“When I first plotted the route, the idea of constellations and points on a map stuck with me, which is where I took the name for the race", says Stan. "The constellation of Ara has eight stars, one for each point of the race: the start, each night, and the finish. You’re totally on your own during the Tour of Ara, and only have a map to find your way, so the link to the big sky, constellations, and their history in navigation is quite perfect.”
The Tour of Ara is an unsupported six-day amateur stage race, and is a true test of self-sufficiency and endurance. It passes through incredibly isolated and arid terrain, including a 400,000 square kilometre expanse of land known as the Karoo, in the southeastern region of the country. Revered for its low rainfall, extreme temperatures and cloudless skies, the Karoo is considered by many to be the last truly wild region of South Africa.