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Friday 2nd March 2018

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By Annabelle Latz
When you’re looking down the barrel at a potential 10 days in the Fiordland wilderness, traversing some territory that some local wild pigs and deer would not have graced, you want your navigational plan to be a sound one.
Some teams gave their final thoughts on the start line yesterday.
PURE Team 37, ‘More pros than cons’ said they were pretty much going to follow those in front of them. They’d made a couple of plans for the tricky sections, to give options depending on time of day and conditions.
“There’s three crucial sections in the big trek, so we are going to determine how we feel, and where we’re going,” said Simon Trotter from Christchurch.
Option B may be longer, but it has its upside.
“I’d rather go a bit longer and be safer,” he added.
PURE Team 38, ‘Bend Racinc/FEAR Society,’ jokingly conceded they hoped they knew where they were going.
With a bit of local knowledge on their side, they decided late on the last night to throw a bunch of food out.
“We figured we are going to go quicker than we thought we would. These guys are locals so we just chucked out most of the maps. Really, we did. We didn’t need the map for the bike,” said Jason Magness, based in Oregon.
Also based in Oregon, Chelsey Magness was sure they wouldn’t go hungry.
“We know where all the stoat traps are. These guys are trappers, so we know there’s eggs, and peanut butter in the tunnels,” she grinned.
PURE Team 7, ‘PWC,’ said options were important.
Bob McLachlan, who has a good handful of GODZone races under his belt, said there’s been a lot of excitement about where this course could go in Fiordland.
“There’s quite a lot of navigational choice out there, you have to make a lot of decisions on what the bush is like and what the terrain is like, as to which way you go. And a lot of it you won’t know until you’re actually there,” he said.
Having a rough plan is very important, but he said it could change when you’re on the course.
“That’s the big thing, there are a couple of dark zones in there which will be crucial to the race, that helps make your race plan a little bit.”
Second time around now for GODZone, fellow team mate Richie McCaw said although he’s had plenty of Adventure Racing practice between these two events, you can never get yourself ready totally for something like this.
He said working away at the course bit by bit, amongst the wide scope, would be important.
“Getting here to the start line healthy is a pretty big tick in the first place. Let’s keep it this way,” he said.
PURSUIT Team 91, ‘Team Fiordland House,’ called themselves a bit of a local team, and were very familiar with the first stage of the race. They admitted there’s a couple of places out there that most would not usually battle, but being smart about weather, visibility, terrain, and just seeing what happens on the day, was a good method.
“We’ll have a faster plan and a slower plan. My boss used to say sometimes that the quick way is the slow way, so sometimes shortcuts don’t always work,” said Dean Clark, from Te Anau.

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