Team Swordfox Big Move Fails At GODZone
Monday 27th February 2017
Brent Edwards, Ash Whitehead, Stu Lynch and Georgia Whitla thought they had made the biggest tactical move on the 410km GODZone today only to be forced to turn back when the going got tough.
The four person Swordfox team from Nelson chose to head around the front of Walter Peak on the edge of Lake Wakatipu in an attempt to mountain bike to Halfway Bay on Stage 8 of the event.
“ This was such an interesting move by Swordfox who were desperate to try and get in front of the leading teams, Tiki Tour’s Tom and George Lucas, Mike Kelly and Floortje Grimmett and Team Yealands Family Wines Chris Forne, Dan Moore, Dan Busch and Simone Maier,” says GODZone Race Director Warren Bates.
“ It’s possible this kind of navigational choice would have saved them one or two hours of brutal up hill mountain biking but it was not to be. The track disappears once you get past Table Bay and that’s where they turned around and headed backwards along the shore.”
The team lost several hours on the leaders who had mountain biked up over the Afton Saddle (1310m) near the Eyre Mountain Range. Team Yealands Family Wines remains undeterred in second place with Tiki Tour in its sights.
“ What a great race we are having at the front with these two teams blasting through the field in world class adventure racing style. They won’t stop now and there will be no sleeping tonight,” says Bates.
He says Swordfox will have to work very hard to maintain their third position as doubling back cost them crucial hours.
“Any advantage has been lost over Christchurch team Sneaky Weasels Struan Webb, Mitchell Munro, Tane Cambridge and Isla Smith who are following in fourth place for the last 24 hours. If the Sneaky’s discover Swordfox is only now 15 minutes in front of them it will be serious game on.”
The next stage of the race will see teams trek through the Eyre Mountains for 27km from Halfway Bay to Kingston and onto the final leg of the journey, a 47km kayak across Lake Wakatipu to Frankton Beach near Queenstown.