15. August 2000 10:41
by Rene Pallesen

The Competitors . . .

15. August 2000 10:41 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

the competitors
Ecochallenge ( Sabah 2000 )

Magellan HotelMoving into SilamRepeater StationInjured CompetitorTransporting a Repeater StationBeetleKids in Village
ArrivalSilam / Jungle OpsRepeater StationsThe CompetitorsHelicopterJungle Around UsThe Village

The Competitors . . .

The competitors did not rest... three of the teams were half way through the 600 kilometre course after only three days... pretty amazing!

Two of the teams were Australian. 18 teams were out of the race. At least 10 of these were due to medical problems.

Hardly any people around here get enough sleep... the place is active 24 hours per day because there are always competitors coming in!

I was keen to find out how the Danish team would turn out. At the beginning of the race, they were not very sociable. But by the end of the race, I think the tension of the race had gone, and I managed to have a chat with them. By the third day, the Danes are doing pretty well... they had a 22nd place!

Race on mountain bikesRace on mountain bikes

This was the mountain-bike leg of the race.

The guy you see being transported to hospital in the helicopter (photos below), was doing this part of the race. He was rounding a corner on his bike and rode straight into a large branch.

Rush to medical facilitiesRush to medical facilities

We had a lot of medical urgencies... we almost lost a guy with a punctured lung !
I got some great photos and helped getting the guy into the mobile hospital. There was a lot publicity on the website and through the media about it.

Fortunately, he was only 15 minutes away from HQ, so it was possible for us to get him to the helicopter very quickly, and to the nearest hospital.

River Race

Another leg of the race involved rowing in these “sampans”, a Malay term for “boat”. At some point, the teams in the race had to also split up - some of them swimming, some of them rowing, to complete the water leg of the race.

Below, the competitors had to use a flying fox to cross the canyons. I managed to have a go at it - compared to rock-climbing... well, I found it pretty boring *smile*. I imagine most people would find it quite fun though.

Setting up of flying foxSetting up of flying fox

There are no places to climb here.

I had hoped to take one of the helicopters to Madai Caves to check out the 200 metre abseil. The road to the Madai Caves lead directly through the tiny village of Gua Madai - a small cluster of homes, their wood bleached grey.

The town’s main sources of income are tourism and birds’ nests. The nests are found high up the walls of the cave, tucked away in cracks and crevasses, and can command thousands of dollars. They are harvested about three times a year.

My girlfriend mentioned trying "bird's nest soup" whilst I was there. She said normally the bird's nest they use belong to the swallow. It is a delicacy to many Asians, and similar to shark's fin soup - that is if you have tried it. Normally the nests are made out of the birds' saliva.
Headquarters flooded!

There was so much rain at Silam that HQ was often flooded.

Many of the competitors took the opportunity to get some sleep and the slept on whatever they could find.

Back to Top

Return to Borneo Homepage

Created: 7 Dec 2001
Comments are closed