GODzone Adventure - Chapter 4

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Passing By Queenstown

Rob Howard / 02.03.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
Leaving TA5
Leaving TA5 / © Rob Howard

Through the afternoon teams from 10th-20th position have been coming and going at TA5 on the outskirts of Queenstown.

The transition is the end of the bike ride over the mountains from Wanaka and the start of the first kayaking stage, on Lake Wakatipu. It was a long, hard ride for the teams, made much worse by the torrential rain and cold conditions overnight, and they were glad to arrive in much better conditions. By Tuesday afternoon the sun was shining weakly, there was little wind, and the water was calm.

It was a long transition, breaking down and packing the bikes and preparing to paddle and teams worked steadily through the tasks that needed doing. While he was sorting out his equipment I spoke to Jerome Sheppard of Team Balance Sport Nutrition. “We were caught in the worst of the weather in the worst place,” he said.  “It was so cold and there was no way we could stop, we just had to keep moving and made it to the Meg Hut. Luckily earlier teams had built a fire in there and we stopped for a few hours sleep. Other teams piled in, but we were oblivious. Before we left we built the fire up again."

“The weather is making the course long right now. It always slows you down so much and everything takes so much longer. It reminds me of the Southern Traverse which used to take place in November.”

His team were just ahead of The University of Auckland team, who are both race veterans and one of the younger teams in the race.  Tom Reynolds spoke of his team’s difficult night on the hills.

“We just knew we couldn’t stop and at one point it was touch and go, with a broken derailleur on one bike and a flat on another. We did briefly think of putting up a tent and sheltering, but knew that would be it and we’d have to use the alert button on our Yellowbrick if we did. Somehow we managed to get to the hut and take time to recover, but it was a close call.”

He was busy stripping down and repairing the bikes as he spoke, making sure they were in good order for the final bike stage of the race, which is the longest of all.  They are a well drilled team and made a good transition before setting off in their kayaks down the lake to the next TA.

This TA will be the location of the short course cut-off at 2am in the morning, and teams a little further back along the course are now racing to make that deadline so they can go the full distance. One team with a lot of supporters is the Cure Kids team, supporting the race charity, and it looks like they are one of the teams who will be close to the deadline. This evening there will be some intense pressure in TA5 as teams hustle through hoping to beat the cut-off.

You can follow the race live at http://godzoneadventure.com


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