Spectacular High Country Canterbury For Godzone Restart This Morning
Mount White Station in the Arthurs Pass National Park formed the backdrop for a dramatic GODZone restart early this morning.
“The twist to the race this year is that the Pure teams were transported by coach in the early hours to Mt White Station in Arthurs Pass National Park for a race restart at 5am after spending the evening at the Christchurch Adventure Park,” says Event Director Warren Bates. “The Pursuits and Prime teams were coached to Flock Hill Station to restart at 7am so it’s an interesting way to kick off the second day of racing.”
Stage two begins with a 73km trek through the Torlesse Mountain Range followed by packrafting down the Poulter River and the Waimakariri River. A 2-hour caving section at Cave Stream Scenic Reserve will complete the stage with teams transitioning at Castle Hill.
“The trek through the high and dry Torlesse range will be scenic for its remarkable flora and fauna followed by a mighty pack raft down one of Canterbury’s most iconic rivers, the Waimakariri. The spectacular limestone outcrops at Cave Stream will be another highlight of this stage as teams will meander and twist their way through the cave’s pitch black darkness for over 594 meters,” says Bates.
The front running teams are expected to complete stage two by late Monday and will head off from Castle Hill into an evening Stage three mountain bike leg – 160kms of high alpine riding past Lake Coleridge and over the Blackhill mountain range down to Alford Forest and along to Lake Clearwater.
“Stage four is a huge 84km trek from Lake Clearwater up and over the Big Hill and Palmer Ranges. The teams will experience views of the unspoilt snowcapped Southern Alps, summiting Mt O’Connor before descending down into high country farm Glenfalloch Station,” says Bates.
A massive water section follows for stages five and six with teams transitioning to packrafting the upper Rakaia River for 53km then kayaking the lower Rakaia for 77km. The last mountain bike leg will link teams around Lake Ellesmere to Wainui for a final paddle home across to Akaroa.
“The Pursuit and Prime teams have a slightly shorter formatted journey but everyone is doing parts of this course. There are cut off times on certain days that the teams will have to make in order to continue on fully ranked and some dark zones on rivers. Physical and mental strength is going to be required by all teams to commit to such an adventure,” says Bates.
“This is a large course, the longest to date in GODZone’s history. Canterbury has a massive landscape that will be technically demanding of all teams – that is the challenge they come for at GODZone.”
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