GODzone Adventure - Chapter 4

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Godzone is Open

Rob Howard / 26.02.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event

Teams are now gathered in Lake Wanaka conference Centre for the opening of Godzone Chapter 4.  It’s a relaxed atmosphere, the teams are all now registered, have met up with friends old and new, and can take a break from packing and planning for an hour or so as they are introduced to Wanaka and the race organisation.

Warren Bates started proceedings off. “We know that New Zealand is the holy grail for many adventure racers and we hope to live up to that and deliver a worthy course and get things right. We want you to have fun, that’s what racing should be about, and to show you the best of the New Zealand wilderness. When choosing our locations we have high standards, but Lake Wanaka easily ticked all the boxes and you are going to have a fantastic time.”

Next up was James Helmore of Wanaka Tourism who struggled a bit to talk about all of the wonderful places the teams ‘might’ go to! “You are in for a treat,” he said.  “We are the gateway to the Mount Aspiring National Park which is a World Heritage Centre, so it is globally special. We have 750k of trails, and mountains up to 10,000 feet. There are canyons 300 feet deep and over 100 glaciers in the park. The lake is the 4th largest in New Zealand and you ‘may’ get to paddle down the largest river by volume as well. Enjoy!”

There were thanks to sponsors who help make this all happen of course, and some words about the race charity Cure Kids, which supports terminally ill children and their families.  It’s a very worthwhile cause and the charity have a team in the race put together by the NZ Rugby Players Assoc. and including former All Black rugby player Ian Jones.

There was a generally safety brief too. Stay together, ride safely and awake on the roads, pay attention and stay warm was the gist of it, plus there was an instruction to carry the Yellowbrick trackers high in packs so they work well.  There was a laugh when the staff told teams their families get in touch real quick when the trackers go offline, and a murmur when it was made clear anyone who needed to be helicoptered out because they gave up, would be paying for it.

Steve Gurney who is the race patron said a few words as well. Reflecting on the first adventure race, the Raid Gauloises, which was held in New Zealand (and which his team won) and how the sport had lost its way a little since then. “I’m pleased to say that the Godzone team made a vow 4 years ago to be true to the sport and they are delivering on it. You’ll have special times out there and get to places you never would otherwise. Make sure you finish as mates - that’s important. Have a great time – God speed for Godzone.”

There were a few housekeeping announcements as well, including slightly bigger weight limits on the bike boxes, a reminder schedules will run to time, and another that the logistics planner will be emailed out to all teams at 08.00 tomorrow morning. The intensity will ramp up then and the race will begin to move into gear.


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