Mongol Derby Day 4 Race Report: Navigational error gives South African pair marginal lead

Barry Armitage on the Mongol Derby 2012

Barry Armitage on the Mongol Derby 2012

After three days of all out racing across the steppe, what we believe is a navigational error has given South African Riders Barry Armitage (pictured right) and Joe Dawson a small  but significant lead. 

Barry and Joe were ahead of the pack when they had to cross a river as they approached Horse Station 14. All the riders were pointed towards a safe point to cross where a herding family were on hand with local knowledge. Barry and Joe found this spot, cross the river and made it to the horse station. In the process they ended up riding outside the permitted hours, by more than an hour, so they will get a time penalty of 90 minutes which they will have to serve at Horse Station 19. 

Leading pair, Barry Armitage and Joe Dawson racing out of Horse Station 9. ©Richard Dunwoody

Leading pair, Barry Armitage and Joe Dawson racing out of Horse Station 9. ©Richard Dunwoody

The other four riders in the leading pack missed the crossing point, and ended the day camping very close to Horse Station 14 but on the wrong side of a river that is very wide and fast flowing in parts.

Richard Killoran, Dony Fahy, Charlotte Treleaven and Julie Youngblood would likely have to back track at the start of Day 5 to cross the river safely. 

The question is, will the navigation delay to the pack of four, be more or less than the 90 minute time penalty incurred by leading pair Barry and Joe (pictured left) for riding late into Horse Station 14? Lots of drama at the pointy end of the field, and more to come when time penalties are served at Horse Station 19 in a couple of days. 

Later today we'll be posting news about the chasing riders. It's been an eventful couple of days throughout the field. The other end of the field has seen a group of 9 riders reach Horse Station 9 meaning the distance between first and last is now 200km. 

Leaderboard - positions at the end of Day 4

Horse Station 14:

Barry Armitage, 45, South Africa

Joe Dawson, 35, South Africa

Camping just short of Horse Station 14:

Dony Fahy, 25, Ireland

Richard Killoran, 25, Ireland

Julie Youngblood, 24, USA

Charlotte Treleaven, 24, UK

Camping between Horse Stations 12 & 13:

Michaela Gradinger, 39, Austria 

Christoffer Adriansson, 26, Sweden

Mathias Gardlund, 42, Sweden

Horse Station 12:

Sam Wyborn, 25, New Zealand

Will Grant, 31, USA

Nicole Walter, 41, Germany

Wendy Chambers, 45, Australia

Horse Station 11:

Ben de Rivaz, 28, UK

Simon Pearce, 51, South Africa

Heather Mostert, 30(ish), South Africa

Craig Springbait, 51, South Africa

Campbell Costello, 24, Australia

Horse Station 10:

Lucy Yorke, 25, UK

Jess Russell, 24, UK

Eveline Gawne, 46, UK 

Sonja Timani, 39, Austria

Horse Station 9:

Jess Pelaez, 29, USA

Erik Cooper, 27, USA

George Azarius, 26, Australia

Aimee Costello, 29, UK

Ronald van der Velder, 51, Netherlands

Anne Schutman, 29, Germany

Katherine Friedland, 46, Canada

Ivo Marlo, Germany