Leg 23.05 – “Don’t spread the legs too much!”
Teams begin the 5th Leg of the Race in front of the iconic La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Teams depart in pairs every ten minutes starting at 6am.
And the first clue tells teams to hop back into their brand-new 2023 Kia Sportages to drive themselves to Saltamos Village.
Here, teams will perform a sunrise tandem skydive! They will receive the next clue when they get back on solid ground.
Teams must now drive themselves to the city of Valls and, using only a photo given them via their Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultras, must find the cluebox at Placa del Quarter. That clue reveals the Detour: Graella or Menjar.
Valls is known for its calçots, large, sweet spring onions which are grilled and enjoyed in feasts known as calçotada. For this Detour, teams will get to take part in an annual festival celebrating the delicious veggie.
In Graella (Grill), teams will be given an address at which they must pick-up a bundle of firewood. They must then find Placa de L’Oli where they will pile up the wood and get a fire started. Teams must then search the area for a grill grate and then correctly place all the calçots from a basket onto the grill. Both team members must then hold the grate and make their way back to Placa de L’Oli where they will put the grate over the fire. When the calçots are cooked, they will enjoy some and receive the next clue.
In Menjar (Eat), teams must prepare calçots for cooking at Placa de L’Oli. When they have properly prepared and cut all the calçots in their basket, they must each take a traditional roof tile used to plate the calçots and fill it with 25 calçots each. Teams must now hold the tile of calçots with only one hand as they make their way to Placa El Pati where they will join the eating contest and eat all their calçots to receive the next clue.
After the Detour, teams must find Monumento a Los Xiquets, commemorating the human towers tradition known as castells. Here, teams will pick up a new mannequin friend to ride with them in their 2023 Kia Sportages in the rear middle seat.
Teams will then drive to Masia Freixa in the city of Terrassa.
The clue there tells teams to find the Estadi Olimpic de Terrassa with their mannequin friend accompanying them.
At the stadium, teams will take part in one of Catalonia’s iconic traditions, the human towers known as castells. But teams will participate in an interesting way. Teams must use special mannequins to build a “human” tower themselves. Once they place their mannequin friend from Valls at the top of the tower and place a flag in its hands, they will receive the next clue.
This is also the Trigger Point for this Leg. If a team’s tower is officially judged as stable on their 5th attempt, the U-Turn or Yield will be activated.
Teams must now drive to the famous Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey where they will find the Road Block: Who’s feeling angelic?
The Escolania de Montserrat is one of the oldest boys choirs in Europe. For this Road Block, teams will join the choir by learning a hymn which they will perform together and solo in order to receive the next clue.
After the Road Block, teams must deliver candles by the correct color to candle lighting area of the abbey.
And then, teams can make their way on foot to the Pit Stop at the Stairway to Heaven.
BUT! Teams will find that the stunning piece of art has been fenced off and the Mat has been moved to St. Michael’s Cross which can be reached by a 20 minute hike from the abbey.
The first team to check-in here will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+.
The last team to check-in here WILL be eliminated.
I think this is my favorite Leg so far. Lots of driving again. But I think the tasks here are all interesting and challenging.
First up, of course we had to have a Route Marker at La Sagrada Familia. A task would’ve been great. But a Pit Stop or Pit Start is fine. A sunrise Pit Start there might look wonderful as well. And with 8K UHD drone shots too!
Next, if there’s an opportunity for a skydive, why not! And since it’s a processional task, we’ll put it right at the start of the Leg. We could add some kind of challenge here, but the Leg is pretty full already. And I couldn’t think of anything anyway lol
So for the Detour, I actually originally had it centered around the famous Passion play production at La Passio D’Olesa de Montserrat. But then Google scouting led me to calçots in Valls. And thankfully, it was close enough to fit into the Leg.
I think both Detours should be equally challenging and in their own unique ways. Lots of walking, lots of work. Maybe even tedious work too. So it will be great to see teams, all together here, having to complete the tasks. It could make for some exciting competition. I think this is a highlight Detour for the season. And of course, featuring the calçots is very interesting.
Another highlight task will definitely be the castells. I had the castells on my reserves list for a while and finally having Legs here in Catalonia, I of course had to include some kind of task. Of course we can’t have teams actually participating in the human tower. (Or can we? lol) So I think a more creative way is to use mannequins and for them to stack them on their own. Seeing the mannequin above, I think having the multi-jointed ones instead of like store mannequins will make for more challenging assembly. But also maybe more unstable towers. Which of course, we want to see! Have teams struggle with putting the mannequins together. We want to see towers collapsing and teams getting frustrated! Hehe
What’s interesting is Valls is building a castell museum, I believe. So having the task in Valls makes sense. But I thought staging the task in another town and in a stadium would be good. That’s why I included the picking up of the mannequin friend in Valls.
Finally, the Stairway to Heaven is another location I had on my reserves list. But since I first jotted it down, they’ve closed it off because of crazy social media influencers unsafely stepping all over it. A Pit Stop at the location would’ve been amazing. But having to add an extra hike at the end can add more challenge to the teams, especially at the end of the Leg. And St. Michael’s Cross is also a stunning location.
The Road Block with the boys choir is a typical TAR task and we needed something to do at the abbey. So the singing and the candles are also just tasks to help fill out the Leg and make use of the landmark location.
Overall, I really like this Leg and it could definitely be our International Emmy submission episode! hehe