State of Origin Trophy stays West

Friday, November 11, 2016

The inaugural State of Origin Teams Trophy will stay in the West after Team WA (Smartstyle) stormed over the line on Sunday in an impressive time of three hours, 36 minutes and one second on the weekend.

While hundreds of competitors were busy with their own races, a battle of another kind was unfolding. A dream of Rapid Ascent owners John Jacoby and Sam Maffett to build some interstate rivalry, bring out stellar performances and create new benchmarks, was quickly coming into focus.

Ferocity at the start line

It was a battle that started with ferocity in Hardy Inlet, see-sawed, then continued neck and neck between Team QLD and Team Vic through the middle, but ended minutes apart. Team QLD two minutes, 14 seconds off the pace (3:38:14) and the boys from Victoria hitting the line in 3:41:45.

Team WA and Team QLD neck and neck


Team WA’s David Graham, Rowan Brown, Andrew Donaldson and James Webster got the bragging rights as Western Australia’s representative All-Stars team, and this is what they had to say about it.

Team WA cross the line

“It sure was a great race, I haven’t done this before, but I like chasing somebody down, especially someone from another state, it was fun; I loved it.” James Webster, Team WA runner.

“You could really feel it, the last couple of hundred metres of the course, you’ve got current to work with, so, it just hits you like a train, and I think you had to be quite smart and not try to fight against it, try cut right across, and hopefully I did that today. But it was a team effort, and I think everyone did really well, and performed to our best. It was really good to take on the eastern states, and take out the win.” Andy Donaldson, Team WA swimmer. 

Team WA winners of State of Origin

“Yeah it was a great race; it was a tough course out there, a lot of open roads and couple of big hills. I started fourth on the bike so I was just chasing the whole way, it was a fast course, with a few big water crossings in there that could easily have gone wrong I suppose.” Rowan Brown, MTB.

Team WA’s victory backed up an almighty performance by Team Shotz, race victors who won with the fastest legs across the race – a feat never before achieved in Augusta Adventure Fest’s 11 year history, also hailing from WA.

Team QLD’s pro lifeguards from the Gold Coast had many hours in and out of the water under their belts; but they couldn’t get it on the day. They finished with the friendly and fun camaraderie team racing is known for, and were happy to shake on it for second.

Team QLD cross the line

“We really enjoyed the event. It’s always great; the guys at Rapid Ascent always put a great professional event on. The crowd was lining the beach, as you paddle past, run past, riding and that, it’s awesome, it makes like a little amphitheatre of sorts and it’s just quite thrilling.” Nick Moore Team QLD, runner.

Team WA and Team QLD shake on it

With some serious years racing, and winning, behind them - across all disciplines, the boys from Victoria were also heading in strong. But a last minute injury replacement saw Ironman racer Alex Polizzi step in for pro triathlete Luke Bell (Team Vic swimmer) just days before the race. 

Team captain Jarad Kohlar has been at the pointy end of the field at many Adventure Fests racing as an individual, 3rd in 2007, 2008 & 2015, 2nd in 2006 & 2012 and champion in 2010. He said it was a good opportunity to race in a team with some mates.

“The paddle leg was great; I was looking forward to keeping up with the pure paddlers, being more of a multi-sport athlete. Unfortunately I lost a little bit of time, five or seven minutes from the paddle specialists, so then handed the baton over to Mat to make up time on the mountain bike.” Jarad Kohlar

Mat Gray competed at the Lorne Adventure Race 10 years ago and said it was great to be part of a team this time around.

“It was good to come back and do something else, and I’ve never been to WA, so that’s also good to check out. The course was good, it was sandy and you had to be on your toes, but it was good fun.” Mat Gray

Team VIC transition into the run

“I got called in on Thursday, unfortunately Luke Bell hurt his leg being clipped by a car in Melbourne, so Thursday I decided to fly over and race for Jarad and the team. The water was really cold, I’ve been used to water temperatures around 30 degrees in Phuket, so to hop into this I nearly had a heart attack, but other than that, really good swim, I liked having to get out and actually do a bit of running through it, compared to having to swim against some very big powerful open water swimmers, it kind of gives me an advantage to run back onto them, so yeah, no complaints.” Alex Polizzi

Team VIC cross the finish line

“I thought I would’ve made up a bit more time, but the guys were pretty handy, especially the Shotz team, they really laid down some fast times today, but it was good to see a bit of south-west WA, it was good to get a bit of coastline out there, and have a good run.” Matt Murphy

Will they be back?

“I’m always up for a Jarad Kohlar adventure, don’t you worry, so if I get the call from Jarad, I’ll be here next year.” Matt Murphy

Be ready for another exciting State of Origin battle next year at the Augusta Adventure Fest.


The Act-Belong-Commit Augusta Adventure Fest is proudly sponsored by Healthway to promote Act-Belong-Commit, a community-based health campaign encouraging people to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Event results are available HERE

For more photos from the event head to the Augusta Adventure Fest Day 1 and Day 2 albums on Facebook @rapidascentevents.

Media Information

Media passes are available to accredited journalists and photographers and entitle you to be positioned in a cordoned-off area immediately behind the finish line.

To apply for a media pass on race weekend or to simply enquire about access to editorial and photos, please contact Rapid Ascent on 03 5261 5511.

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