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Corsica Raid Aventure: Jérôme Rombaut’s sporting adventure – Part 1/2

For a change Jérôme is not going to talk about the latest bridge event he took part in but he is going to share his latest sporting achievement. Find out more about the first part of our champion’s ‘Corsica Raid Aventure’ diary and read about his experience punctuated by emotions, encounters, risks and dangers…

29 May 2019: THE DEPARTURE

I am about to make one of my dreams come true for my 45th birthday: the ‘Corsica Raid Aventure’ (Facebook page).
It is a long-distance trek involving several sports disciplines through Corsica (from the north to the south). Our adventure will start on 1 June in Saint-Florent and end on 6 June in Sagone, north of Ajaccio. Every day there will be 5-8 different events including a night one on Monday.

I have decided to embark on this adventure with two cousins (Etienne et Laurent Collombet) as 2+1.It means thatfor each event, two team members will participate and the remaining teammate will rest.
Funbridge accompanies us in this adventure as it will be our team name!

Among all my previous travels, I particularly remember those in Corsica because of the wild landscapes and their unprecedented beauty. I am looking forward to discover new breathtaking scenery…

31 MAY 2019: FUNBRIDGE ARRIVES IN CORSICA

Arrival in Corsica this morning after a stop in Aix-en-Provence at my uncle’s. We took the boat in Marseille yesterday evening.
We have already met other teams: Virginie from the Belgian team #53, and teams #07 and #13, both from Arras. It bodes well!

We arrived in the port of Bastia at 7am this morning. We are now heading to Saint-Florent campsite where we will temporarilystay until the start of the ‘Corsica Raid Aventure’ on Sunday morning.

Let me tell you a bit more about the team Funbridge:

Stephane: Paris, 52 years old. He will manage transfers from one assistance point to the next with our camper van on the narrow roads of Corsica.

He is also responsible for our well-being: drinks, food, etc.

Laurent: Paris, 52 years old. He is responsible for making space and tidying up our van as well as making sure our clothes are ready for each event.

He is our kayak specialist.He also has a light mountain bike, we can’t wait to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, since a motorbike accident 30 years ago, he can’t run anymore, which means his participation in this trail event will be limited.

Etienne: Sèvres, 46 years old. His missions during the competition: performance management, punctuality, departure sites of the events, event regulations.
Very fit for this 2019 edition, we can rely on him for all the events and especially mountain running and biking.

Jérôme: 45 years old. He is responsible for communication with the competition organisers and the other teams. As a community manager, his task is to share photos of this adventure. 
He has an average pace and no specific strength but he should be able to take part in most events. Besides enjoying the adventure, the aim of our team will be to try to see this project through to the end… What a challenge!

Last checks and chilling-out before it starts

The big day is coming… (The ‘Corsica Raid Aventure’ starts on Sunday at 8am.)
We arrived at Biguglia campsite near Saint-Florent on Friday. 
We spent the day preparing and checking our equipments: mountain bikes, tents, wetsuits, required survival gear, stickers on our Funbridge van, first-aid kit, identification of our van and supplies, etc.

That was a busy and festive day: bathing in the sea (the temperature was just perfect: 21 Celsius degrees!), biking, light lunch at the restaurant, a walk on the beach in the evening.
All French and foreign teams arrived on Friday. Corsican ones will follow on Saturday morning.
Saturday was a briefing day. We discovered the maps, road book and list of the events… (It had already been said that a night bivouac was planned in the mountains. The temperature should be 0 degree…)

We will soon plan rotations during the events but for the moment, let’s stick to our dream…

1 JUNE 2019: THE BRIEFING

Saturday was our preparation day. We thought it would be quiet but between checking our equipments, controls by the organisers, the briefing and the road book, preparing the first day was long.

Hopefully, we had an efficient assistant!

Preparing our bags for the events of the next day took most of our time.

2 JUNE 2019: THE ‘CORSICA RAID AVENTURE’ STARTS

What a day! It included:

  • Coasteering
  • Kayaking in Saint-Florent bay
  • Mountain running
  • Swimming in the sea (with backpacks)
  • Orienteering in the mountains
  • Mountain biking through the vineyards
  • Climbing 
  • Abseiling
  • Mountain biking again

I can’t describe all these landscapes. They were so beautiful!

3 JUNE 2019: TECHNICAL PROBLEMS…

On Monday, we were supposed to leave at 4.30am to drive to the departure site for 3 hours and start at 8am. But we decided to drive the night before to wake up later, at 5.45am, the next day and drive the remaining 20 kilometers.

But when it was time to go, flat battery. (We had forgotten to turn off the sidelights…)
Laurent did his best to find a solution and tried to fix it. Etienne and I decided to cycle to get to the departure site but it was already too late for the first mountain bike event.
The organisers sent us a car to drive us to the departure area.

Mountain biking to reach the canyoning site, then waterfalls, abseiling, jumping, etc. The water temperature was okay and the landscape was just extraordinary!

Mountain biking again with two very demanding events (we fell several times). We wasted valuable time due to repeated punctures.

We were back at the campsite at 8pm. We only had time to change, eat and have a shower. Then we had to prepare our bags for the night (portable stove, tent, survival kit, etc.).

We didn’t take our sleeping bags and any comfort items with us for the bivouac to make our backpacks lighter (it’s all relative).
We also decided to leave the second departure site at midnight to make the journey easier.

4 JUNE 2019: A DEMANDING TRAIL EVENT BUT BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES

The atmosphere was very romantic. We switched off our headlamps to let the stars guide us!
Then we set up a tiny tent to bivouac just a few hours. The temperature outside was quite cold: 10 Celsius degrees.Perfect for a trail event but chilly to sleep!

We woke up at 5.30am for a mass start at 6am. And here we go! 21 kilometers with a difference of 2,300 meters (including 1,300 above the sea level). Again, the landscapes were splendid but big stones were scattered all over the paths. We had to pay constant attention and remain focus. We were exhausted. It took us 7 hours and 30 minutes!

We went back to the campsite and mountain biking again!
We earned a well-deserved rest!

You can also see more pictures and videos of Jérôme’s adventure on our Facebook page. Click here.

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Alanrick

And I thought the GR20 was tough! Kudus
Guess you didn’t get any time to play bridge en route.