Teams out on the 520Km GODZone course are today racing towards the first and only officially short course option at 1pm this afternoon.
Most of the remaining field out of the 41 starting teams are paddling the Hurunui River where the short course cut off is at the Balmoral Forest main bridge. Race Director Warren Bates says it has put a lot of pressure on the back racing teams to make the grade to continue on.
“ It is a race within a race today as they all try to beat the cut off time. We know that our second placed team R&R Sport managed to paddle the river to this point in five and half hours so it can be done but I think there will be some disappointed teams today who don’t quite get there.”
Those teams that are short coursed will have to mountain bike direct to the finish line on the inland Kaikoura road.
Overnight Team R&R Sport Torpedo 7 led by Richard Anderson clinched second place in the race over local favourites Team Absolute Wilderness led by Dan Moore in third.
“ Richard ran an exciting race with his team from Wanaka and at times it was very, very close with Absolute Wilderness but their adventure racing experience really came to the fore. They kept their heads together and pulled out all the stop on that last kayak leg to make it.
Dan Moores team have been phenomenal to watch given this is their first adventure race together. They had a very positive attitude from the get go and were wonderful competitors for R&R to race against.”
The lead teams came face to face with a pod of dolphins last night as they left South Bay and kayaked around to the main beach in Kaikoura which was a highlight at the end of a long event. The GODZone event will wrap up on Saturday ( 15th March ) with the last teams expected across the full and short course options by midday.