Race Disciplines

The main disciplines for XPD include trekking, mountain biking, and ocean/ river kayaking. Each edition may include additional disciplines applicable to the location for example white water rafting, roping activities, caving etc. More specific information will be provided in competitor information packs upon entry.

Teams must also have good navigation skills and be prepared to operate in harsh remote environments in all weather conditions. A detailed understanding of your teammates and your own capabilities is essential.


Will involve traveling by foot through rugged terrain. Teams will need to be competent trekkers and have good outdoor skills. Trekking will be over diverse terrains including tracks, cross country, coasteering, mountains and much more.

Mountain Biking

Competitors should be prepared for a range of riding including fire trails, steep hills, unsealed roads, cross country, sealed roads and single track.


The race organisers will provide kayaks for your team. These are double sit on top surf skis (Spirit double CTR). Skis are 4.8m long, 70cm wide, and weigh 25kg. They have a rudder for steering, a hatch in the bow and gear area with elastic straps on the stern. Sails and kites not permitted. Generally kayaking will be on inland rivers and lakes. Kayaking may also be on the ocean or white water if the location suits. Generally inland paddling will be permitted during both day and night. Dark zones will be enforced on open ocean sections and white water with specific details outlined at the pre-race briefs.

Pack rafts are not required for XPD 2020.


Navigation is an extremely important part of the expedition. The course is not marked and teams are required to navigate, using map and compass, their way through all the checkpoints to the finish. Two sets of waterproof maps are provided for each team.


More accurate distances of individual disciplines will be released in the competitor info packs upon entry. Check out the previous XPD courses for an indication of what the course might be like.

Competency Checks

Team members are required to pass a number of relatively straight forward competency checks. These are designed for competitors to demonstrate specific safety and competency aspects of the race disciplines. These checks are compulsory and the team must pass them before being permitted to race. The checks will be conducted as outlined in the race program.

Communications – Teams must demonstrate the ability to use the emergency communications device (training provided).

Navigation – A navigation questionnaire and map is provided at registration teams must complete. Example questionnaire and map from 2018.

First aid – Teams must answer a first aid questionnaire. Example questionnaire from 2016.

ARWS Rules – Teams must answer a questionnaire on the ARWS Rules of Competition. Copy of the rules will be available to reference if required. Example questionnaire from 2018.

General Kayak – Each team member must demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to escape craft once it has capsized.
  • Ability to conduct a deep water rescue (ie right / empty craft in deep water, get back in, continue paddling).
  • Swim 100m of any stroke (while wearing PFD).