MORE than 390 competitors from around the globe will begin the challenge of navigating their way through the world’s largest expedition adventure race, GODZone, in Fiordland, next month.
Destination Fiordland and the Southland District Council are the official host partners of GODZone Chapter 7 and event director Warren Bates said their support was critical to the event’s success.
The team list had been released and the event was breaking records this year, attracting the largest number of four-person adventure racing teams to ever compete in New Zealand.
“Not only do we have our largest field ever, we also have a wide geographical spread of countries represented, including Argentina, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, United States and South Africa. There is also a strong Australian representation led by A1 Series national champions, Thunderbolt AR,” Bates said.
“It is a showcase of national and international multisport talent and is indicative of a rise of interest in adventure racing globally. The world heritage area of Fiordland has been a big drawcard for teams looking for a real expedition race, and the competitors are clamouring to get out into some spectacular wilderness areas.”
The 10-day adventure race, from March 1-10, incorporated orienteering, mountain biking, kayaking, trekking, canoeing and fixed ropes, along with a new discipline – pack rafting.
It includes a new discipline of pack rafting to add to the line-up that already includes orienteering, mountain biking, kayaking, trekking, canoeing and fixed ropes.
The 550km GZ Pure course (unsupported) and 470km GZ Pursuit (supported) course will remain secret from competitors until race registration in Te Anau on February 28.
“This course has fewer, longer stages that will mean some big backpacks and probably more sleep for teams than usual, especially when you consider navigating at night in the bush,” Bates said.
“It’s going to be stunningly beautiful, yet very tough, requiring teams to have plenty of stamina and mental grit to get through.”
Last year’s GODZone champions, Tom and George Lucas, and Mike Kelly, of Team Tiki Tour, return to defend their title, with Corinne O’Donnell replacing Floorjte Grimmett.