A BIG crowd turned out on Tuesday night to welcome the first team home in the 2018 GODZone adventure race.
More than 500 spectators cheered on as Team Yealands Family Wines paddled onto the beach beside the Marakura Yacht Club on the shores of Lake Te Anau at 9.40pm.
The team completed the 540km course through Fiordland in five days and 13 hours.
Chris Forne paid tribute to his team-mates, including his wife Emily.
“We decided to race together for the first time and that has definitely been a cool experience, and I think she has been fantastic.”
GODZone course director Adam Fairmaid said he was pleased the team made it roughly in the estimated time.
“They were just about spot on – a fraction behind what we thought the first team could do it in. It is really impressive, particularly because they have raced so hard with second-placed Swordfox and had a ding-dong battle along the way.
“Yealands are a hugely experienced team, Chris is a world champion adventure racer and both he and Emily have competed at all seven GODZones, so they have a lot of pedigree,” Fairmaid said.