New Zealand’s celebrated adventure racers, Nathan Fa avae, Sophie Hart, Chris Forne and Stuart Lynch of Team Seagate are leading the pack on day one of the GODZone adventure race in Kaikoura.
As predicted by race directors the past GODZone winners led from the start of the race that saw teams enter the choppy waters off Kaikoura’s main beach at 1pm this afternoon.
“ The teams had quite a challenging situation to deal with as they split up and the runners headed around the Kaikoura peninsula while the kayakers tackled dumping waves. There were a few causality’s and a couple of broken rudders but they all got through that first stage admirably,” said Race Director Warren Bates.
Team Seagate were the first complete team into TA2 and transitioned smoothly and quickly onto the bike leg. Team member Sophie Hart had a bunch of people cheering her on and wishing her well for her birthday today.
“ Its was great to get around that spectacular coastline and also get the racing underway. Now its time to go mountain biking,” said Nathan Fa avae.
In second place and just a few minutes behind were Team Absolute Wilderness. Dan Moore, Dan Busch, Naomi Whitehead and Jeremy McKenzie are from Picton, Nelson and Blenheim respectively and put their local knowledge of the area to good use.
“ We loved the paddle around the bay and even saw some seals who gave us abit of a bark. Its good to be getting onto Stage 2 and putting some distance between all the teams as we head into the end of the day,” said Naomi Whitehead.
Wanaka’s Team R& R Sport Torpedo 7 are currently in third place. Richard Anderson, Simon Bowden, Joanna Williams and Bob McLachlan were literally breathing down the neck of the second placed team as they left on the 53km bike ride to Waiautoa.
“ Following on from these leaders are Vida de Aventura, Orion Health and Kathmandu XT and these are the names we expected to see up the front and being competitive,”says Mr Bates.
“One of the youngest teams Next Generation is tracking nicely in seventh place and they have been saying their team members have a point to prove and so far they are not looking too bad.”
The GODZone teams are expected to move through into the major trekking stage of the event over Mount Tapaeu-o-Uenuku over night where Mr Bates says they will be tested by the elevation and the climate.
“ The transition area at Waiautoa is relatively calm but once they head up and over the untracked terrain of the George Stream and up to the George Saddle things will be looking and feeling very different.”
Both TVONE and TV3 filmed the event from the race start line in Kaikoura and the live website has received thousands of hits as viewers around the world follow live tracking online at http://live.godzoneadventure.com