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New look for event

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Thousands are expected to descend on Augusta this weekend for the 12th Augusta Adventure Fest.

Organisers anticipate more than 3000 competitors and 8000 spectators will take part in the weekend’s race hailed as one of the biggest adventure race weekends in the world.

Competitors will face a new challenge this year with the off-road race featuring refreshed courses, new leg order and a new ocean swim.

Racers will tackle demanding off-road courses including a mixture of ocean paddling, coastal running, swimming and mountain bike riding.

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The full-distance adventure race will take place on Sunday with a 57km course. There will also be a half-distance mini adventure race with a 27km course.

Both races start with a mass paddle launch on the Hardy Inlet.

Race director John Jacoby said the addition of the new ocean swim came as a result of competitor feedback.

“The environment and the course the race is conducted in is very appealing,” he said.

“Last year there was a fair bit of swimming in the river, but we do a post-event survey of what the people want and there was a definite majority for more ocean-based swimming.”

Mr Jacoby said the mini adventure course also attracted a lot of teenagers and was a good building block for people hoping to take on the 57km course. He said he was looking forward to the start line of each course. “We always take pride in our mass start lines,” he said.

The event also incorporates a State of Origin Teams trophy, awarded to best all-stars team from Queensland, Victoria and WA.

Athletes to watch throughout the weekend include defending champions Brody Baker and Kristen Gadsdon, along with previous Augusta Adventure winner Elizabeth Dornom and X-Adventure Dunsborough winners Tom Chadbourne and Ariarn Huston.

The festival includes the Act-Belong-Commit Augusta Junior Survivor which is a 4km running and obstacle adventure challenge for children up to 13 years old.

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