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Rich Idea
A new U.S. adventure race promises big-time loot--and obstacles

Dan Barger's announcement last month that his inaugural Primal
Quest Adventure Race will feature a whopping $250,000 in prize
money quickened pulses in the adventure world, especially since
he also declared that the still unscheduled race will span a
course "somewhere in Colorado." Between 1996, when Mark Burnett
took his Eco-Challenge overseas, and last month, when Burnett
held an armed-forces-only version of the Eco in Alaska, there had
not been an expedition-length adventure race in the U.S. If
adventure racing is to attract better sponsors and expand its fan
base, it needs greater exposure in the States, which has long
been the nesting ground of the sport's best talent. "I like the
idea of throwing my gear in the back of my truck and driving to a
race, instead of flying halfway around the world," says Jim
Garfield, who plans to compete in the 2001 Eco-Challenge in New
Zealand and the 2002 Raid Gauloises in Vietnam.

Barger, 35, a veteran promoter of equestrian and mountain-biking
events, plans Primal Quest as a five- to 10-day competition of
trekking, mountain biking and whitewater rafting, but he faces
many roadblocks. A lengthy process to secure permits for use of
federal lands, high insurance costs and opposition from
environmentalists outraged by a race through wilderness are only
a few of the headaches that drove Burnett abroad. Barger also
needs to come up with more dough. He claims to have $2 million in
the bank, but he's been vague about how he'll raise the rest of
the $7 million he'll need to put on a world-class adventure race.
"Primal Quest will happen, and adventure racing will have its
biggest payday," Barger says. "Eco-Challenge and Mark Burnett
have done a good job, but we're going to do better."

Even if Barger is swaggering a bit prematurely, U.S. adventure
racers--many of whom cannot afford to travel abroad for events
like the Eco--should root for him. If his Primal Quest succeeds on
U.S. soil, adventure racing will be richer, no matter what the
purse. --Martin Dugard

Jay Moriarity (1978-2001)
In His Element To the End

Sam George remembers a longboard surfing contest off Pleasure
Point in Santa Cruz, Calif., in the early 1990s. George, the
editor of Surfer, was in a heat with legendary Dave Parmenter and
a smooth-faced 15-year-old local. "A wave comes in," George
recalls. "Dave is in position for it, but the kid paddles around
him and takes it." On the beach George lectured the lad, with
whom he was reunited in the final. When George wiped out and lost
his board, he thought he was done. Then the kid retrieved his
rival's board and took it out to him, a luminous act of

The kid was Jay Moriarity. On June 15, at age 22, Moriarity died
while free diving in the Maldives. His death comes seven years
after a terrifying wipeout that could have killed him. In
December 1994, Moriarity was devoured by a mountainous 25-footer
at Maverick's, up the coast from Santa Cruz. That wipeout made
the cover of Surfer, but he recovered his wind and caught eight
more waves that day.

Moriarity will be remembered for his courage and proficiency in
monster waves--his ride of a 50-footer at Maverick's last winter
ranks among the greatest big-wave conquests ever--and for his
sweet, respectful nature. "He was a throwback," says renowned
longboarder Robert (Wingnut) Weaver. "He captured that surf ethic
of versatility: paddling, surfing, fishing. He was a waterman. It
was his life."

Eleven days after Moriarity died, 2,000 people-- 00 on
surfboards--honored him in a memorial off Pleasure Point. "Jay was
going to be one of our sport's cornerstones," says Weaver. "He
hadn't begun to reach his peak." --Austin Murphy

indoor Adventure
Call it 'As the Tour Turns.' Tune in daily for heartbreak, drugs,
triumph! Find out what will happen to Lance!

As the daily international soap opera that is the Tour de France
moves into the critical mountain episodes, you can follow the
twists and turns every day on the Outdoor Life Network. Its
coverage consists of two hours of live racing in the morning, a
replay from 3 to 5 p.m. and a two-hour recap at 9 p.m. (10 p.m.
Pacific Time). On Sunday afternoons the action moves to the CBS

Much of the story, of course, follows the adventures of Lance
Armstrong, who was in 23rd place through nine stages. The plot
thickened when USPS teammate Christian Vande Velde had to
withdraw on Saturday after breaking his left forearm in a crash,
but Armstrong (above) had little reason to panic. The start of
the Lance-friendly mountain stages this week promises a seismic
shakeout at the front of the pack, where numerous sprinters are
doomed to fall hopelessly behind. Further aiding the reigning
champ has been the slow start of ubernemesis Jan Ullrich, who was
26th through Stage 9. And don't miss this compelling subplot: the
comeback of U.S. and Credit Agricole rider Bobby Julich, who was
12th through Monday. As recently as three years ago Julich
finished third in the Tour and was compared favorably with
Armstrong, but his career went into a sudden, inexplicable
tailspin. He's back. Stay tuned.


Bouldering whiz Chris Sharma (SI, May 28) recently sliced his
hand in a climbing accident, but he still expects to complete
the first full ascent of France's Biographie Extension (above),
a 70-move, roughly 125-foot route that has a 5.15 rating, the
sport's most difficult grade. "I'm one move from the point where
I definitely would not fall," Sharma told SI last weekend. "It's
only a matter of time until all the conditions come together
perfectly and I can proceed through the last balcony moves to
the top."...Snowstorms forced Ed Viesturs and climbing partner
Veikka Gustafsson to abandon their ascent of Pakistan's
26,657-foot Nanga Parbat late last month. Nanga Parbat is one of
the two 8,000-meter peaks in the world (out of 14) that Viesturs
has yet to scale without supplemental oxygen. He plans to return
to the mountain next spring....Billionaire adventurer Steve
Fossett has set July 22 as the launch date for his sixth attempt
at completing the first solo flight around the world in a hot
air balloon. The 57-year-old Fossett had originally planned to
take off from Kilgoorlie, Australia, in mid-June, but heavy
winds shredded his now repaired, 450,000-cubic-foot vessel,
SoloSpirit, before it got off the ground. With the onset of
typhoon season in the South Pacific, Fossett faces a far more
daunting journey than if he had left on schedule.

COLOR PHOTO: DAN CAMPBELL Barger hopes to fill the void created when the Eco went abroad following the 1995 edition in Utah (above).

COLOR PHOTO: VERN FISCHER/SURFER MAG Moriarity: the Maverick's maverick






COLOR PHOTO: JAMES LOZEAU/MSP Biff of the month Taking a bite out of grime Downhill mountain biking is dirty business, as Josh Bender discovered last month during a run in Hanksville, Utah. After this wipeout Bender, 27, went to a nearby hotel and cracked his broken nose back into place.

For Real

On July 6, six scientists arrived on Canada's Devon Island and
set up shop in a two-story fiberglass cylinder. Their mission? To
simulate living on the Red Planet. "We hope it'll teach us the
skills necessary for a manned Mars expedition," says Maggie
Zubrin, executive director of the Mars Society. The Arctic
island's geologic and climactic features are similar to those on
Mars, making it ideal for testing robotics systems used to
explore the frozen earth in search of fossils and other evidence
of life. Aside from the freezing cold, the "colonists" weather
polar bear intrusions. The sight of a bear would seem less
frightening than, say, that of a Martian, but the Mars Society
has nonetheless hired a shotgun-slinging Inuit native to protect


Team, out of 17, in Giro d'Italia femminile--the distaff version
of the famed cycling race--that's not under investigation after a
July 11 hotel raid by Italian police reportedly turned up
syringes and performance-enhancing drugs. The sweep was similar
to the one staged during the men's Giro last month, which led to
the investigation of 80 riders.

Good Surf
For more adventure, go to and check out these

--An SI look back at Lance's 1999 and 2000 Tour de France wins
--Beginning on July 19, coverage of the Gorge Games from Oregon
--Trail Guide: Complete U.S. National Parks info database

Faces and Feats

Jenny Hadfield, Chicago
Adventure Racing
Hadfield, 34, won the women's division of the Odyssey One Day
Adventure Race in Big Island, Va. A personal trainer, she
finished 16th overall--biking, running, climbing, hiking and
canoeing the 80-mile course in 24 hours and 48 minutes.

Peter Lekisch, Anchorage
Lekisch, 60, became the oldest solo rider to complete the
2,983-mile Race Across America. Pedaling as many as 21 hours a
day, the real estate lawyer made the trip from Portland to
Pensacola, Fla., in 12 days, 20 hours and 50 minutes.

Joost Zeegers, Bellingham, Wash.
Zeegers, 37, crossed the finish in 1:19:51 to
win the solo HPK division of the 10-mile Manchester-to-Blake
Island Race in Manchester, Wash. Next month the structural
engineer will compete in the Canoe-Kayak Marathon World
Championships in northeast England.

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