GODZone registration gets off to a flying start…
Friday 24th February 2017
GODZone 2017 officially kicked off yesterday as teams travelled up the Skyline Gondola to register for the race.
Over 70 teams from all over the world packed into the Skyline’s event centre, famous for its panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. GODZone Organiser Warren Bates gave some last minute advice to the teams, which included crossing the rivers safely, traversing the slippery rock, and most importantly, watching out for each other.
“We’re really excited for 2017.” Organiser Warren Bates said, “Our course couldn’t look better if it tried. It took a few years to plan, but Queenstown is absolutely perfect for this race.”
The teams of four will be racing for up to 7 days around Queenstown, on a course that has remained secret until the day before the start. Competitors will then have less than 24 hours to study their course, and plan how to navigate, trek, mountain bike, kayak and canoe their way to the finish line.
One speaker who set the crowd buzzing was Michel Lepage, Safety Officer, who briefed the competitors on the White Water Rafting element of the race. Until that moment, the teams had no idea they would be facing the challenging rapids of the Kawarau River.
After collecting their kit and getting a briefing on how to use the kayaks, canoes and climbing equipment, the competitors travelled back down the Skyline Gondola to go to GODZone’s clothing sponsor, Merrell. There the teams finally got their hands on a map of the course, and their race t-shirts, which must be worn at all times.
“We don’t want the teams to spend too much time pouring over the maps and shading in every little detail.” Warren explained. “The teams who spend every minute cramming in as much info from the map as possible tend not to do as well – it can all change when you get out there and see the terrain first-hand.”
Keep an eye on this page for updates on the teams’ progress…