Secret Godzone Course Revealed
Secret Godzone Course Revealed Ahead of Te Anau
After 12 months of planning and organisation, the seventh chapter of New Zealand's iconic adventure race GODZone was revealed today just 24 hours prior to race start.
Competitors will tackle seven stages with six different disciplines over 550 km through Fiordland, with just ten days to complete the full course. The shorter formatted Pursuit course has seven stages over 430km.
GODZone event director Warren Bates and course director Adam Fairmaid delivered course details to over 360 competitors gathered at the official competitor welcome and briefing at the Fiordland Community Centre.
"The interest and attention in GODZone coming to Fiordland has been phenomenal, and we are certainly looking forward to seeing all the teams get amongst the course and enjoying some of the special and diverse wilderness areas this region has to offer."
"The introduction of paddle rafting is a first for adventure racing in New Zealand, allowing teams to navigate very remote areas that not many people ever experience,” says Bates.
The gruelling ten-day event gets underway at 8 am tomorrow in Te Anau with teams heading into the stage one packraft across Lake Te Anau and down the Waiau River to Lake Manapouri. From there they will trek around the north west of Mt Titiroa overnight to arrive at a 140m fixed rope abseil point high above the Borland Lodge and Lake Monowai. The 110km first stage finishes with a packraft down the Waiau River to Wairaki.
A special underground caving section at the Clifden Caves will be the highlight of the next 55km stage two mountain biking leg through Motu Bush and Dean Forest to Thicket Burn Campsite near Lake Hauroko.
“ We expect the leading teams will arrive at Lake Hauroko by Friday afternoon with the rest of the field up to 36 hours behind them,” says Bates. “Stage three is in spectacular Southern Fiordland with teams packrafting across Lake Hauroko and down the stunning Wairaurahiri River and out to the rugged southern coastline.”
“The Pure teams will then carry their packrafts and trek up through sub alpine terrain and native bush areas of Poiteriteri, Slaughterburn, Wee Lake Innes, Hakapoua and Westies Hut then back through to Rarakau to complete this stage. The Pursuit teams head directly to Rarakau along the wild Southern coastline from the bottom of the Wairarahiri River. Most teams will complete this section by Sunday with a short course cut off kicking in on Monday night.”
The front of the GODZone field is expected to head into stage four – a 160km mountain bike – through Southlands Rowallen Forest out to West Arm Lake Manapouri on Sunday afternoon.
" By now race fatigue and sleep deprivation will be a factor on this long ride out to West Arm through beautiful backcountry,” says Bates. “The Pursuit teams have a shorter mountain bike from Rarakau back to Supply Bay at Lake Manapouri and onto Rainbow Reach the start of the Kepler Track where they will trek and kayak towards home."
Stage five of the race starts at West Arm where Pure teams will experience the first kayaking leg paddling 14km across Lake Manapouri across to the Freeman Burn. Deep in classic Fiordland territory, the teams will then trek 24km over the Kepler Mountains to the final transition area at Dinghy Cove on Lake Te Anau.
" From Dinghy Cove they paddle across Lake Te Anau to the finish line set up at the Marakura Yacht Club which will be a spectacular way to complete an arduous and hopefully rewarding journey for most of them," says Bates.
" Chapter 7 is the most challenging course we have devised for GODZone to date, and teams will have a real sense of discovery through this iconic New Zealand landscape.”
Former All Black Captain Richie McCaw from team PwC and ex Springbok Stefan Terblanche from South African team Merrell enjoyed catching up at the official welcome and joked how they would keep an eye out for each other on the course.
" I am sure we might see each other at certain points and there will be a bit of banter out there," says Terblanche. " The course looks magnificent and we can't wait to get amongst it."
1st – 10th March 2018
Stage 1: Packraft/Trek/Packraft Waiau – Borland
• Stage 2: Caving/MTB Motu Bush 55km
• Stage 3: Packraft Southern Fiordland 150km
• Stage 4: MTB Rowallan Percy 160km
• Stage 5: Kayak West / North Arm 14km
• Stage 6: Trek Kepler Mountains 24km
• Stage 7: Kayak Lake Te Anau 35km