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Adventure duo "Tempest Two" conquers their first ultra triathlon

There are plenty of paddle boarding adventures out there, but that of James Whittle & Tom Caulfield - better known as "Tempest Two" - is extraordinary. A journey through the roughest region on earth: Patagonia.

It is the part of South America that offers a lot of landscape and yet seems to be the end of the world. In addition to a steppe-like plateau or the humid climate in the rainforest of the West Andes, Patagonia also has dry and very cold areas with strong winds. This is exactly where the adventure duo "The Tempest Two", also known by their real names James Whittle & Tom Caulfield, went to their first ultra triathlon. Since 2015, the two have shown that even "ordinary" people can do and manage extraordinary things through the use of self-belief and a lot of hard work.

Already at the beginning of October 2017 the arduous path started, which consisted of 1,600 kilometers of cycling, 65 kilometers of races and 200 kilometers of stand-up paddling over two huge glacial lakes. That seemed ambitious, but also feasible if the two weren't even professionals in these disciplines before? In fact, it was only a few months ago that they first stepped on a Red Paddle Co.

@ Red Paddle Co.

"The biggest challenge wasn't the track, it was the conditions."

For this unusual expedition, James and Tom drove to an area that is considered to be one of the roughest and most beautiful regions on earth. Patagonia stretches through Chile and Argentina, a land of contrasts. The peaks of the Andes border the desolate plains of the Patagonian steppe, lush forests collide with barren rock and sand. This is the land of the gauchos, a group of people who live on the land and protect it vehemently.

The trip should push her to her physical and mental limits. But at the same time they wanted to discover the region in a unique way. The first stage was a 1,600-kilometer cycle path that led from the northern city of Bariloche to the southern settlement of El Chalten. They had to go through the emptiness of the Patagonian desert, past mountains, lakes and glaciers.

© Red Paddle

The second leg of the 65-kilometer run through the mountains of the Fitz Roy Range. "We took the infamous Huemul Circuit (usually a four-day trekking route) and hoped to be the first people to cover this route in 24 hours," said the two athletes.

The final challenge was the 200 kilometer SUP marathon, which should consist of wind, waves and icy water. The two large glacial lakes Viedma and Argentino and the adjacent river had to be crossed.

Why all that?

The lack of experience in these three disciplines is viewed by many as naive and foolish, but the two know from experience that this can also be a blessing. In 2016, James and Tom rowed across the Atlantic without having rowed or sailed beforehand. They climbed Mont Blanc with no climbing experience and rode motorbikes from London to the Sahara, after having passed the motorcycle driving test the week before.

“When you are new to a field, you approach something with an open mind. We believe that experience can of course be an asset, but we have learned not to be afraid of anything because we lack it, ”said the duo. And now that. With the support of Red Paddle Co, they have achieved their goal. A few months before that, they worked with a team to devise and deliver the best paddle boarding training program. It started with two Red Paddle Voyager + 13’2 ″ iSup 2018 and dry bags. The plan was to paddle from morning to evening and camp on the shores of the lake for the entire trip.

“Our biggest challenge wasn't the distance, but the conditions. Patagonia is the windiest area on the planet outside of Antarctica, with gusts of more than 100 kilometers per hour at regular intervals. We were often at the mercy of the weather and hoped that we would have a lot of tailwind to reach our goal quickly - wishful thinking! ”Said the two triathletes.

© Ben Read Photography

“Since stand-up paddling is a new activity for us, we had adjusted our training program in advance so that above all the muscles and movements required would be trained. Especially balancing boards and medicine balls helped us. Shoulder and back exercises have also been added to our usual workout regimen to help build muscle and create flexibility. So we hoped to avoid injuries during the thousand paddle strokes that should hopefully lead us to the finish line. ”And they knew even before the trip that the last strokes with the paddles to the finish line would be the best moments of 2017.

An incredible journey lies behind them. Of course you made it! SUP.de warmly congratulates.