WASHINGTON (Nov. 14, 2006)–National Geographic Adventure has chosen the most outstanding accomplishments for 2006 in the world of exploration, conservation, journalism and humanitarian work. In the December 2006/January 2007 issue (on newsstands Nov. 28), the magazine has named Canadians Colin Angus and Julie Wafaei as the 2006 Adventurers of the Year for their extraordinary two-year, human-powered circumnavigation of the world. The pair undertook this adventure to encourage people to use no-emission forms of transportation, such as cycling and walking.
The 2005 Adventurer of the Year, famed mountaineer Ed Viesturs, will present the award to the couple on Nov. 14 at a gala event held at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington. The evening will be hosted by Boyd Matson of the National Geographic television series “Wild Chronicles,” who will present awards to six additional heroes of adventure.
For the first time National Geographic Adventure magazine will celebrate a Lifetime Achievement Award, with this special honor going to Wildlife Conservation Society’s George Schaller. Schaller, who has protected countless acres of endangered habitat and dozens of threatened species, is the magazine editors’ choice of the ideal example of someone who has led a truly purposeful and adventurous life.
National Geographic Adventure organized a group of leaders in the world of adventure to serve on its advisory board for the nomination of the Adventurers of the Year. With the help of the board, the magazine also recognizes the following for their exceptional accomplishments in a variety of fields this year: Anousheh Ansari, Bruce Beehler, Jesse Coombs, Olav Heyerdahl, Eh Kalu Shwe Oo, Dan Mazur, Stephanie Sinclair, Jamilah Star, Greg Stone and Ben Stookesberry.
“The National Geographic Society exists to inspire people to care about the planet. Adventure’s role within the Society is to inspire people to experience the natural and cultural wonders of the world in exciting ways. Tonight we honor the sponsors, adventurers, outfitters, destinations and manufacturers that have supported our mission and put National Geographic Adventure on such a remarkable trajectory. We are assembling a group of our most interesting friends to celebrate the wondrous things that adventure does in our lives and in our world,” said National Geographic Adventure’s Vice President and Publisher Francis X. Farrell.
Awards for Best of Destinations and Best of Gear also will be recognized at the ceremony. The magazine’s editors have named Brazil, Canada, China, Morocco, Puerto Rico and South Africa as standout adventure destinations for 2007 and beyond.
National Geographic Adventure’s approach to its Best of Gear awards differs from other magazines in that it has established a second advisory board of 45 of the country’s leading outdoor retailers. The board’s contribution was twofold: to weigh in on products that in its expert opinion are innovative and to report on what products consumers are particularly excited about in the marketplace.
The 45 winners are Al Merrick’s Channel Islands M-BM surfboard; Asics Kayano 13 running shoes; Asolo Contour XCR light hikers; Burton Elite snowboard; Camelbak Octane 14 hydration pack; Celestron SkyScout astronomer; Columbia Faster and Lighter shell; Elmo SUV-Cam video camera; Freestyle Audio DMP music player; Garmin Edge 305 bike computer; Gerber Hinderer Rescue knife; Giant OCR1 W road bike; GoLite Chrome Dome umbrella; GoLite Sun Dragon trail runners; Gregory Z 55 overnight pack; Harman/Kardon Drive + Play iPod control; Hobie Mirage Adventure Island boat; La Sportiva Exum River canyon shoe; Lowrance iWay 250C GPS; Mammut Ambler puffy jacket; Marmot iGlove Snow glove; Marmot Gravity softshell; The North Face Ice Storm 400 GTX Boa boot; The North Face Neutron 32 daypack; Ortovox Merino base layer; Patagonia Capilene 1 Crew shirt; Patagonia Down Vest; Pearl Izumi Maverick running shorts; Petzl Nomad rope; Polar RS800sd watch and adiStar Fusion shoes and shirt training system; Salomon Guns skis; Santa Cruz Nomad X9 AM mountain bike; Sierra Designs Asp tent; Slime SRT Tubeless bike tires; Smith VTI sunglasses; Snow Peak Chopsticks; Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N2 and Sony GPS-CS1 field camera; Speedo XDSkin Corset Back swimsuit; SureFire Kroma flashlight; Teva Karnali Wraptor water sandal; Teva Uropod 37 L drybag; and Timex Expedition E-Tide & Temp watch.
Presented by National Geographic Adventure magazine, South African Tourism and Johnnie Walker®, the Adventurer of the Year celebration includes guest speakers, presentations and photography, as well as music, food and entertainment with a South African flair. Guests will be entertained by the music of Khanyo, one of the great divas of South Africa. Kristina Sutter, Johnnie Walker® Master of Scotch, will mingle among the guests and will be available to talk about Johnnie Walker and answer any questions. Raffle prizes include a trip for two to South Africa courtesy of South African Airways and Mountain Travel Sobek, an engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker® Green Label® scotch and many items from the best gear of the year. Additional sponsors of the event include Asics, Lowe Alpine and Woolrich.
“South African Tourism is pleased to team up with National Geographic Adventure magazine for these prestigious awards,” said Felicia Suttle, president, South African Tourism USA, who describes South Africa as “the perfect adventure destination.”
“The country offers a tremendous variety, from the highest commercial bungee jump in the world to white water rafting on our raging rivers to hiking up Table Mountain,” she said. “Many visitors to South Africa describe it as a life-changing experience as they discover its awesome sensory impact through its scenic beauty, the diversity of its music, its real wonder where you can enjoy first-world infrastructure combined with traditional cultures, unsurpassed wildlife and world-class lodges.”
“Johnnie Walker has been a leading force in celebrating people whose determination and perseverance have led them to accomplishing significant milestones throughout their own personal journey,” says Chris Parsons, VP Marketing, Scotch Diageo NA. “We are proud to join National Geographic Adventure in applauding the achievement of these pioneers, Colin Angus and Julie Wafaei, who embody all that the Johnnie Walker Striding Man symbolizes.” Johnnie Walker is pleased to honor Angus and Wafaei’s commitment to their inspiring voyages by donating a $2,000 grant toward their next expedition, launching in 2008. Keep Walking.
About National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Adventure, winner of four National Magazine Awards, including the 2003 Award for Leisure Interests and the 2002 Award for General Excellence, was launched in 1999 as a quarterly to serve an audience of active, adventurous readers and to propel National Geographic’s mission of exploration and discovery into the new century. The magazine rapidly expanded in both publishing frequency and circulation size. Now published 10 times a year, with a rate base of 525,000, it is available by subscription (800-NGS-LINE) and on newsstands in the United States ($4.95) and Canada ($6.95). The magazine’s Web site is at nationalgeographic.com/adventure.
About South African Tourism
South African Tourism is the organization mandated with the international tourism marketing activities of the country. For travel and tourism information on this world-class destination, the ideal place for both business and leisure, contact South African Tourism at 500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2040, New York, N.Y., 10110; Tel: (212) 730-2929; Fax: (212) 764-1980; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.southafrica.net.
About Johnnie Walker®
The Johnnie Walker® portfolio features five award-winning whiskies — Red Label®, Black Label®, Green Label®, Gold Label® and Blue Label® — imported and distributed in the United States by Diageo North America. At the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Green Label was named “Best Blended Scotch.” More than four bottles of Johnnie Walker are consumed every second, and more than 120 million bottles are sold every year in more than 200 countries. The product line covers a broad range of occasions for the whisky drinker from every day to special moments. The five premium brands represent a range of prices and tastes that share a remarkable 180-year history and a commitment to quality. Additional information about Johnnie Walker may be found at www.johnniewalker.com.