available at: http://xterra.champ-sys.com/xterra

About Champion System

Champion System, a worldwide leader in custom technical apparel, was founded in 2005 and has quickly earned the reputation as a company offering the finest quality handmade garments for a wide range of sports and activities. Strong customer relationships and close collaboration with the world’s top athletes has been the key to Champion System’s success. Its’ distinctive and stylish garments are worn by Olympians, National and World Champions and recreational athletes of all levels. Champion System’s goal is to allow the customer to be their own brand and be known for its commitment to pioneering innovative, race-proven garments that can be customized with virtually any design. It has revolutionized sublimation printing, redefined garment construction and simplified the custom ordering process. With offices in 22 countries Champion System continues to set the standard in the custom apparel industry.

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 20+ countries worldwide.  In the U.S. alone nearly 200,000 participants took part in the XTERRA lifestyle last year.  In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more atwww.xterraplanet.com and www.xterratrailrun.com.

New! XTERRA Ontario Series

For the first-time ever XTERRA is headed to Eastern Canada.

XTERRA OntarioJames Kowalewski from Element Racing will produce the first of three races in the XTERRA Ontario Series July 5 with the XTERRA Mine Over Matter off-road triathlon in Milton, Ontario.

The race will double as the Canadian Cross Triathlon Championships and qualify 10 age group athletes to represent Team Canada at the 2015 ITU Cross Tri World Championships; and the race winners will qualify for the 2014 XTERRA World Championship.

XTERRA Mine Over Matter will also be the first of three events in the XTERRA Ontario Series that will award 16 slots into XTERRA Worlds.

“This location is spectacular,” said Kowalewski.  “The swim is in the spring-fed, baby blue waters of the Kelso Quarry and the bike takes place within Kelso Conservation Area- home to some of the area’s best mountain bike trails.  It’s a fast and flowing course, which constantly changes from double to single track and back again. There are lots of opportunities for passing, and racers are treated to several vista views on the run course.”

Race No. 2 in the series is the XTERRA Sleeping Giant off-road tri at Giants Tomb Provincial Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Sept. 7; a third race for the Ontario Series being planned.

“We’ve been working on this for a few years now and are really excited to see the expansion take hold,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark.  “XTERRA’s Canadian contingent of racers is one of the strongest and most colorful in all the world and we’re happy to be able to provide them with more quality events and opportunities to qualify for Maui in different parts of the country.”

There are six XTERRA races planned in Canada this year, which include XTERRA Victoria (July 6), XTERRA Canmore (August 17), and a new race in Quebec that is yet to be finalized.

Canadians have been racing XTERRA since Greg Timewell finished 7th at the inaugural World Championship back in 1996, and they started hosting their own XTERRA races more than a dozen years ago.

XTERRA Across America Challenge

2013 Mr. XTERRA award-winner Brent Bieshaar, who completed an XTERRA triathlon every weekend of the season this year during his XTERRA Across America journey (finishing an unprecedented 24 races overall) is challenging the Tribe to do the same in 2014…with a twist.

XTERRA Across America“It was such a rewarding experience I wanted to share it with others,” said Bieshaar.  “Now, realizing that not many of even the most die-hard triathletes are able to travel the nation every weekend, I had the idea to make it a more attainable goal by creating the team challenge.”

With that, we introduce the XTERRA Across America Team Challenge.  Here’s how it works.  Each team will consist of no more than three team members.  Those two or three people will combine their efforts to complete an XTERRA triathlon every week of the season, from the first race of the 2014 XTERRA America Tour* (tentatively XTERRA Key Biscayne on February 16) until the official end of the regular season on August 31st.

To start dreaming about the possibilities have a look at the tentative 2014 race schedule here.

How each team chooses to divide the races between themselves is entirely up to the team, and there is no requirement that each member compete in an equal number of races.

XTERRA will keep score based upon the age-group place finish for each race.  The team with the lowest score will be named the winner and each member of the winning team will earn a qualifying slot into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 26 (not a free spot, but a spot nonetheless).

XTERRA Across America will continue as a platform to raise money and awareness for the Blazeman Foundation and the War on ALS.  Each team will raise $1,500 ($500 per team member) and each member will receive an official XTERRA Across America racing kit.

Throughout the season, weekly stories about the teams will be posted on thewww.xterraacrossamerica.com web page and on Facebook, and teams will be encouraged to submit stories about their experiences.

There is already one team that has made the commitment to take on the XTERRA Across America Team Challenge.  Of course, Bieshaar is on it, and will be joined by Kevin Adams (Bethesda, MD) and Ben Dillon (Pensacola, FL).

Those interested in accepting the challenge or if you have any questions please contact Brent at bbieshaar@msn.com.  Also, individuals who are interested in the team challenge, but do not have a team formed, should contact Brent.  He will assist in hooking you up with others who have expressed an interest.

*The 2014 races held during the end of 2013 are not considered within this challenge

Father-Son Relish Opportunity to Race XTERRA in Australia / Malaysia

Among the first to sign-up for both the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race at Jervis Bay in Australia on April 26 and the XTERRA Malaysia Championship the following weekend in Putrajaya was a father-son duo from Selangor, Malaysia.

Damian BaynesDamian Baynes, 43, is originally from Adelaide, Australia but moved to Malaysia with his wife I-Nah nine years ago to provide an opportunity for their children to grow-up in their mother’s homeland.

As teachers at the Australian International School Malaysia where their children attend school, Damian and I-Nah are able to spend an enviable amount of time with their kids – time often spent swimming, biking and running.

“I am truly blessed,” explained Baynes.  “We have a swimming pool on campus so I swim train with my children every day, they run train with me a couple of times a week and Henry trains on the bike with me on the weekends. My wife thinks we are a bit strange when we’re doing our core and strength workouts in the lounge room though. She’s probably right, but I love being able to spend so much time with my kids.”

One of the rewards for all the hard work is the racing itself.  When the inaugural Asia-Pacific Champs race was announced in the days prior to XTERRA Worlds in October, Damian and Henry were in Maui to compete right alongside the most talented, international field in all of off-road triathlon.

“Going to Maui with Henry was a fantastic experience. To travel and race alongside my son is something I truly cherish,” said Baynes.  “Maui was also about exposing him to racing on the international scene, for him to see and experience an elite level event.”

Henry BaynesIt was an experience that is sure to pay big dividends come April and May.  Damian placed 26-of-74 in the highly competitive 40-44 division while Henry finished 14th as one of the youngest racers in the field in the 15-19 age group.

“We were both happy with our races, we weren’t racing for the pointy end of the field just for the experience, though we both want to pick up our training and have a bit more of a crack at the races in Malaysia and NSW now,” said Baynes.

Damian was first exposed to off-road triathlon at XTERRA’s initial race in Malaysia a few years back, while Henry got his first taste of the dirt and adventure of XTERRA in Putrajaya last April.

“One of the things that I really enjoy about XTERRA is that it’s so different. Mountain biking and trail running are heaps more fun than riding and running on the road. Also, one of the amazing things about XTERRA is how accessible the pros are. They have been so friendly and accommodating to me and my kids asking questions and hanging around.”

At XTERRA Malaysia last season Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack along with other visiting pros took time from their schedule to host a clinic for the kids at Baynes school.

“They are great ambassadors for XTERRA and have really inspired my kids with their training and racing. It’s really neat to have elite level athletes like this that are willing to give back to the next generation. At the race my children collected autographs from all the pros but they missed Dan Hugo, so when we went to Maui Tamika made me take the race t-shirt she had them sign and when I explained the story to Dan, he was very happy to sign it for her.”

Wanting to do as many XTERRA races as they can get to, Baynes said the expanding Asia-Pacific Tour has added “fuel to the fire” and the Asia-Pacific Championship is being held at the perfect time.

“It falls on our school holidays, and there are also very cheap flights between Malaysia and Sydney.  We are traveling with a friend here in Malaysia, and expect more racers in the region to jump at the opportunity.”

Upon their return from New South Wales, the whole family is set to get in the mix at XTERRA Malaysia.

“My twin girls (Tamika won the female trail run in 2013) are at me to get mountain bikes because they want to get involved too,” said Baynes.  “The races in Malaysia look really exciting, there is something for everyone. Henry and I will race the championship event, my daughters Tamika and Kiana will race the kids under 15 races and all four of us will most likely race the 11km trail run the next morning. Oscar, my youngest, will probably race the little kids’ race as well. For a family that races and trains together XTERRA Malaysia has something for all of us.”

You know what they say, ‘a family that plays together, stays together.”

To learn more and register for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship visitwww.xterraasiapacific.com and for details on XTERRA Malaysia go to www.xterramy.com.

Maui Slots to Help the Philippines

Sunrise Events, organizers of the XTERRA Philippines Championship, is hosting an online auction to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda rebuild the affected areas in Tacloban, Bohol, and Cebu.

Maui Slots to Help the PhilippinesAmong the items up for bid are two at-large entries into the 2014 XTERRA World Championship triathlon at Kapalua, Maui.   The auction is now live and will last one week.  You can bid and find more details athttp://bid.sunriseevents.com.ph/.

Other items in the auction include a Robbie McEwen Tour de France jersey, Ben Allen, Jacqui Slack, and Belinda Granger race kits, Luke McKenzie’s kit and Trucker Hat (signed), and a custom-made “I Care for the Philippines” jersey.  More items will be posted shortly.

“We wanted to find a way to assist in the rebuilding efforts once the immediate needs for food and basic shelter are addressed,” said Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Chairman of Sunrise Events, Inc. “We intend to partner with Gawad Kalinga and build a small village and classrooms that will be sustainable over the long haul.  We hope you will consider helping in this worthwhile and needed endeavor.”

The XTERRA Philippines Championship race itself, scheduled for March 15, 2014 at Liloan, Cebu, will open for registration on December 1 at www.xterraphil.com.

Inside Scoop on #xterraAPAC

The inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship at Jervis Bay (hashtag #xterraAPAC) on April 26 has stirred up quite a bit of interest since its announcement less than a month ago.

Ben AllenTo get an inside-look on the area and what’s in store for competitors we turned to Aussie native Ben Allen who grew up just about an hour-half north of the starting line.

XTERRA: Bennie, what can you tell us about Callala Bay?

Ben Allen: Sitting at the northern end of Jervis Bay in New South Wales, only a couple of hours south of Sydney, best known for its stunning beaches, swimming and dolphin parades, the town offers plenty of holiday cottage accommodation and a delightful Aussie beach culture atmosphere. There is excellent sailing from Callala Bay and a regional boat ramp and jetty provide easy access to the water.

Myola is a nice and quiet, one-street village just south of Callala Bay on the beautiful Jervis Bay. Here is where the roads end and the Currambene Creek flows into the Jervis Bay. The place is surrounded by beautiful bush.

The bay and the creek are fantastic places for all sorts of water sport activities. You can swim, fish, sail or surf as much as you like. And the bay is safe for children. A nice stroll through the bush brings you to the kilometers long beaches of the bay.

XT: You won 7 World Tour races last year, most of anyone, and now you have one in your backyard…whadya think?

BA: It’s so exciting to be involved in a thrilling, adrenalin pumping & action packed sport such as XTERRA.  I’m “stoked” as we say in Australia, to showcase my backyard and share the natural beauty of our culture, landscape, and laid back lifestyle.

XT: Checked out the course yet?

BA: I haven’t yet ridden the XTERRA Asia Pacific course, but I have ridden and run all the trails in Jervis Bay. They offer short technical sections, flat twisty blasts, some modest climbing, a wha-hoo downhill section for all those gravity minded soles and a smattering of natural obstacles, it helps keep the fun factor set to high. Just remember to make a conscience effort to look at the scenery as you ride by, it is simply Jaw Dropping.

XT: How about the beach, can we expect some big waves?

BA: Callala Bay isn’t known for its surfing, but you most definitely will spot dolphins frolicking in the crystal clear water of Callala Beach. There are plenty of great beaches in New South Wales where you can learn to surf at an accredited surf school. It’s also where you might find your surf lesson incorporates a little yoga.

Surfing along the South Coast of NSW brings you close to nature at every turn. There are small towns and villages surrounded by bushland and national parks, birds and wildlife abound and deserted beaches are easy to discover.

XT: As an avid traveler yourself, what should others put this race on their schedule?

BA: The XTERRA Tribe can come experience first-hand Australia’s 50,000 kilometers of spellbinding coastline. Our white, sandy beaches are just as you imagine – uncrowded, unspoilt and utterly enticing.

Australian culture is founded on stories of battlers, bushrangers, sporting hero’s and brave soldiers. It’s all about a fair go, the great outdoors and a healthy helping of irony.

They can come see some of our unique animals, one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal. More than 80% of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else. Some of our best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.  Be careful you might just fall into our laid back. “She’ll be right” Aussie lifestyle!

XT: Think we might discover some new talent down under with this race?

BA: I know that this is going to be the toughest race of the year! There will be some of the best Aussie Multi-sport athletes, triathletes, Olympian’s, Surf Ironman Athletes, World Champions, National Champions, mountain bikers, off-road trail runner and first timers to electrify the atmosphere.

XT: Any local shops, restaurants or activities you’d recommend close to Callala Bay?

BA: Yeah, Ocean & Earth Surf Wear company based in Sussex Inlet, NSW, Australia. Fantastic place to stock up on surf gear like hats, t-shirts, shirts and shorts. Great discounts too. Only 20mins drive from Callala Bay.

For those that like good wine, the Shoalhaven Coast Wineries has a wine trail meandering through luscious green valleys and overlooks some of the country’s most pristine beaches.www.shoalhavencoastwine.com.au

And I might recommend the Dolphin Wild Cruises – an opportunity to view Jervis Bay and all its wildlife above, below and beyond.  The “Wild Essence” is the most loved vessel by the Dolphins in Jervis Bay, as they race for hundreds of meters to play on its bow. www.dolphinwildcruises.com.au

Check out www.visitnsw.com and start making your plans!

http://www.xterraasiapacific.com