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Webber sets off on Tasmania Challenge 06 Nov 2006

Mark Webber (AUS) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 10 March 2006

Just two weeks after the end of the Formula One season, Mark Webber turned his hand to racing of a different kind on Sunday as he and his fellow competitors began this year’s Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge.

The annual event, started by Webber in 2003 to raise money for Australian children’s charities, sees top athletes using bicycles, kayaks - and their own feet - to race in teams across some of Tasmania’s harshest terrain, in a gruelling test of human endurance.

This year the six-day Challenge began at the Country Club in Launceston, and will travel through the state’s high country, including Cradle Mountain, down the West Coast through Strahan before finishing at Wrest Point in Hobart in the state’s south on Friday.

Webber’s own Pure Tasmania team are one of the favourites for victory, with the Australian driver joined by Britain’s Olympic rowing gold medallist, James Cracknell, white-water kayak champ, Matt Dalziel and elite adventure racer and former Australian Ironman, Guy Andrews.

The Pure Tasmania squad took an early lead on Sunday, but fell down the order after finishing second fastest in Monday’s 33-kilometre hike from Lake Ada through to the Walls of Jerusalem.