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Orion HealthAdventure Racing World Series

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Disciplines

The main disciplines for GODZone are navigation, trekking, mountain biking, kayaking and canoeing. The race may include additional disciplines that reflect the demands of the terrain. Where specific skills are required in a certain Chapter of the Event, detailed information will be provided in the Newsletters to help you prepare in good time.


Navigation 

8555267583_b469c59bf4_oMany teams underestimate the importance of navigation in adventure races. It is vital that you have at least one competent navigator in your team. The course will demand strong map skills and present teams with numerous route decisions that could significantly impact performance. Teams will be using standard NZ Topo Maps at a scale of 1:50,000 but other maps may be used specific to a discipline or location. You can view maps here (you will need to zoom in on the maps until you get 1 square = 1km) or download 1:50 000 maps for any region of New Zealand via the Linz website.

Most stages of the race will have a navigational element which underlines its importance. On some parts of the course you may travel for many hours before seeing a TA or CP (with several route options available) meaning tactical planning will be just as important as following the map. The organisers strongly believe that the winning team should combine both brains and brawn so competitors should focus on a subtle balance of physical prowess versus skills, such as navigation and route planning.

There has been an increasing trend in recent years for navigators to rely less on their compass and more on their map reading skills and contour recognition. The result of this was quite apparent on the tough navigation sections in Chapter 1 and we urge all those taking part to not underestimate the importance of this basic, but highly effective, tool. Teams are reminded that there is a significant Magnetic Declination (around 23.5 degrees) in the South Island. Don’t arrive at the race and expect us to tell you how to adjust for that…plan well in advance or plan to be one of the teams that spends half the event lost.


Trekking 

8549441991_b71dfd697c_bIt’s a fact of life that you spend a lot of time on your feet in expedition length races and it is no different at GODZone. Traveling by foot through a wide variety of terrain is one of the most basic skills of the budding adventure racer but you should not underestimate its importance. Teams will need to be competent trekkers, be confident over rugged terrain and understand potential hazards such as exposed ridges and river crossings. Those who have experienced previous Chapters of GODZone will understand that travelling along paths is often the exception and not the rule so prepare for some rough travel.

Due to the wild nature of GODZone courses, we have made it mandatory for teams to carry a tent, four sleeping bags and plenty of clothes. This means that the 20L backpacks that have become almost the norm in other races are not suitable here. This additional burden will slow teams down considerably and can have a debilitating effect on your feet if they are not well prepared.


Mountain Biking 

8546722037_3aa40c2b5e_bTeams should be prepared for a range of riding including fire trails, steep hills, unsealed roads, cross country, sealed roads and single track. The organisers will do their utmost to keep bike pushing and carrying to a minimum but teams should accept that it is not practical in all situations to avoid every route which throws up such challenges.

There is a lot of debate about the ideal mountain bike for expedition length events. It is well worth considering the additional benefits of comfort over performance on an event that might take over six days to complete. Teams are expected to carry out running repairs during the race and should ensure they have the appropriate skills to fix all manner of bike related problems. Many teams carry extensive spares in their Bike Boxes to ensure that they may continue should something break.


Kayaking 

8549827233_f50f48598d_bKayaking in Orion Health GODZone could be on inland rivers, lakes, fiords and on the sea. Generally, inland paddling will be permitted during both day and night, though this may be dictated by river flows. Dark zones may also be enforced on white water and/or any exposed lake sections or the sea if the conditions merit it.  Specific details will be outlined at the pre-event briefing.

All participants should view the Certification page and take note of the Water Safety requirements before entering the event. For your own enjoyment and safety you should take your water training seriously.

Teams will paddle the AR Duo kayaks which are widely regarded as the best fleet of kayaks that have ever been produced for an expedition race. They combine good performance with a stable design and have a number of tailor made features to enhance the paddling experience. Every kayak is fitted with a Bumfortable foam seat which ensures great comfort on long kayak stages.


Canoeing 

8546265050_bc2410960f_bCanoeing in Orion Health GODZone could be on inland rivers, lakes, fiords and on the sea. Generally, inland paddling will be permitted during both day and night, though this may be dictated by river flows. Dark zones may also be enforced on white water and/or any exposed lake sections or the sea if the conditions merit it. Specific details will be outlined at the pre-event briefing. As a general rule, we will use the canoes for running white water.

All participants should view the Certification page and take note of the Water Safety requirements before entering the event. For your own enjoyment and safety you should take your water training seriously.

We have a fleet of commercial grade inflatable canoes capable of running class 4+ rapids (though we don’t envisage GODZone competitors doing that in Chapter 3 – but it could be Grade 3+). Each inflatable comes as a complete unit which means that we will usually provide canoes, paddles, pumps and buoyancy aids. We have both Canadian and double bladed paddles so be prepared for either.


Fixed Ropes  

8544615332_55bff2cc9d_bGODZone may have fixed ropes which will have to be negotiated for teams to proceed along the course. This could include, amongst other things, descending (abseiling), ascending (jumaring), tyrolean traverses (flying fox), scrambling, crampons and ice axes and even Canyon Swings. Failure to complete a rope activity will normally mean that a team will become unranked but may be permitted to continue on the course.

All rope activities will be supervised by experienced and trained professionals. Further information on equipment required for any fixed ropes will be released in the Newsletters. All rope specific skills, such as that used for descending and ascending, will also be set out in the Newsletters well in advance of the event start.


Other Disciplines arws_cave_small arws_inline_small arws_swimming_small

8556471812_4997cea1b0_bFrom time to time a course or stage will pass through an area which offers unique opportunities for other methods of travel. This may be related to geography, be of cultural significance or both.

Information on other disciplines may be released in the Newsletters or even as late as the pre-event briefing. We like to keep some surprises up our sleeve but we wont include a discipline that requires a significant amount of skill or one that could affect your race outcome in a major way without telling you first in the Newsletters.

Note: Despite the icon above, we will never do rollerblading at GODZone. We’d never live it down.