GODzone Adventure - Chapter 4

  • New Zealand (NZL)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Off-Road Cycling
  • Paddling
  • Navigation

Racing to Beat the Cut-Off

Rob Howard / 03.03.2015See All Event Posts Follow Event
/ © Rob Howard

Teams knew that to have the chance to complete the full course of Godzone 2015 they had to make the 2am cut-off at TA6.  For most this wasn’t a concern, they had either already passed TA6 in good time, or they were too far back on the course to hope to make the cut-off. But there are a small group of teams on the edge, those who might just possibly make it through ...

They arrived at TA5 soon after darkness fell on Tuesday night and were first visible from the bike lights coming along the shore. As soon as they rode into the TA the clock was ticking on their transition time and the quicker they could leave on the Lake Wakatipu paddle the more chance they’d have of arriving at the other end in time to beat the cut-off.

Making a fast transition wasn’t easy in the circumstances. It was dark, which makes everything more difficult, and the teams were tired after a really long bike ride over the Pisa ranges, some had been on their bikes for over 30 hours. It was a bike-to-paddle transition too, so the bikes had to be boxed again, and it takes a while to prepare to paddle.

The teams arriving with a chance to make the cut-off were Haast Eagles, Bear Hunt, and Southern (Dis) Comfort, who all arrived close together and soon had piles of gear scattered all over the grass.  While they were in transition supporters were waiting for the arrival of the Cure Kids team, but the time ticked away and there was no sign of them, or of the 3 teams in transition being ready to go.

The paddle was expected to take anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on who you talked to, so the teams needed to be on the water by around 10.00pm to give themselves any chance, but those minutes kept ticking away.  After many false alarms the Cure Kids team did arrived after 9.30pm and while there was still some thought among the enthusiastic supporters of hustling them through the TA, it wasn’t going to happen.

Sia Svensen rode in first and immediately said they wanted a doctor to look at Ian Jone’s cut and stitched hand (an injury sustained from rocks in the swim) and that they wouldn’t be paddling that night. They were keen to get the tent set up in sheltered spot and recover from their long ride. “That ride, it was too tough,” said Svensen.

Soon after Irish team DAR Dingle arrived, and Cas Bullard said, “I think we’ve ridden only about 50m on tarmac the whole way, I’m totally beasted.” She added, “We found a hut in the bad weather to shelter and in hindsight that was a mistake as we overslept ... by a lot. We slept for more than 6 hours and then had to race hard to try and catch up.”

Of the three teams who were racing to the cut-off Haast Eagles were much the quickest in transition and all three teams were on the wind and wave swept beach, leaving close together. Luck was against them though, a strong wind had got up, raising sizeable white-caps on the lake and meaning they would face a head wind for the paddle.

They all took some time getting set up to go and had difficulty getting out onto the water. The kayaks were pushed back against the launch slip and one was forced up against the jetty and lifted into it a couple of times by the waves before breaking free.  By the time they were paddling it was well past 10,00 and if any of these teams are to make the cut-off they will have to paddle strongly in very difficult conditions.

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


See All Stories On This Race

PayPal Limited Edition SleepMonsters BUFF Patreon SleepMonsters Newsletter SleepMonsters Calendar SignUp


AR Discussion Group

Our Patrons

AR World Series

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing


AR World Series

Thomas Proulx

-- -- --

Adventure Race Croatia

Warrior Adventure Racing

Brian Gatens

Chris Dixon

Rootstock Racing

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Ajita Madan

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Liam St Pierre

Magnus Foss

Marijn Edelenbosch

Nicola MacLeod

Possum Jump Adventures

Robert Rulison

Strong Machine AR

Your Adventure Maps

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Ivan Park

Klaus Mygind

Lars Bukkehave

Marco Ponteri

Maria Leijerstam

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov