Adventure racers in the zone

Team PwC (from left) Bob McLachlan, Rob Nichol, Sarah Fairmaid and former All Black Captain Richie McCaw, who finished GODZone in sixth place taking six days 11h 15m. Photos: Julie Walls


A BIG crowd turned out on Tuesday night to welcome the first team home in the 2018 GODZone adventure race.

Team Yealands Family Wines (from left) Aaron Prince, Dan Busch, Chris Forne and Emily Forne was the first team home in GODZone.

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.

Teams landing on Lake Te Anau’s shores at the Waiau River outlet.

Team Countdown to The Ranch (from left) Grant
Tremain, Adam Bentley, Jade Lilo and Pania Dalley, who were the first Te Anau Pursuit team to arrive
at the finishline on Wednesday, March 7. They finished the race in six days 11h 47m in fourth position. Four other Te Anau teams also placed – Team Fiordland House (fifth), Team Meridian (sixth) and Team Landpro (tenth).
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