Meet the Team

Behind every great event is the team of Rapid Ascent; made up of experienced, passionate and enthusiastic staff.

Rapid Ascent Pty Ltd was established in November 2004 and is jointly owned by:

  • John Jacoby 
  • Sam Maffett

As a couple of experienced athletes themselves, John and Sam are committed to bringing you a series of races by competitors, for competitors. Both John and Sam bring considerable passion and experience to Rapid Ascent and their events, along with their key staff members.

John Jacoby – Race Director

John is one of the most experienced and accomplished adventure racers in the world, having been involved in the sport since its inception (remember Eco Challenge?). John was awarded the Keys to the City of Melbourne in 1987 after being crowned World Marathon Kayak Champion for the 3rd year in a row, going on to win the title four times. He has completed 30 major international adventure races in 16 countries and was the first Australian to win the coveted Coast to Coast title in NZ. For a copy of John’s sporting CV, click here.

Since retiring from full on competitive racing (he still sneaks into the odd adventure race every now and then, winning the last one alongside Sam), John has developed a reputation as a designer of ‘very challenging’ but interesting courses covering adventure racing, mountain biking and trail running courses.

2019 update: John recently summited Makalu in the Himalayas – 27,838 ft in the air! It’s been described as technically more difficult and steeper than Everest (probably why John chose it!).

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Sam Maffett – General Manager and Sponsorship

Sam loves mixing his fitness with some good outdoor adventures and is often seen in different corners of the Otway Ranges enjoying some exercise.

Sam probably calls himself an ultra-distance trail runner firstly, closely followed by a mountain biker and then just about every other outdoor sport there is with considerable experience in white water kayaking, skiing, windsurfing and a range of other outdoor pursuits.

He is committed to helping kids develop a love for sport and the outdoors and in 2018 started as a Cub Leader at the 1st Torquay Cub/Scout Group, as well as taking his own primary aged kids on as many adventures as he can.

Sam lives in Anglesea with his wife Kate on the Great Ocean Road and two young sons Tom and Ollie [email protected]

Key team members 

Supporting the two Directors is a team of equally as passionate staff members with their own sporting prowess’s:

Adele Worner – Event and Marketing Manager

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Adele joined the team in January 2013 and has over 15 years’ experience in sporting event delivery from inception through to event day. Adele cannot pick her favourite personal sport, but high on the list is soccer, running, triathlons and surfing – all whilst raising her own two young children.

Ben Hucker – Media & Communications Manager

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A sea change led Ben to the Rapid Ascent team in late 2018. A background in freelance writing and financial markets (of all things!), Ben jumped head-first into all things digital and social media for the ever changing and shaping social world we now live. Ben is an avid surfer, gym junkie and runner, embracing the elements of coastal life.

Annie Knight – Competitor Services Manager

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As a passionate and often competitive swimmer and runner, Annie’s love for events fits the Rapid Ascent crew like a fish to water. Annie’s been with the team since early 2016 and most recently picked up her studies in Psychology. She’s also a highly sought after netball player within the Torquay community.

Kylie Todd – Competitor Services

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If there’s anyone that can juggle the number of events on our list, it’s Kylie. A key part-time member of the team, Kylie looks after our competitor services for contracted events and the Trail Series, all whilst managing her own team of 5 children at home. Kylie also embraces her home-town triathlon, the Barwon Heads Tri each year.

Rapid Ascent’s values

The Rapid Ascent team embraces the following values:

  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Respect for the environment
  • Respect for the community
  • Respect for participants

Keen to know more about Rapid Ascent?  Contact us