godzone-logo

Latest News

Lead teams sorting it out already

Friday 5th March 2021

News Categories

Share Page

In true New Zealand style, the epic nature of the world’s biggest adventure race, GODZone, was heightened by an earthquake that decided to jump on in and shake things up.

At 2.27am this morning a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, one of three in fact, hit 100 kilometres east of

Te Araroa in the North Island.

Even around the Transition Areas and CPs on the GODZone course today, alert warnings on phones could be heard as Civil Defence sent out tsunami evacuation warning messages.

Luckily it all came to nothing, but was a good reminder that we really do live in a country that likes to be in charge sometimes.

Regardless of the ground shaking that happened in the early hours, it was not enough to put a stop to the wonderful start in the Redwoods Forest on the outskirts of Rotorua, for GODZone Chapter 9.

The teams were set off in a total of four waves, starting at 8.50am today, and within 40 minutes the race was fully underway.

Nathan Fa’avae’s Avaya, (56) was in the final wave to start, but the foursome soon made their way up the pack as the teams navigated the 56km Stage 1 mountain bike leg towards Tauranganui Bay, going up and over eastern Okataina track.

Race director Adam Fairmaid said Stage 1 delivered some beautiful conditions and teams raced fast and well.

“Avaya already started to make a bit of statement to the leading teams.”

Event Director Warren Bates pointed out that even in the early stage, mid pack and tail end teams were making navigational mistakes.

“One team will take the wrong creek, and about three other teams will follow. But that’s just the way it is.”

After TA1 was Stage 2, the packrafting/portage section, where during the day they navigated Lake Rotoiti, Lake Rotoehu and Lake Rotoma, and the buffering bush sections.

Late this afternoon, tonight and into tomorrow teams began and will continue to make their way on a significantly technical minimum five hour bush trek along Tarawera Track, canoe across Lake Tarawera and Rotomohana, to eventually complete Stage 2 at Rerewhakaaitu Camp.

Mid way through Stage 2, the top four teams had already made a statement for themselves. Richie McCaw’s iSport (7) was the first team onto the shores of Lake Rotoma, followed closely by Avaya (56) and Tiki Tour (14) side by side, and Team Motueka (6) not too far behind.

The lead teams are expected at Rerewhakaaitu Camp, TA2, at around 2am or 3am.

Team Motueka would push hard to try and keep with this lead bunch.

At CP9 on the shores of Lake Rotoma, Warren said this next trek towards Lake Tarawera wouldn’t be so bad for the lead teams who could do part of it in daylight. The mid pack and back end teams would be venturing through in the dark though, posing a much tougher challenge.

TA2 marks the spot for the six hour compulsory stop, which again, will be tougher for the back end teams who may not get there until midday Saturday, and then have to try and sleep.

“You need to get to that point in the race where you can just sleep anywhere at anytime, but they won’t be there yet.”

Warren said the great weather has kept everyone smiling so far, and the tail wind on the lakes gave some reprieve.

“The mid pack and back end teams will just keep going solidly and ploughing through. As long as they keep doing this, anything can still happen. It’s still very early days.”

Adam is looking forward to Sunday when all areas outside of Auckland region return back to Alert Level 1, while Auckland region drops to Alert Level 2.

“This means the other Auckland team might be able to join in, which would be great.”

 

Annabelle Latz

GODZone media crew

 

 

 

Related posts

Apr
11th
20:04
Vet, farmer and athlete

Country Wide Magazine – April 2021 Taihape vet, farmer and family man Anthony Oswald finds adventure racing takes his mind off the everyday as well as being good fun. Annabelle Latz tracked him down to find out more. Multi day adventure racing means entirely removing yourself from society. Your entire focus is about getting to

Mar
14th
06:03
Meet Martin, the GODZone trophy guy

He loves New Zealand so much, so bugger it, he’ll draw it. Meet Martin Rogers, you’ll probably be more familiar with his work than you realise, as he’s the man you can thank for the stunning logs of wood we call the GODZone trophies. It all started way back in 2012, just before Chapter 1

Mar
13th
01:03
The Stuff Legends Are Made Of

The Legends Trophy went to Team Swazi (19) for GODZone Chapter 9 Rotorua. For each GODZone this Trophy is awarded by the race organisers to the team that, in the twilight of their sporting careers, show how it should be done. The Legends Trophy is open to both race categories. And true legends, as the

Mar
12th
13:03
THAT HOMEWARD VIBE

The weather has turned, the sun is out and the last team – Unfinished Addiction (37) – at the back of the field, is slowly moving forward! Day eight of GODZone has a super positive vibe wherever you are on course. The finish line is humming, the music is playing and the Cargo brews and

Mar
12th
02:03
Pushing through the puddles

Where’s Warren? Buying gumboots. Well, that’s fair. It was late afternoon of Day 7, down on the finish line at Waipa Hub. It was wet, very wet. Puddles everywhere. The rain falls hard and fast in Rotorua, all of a sudden. And then it’s gone. And then it comes back again. The rain in Rotorua is not

Mar
11th
09:03
BACK END STRUGGLE ON THE KAIMANAWA RANGE

Day seven at GODZone and teams at the back of the field are taking the brunt of Chapter 9. With cold, wet weather socking in over the Kaimanawa ranges its been a very long 24 – 48 hours for some who are struggling to make and find their way across the 88km trek and down