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 gravel rider, followed every other outdoor sport there is with considerable experience in white water kayaking, skiing, windsurfing, wing foiling and a range of other outdoor pursuits.

He is committed to helping kids develop a love for sport and the outdoors and spent 3 years as a cub / scout leader 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

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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 18 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 cycling, surfing, basketball, running and the odd triathlon – all whilst raising her own two young children.

Kate Wood – Competitor Services Manager

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Marcel Shields – Competitor Services Manager

Marcel is our resident South African who’s organisation skills out reach us all! With a personal training background, a love of all things-fitness related, and being outdoors exploring by bike or foot – Marcel brings great enthusiam to the team.

Marcel is currently involved in triathlons and enjoys the bike-leg most. In fact, she loves all forms of riding (in true Rapid Ascent style!) – Road, Mountain Bike and Gravel.

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Jeremy Baker Digital Marketing and Communications

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Annie Knight – Competitor Services Manager

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 is on the tail end of completing her studies in Psychology.

Annie recently moved to Alice Springs, setting up our first Rapid Ascent office outside Torquay. Annie also caught the ultra running bug from the many competitors she converses with daily and out our events themselves; and has run thousands of KM’s since – many of which around her new home town of Alice Springs!

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