The return of adventure racing world champion Chris Forne to Chapter 6 of GODZone has put the rest of the 300 competitor large field on notice.
Forne and his fellow Yealands Family Wines teammates Dan Moore and Dan Busch won last year’s event in style and will be looking for a repeat performance for 2017.
“ This is the sixth appearance for Chris at GODZone and he has an unbeaten record so far, with a clean sweep of five wins under his belt,” says GODZone Race Director Warren Bates.
“Top Wanaka female multisporter Simone Maier is joining them this time around and if anything that makes the team even stronger than last year. They are definitely the team to beat. Chris is the world’s best adventure racing navigator and relishes an expedition like GODZone where he can pit himself against the rest.”
Red-hot favourites from the US are team Adventure Medical Kits led by Kyle Peters with fellow Americans Mari Chandler and Erik Sanders with Australian Rob Preston.
“ This team is out here for the second consecutive year to try and take line honours. I expect them to go close which would make them the first international team to win GODZone,” says Bates.
“Mari Chandler is super strong on the bike and I think the team are better prepared this time around. They acquitted themselves very well at the recent world champs, taking second overall, but in some ways I think this is a tougher event to win. Kiwis on home soil, racing in the high mountains, is a tough ask even for the very best. If any team in world AR can run the Kiwis close, it’s this one.”
Bates says there are three other teams on his watch list who have plenty of experience racing GODZone.
“Champion multisporter Glen Currie has joined up with Richard Anderson in team Torpedo 7 along with Greig Hamilton (Chris Forne’s old navigating partner) and Jo Williams who recently won the ARWC with Nathan Fa’avae and team Seagate. These guys will be a real force.”
“Queenstown team Tiki Tour with the Lucas brothers Tom and George, Mike Kelly and Floortje Grimmett are talented and know the local terrain better than anyone else. Floortje is one of the strongest female adventure racers out there and they will be very fast. Whether they have the nous to make all that horsepower count will be the key factor for this team.”
“Nelson based team Swordfox with Brent Edwards, Ash Whitehead, Stu Lynch and Georgia Whitla are another team with all the attributes to take a podium place. Heaps of experience, great navigation options – with three very talented orienteers on board – and a track record of achieving high placing’s at other GODZone Chapters. They will be going all out for the win, that’s for sure.”
Chapter 6 of GODZone gets underway on Saturday 25th February in an undisclosed location in Queenstown, New Zealand. As one of the most technically challenging expeditions in the world, teams will be racing for up to seven days and navigating their way through a distance of approximately 450km with over 10,000m of ascent.
Each team of four must stay within 100 meters of each other at all times as they kayak, mountain bike, trek, raft and climb across some of New Zealand’s most iconic landscapes.
For more information on GODZone teams list go to