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Optician shows plenty of focus to lead team; NEWS IN BRIEF.

A CARDIFF optician has braved the wilds of the Patagonian plains to become the youngest team captain ever to complete an Olympic-registered adventure race.

Chris Jones, 23, was part of the four-person team, Pata-Gona-Get-Yah, that competed in the 10thWenger Patagonian Exps edition Race.

An optician in Specsavers' Port Talbot branch for the past three years, Chris was the youngest person of all 20 teams to compete for 10 days, non-stop, as he travelled across more than 500km (311 miles) of wilderness by foot, bike, kayak and rope.

The combined age of the team itself, made up of Chris, David Powlesland, 24, from Cardiff, Richard Bramley, 26, from New Zealand, and Joanna Williams, 38, from Ireland, was also the youngest in the race's history and finished in 14th position, despite the race being cut short due to severe weather.

Chris said: 'My friend Dave and I have always loved caving and challenging ourselves in the great outdoors.

"We wanted to take the race on as our next big challenge, but when we arrived it was slightly daunting.

"All the other racers we spoke to had done it before.

"In fact, everyone was confirming our fears that we'd managed to enter the hardest and most remote race in the world.

"Everyone was much more experienced than us and very serious, but we were determined to give it our best shot, and now we're thrilled to become the youngest team ever to complete the race."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 28, 2012
Words:242
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