Latest News


Friday 5th March 2021

News Categories

Share Page

He is a world-class paddler. His team are six-time world champion adventure racers, so it’s no surprise that Nathan Fa’avae and team Avaya are pushing former All Black captain Richie McCaw and his isport team for pole position on the first day of GODZone.

“This is an exciting event for us, and it’s the first time that our core team of Sophie Hart, Chris Forne, Stu Lynch, and myself have raced GODZone together since 2015,” said Fa’avae. “Anything can happen out there, but all teams here would agree that Chris Forne is the world’s best navigator, and he can buy us hours and hours out there on the course with his speed and accuracy, so we are looking to give it our best.”

Richie McCaw and his fellow Coast to Coast champion teammates Simone Maier and Dougal Allen, with Theo Wordsworth, lead from the start of the 666km race, which kicked off in the Redwoods near Rotorua at 9 am. The first stage was a mountain bike through the Whakarewarewa forest to Western Okataina and onto Lake Rotoiti’s shores.

“Nathan and team Avaya made excellent time on the mountain bike and nearly caught team isport at the first transition at lake Rotoiti,” says GODZone Race Director Adam Fairmaid. “Avaya posted the fastest time on the mountain bike stage by at least 20 minutes, but we won’t know the official times until they are adjusted at TA 2 to make up for the staggered start this morning which we did to comply with Level 2 Covid restrictions.”

The competitive field of adventure racing teams are currently pack-rafting across Lakes Rotoiti, Rotoehu, Rotomo, Tarawera and Lake Rotomahana towards the second transition area of the course at Rerewhakaaitu.

“ We expect the first Pure teams to hit this transition around 1 am tomorrow (Saturday, March 6th) while the shorter course Pursuit teams should arrive close to 8 pm tonight,” says Fairmaid. ” It’s been an excellent start to the race with all the competitors just eager to get underway – the weather has been calm and not too warm, which is perfect for adventure racing.”

He says the front running teams are setting a strong pace as they jockey for position to lead them into the next gruelling stages of the race over the coming days.

“Avaya and isport are showing some sportsmanship right now and Queenstown team Tiki Tour led by George Lucas is right up there, as is team Motueka. They want to stay up the front and establish a lead pack. If you fall back by an hour on these teams today and tonight, then it’s almost game over from now to achieve a top three placing, which is what they all want.”

For the first time in GODZone history, support crews are part of the racing scene providing mandatory equipment around the course. One team nearly came unstuck at Lake Rotoiti’s first transition this morning when their crew was a no show.

“Team Go Fence Marlborough led by Brendon Hickman arrived at the transition in good time only to find their support crew had not turned up with their pack rafts,” said Fairmaid. “So they had a rather frustrating time standing around waiting for them to show up, which is all part of the race at the end of the day.”

GODZone teams are carrying GPS tracking systems and can be following online: http://godzoneadventure.com/

For more media information, interview & imagery requests contact:

Margo Berryman
GODZone Media Manager
P: +64 21 246 3342
E: margo@qt.co.nz

Related posts

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

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

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


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

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


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