History of Team Sanlam Painted Wolf

2 September, 2016

Road to Adventure Racing World Championships in Australia

Road to Adventure Racing World Championships in Australia

Expedition Africa, part of the Adventure Racing World Series, took place earlier this year on the Garden Route and certainly had an extraordinary effect on the larger Knysna community. The fact that a large number of local athletes participated was remarkable and was maybe part of the reason that the community supported this gripping and gruelling race from the word go. Knysna came to a standstill as everybody was glued to the live tracking system featuring dots making their way to the finish line. Having 2 local teams finish the race in 1st and 2nd position contributed to the atmosphere.

With financial backing from the Knysna Featherbed Company Team Sanlam Painted Wolf re-entered the Adventure Racing scene after a long absence. They inspired the local community with their great spirit, winning the race and with that the ticket to The World Championships in Australia.

Winning Expedition Africa was however only the first of the challenges on the road to World Champs for the team. Mark Collins – team Captain of Team Sanlam Painted Wolf – made it clear from the start that the team’s goal was not just to participate in the race - it was to compete for a podium finish.

To achieve this goal at a World Championships, against all of the most experienced and best prepared teams in the world (consisting of many professional athletes), Team Sanlam Painted Wolf has to up its game considerably. With limited time and finances on hand this seemed an impossible task.... until the Knysna Community stepped in.

Gripped by the Adventure Racing addiction – they wanted more and rallied to make the impossible possible. Locals Ronnie Webster from the Featherbed Company, Dani van Wyk from SquirtLube, Rogan Hindmarch from Africanyon, as well as Alexa and Duran de Villiers from Steadidrone immediately indicated continuous support. But they were not the only ones. Other local businesses came on board for no personal gain but to see their local heroes go to World Championships and be able to perform to their maximal capacity.

Brett Lederle from ChiroLife is taking care of John and Marks spine and nerves during his chiropractic assessments while Jenina Conradie from Wholelistix is doing her magic with massages to help the team recover quickly after training.

Local businessman and owner of the Knysna Sanlam Private Wealth branch, Humphrey Price, was so under AR’s spell that he pulled all strings and played his connections. Not only did he commit SANLAM Knysna to the project and brought Mitchell’s Brewery and Fluid Kayaks to the party but he also facilitated a meeting with the decision makers from SANLAM South Africa.

This meeting changed the way forward for Team Sanlam Painted Wolf. With the backing of SANLAM not only for this year’s World Championships but also for their future endeavours in the sport, Team SANLAM Painted Wolf is now focusing on the task ahead and is planning their come back to Adventure Racing on an international playing field.

The team derives its name from the direct English translation of the Latin name for the African Wild Dog “Lycaon pictus” or “Painted Wolf”. The Painted Wolf’s hunting tactic is characterised by efficiency and teamwork in a pack and has the highest successful kill rate of any African predator. At the same time it is a species on the edge of extinction largely due to loss of habitat as a consequence of man’s relentless expansion. Both these facts made the team adopt the name Painted Wolf. They will race for podium and at the same time raise awareness and funds needed to protect Painted Wolves by supporting the work of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

Should you wish to get involved and support the Painted Wolves– please get in touch with Team Captain Mark Collins: mark@magneticsouth.net

Join the team on Social Media (@teampaintedwolf #road2arwc) to follow their preparations and send your messages of support.

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